Co-operatives for Local Economies Lab – Border Sessions

Co-operatives for Local Economies Lab

How can we use technologies to foster local economies? How can co-operatives in neighborhoods enhance local value? How can citizens be a economical part of their own energy transition, future healthcare, security or food production?

Added value of the co-operatives is the healthier context to address urban challenges as matters that concern us all. It does away with ‘the poor’, ‘the old’, ‘the radicalizing young’, ‘the sick’, ‘the lonely’ as target groups to be served as such. Future challenges can only be met through co-operations in which people show their strengths.

Together with a group of international experts we will share recent research, insights and practical questions on these matters. The result is a concrete design of a new co-operative neighbourhood enterprise in Moerwijk The Hague.

This lab is organised in cooperation with The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Made in Moerwijk and Lab Moerwijk.


Bram is co-founder of Wunderpeople, a collective of professionals who build platforms for prototyping innovation through interactive research. With this collective he strives to explore technology, design, science and innovation to discover opportunities for a more sustainable, egalitarian, and resourceful world. His background in consultancy and management at large corporates he uses to ignite collaboration of multidisciplinary and cross-sectorial teams and organisations.

Jeroen Boon is an urban pollinator traversing the intersections between social entrepreneurship, next economy, digital technology and smart sharing cities. Recently he has done research together with LSA-citizens about new perspectives on community-based social enterprises in The Hague. How can such co-operatives in neighborhoods contribute to the local economy and create work?
How can we use smart technologies to foster local economies and can citizens be a economical part of their own energy transition, future healthcare or food production?
Jeroen has two Bachelor degrees, one in Ecological Landscape Planning and one in Infrastructure and Spatial Planning. He also completed the course Social Innovation in exciting times, about practice and theory in transitionmanagement, at the Wageningen Business School.
He tweets as @Kiemkracht.

Annet van Otterloo is a projectmanager for Wijkcooperatie. With a series of projects Freehouse works on an inclusive, integral development of an area in the south part of Rotterdam (NL). It tests and creates new forms, new models for organizing a neighborhood and the city. In 2013 Freehouse founded the Afrikaanderwijk Cooperative, a Cooperative on the scale of the neighborhood.
The cooperative creates opportunities through the provision of skill-based labour, trainings, services, and products to enhance the self-organizing ability while trying not to waste talent and human capital. It stimulates sustainable local production, cultural development, knowledge exchange, and entrepreneurship, combined with shared responsibility and participation. The result is a self-organized and self-run body that continues to create local, self-produced economic opportunities, leverage political power to shift policy, and negotiate economic advantages. It also develops local skills and self-certifications, strengthens resilient intercultural networks, and tries to create a radical form for self-governance of the area and reinvest profits directly into the local community.
Annet van Otterloo has a background in (social) history and has a broad experience in (art) projects in public space.

As a visual artist, theatre and film maker as well as an expert in urban safety, security and risk management Rob Ruts is committed to finding new ways in engaging in urban challenges. He puts philosophy into practice using his knowledge of pragmatism and Actor-Network Theory related concepts. He does so acting as quartermaster urban innovation laboratories at THUAS, initiating and developing what in The Hague are called InnoLabs. They provide for opportunities to be engaged in finding new and inclusive ways to approach tough issues such as poverty, polarization, energy transition, achieving a heathy, inclusive and sustainable city.

As such they provide for an excellent learning and research environment. Rob develops the notion of challenge driven education into a practical arrangement of spaces in which students with academic and vocational backgrounds meet and work on outcomes of InnoLabs, assist in research and experimentation within labs, develop tools to complement laboratory inventory.

He is also closely involved with the development of a new urban knowledge infrastructure in which community based sources of knowledge are equal part in the considerations about how to make the city. As an artist he contributes to using art and design, for instance in triggering new representations of urban challenges and how communities see them.

Rob also looks into the consequences of new philosophies of knowledge for academic and vocational education and research as well as for the management of organizations in the public sector.


van Hasselt