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Are you interested in the experiences of others working in smart city projects and organizations? The Smart City Academy provides available knowledge about smart city projects and can help you with project development. This Smart City Academy page provides you with information and researches about the impact and conditions of smart city projects. Professors, teachers and students study the initiation, management, collaboration and scaling of smart city projects and would like to share these results with you. They do so by organizing events and masterclasses, by developing smart city tools and methodologies and by making research and outcomes accessible. You can find everything here. And the good news is.... You can add your knowledge too! Are you working on Smart City research? Please feel free to share your knowledge in the Academy section, under ‘Other research and theses’. The Smart City Academy is powered by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. If you have any questions, you can contact email@example.com
Bij ‘smart city’ gaat het niet alleen over slimme steden. Digitalisering en technologisering veranderen ook onze regio’s en dorpen. Maar wat is de rol van de regio bij smartcityontwikkelingen?
Op 9 september gaan we van 16.00 – 17.15 uur daarover in gesprek met koplopers van provincies, steden en het bedrijfsleven.
Maar dat niet alleen, op 9 september verwelkomen we ook onze nieuwe partners! Onder andere de provincie Noord-Brabant ondertekent onze City Deal. We zijn heel blij met deze nieuwe aanwinst! Om het feestje compleet te maken, lanceren we die dag onze City Deal Toolbox vol met smartcitytoepassingen voor steden, dorpen én de regio.
Wanneer: 9 september, 16.00 – 17.15 uur
16.00 uur – Welkom door Jan-Willem Wesselink (programmamanager City Deal ‘Een slimme stad, zo doe je dat’).
16.05 – Dit doen we in de City Deal ‘Een slimme stad, zo doe je dat’ – pitchronde met 13 instrumenten.
16. 20 – Presentatie van de Toolbox met Diana van Altena (Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties) en Thamar Zijlstra (NEN)
16.35 - Ondertekening van de City Deal door de provincie Noord-Brabant en door Avans Hogeschool en gesprek met Martijn van Gruijthuijsen, gedeputeerde van Noord-Brabant en met Philippe Raets, voorzitter van het College van Bestuur van Avans.
16.55 – Gesprek met koplopers uit provincie, steden en het bedrijfsleven, waaronder René Visser (VodafoneZiggo), Leonie van den Beuken (Amsterdam Smart City) en Frank Reniers (Agenda Stad/Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties) over de rol van de regio bij smartcityontwikkelingen onder leiding van projectmanager van de City Deal, Jan-Willem Wesselink.
17.15 – Afsluiting met borrel
Over de City Deal
Binnen de City Deal werken nu zo’n 175 smartcityprofessionals aan 13 instrumenten om digitalisering en technologisering te borgen in de stad. In die borging en implementatie van de instrumenten speelt de regio een belangrijke rol en daarover gaan we op 9 september in gesprek. Meer weten over de City Deal ‘Een slimme stad, zo doe je dat’? Kijk op: www.citydealslimmestad.nl.
For centuries, entrepreneurship was linked to art and craft and rewarded by personal fulfilment, satisfied customers, and a good life. The term entrepreneur is still associated with giving direction, shape and content to new activities based on personal motivation and skills and thereby creating socially approved value. A description that applies to the self-employed, business entrepreneurs, franchisees or intrapreneurs and includes both commercial, institutional, and artistic activities.
However, there are two problems. Overcoming them opens the way to become a better business.
The plunder of the earth
Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz has warned that the creative power of entrepreneurship can easily become destructive. A 'maker' becomes a 'taker' once creating value becomes making money in the first place. Indeed, for centuries, companies have robbed resources around the world, destroyed nature, traded millions of slaves and exploited domestic workers, creating the divide between rich and poor countries.
The creative power of entrepreneurship can also be aimed at sustainable prosperity, for their employees, the country, and the world. In that case, the “purpose” of a company precedes the pursuit of profit. Unfortunately, still a minority of all companies are moving in this direction while others pretending.
