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Amsterdam Economic Board

Reimagining Welfare in the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam

The Amsterdam Economic Board stands at the forefront for business innovation and collaboration in the Netherlands, guiding the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam (MRA) towards a sustainable and healthy future. The Board brings together over 200 members from business, academia, and government to tackle today’s opportunities and shape tomorrow’s economic and social landscape.

Costanza Milano
Emilie Tromp
Lotte Jacobse
Minke Dijkstra

Amsterdam Economic Board

The challenge

With the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam (MRA) facing different societal challenges - think, among others, of decreasing mental wellbeing, and the housing shortage -,  the Amsterdam Economic Board  recognised the need to rethink social welfare and be proactive about the shifting needs and challenges facing the area. Eager to craft a strategy that reflects the diverse voices of its community, the Amsterdam Economic Board teamed up with us at Reframing Studio and with a riveting mix of influential stakeholders. Together, we outlined a future vision, charting a course for cross disciplinary collaborations, fostering a broader view on welfare and wellbeing in the region.

In a society increasingly aware of the importance of social quality over mere economic indices, the Amsterdam Economic Board (AEB) confronted a pivotal question: How could welfare be reimagined to better reflect the diverse needs and potentialities of its citizens? The mission was to harness collective foresight to envision a future where welfare transcends traditional boundaries and starts from societal well-being.

The Process

25 key stakeholders were gathered from various sectors to embark on a series of creative sessions and melt their diverse viewpoints into actionable insights.The group was guided throughout the Reframing Method to probe into the future lifestyles of the citizens of the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam, exploring new definitions of prosperity and quality of life - each member infusing these terms with unique meanings reflective of varied perspectives. A secondary objective was also to cultivate unprecedented collaborations, effectively addressing the complex challenges of tomorrow. 

Aeb Reframing Studio Process2

The group converged around a vibrant framework crafted from colorful papers and masking tape — a visual metaphor for the collaborative and iterative process that lay ahead.

The Outcome

Through these intensive sessions, we designed a future vision presenting nine distinct pathways, each highlighting a different aspect of social welfare in the MRA's future. These pathways function as potential blueprints for empowering citizens to grow their welfare, as conditioned by the guidance and resources available to them. This foundational work aimed to align stakeholder values before progressing to ideate on tangible solutions.

Our work now

The journey with AEB continues as these sessions have laid the groundwork for ongoing dialogue and experimentation offering numerous inspiring directions. Currently we are facilitating a series of conversations to form innovative collaborations on the topic of preventative healthcare. 

In essence, the collaboration between AEB and Reframing Studio highlights a pivotal shift towards a future where welfare is not merely a policy term but a concept describing a diversity of actionable challenges regarding quality of life, reflecting the diversity in society. To name a few: how can people find a sense of purpose in their contribution to society? Which new social roles are arising? How can alternative ways of growing personal identity can be recognised? What is the relationship with the act of making and the connection to new digital physicalities? What does the new sense of ownership look like?

The project aspires not only to adapt to future challenges but to redefine them, ensuring that welfare in the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam is as dynamic and multifaceted as its people.

Aeb Reframing Studio Process
Emilie Tromp

Want to know more about this project?

Reach out to Senior Designer Emilie Tromp.

About Emilie
About Emilie
Reframing Studio

Reframing Studio is an independent innovation agency with over 25 years of experience.