Nora van der Linden, directeur en adviseur sociale innovatie
Nora van der Linden

Nora van der Linden, director and advisor social innovation

Maker: Giorgos Gripeos



Director and senior advisor social innovation

Nora van der Linden

@noravdlLinkedIn profile

Nora van der Linden is a senior social innovation advisor and Kennisland’s director. She develops new approaches, strategies and interventions for complex social problems. Nora has a great deal of practical experience, which she is able to harness to solve the challenges of the public realm and devise systematic solutions. For her, one question always comes first: how can you make the people affected by problems part of the solution? And how can you subsequently use those solutions to change policy, procedures and rules such that people’s lives improve and society becomes more equal?

Through the years, Nora has worked on a variety of subjects and projects, from nursing home care to education for newcomers, and from the transition towards natural-gas-free homes to neighbourhood budgets. She has developed and implemented challenges, social labs, action research and social innovation projects. She has also set up learning programmes to support social innovators in the Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world, including the European Social Innovation Competition, the Hivos Learning Community and Radical Innovators. Nora is also a board member of the NDSM-Werf Foundation and a member of the Advisory Board of the Graduate School Social Sciences of the University of Amsterdam.

Nora is always exploring and developing new topics and partnerships for KL. Which social problems require new innovation strategies and methods? Where is more space for innovation required? Which new innovations do we need to develop so that social systems support people rather than holding them back? In doing so, she always focuses on the result and the end goal, but never loses sight of what it’s ultimately all about: working together to build a better world where human and public values come first. Her priorities include devising new approaches and solutions for issues related to democratisation, inequality and inclusiveness. 

Nora studied sociology and the philosophy of science at the University of Amsterdam and McGill University in Montreal. She was particularly involved with knowledge development and the role that science, politics and language play in wicked problems++Wicked problemsFor example, she investigated how scientific jargon excludes citizens and makes it difficult for them to participate in the public debate.. During her studies she was the chair of HappyChaos, a collective of Amsterdam students who organise debates on social issues. She taught at the University of Amsterdam for a year and a half and has worked at Kennisland since 2011.

Nora is from Amsterdam, but now lives closer to nature with her partner, son and daughter. In her spare time, she likes nothing better than travelling through the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe in their camper. She loves reading, football and dancing.


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