DIGITAL SOCIETY SCHOOL /AMSTERDAM
Working in sprints in multidisciplinary teams
Tech company as well as a school
p5 - p8
Digital should be Digital
A societal revolution, not a technological one
Programme: Tracks (from trending to ending)
p9 - p13
p20 - p27
Always in Beta
Tight labour market in Amsterdam metropolitan region
Building on each other's work worldwide
Inclusive and diverse
Current educational models in need of change
The core of the school: DSS Operations and Tracks
Embedded in experience
The Digital Society School p14 - p19
Intake of students
p28 - p29
Aspirations and partnerships
Cities as power stations in a global innovation chain
p30 - p31
Infrastructure and facilities
Culture and community
Network and Positioning
‘The Digital Society School could educate the new knowledge worker that combines both creative and technical skills. This era shows a need for the type who is both curious and good at working in teams.’
Foreword Information and Communication Technology has become an integral part of our work and lives. Fed by technology, a digital society has evolved. Living, working and running a business in this digital society calls for qualified people. Talented people who can manage digitisation, create new services and jobs, and guarantee safety, security and inclusiveness. That kind of talent is in short supply. Amsterdam’s Human Capital Agenda has thousands of vacancies. By no means all in the ICT sector; the healthcare sector, manufacturing industry, financial world, creative sectors and the local government itself are all also in need of digi-savvy staff. In addition to which, the Amsterdam region has growth ambitions, a strong appeal for foreign companies, with correspondingly great demand for digital talent.
Franklin Heijnen (Creative Director, Deloitte Digital)
This is not purely a matter of figures. ICT education is no longer a standalone discipline. Knowledge of user experience design, information rights, ethics, services design and digital entrepreneurship are just as important as programming, cloud systems and big data analysis. Together with its knowledge partners, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) has taken the initiative to train a new generation of professionals, focusing on both Dutch and international talent. This initiative is the Digital Society School (DSS). The DSS, in conjunction with (international and regional) knowledge and business partners, set up a 21st century educational concept based on modular project education (Tracks) enabling students to collaborate with lecturers, researchers and experts from the industry. The series of Tracks will lead to accredited diplomas or constitute of refresher courses for professionals. The DSS, therefore, is a talent pool providing future-oriented solutions in an urban environment. The collaboration with international partners will create a world class education and research institute that will have direct impact on the city’s metropolitan region.
Amsterdam, April 2017
Prof. H.M. (Huib) de Jong Rector and acting president Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Dr G.R. (Geleyn) Meijer Dean of the Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries
1. Background The only constant is change, there is no doubt about that. Today, more than ever before, public authorities, education institutions and businesses have to keep pace with rapid, complex changes, driven mostly by digital innovation and transformation processes.
lives benefit most from innovations in digital technology? How can companies respond most effectively and ensure that their products and services better meet the resulting requirements? How best to train students and professionals who do not specialise solely in the application of digital technology, but rather in the broad integration of it? And, above all, how can a school not only educate but also play a guiding role in the creation of solutions for greater societal challenges?
The demand for 'digital professionals' who are able to cope with these changes is growing rapidly as a result. There is a clear trend towards focusing on proper integration of the current technology, especially in a social and societal context. The Amsterdam metropolitan region is growing, as is the demand from the public sector and business community for new educational models to develop these new competencies in future-proof digital professionals. This chapter sets out why there is not only a demand to look for ways to train more digital professionals but also, and above all, a need for genuine innovation â€“ indeed a radically different school.
1.2 Tight labour market in Amsterdam metropolitan region A recent publication by the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) describes the increasing shortage of talented ICT professionals and highlights skills and competencies which are not necessarily technology related (communication skills, working in multidisciplinary teams, ethics, law and entrepreneurship). Randstad CEO Jacques van den Broek recommends a proactive strategy to prevent an imminent shortage of 80,000 digital professionals.4 He proposes recruiting professionals from abroad. A similar strategy has already been adopted in neighbouring countries, including Germany.5 The national trend is perhaps most evident in the Amsterdam metropolitan region, which is growing very rapidly. Since its foundation in 2010, the Amsterdam Economic Board (AEB) has observed an ongoing shortage of ICT and digital talent. The Human Capital Agenda has identified 12,789 vacancies across various clusters. However, market analysis reveals that the growth rate of ICT and digital vacancies is twice that of other disciplines.6 The DSS seeks to plug the gap in the labour market by specifically focusing on training/re-training human capital;7 digital skills in combination with the competence to broadly apply those skills. Recruiting talents from abroad who, following their education, would be looking to live and work in the Amsterdam metropolitan region is another key priority.