The decline of engagement and passion within the workforce
There is more. In developed countries, the blatant exploitation of labour has disappeared. Instead, the majority of employment relegates into low strain jobs. Research by Gallup and Deloite has shown over consecutive years that over 64% of all employees worldwide are not engaged or passionate. Find John Hagel explain this in a short video. The reason is clear. 20th century companies have organized their production according to principles of scalable efficiency and have top-down planning and control. Room for initiative is therefore neither expected nor desired. Moreover, detailed protocols and regulations limit employment for people at a distance from the labour market.
In a rapidly changing world, companies must be adaptive and innovative. They therefore need flexible, interdisciplinary teams with a high degree of self-government and less pay differentials. According to recent research in 17 countries, this type of organizations (8%) outperforms in all respects.
Summarizing, to become a better business requires a double challenge:
· Replacing the dominance of the pursuit of money with a social and environmental purpose.
· Mobilizing the entrepreneurial and other capacities of their whole work force by forms of self-organization and shared leadership.
Why focussing on startups?
As only a limited number of companies meet these conditions, employees consider starting their own business. In the US alone, approximately two million workers give up well-paying jobs every year and become self-employed. 127,000 starters were registered in the Netherlands in 2018. Of them, only a minority will become a startup, which means that they will successfully commercialize a promising technological innovation and grow rapidly on an international level.
Start-ups are potential engines of growth and innovation. In the US, their steady growth is compensating for job losses in the rest of the economy. Dutch startups created 20.000 of jobs in 2018 and 2019. A recent reportoffers excellent documentation of the identity, growth and potential of the 4,311 Dutch startups in 2019, most of which have fewer than 10 employees. 34% of Dutch startups can found in the Amsterdam metropolitan area.
The hope is that start-ups will rise to both challenges by nurturing their social and environmental purpose end fueling the commitment and passion of each employee, and thereby become a better business.
Yet, like any other businesses, startups risk becoming takers rather than makers, trading their social and environmental purpose for the pursuit of money and losing the engagement and passion of their employees. Fortunately, they can prevent this.
Eleven ways to become or stay a better business
1. Embrace self-organization and shared leadership.
2. Involve all employees in the continuous strengthening of the social and environmental purpose of the company.
3. Enable all employees to become shareholders or even better co-owners.
4. Cherish diversity within the employees.
5. Secure shares in a foundation while enabling shareholders to support the purpose of the company.
6. Cap the profit to a level that guarantees the continuity of the company.
7. Ban greed, cancel bonuses, or at most pay a limited and equal allowance to all employees.
8. Place surplus profits in a foundation that spends money in accordance with the purpose of the company.
9. Being a fair taxpayer who refrains from tax avoidance practices.
10.Create a supervisory board to monitor the purpose of the company.
11.Focus the founder/director/CEO role on monitoring the purpose of the company and the commitment of all employees and on fueling the discussion on how to deal with changing external conditions.
Rapid societal changes require a reinventing the concept of entrepreneurship. Because of their flexibility and commitment, startups are apt to embrace the dual ambition of pursuing a social and environmental purpose and of mobilizing all employee’s engagement and passion.
My next post will look at how cities can help start-ups to settle, grow and become better businesses. The history of entrepreneurship, its growing distance from ‘makership’ and its possible revival by start-ups is documented in chapter 4 of my e-book Humane cities. Always humane. Smart if helpful. The English version of this book can be downloaded for free below.
Eet jij content als ontbijt, lunch en diner? Weet je hoe je het netwerk van de Amsterdam Economic Board kunt aanspreken en activeren? Schrijf je sterke social posts in foutloos Nederlands en beheers je de Engelse taal op een goed niveau? Heeft Google Analytics geen geheimen voor je en maak je graag deel uit van een enthousiast en betrokken communicatieteam?
De Board heeft een vacature voor een krachtige Online Contentspecialist per september voor 32 uur per week. Reageer voor 30 juli en we gaan graag met je in gesprek.
Note van ASC: Wil je net iets meer weten? Laat het Jet weten in de comments.
Vanaf september 2021 hebben wij een stageplek voor een initiatiefrijke, meewerkende stagiair(e). Heb jij zin in een stage binnen het strategie-team waar je verschillende partijen leert kennen en je onderzoek doet naar innovatie voor een slimme, groene en gezonde toekomst van de Metropool Amsterdam? Dan zoeken we jou!
