Senior advisor digital society
Sacha van Tongerenst@kl.nl LinkedIn profile
Sacha is a senior advisor digital society at Kennisland. She builds strategic partnerships and programmes that transcend borders, based on concepts that challenge the status quo and support change. As a creative connector, Sacha initiated countless transformational programmes, including Creative Care Lab, Fairphone and Maakplaats 021. As a KL Associate, Sacha previously coordinated the Living a Whole Life Programme. Digitisation plays a major role in all public domains in which KL is operating. Yet, digital and social innovation are still too often seen as separate subjects. It is time for a more integrated vision and approach.
From art and creation to digital and social innovation
After working in management positions in the cultural sector for a number of years, she has broadened her horizon at Waag++WaagThis organisation operates at the intersection of art, science and technology. It explores the social and cultural impact of new technologies based on the values of openness, fairness and inclusion. Together with Waag, among others, KL wrote Accelerating Amsterdam’s Assets about how Amsterdam can better use the potential of society. This proposal made us the innovation capital of Europe. With Waag (and others), we were also members of the COMMUNIA Network and Creative Commons Netherlands., among others. She has come to realise that access to knowledge, culture and information cannot be taken for granted, while it is the basis for personal and social development. It feeds our collective imagination and thus has a major impact on how we envision and shape the future. We must strive for an open society in which information systems support people instead of frustrate them, where new technologies lead to shared progress instead of inequality and exclusion. At the Amsterdam Public Library she has translated this philosophy into a concept for a new location that will be opened in 2025: OBA NEXT.
More attention for digital transition in the public sector
Technology and digitisation have made our lives easier in many ways. But we see more and more things go wrong. Particularly where technology touches on the public interest; think of the childcare benefits scandal, the spread of disinformation, the violation of privacy and human rights. The question is increasingly raised whether the public sector has sufficient knowledge and skills to retain control. At the same time, there are concerns about the way digital technologies work. In its design, choices are made that do not contribute to the public interest and can even be harmful. What kind of digital society do we want? How do we look to the future? What do people within healthcare, education and government find important? And how do we include the younger generation in design processes?
Sacha will be working on these social issues at Kennisland. How do we envision the ideal society, and what do we do to ensure that free access to knowledge, culture and information is also normal for future generations?