Sacha van Tongeren
Sustainable development with a clear people value focus is what I believe in. I am an energetic, open-minded person who approaches challenges in a creative and investigative manner. I am a straightforward thinker with an eye for strategic partnerships and a passion for people and diversity.
Precisely at a time when the notion of diversity is (again) under pressure, it is essential to seek cooperation across (national) borders and to encourage collaboration in unexpected compositions. In my professional life, I try to be an intermediate between social and economic beliefs and creative powers. Throughout my career, I have come to understand the value of knowledge in an open innovation context. In recent years I have developed a range of projects and programs connecting arts, technology, and society.
Currently I am developing a multi-stakeholder innovation program for the Amsterdam Public Library, together with key partners Waag Society, Pakhuis de Zwijger and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and with a substantial investment from the City of Amsterdam. In the coming 5 years we will create 'maker spaces' in at least 10 different library branches. Visitors can learn about digital technologies and participate in educational programs aimed at the so-called 21st century skills, a combination of digital fabrication, physical computing and programming. 'Learning by making', that is the leading principle for the program.
There is a need for more informal learning environments. Actually 'maker spaces' are enabling libraries to transform their relationship with communities and to empower community members of all ages to be creators of information, not just consumers. Economic development is not about start-ups and businesses only, it is very much also about people and fostering (young) citizens to learn and grow.
In the THNK program I specifically want to focus on building sustainable ecosystems for the library 'maker spaces'; with an engaged creative community supporting the program.