Het strategie-team van de Amsterdam Economic Board doet onderzoek naar drie maatschappelijke transities in de regio: Energie, Circulair en Digitaal. We werken met toekomstscenario’s en organiseren kennissessies om het gesprek over de toekomst van de economie te voeren met ons netwerk. Daarnaast verbinden we kennisinstellingen, overheden en bedrijven in de regio op strategisch niveau en stimuleren we innovatieve samenwerking tussen hen.
Klinkt dat als een uitdaging die jou goed ligt: Lees dan alles over deze stage-vacature.
Ben je bezig met een opleiding op het gebied van Communicatie en de organisatie van Events? Zoek je een leuke stage op een uitdagende plek op het Marineterrein in Amsterdam? Bij de Amsterdam Economic Board werk je mee aan een leefbare omgeving in de Amsterdamse metropoolregio. In ons team krijg je veel mogelijkheden om te leren, je verder te ontwikkelen en je netwerk te vergroten. Grijp deze kans aan en reageer op deze vacature.
We are recruiting young people for "Motivaço", motivation is a social organization of young people, to think, discuss, plan and execute actions in the areas of health, education, environment, smart business and sustainability.
Visit our page
Last year, during the Month of the AAI in November, the Centre of Expertise Applied Artificial Intelligence (AUAS - Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) presented the Dutch Applied AI Award for the first time. This year we are back for a second edition. The award is part of the Computable Awards and is for suppliers of AI solutions, start-ups in the AI field and good examples of the implementation of AI.
This award is jointly organized with AUAS, Computable and podcast De Dataloog . You can nominate an individual or organisation, based on a project you think has stood out in the past 12 months. The projects may have been particularly successful, innovative or extensive.
You can nominate until 16 August 2021
The winner will be announced on 2 November 2021 during a spectacular show in the Jaarbeurs Utrecht. Last year, healthcare platform DEARhealth won the Dutch Applied AI award. Who will walk away with the prize this year? 🙌🏻
About the Computable Awards
This will be the 16th year in a row that Computable will present the Computable Awards in November 2021. These prizes are awarded to companies, projects and individuals who, according to Computable readers, have clearly distinguished themselves in the past year.
An independent jury of experts will select five nominees for each award from the nominated parties. The ranking by the jury and the number of votes from Computable readers each determine half of which nominee will receive the award in November. The number of times a party is nominated for a nomination does not play a role, but the quality of the substantiation and information about the project mentioned does.
The impact of circular principles on the construction sector will be large and beneficial because buildings are responsible for more than 50% of the total use of materials on earth, including valuable specimen such as steel, copper, aluminium and zinc.
The picture above – the interior of the Circle pavilion of the ABN-AMRO bank in Amsterdam is an example of a new building that uses as many existing components as possible and new components of the building are designed to be reused. Think of:
• 1200 m2 of wooden floors
• Partition walls of a demolished building
• 16.000 garments of employees for isolation purposes
By circular construction we mean designing, building and demolishing a building in such a way that, in addition to the high-quality reuse of materials, justice is done to sustainability ambitions in the field of energy, water, and biodiversity and ecosystems.
New materials are often more expensive than new ones
In case of demolishment, nowadays many components are already reused, but at a very low level, for instance concrete and stones as the foundation of new roads. Apart from the limited necessity to construct many new roads, this type of recycling destroys the intrinsic quality of materials and does not diminish the use of new materials. The biggest problem is that recycled materials are often more expensive than new ones.
Evidently, progress can be made by planning, designing, developing, and building circular buildings. A number of options are mentioned below.
Dedicated urban planning
Challenges for planning are the use of inner-city vacant land and issuing mandatory requirements regarding the construction of new buildings, for instance the use of less cement, glass and steel, the mandatory application of a certain percentage of reused materials, and becoming energy positive or at least energy-neutral. Switching to sustainable timber is an option for 90% of homes and 70% of offices being built.
Mandatory reuse of existing components
Reuse of existing materials means that glass is reused as glass and concrete pillars as pillars. The same applies to doors, frames, carpets, wall-cladding materials and so on. To start with, after demolishment all materials must be selected, cleaned, registered, and stored in new-to-develop warehouses. A materials passport, which contains an overview of all materials and components that are used to construct of a house or building, is a useful tool as well. The obligation to reuse a large percentage of existing components has far-reaching consequences for the design and construction of new houses.
