During the Sustainability week of the City of THe Hague, a citizenship conference was held on May 14, 2013 -- the Weaverbird documentary had its premiere.

The venue for the session is the New Church on the Spui, initialized by the Alderman for Sustainability, Rabin Baldewsingh. The session was well-attended, incorporating a debate between public and private sectors and a citizen representative. The debate was summarized by the documentary made by Weaverbird in collaboration with Benjamin van den Brink.

The Documentary We The Consumer was re-named "Groen achter de duinen". It focuses on the relation between the system and the individual citizen. The whole documentary is in Dutch and can be viewed here.   
A DesignThink workshop at a congres on New (Collaborative) Urban Area Development Strategies.

Op 10 april organiseerde de Master City Developer het congres ‘The Art of Making Cities’ ter gelegenheid van haar 10-jarig jubileum, gericht op de toekomst van stedelijke gebiedsontwikkeling. Doel van de dag was om met vakgenoten scherpte te krijgen in het debat over nut en noodzaak van nieuwe ontwikkelstrategieën voor gebiedsontwikkeling. Om dat te bereiken werden in de ochtend eerst de contouren geschetst van de belangrijkste ruimtelijke opgaven en innovatieve oplossingen voor de stad, en gedebatteerd tussen de jonge professionals en gevestigde generatie. 

John Worthington had een belangrijke aanbeveling voor gebiedsontwikkelaars in petto: "New city developers become change shapers in stead of form makers." Hij concludeert dat huidige en toekomstig gebiedsontwikkelaars in uiteenlopende samenwerkingscoalities zich meer moeten focussen op het continu vertalen van lokale veranderingen, behoeften en middelen naar passende fysieke omgevingen die mensen binden. Dit sluit perfect aan op het verhaal dat ik heb gehouden over Creatief Leiderschap.  "De complexiteit te lijf met creativiteit"

Klik voor een verslag hier.
De Amsterdam Green Challenge, richt zich op de Albert Cuyp met een business development traject. Met als doel 40% energie besparing, 30% afval te reduceren en 20% minder water te verbruiken. In 100 dagen worden young professionals en actieve burgers uitgedaagd om duurzame businessmodellen te ontwikkelen. 

Weaverbird heeft een vooronderzoek uitgevoerd om lokaal netwerk op te bouwen. Om op zoek te gaan naar de kansen hebben is een ‘pop-up thinktank’ georganiseerd op de markt. Bij deze thinktank zijn de ondernemers, omwonenden, winkelend publiek en beleidsmakers uitgedaagd om mee te denken over de groene toekomst van de Albert Cuyp Markt. Hier kwamen een keur aan ideeën uit voort, variërend van praktische kleine oplossingen tot de nieuwste technologische innovaties. 

De crux is hoe duurzame oplossingen economisch interessant te maken, dit kan door een disciplineoverstijgende benadering. Daarvoor is een hoger abstractieniveau nodig, en andere vernieuwende partijen. De kennis en oplossingen liggen voor het oprapen, echter missen we de aanjager om actief op zoek te gaan naar duurzame initiatieven – Weaverbird is die aanjager

Klik voor meer informatie hier.
In Stockholm (1972), the United Nations put sustainability on the international agenda. The definition of the committee of Mrs. Bruntland 1987 is often cited: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". The film by Al Gore: "An Inconvenient Truth" moved the debate to your living room. Still, after 40 years, governments and businesses do not sufficiently anticipate on the future. Who can?

The consumer is key; from Shell CEO, to single mother; from secondary school student to retired Secretary of state, we are all consumers in the world we live in. Systems thinking, transition management, value chains analysis and the circular economy are all interesting high level concepts. Consumers are however able to tackle the complexity by pragmatism: away from the high-level melting icecaps, endangered species, natural disasters and rising food prices. The question is what consumers do? The technology and solutions deal differently with energy, water, waste are in existence. Decentralized power generation, clean machinery, grey-water systems, insulation and waste processing - we can do it all. 

This documentary is intended to reach out to the growing group of change agents in society, inspiring and activating them to take sustainable matters into their own hands.

Find the Dutch outline here.
The next two decades of the 21st century will be characterized by an unprecedented momentum in human history. We will need to adapt do a new reality, social and spatial constructs will change as a result of a transition to a green society. This transition is in need of change makers, innovators and entrepreneurs. 

Knowledge institutes and cities recognize the role in supporting and keeping new firms in the area. Helping aspiring entrepreneurs establish themselves in the region early on may increase the chance they’ll remain permanently.The Entrepreneurship Academy will be doing everything possible to help start-ups take root.

