Emma is social innovation advisor at Kennisland. As a health scientist, she is committed to a sustainable, equal society. She believes that to be able to innovate, it requires a network of diverse people and parties who want to work together energetically. Simplifying the complex, involving people and getting serious things done; that is what she likes to do. According to her, issues become a lot less complicated if you give the people involved the floor and the power to change.
During her studies, Emma looked at the healthcare sector on different levels. Firstly, by working at the home care organisation Emile in Amsterdam. Here she supported people at home with the disease ALS. “I just want to talk to you” became the motto in her research into the care experience of residents in nursing homes. According to her, you shouldn’t look at healthcare as merely caring for but as a way of life. This coincides with the ideas of ++Positive HealthPositive Health advocates a broad look on health. The focus is not on a disease or the absence of disease, but on the people themselves, on their resilience and on what it is that makes their lives meaningful. Read more.
International healthcare is another important theme for Emma and especially equal access to healthcare. In Lao PDR, at the MCNV, she studied how cultural, structural and practical barriers in the healthcare system contribute to the high number of teenage pregnancies. There she saw the necessity to look at a societal problem from many different perspectives.
After her studies, Emma made the step to the local government. At the municipality of Stichtse Vecht, she worked on an innovative, future-proof and sustainable economy. There, she was a driving force behind programmatic workEmma works towards solutions by collecting stories and ideas, instead of telling others what needs to be done. in tackling societal issues. This method ensures that you don’t drown in a multitude of activities, roles and relationships, but you tackle challenges in a systemic way. She did this by developing programmes for economic development and energy transition, together with local stakeholders, policymakers and political representatives. In these processes, she discovered that her strength lies in connecting people in order to reach common goals and an approach or solution together. She does this by collecting stories and ideas, instead of telling people what to do. At Kennisland, she wants to develop this further and work towards positive change.
In her free time, Emma is always trying out a new hobby such as playing the accordion, do-it-yourself projects or colouring pictures for adults. Sport is a recurring ingredient that gives her a lot of energy. You can regularly find her running behind a hockey ball, slaving away on her bike or in a stable Pilates position. She also enjoys going to the cinema or spending time with friends and family in a pub, or putting food on the table for them at home. Together with her boyfriend, she is constantly making plans for trips at home and abroad.