Industrial production and 3D printing
Construction of components in factories, deploying industrial processes, will reduce costs by 30 percent and the delivery time by at least 50 percent. In 2014, the Chinese company WinSun printed and assembled ten houses, each 195 square meters, in 24 hours, for an amount of €5,000 per house. The company used 30 - 60 percent less material than in traditional construction. The “ink” for their 3D printers is a mixture of dry cement and construction waste. WinSun plans to open 100 recycling plants in China to convert waste into cost-efficient ink. This video below demonstrates the printing activities of WinSun
The size of apartments will decrease, partly due to costs, but also because of the presence of shared guest rooms, lounge areas and terraces for working and socializing, spaces for washing and drying laundry. The need for office space will decrease rapidly due to sharing space and working home. Already now, IBM has only one desk available for 12 employees. Given the presence of 300,000 employees, this has led worldwide to savings on real estate of around € 1 billion in the past 10 years.
Modularity and durability
A key barrier for better use of floor space is the lack of flexibility in the design of buildings and room configurations. A modular design, which provides for easy replacement of partitions and placement of complete pre-fab units (kitchens and bathrooms, walls, and roofs as well) facilitates adjustments in case of new construction or as the use of a building changes. DIRTT builds interior components that are modular and standardized and offer maximum interchangeability in both existing and new buildings. This video gives an impression of the production and application of these flexible and inexpensive solutions.
Forget new construction at all
Anyway, a first step is more efficient use of existing buildings and houses.
As families become smaller and offices need less space, existing space becomes underused. Many thousands of one family houses can be transformed in apartments. Well-thought adjustments to the lay-out of existing houses and buildings can improve their efficiency without reducing their functionality and amenity. Look here for inspiring examples.
I will regularly share with you ‘snapshots’ of the challenge to bring social and ecological sustainable cities closer using technology if helpful. These posts represent findings, updates, and supplements of my e-book Humane cities. Always humane. Smart if helpful. The English version of this book can be downloaded for free below.
Note from ASC: What are your thoughts on this? Let Herman know bellow.
Over the coming months, the building of the Temporary Courthouse Amsterdam will be dismantled and completely reassembled on 'Kennispark Twente' (the area of Business & Science Park/Campus UT) in Enschede. There, it will have a new function as an office and research facility.
The temporary accommodation provided the Amsterdam judiciary continuity during the construction of the new permanent court. Now that this new home has been completed, the building will move as planned. At the time, the Central Government Real Estate Agency (RVB) tendered the assignment as a Design, Build, Maintain & Remove contract, which was realized by dpcp, a cooperation between cepezedprojects and Du Prie Bouw & Ontwikkeling. cepezed and cepezedinterior designed the building and Du Prie took care of the execution.
National Sustainability Award Steel after completion
Importantly because of its high degree of circularity, it won both the Amsterdam Architecture Prize (Golden AAP) and the National Sustainability Award Steel after completion. Also, in the report 'Circular Buildings – a measurement method for detachability' it scores the highest of all tested projects. The demountable construction and floors, which cepezed designed in close collaboration with IMd Consulting Engineers, play an important role in this.
Dismantling and reassembly with a 3D model
Yesterday saw the handover of the key from the RVB to dpcp, which heralds the new phase of the building. For the relocation, dpcp called in the expertise and experience of Lagemaat from Heerde, a company with a solid background in the dismantling and reassembly of buildings. Through a unique coding based on the 3D model and a 3D scan, the precise position of each part is known. Smaller elements are transported in containers and larger ones, such as the walkway, are loaded directly onto trucks. Lagemaat processes materials that are not reused in other projects. A minimal amount will be recycled in a high-quality manner. The dismantling period starts today already. The building is expected to be taken into use by the Overijssel Restructuring Company in early 2022.
Note from ASC: Would you like to know more? Let Menno know in the comments.
The AMS Startup Βooster is an idea validation program focusing on the creation of startups that want to make an impact on city life and solve metropolitan challenges.
