Header image: Kennisland

Kennisland is an independent and non-profit think and do tank based in Amsterdam that aims to make society smarter and to empower people to learn and to renew themselves continuously.

We develop solutions to the questions that arise during the transition to a knowledge-driven society; we’re part of the vanguard of that process. We learn how this must be done by developing interventions, both on a commissioned basis, for instance working with the government, foundations or companies, and on our own initiative. Kennisland hereby focusses on innovation in a broad range of sectors from the cultural sector, copyright issues, education, care, to the government itself. We share the knowledge accumulated in doing so with as many people as possible, because knowledge only gains value when it is shared.

Part of our activities include facilitating support for city makers and helping them to realise their ideas and initiatives, always keeping in mind the entire city and all its citizens. How do we make sure that all the brainpower in the city is used in such a way that the city is owned by everyone? What do city makers need to realise their ideas? How does the government need to change to facilitate such a deliberative democratic process? Kennisland supports pioneers who are working towards smart, productive, liveable and sustainable cities.

We also design and implement social labs, in which we focus on better lives for citizens – and on what is necessary with regards to problem-solving capacity, better service provision and the role of government. This applies most of all to vulnerable citizens: those who are most at risk of being affected by changes in the law, cutbacks or political choices. We have started social labs in many different cities, from Amsterdam to Vienna and Hong Kong.

Based on our experience since 1999, the smart city narrative as is does not meet the needs for making the city of the future truly inclusive and innovative, and often still tends towards depoliticising issues and holding determinist views about the potential of technology. Contact us for a critical discussion on how the smart city ideal needs to step up its game to become inclusive, transparent and fair.


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