Yesterday’s approach to innovation was through Education, by theory driven skills development. Today's approach to innovation is through Incubation; by process driven skill development. Tomorrow’s approach to innovation is experimentation; through experience driven skill development.The Entrepreneurship Academy inspires tomorrows entrepreneurs doing so by offering the experience of innovation to young entrepreneurs; combining skill and attitude to provoking initiative.
The Huygens Talent Circle (HUTAC) is a non-profit association formed by current scholarship holders and alumni of the Huygens Scholarship Programme. The scholarship, financed by the Dutch  Ministry of OCW, was a programme from 2005 to 2011 designed for excellent students from countries all over the world. It provided both international students the opportunity to pursue their studies in The Netherlands, and also Dutch students to study abroad. I have the privilege to address this international audience of young professionals at the HUTAC’s Annual Conference at Regardz Zilveren Toren in Amsterdam. The theme of the conference of 2012 is: “Changing Worlds: Growth in times of scarcity”. Representing Weaverbird, the subject of my talk is "innovation in a connected world"

The presentation focuses on the constantly changing landscape in which we live. High density cities provide for the ultimate interaction between people and ideas -- that's why cities are appealing to so many. In the next 40 years, 3.5 billion people will urbanize. As a result, we are challenged to transform the way we travel, manage water, cope with waste, use our land and produce energy. Such challenges cannot be dealt with in isolation and it requires more than just new technology or different rules. I have shared my experience in tackling transdisciplinary challenges through design thinking, which has proven to be effective for enabling transition as a result of its inclusive focus on connections and relations between people, their social constructs, organizations, environments, and technologies.

Find the Prezi here.
Heavy transport powered by sugarcane, plastics derived from potatoes and medicine extracted from grass; these are examples of innovations, based on renewable sources of energy and materials. Important innovations in replacing fossil resources by biomass have already occurred. The aim is to find the tipping point in creating a more innovative and low carbon society, reconciling demands for sustainable agriculture and food security with the sustainable use of renewable biological resources for industrial purposes, while ensuring environmental protection. A more cohesive, cross-sectoral and trans-disciplinary approach is needed for a steady transition to a sustainable, bio-based economy. The quest is to find a way for stakeholders to work more closely together.

Representatives from all important sectors will participate in the seminar: the academic world, the industrial sectors involved, consumer organisations, NGO’s and government. Diversity of expertise, professional background, nationality and perspective allows for an integrated approach to solving problems and building bridges.

Find the link to the website here.
Having worked in a team of social innovators on the 2012 Social Safari case for the Environmental and Building Department (DMB) of Amsterdam. We are challenged to look into ways to make the Albert Cuyp market greener, and raise awareness of the issue of environmental sustainability among the people interacting with the market such as locals, salespeople, tourists. The Albert Cuyp Market is a great place to increase environmental awareness and can become a pilot to make markets more sustainable. At markets, much of the merchandise is sold off in plastic bags and there is a problem with litter at the end of the day. 

We decided bring representatives from the municipality to the market for a pop up think tank, where market vendors, customers, locals and tourist could come and brainstorm innovative solutions for linking profitability with sustainability. Our intervention is process in three stages:
  1. The representatives from the local authority would stand in a market stall helping sell market products. The aim is that this will help them understand the situation of the vendors better, as well as building relationship and understanding by taking part in the life of the market.
  2. The representatives from the municipality will sit on an table in the middle of the market brainstorming solutions with stakeholders in the marketplace. 
  3. The experiences and learning from the day pop up think tank would then be feed back to other colleagues at the municipality via videos, photos and stories from the brainstorms.

We found that by taking the discussions out of the office, and into the streets an entirely different dynamic was taking place between our main stakeholders. The results was a day of engaging, open and constructive brainstorming sessions between  representatives from the municipality, market vendors, local residents, tourists, local business owners and customers.

Find the Social Safari website here. 
Find the presentation here.
Find the blog here.

"Eco-cities: fad or a sustainable (development) option?" The eco-city concept can, by no means, be considered a fad. A fad, by definition, is limited in its duration and its influence on thinking and human behaviour. The term “eco-city” dates back to the 1970s and has been gaining ground, albeit unevenly, ever since. The concept is generally attributed to Richard Register, the co-founder of Urban Ecology (1975) and the eco-city movement, later to become Ecocity Builders (1992). While these dates coincide with the emergence of the concept of “sustainable development” (Stockholm 1972) and its global action plan (Agenda 21 - Rio 1992), the two concepts have different origins and intended outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to briefly describe the genesis of the various city movements including the eco-city movement, how the latter compares with other movements and initiatives, and where we stand today in terms of meeting the sustainability challenges facing our increasingly urbanised and rapidly urbanising world.
The concept focuses on an action oriented approach to increasing the effectiveness of multi stakeholder processes in disaster struck areas. Through research in Haiti, China and Indonesia, we found that the "development-triangle" (money, urgency and leadership) is out of balance: money and urgency are existent in high levels, there is however a lack of coordination and leadership. We feel that the litigation is currently more of an administrative or diplomatic matter, and see potential in facilitating the dialogue through the urban perspective. Hence, the urban realm is identified as an instrument to facilitate synergy among the variety of development initiatives different stakeholders deploy. Inter-organizational collaboration, ultimately enabling synergy among separate development initiatives, through a constructive stakeholder dialogue results in cohesive action. The mutual gains approach is identified as the method to address this stakeholder dialogue. We contribute to a resilient paradigm within post-disaster redevelopment through the facilitation interests of government, NGOs, IGOs, communities and the private sector.  

Find our presentation at the SCUPAD Conference here.  
Find our website here.