Do you have, or know someone who has, a great idea on urban challenges and want(s) to fast-track it to the next level? Then join our team of sustainability experts and business enthusiasts and we will help you boost your idea into a business.
Open for applications until August 29
The application form will remain open until August 29. The first week of September, we will select our top teams to join our program and coaching sessions.
September 2021 – December 2021
The program consists of six sessions, accompanied by peer-to-peer discussions and coaching sessions. All sessions will take place on Monday afternoons. We aim to bring the start-ups to the level where they have eliminated uncertainties, done a thorough customer discovery, formed a strong team and can venture out with a solid pitch and a minimum viable product. The sessions will be primarily online due to the uncertainty of COVID19, but when possible we will also have some live sessions at our institute in Amsterdam.
Note from ASC: Have a question? Let’s hear it in the comments.
As a member of the Amsterdam Smart City community, I invite you to apply to the pilot offering of ‘Coaching for the Greater Good’. We are a group of colleagues who work with global companies to develop executives and high potential leaders. We are committed to bringing quality leadership coaching to individuals and teams in organisations such as charities, municipalities, and small businesses that provide socially or ecologically beneficial products or services. We aim to support leaders, who recognize the inherent interdependency of individuals, communities, and the environment, to strengthen their organization’s capacity for generating inclusive wellbeing. We will never let financial constraints get in the way of providing our services to those leaders who have a vision for making a difference in the world. We offer our services at significantly reduced rates as a gesture of our commitment to support work that will make a difference in the world. This offering begins with a simple application process that ensures that we have values alignment. A maximum of 10 applications will be accepted for the pilot offering, with full initiative (more coaches and coaching opportunities) launching 1 October. Application deadline 12 July. Visit our website to learn more and contact firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an application.
Build your knowledge & skills on the Living Lab approach during the online AMS Summer School 2021.
You will learn to understand what a Living Lab is and when it can be of value to start one. You’ll also gain hands-on knowledge on what is needed to have a successful start, and how to deal with issues such as stakeholder involvement and citizen empowerment.
The Summer school will challenge you to work with a new mindset, build a new network of professionals and academia. It gives you the opportunity to be a part of the next steps towards the future of one of Amsterdam’s key projects.
During the Summer school, we will help you solve the real-world challenge you bring with your team.
What can you expect?
During the week you will work in a team of 5 participants on a pre-defined real-life case. The Urban Living Lab Summer School consists of lectures, online co-working sessions, trainings, and real-world interventions. It will tap into theoretical frameworks of Living Lab methodology, process tools to help deliver a plan of approach and deploy teamwork on a real-life case. It will focus on your own learning goals for reinventing cities of tomorrow. The mix of participants - academic researchers, public professionals, and company innovation managers, with at least 5 years of experience - generates new insights and perspectives on the challenges by co-creating solutions together.
Cases we'll work on
• Case 1 – Circularity at IJburg 2
• Case 2a – Mobility hubs: area-oriented approach ‘Jordaan’ & ‘Westelijke Grachtengordel’ Amsterdam
• Case 2b - Exploration of mobility hub development at ‘Appeltjesmarkt/Europarking’ location, Amsterdam
During the week
In the week of 16 August you can expect a full-time online program running from Monday to Friday from 9:00-17:00. We expect you to be present to get the most out of it, also be there for your team. Every day you will attend inspirational lectures, participate in workshops, get personal coaching and work with your group on your case. All classes, materials and discussions will be in English.
PhD student: € 500
Senior researcher € 900
Professional € 2000
The application deadline is July 16, so make sure to apply on time.
Note from ASC: Have a question? Let’s hear it in the comments!
About ten years ago, technology companies started to provide cities with technology, luring them with the predicate ‘smart(er)’, a registered trademark of IBM. At that time Cisco's vice-president of strategy Inder Sidhudescribed the company’s ‘smart city play’ as its biggest opportunity, a 39,5 billion dollar-market. During the years, that followed, the prospects rocketed: The consultancy firm Frost and Sullivan estimated the global smart city technology market to be worth $1.56 trillion by 2020.
