On 19 March 2012, THNK celebrated the official opening of its flagship program and new home at the Westergasfabriek. The international group of founding participants, special guests and creative leaders involved with THNK, were welcomed by Amsterdam municipal councilor Carolien Gehrels. In her word of welcome, she stressed the importance of creative minds for the development of the city of Amsterdam.
"Creative leadership is having your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground", said founding dean, Stefano Marzano. THNK cofounder Bas Verhart praised the founding participants for their explorative mindset. “It takes vision and guts to enroll in such a new program, purely on the basis of a shared vision and passion”, said Verhart. “These founding participants have been selected out of 400 candidates. They are true pioneers in their own field.”
Many of the creative leaders who support the institute joined THNK’s staff at the THNK Home at Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek to take part in the official opening celebrations. Among them were director and cofounder of Droog Design Renny Ramakers, who Newsweek recently named one of the “150 women that shake the world”, principal architect and cofounder of UNStudio Ben van Berkel and world-renowned designer Marcel Wanders (both THNK advisory board members).