The persistent policy of technology companies to suggest a tight link between technology and the wellbeing of the citizens, angers me. Every euro these companies are chasing at, is citizens’ tax money. What has been accomplished until now is disappointing, as I documented in the IET Journal. According to The Economist it is not surprising that a ‘techlash’ is underway: Many have had it with the monopolistic dominance of behemoths like Google, Amazon, Facebook and the like, because of their treatment of sensitive data, the lack of transparency and accountability of algorithm-based decision making and the huge profits they make from it.
Regaining public control
However, let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater and see how digital innovation can be harnessed for the Good of all citizens. Regaining public control demands four institutional actions at city level.
1. Practicing governance
Before even thinking about digitalization, a city must convert into best practices of governance. Governance goes beyond elections and enforcing the law. An essential characteristic is that all citizens can trust that government represents their will and protects their interests. Therefore, it is necessary to go beyond formal democratic procedures and contact stakeholders directly, enable forms of participatory budgeting and deploy deliberative polling.
Aligning views of political parties and needs and wants of citizens takes time and a lot of effort. The outcome might be a common vision on the solution of a city’s problems and the realisation of its ambitions, and a consecutive political agenda including the use of tools, digital ones included.
2. Strengthening executive governmental power
Lack of cooperation within the departmental urban organizations prevents not only an adequate diagnosis of urban problems but also the establishment of a comprehensive package of policy instruments, including legislation, infrastructure, communication, finance and technology. Instead, decisions are made from within individual silos, resulting in fragmented and ineffective policies. Required is a problem-oriented organization instead of a departmental one and a mayor that oversees the internal coherence of the policy.
3. Level playing field with technology companies
Cities must increase their knowledge in the field of digitization, artificial intelligence in particular. Besides, but they should only work with companies that comply with ethical codes as formulated in the comprehensivemanual, Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Well-being with Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, drafted by the influential Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
Expertise at city level must come from a Chief Technology Officer who aligns technological knowledge with insight in urban problems and will discuss with company representatives on equal foot. Digitalisation must be part of all policy areas, therefore delegating responsibility to one alderman is a bad idea. Moreover, an alderman is not an adequate discussion partner for tech companies.
4. Approving and supporting local initiatives
Decentralization of decision-making and delegating responsibility for the execution of parts of the policy to citizen’s groups or other stakeholders helps to become a thriving city. Groups of citizens, start-ups or other local companies can invoke the right of challenge and might compete with established companies or organizations.
In summary: steps towards seamless integration of digitalization in citizen-orientated policy
1. Define together with citizens a vision on the development of the city, based on a few central goals such as sustainable prosperity, inclusive growth, humanity or - simply - happiness.
2. Make an inventory of what citizens and other stakeholders feel as the most urgent issues (problems and ambitions).
3. Find out how these issues are related and rephrase them if desirable.
4. Deepen insight in these issues, based on available data and data to be collected by experts or citizens themselves.
5. Assess ways to address these issues, their pros and cons and how they align with the already formulated vision.
6. Make sure that digital technology has been explored as part of the collected solutions.
7. Investigate which legal, organizational, personnel and financial barriers may arise in the application of potential solutions and how to address them.
8. Investigate undesired effects of digital techniques, in particular long-term dependence ('lock-in') on commercial parties.
9. Formulate clear actions within the defined directions for dealing with the issues to be addressed. Involve as many expert fellow citizens as possible in this.
10. Make a timetable, calculate costs, and indicate when realization of the stated goals should be observable.
11. Involve citizens, non-governmental and other organizations in the implementation of the actions and make agreements about this.
12. At all stages of the process, seek support from those who are directly involved and the elected democratic bodies.
13. Act with full openness to all citizens.
I can't agree more than with the words of Léan Doody (smart city expert Arup Group): I don't necessarily think 'smart' is something to strive for in itself. Unlike sustainability or resilience, 'smart' is not a normative concept…. The technology must be a tool to deliver a sustainable city. As a result, you can only talk about technological solutions if you understand which problems must be solved, whether these problems are rooted in the perceptions of stakeholders and how they relate to other policy instruments.
Climate change affects us all. As individuals and businesses, we have a key role to play. Therefore, ahead of the U.K. hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow this November, the British Embassy in the Hague are inviting Dutch businesses to a webinar focused on why sustainability matters and what we can do to make a difference.
When: Tuesday June 29th
What time: 10:30 - 12:00 CEST
This online event will:
- Explain the importance of the upcoming summit and its critical role in delivering climate ambitions
- Outline the role businesses can play by signing up to the ‘Race to Zero’
- Hear from leading Dutch businesses about their sustainability journey to date and why they joined the Race to Zero
- Detail how the British government is looking to support business make the transition
Every year, more than 300 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide, half of which are for single use. Only 10% of all plastics are made from recycled material. Their production contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and plastic waste threats our health.
It could have been otherwise, and it still can as plastics are versatile materials which can be valuable parts of a circular economy.
Unilever leads the way in integrating plastics in a circular economy. Better late than never. The company currently produces 700,000 tons of plastic packaging and it intends reducing this massive quantity by a not-very impressive 100,000 tons in 2025. Moreover, the company wants that all its plastic packaging becomes recyclable, compostable of reusable, and that at least 25% recycled plastic is used in the production of new plastic.
Easier said than done
Recycling is easier said than done. Preventing plastics from entering nature requires a labor-intensive and costly system for collecting and separating waste and technology for high-quality recycling of the collected plastic waste. New machines limit this unattractive work thanks to artificial intelligence. They are able to separate 20 different types of plastics. But consumers must be willing to collect used plastics first.
One of the biggest hurdles in recycling plastics is its pollution, for instance because of added dyes. The Dutch company Ioniqa (now part of Unilever) can chemically reduce PET waste to virgin PET. Large plastic users like Coca-Cola intent to co-operate with Ioniqa. This video shows how chemical recycling works.
Reusable high-quality products
If plastic had been designed for a circular economy from the start, the emphasis would undoubtedly have been on reusable high-quality products, in combination with substantial deposits. Together with Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Nestlé, Unilever has joined Loop, a platform that develops refillable packaging. Supermarkets that deliver products at home can easily include them in their range. This video shows how the system works.
The ultimate solution
What about using sustainable raw materials like biomass? Unfortunately, biomass from reliable sources is becoming increasingly scarce. Moreover, most bio-based plastics are not biodegradable. If they end up in litter, the effects are as harmful as those of other plastics. Some types of biobased plastics are compostable and might be thrown in the green waste. However, expecting consumers to be able to discern which are and which are not is too much to ask.
Biologically degradable plastics are the ultimate solution. These are biobased materials, which are safely broken down in nature in short time. PHA for example. Unfortunately, years of research have not yet resulted in any viable application.
Ban some types of plastic
A recently opened pilot factory in Almere that cycles plastic waste that otherwise would be burned is a promising step. However, the collection of plastic waste is still inadequate, and a large proportion ends up in nature as visual litter and returns to our food chain as toxic plastic soup. This applies in particular to plastic bags, cups, trays for snacks and soft drinks bottles without a deposit. A ban seems to be the only way-out awaiting a solid system of reuse based on substantial deposits and an advanced system of waste collection and separation and subsequent high-level reuse.
I will regularly share with you ‘snapshots’ of the challenges of us, earthlings, to bring social and ecological cities closer using technology if helpful. These posts represent findings, updates, and supplements of my e-book Humane cities. Always humane. Smart if helpful. The English version of this book can be downloaded for free below.
Making the right investments and introducing the right technology is of the essence for any companies trying to stay innovative. With the ever-increasing ways of investing in technology and innovations, there is a larger need for companies to strategize their use of capital. How can this be done to boost growth and competitiveness?
When: Tuesday, June 8th
What time: 10.00 - 11.30
A new report by Danske Bank shows that venture funds are considerably more impact-focused in the Nordics than in other regions. Simultaneously, in an article by Bloomberg is to read that Stockholm has bred more tech unicorns per capita than any other region in the world outside Silicon Valley. What’s the secret?
In this webinar we bring together experts and stakeholders to explore the dynamic evolvements in Venture Capital, Technology and the various ways companies can become investment ready or boost their innovation through tech investments. An important aspect for discussion purposes is to boost equality in VC and the diversity of funding by achieving better access to Venture Capital for female founders.
Binnenkort verschijnt het onderzoek van de Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens (AP) over wat er wel en niet mag op smartcitygebied. Het onderzoek richt zich op verwerkingen van persoonsgegevens in de openbare ruimte met sensoren en andere technologieën. Veel gemeenten en andere overheden vragen zich af wat de mogelijkheden en grenzen zijn volgens de AP. Daarom zijn we erg blij dat Munish Ramlal, hoofd van de afdeling Systeemtoezicht bij de de AP samen met Gerald Hopster en Anna Maj Drenth, senior inspecteurs van de AP daarover met ons in gesprek willen. Dat doen we op 17 juni en u kunt daar bij zijn.
Datum en tijd: donderdag 17 juni
Tijd: 15.00 - 16.00 uur
Locatie: Online via Webex
Meld je aan, zodat je verzekerd bent van een plekje.
Heb je een vraag of een specifieke casus voor de AP? In het aanmeldformulier kun je deze met ons delen. Zo kunnen we jouw vragen tijdens het gesprek aan de vertegenwoordigers van de AP voorleggen.
Voor vragen kun je contact opnemen met Zoë Spaaij (email@example.com).
Op 17 juni is het tijd voor de 6e online editie van de Amsterdam Donut Coalitie Meetup. Tijdens de online meetup delen we updates en leren we elkaar kennen. Deze keer krijgen jullie de kans om meer te komen weten over donut bedrijven en donut kunst.
Wanneer: donderdag 17 juni
Hoe laat: 14:00 - 15.00 uur
14.00 Welkom & check-in
14.05 Wat is de Amsterdam Donut Coalitie
14.15 Donut thema's
14.30 Break-out sessies over donut kunst & donut bedrijven
14.50 Recap & volgende stappen
Wat kun je verwachten?
• Ga in gesprek met Willem van Winden (HvA) & Andre Knol (Innomics) over donut bedrijven;
• Stel je vragen over donut kunst aan Matthijs ten Berge & Anne Nigten van de Amsterdamse Hogeschool van de Kunsten.
Wil je een steentje bijdragen aan de transitie naar een sociaal rechtvaardige en ecologisch veilige maatschappij? Meld je aan via het formulier, dan sturen we je de zoom link een week van tevoren. We kijken uit naar jullie komst!
Steden gebruiken steeds vaker technologie bij het aanpakken van maatschappelijke vraagstukken. Amsterdam heeft de kennis en expertise om zelf digitale oplossingen te ontwikkelingen maar dat lukt niet altijd in alle steden. Kleine steden hebben niet altijd de capaciteit om digitale tools te ontwikkelen en als zij dit toch willen, wordt hulp ingeroepen van externe partijen.
Dit event is de tweede in een serie van Smart City events en podcasts. Deze keer is het onderwerp Smart Together. Het doel van deze sessies is om samen een Smart City-onderwerp onder de aandacht te brengen, kennis te delen op basis van de laatste inzichten en belangrijke dilemma's te identificeren. We proberen eerst de complexiteit te omarmen, terwijl we toe werken naar oplossingen.
Wanneer: donderdag 30 juni
Hoe laat: 15.00-16.30
Voor wie: docenten, onderzoekers en andere professionals die graag meer kennis willen vergaren over het digitale samenwerken in een grote stad.
16.00-16.10 Introductie door Leonie van Beuken, Amsterdam Smart City
16.10-16.25 Presentatie Dilemma's ingebracht door: Boris van Hoytema (Director of the Foundation For Public Code) en Berent Daan (Directeur OIS gemeente Amsterdam) en Guido van Os (hoofddocent bestuurskunde Hogeschool van Amsterdam)
16.25-17.10 Interactieve sessie over dilemma's in samenwerken in een Smart City
Het programma zal in het Nederlands zijn, maar sommige interactieve sessies zijn ook optioneel in het Engels.
Welke dilemma’s komen bovendrijven als je kijkt naar de mogelijkheden om bestaande technologische ontwikkelingen in het bestuur over te dragen naar andere steden? En hoe kunnen dilemma's rondom het lerend vermogen bij digitaal beleid worden weggenomen? Meld je aan en ontdek de antwoorden op deze en andere vragen.
Note van ASC: Wil je nog net even meer weten? Laat het weten in de comments.