1.1 A societal revolution, not a technological one In his book 'The Rise and Fall of American Growth', Robert Gordon claims that ours is an age of technological stagnation, not technological revolution.1 This runs counter to the popular notion that we are experiencing a very rapid (digital) technological revolution. Gordon stresses that the challenges we are currently facing do not in fact lie in technology. Or, as Belinda Lanks of Fast Company so aptly puts it: 'Today, integration, rather than raw technology, has become the pressing problem of our world.' 2 In a speech earlier this year, Director of the Rathenau Institute Melanie Peters called for the responsible use of digitisation. Citizens, politicians and technology designers should consider the social impact of digitisation more carefully. Peters now challenges the Netherlands to become the prime location for the responsible use of digitisation.3 The DSS focuses on the societal revolution in which the integration of (digital) technology is pivotal. How can society, the city and people's daily
Gordon, Robert J. The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War, 2016. Print. 2) Belinda Lanks, Why Co.Design believes that designâ€™s big moment is now, 2011. URL: https://www. fastcodesign.com/1665040/why-codesign-believes-that-designs-big-moment-is-now 3) Melanie Peters, Rathenau Institute's 30th Anniversary Speech, October 2016, URL: https://www. rathenau.nl/nl/nieuws/de-digitale-samenleving-met-oog-voor-publieke-waarden-en-rechten
http://nos.nl/artikel/2158167-nederland-heeft-80-000-arbeidskrachten-uit-buitenland-nodig.html https://www.bmbf.de/files/Bildungsoffensive_fuer_die_digitale_Wissensgesellschaft.pdf 6) AEB Regional Plan: Making work of talent https://www.amsterdameconomicboard.com/app/uploads/2016/02/Regioplan-MRA-werk-maken-vantalent-Masterplan.pdf 7) Human Capital is the view that education is an investment in people and that people are consequently of more value i.e. of more use to society. 5)
‘I believe this school is a key need for the market which is facing intense digital transformation and desperately needs talent to strategize and implement it.’
1.3 Current educational models in need of change ‘We foresee a so-called "corporate shakedown" 8 and are sorely in need of education programmes that, rather than supplying us with future-proof professionals in, say, four years' time, can collaborate with us straight away in a work-based learning structure that does not yet exist’, explains Henk Kolk, Chief Engineer of ING bank. There is a need for far-reaching, radical and rapid transformation in higher education. Learning and working are inextricably related – if working is to become learning (lifelong learning) then learning must become working – and research universities and universities of applied sciences must be willing to explore opportunities in this field.9 The new alternative educational models call for new ways of staying true to the mission while maintaining academic integrity and independence yet, at the same time, enabling new business models to be devised. As the national and international markets are becoming increasingly competitive ‘speed to market’ 10 is critical in this respect and research universities and universities of applied sciences will have to be the first to market new research programmes and innovative teaching methods.11 Besides the competitive market and the obsolescence of business models, the DSS identifies nine other key reasons for higher education institutions to opt for radical reform.
Students want to determine their own tracks (self-directed learning)
2. The business community requires
more intensive and more integrated collaboration
3. The emergence of the ‘digital nomad’ and increase in global mobility
4. The democratisation of knowl-
edge and access to knowledge
5. Bridging the gap between theory
1.4 The challenge
inclusive society and to promote diversity among tech companies
8. The digital transformation of higher education
The term 'corporate shakedown' is often used to denote large businesses that are unable to adapt in time to the rapidly changing world and will consequently 'fail’. IPPR | An avalanche is coming: Higher education and the revolution ahead (2013) 10) 'Speed to market' refers to the time it takes for an idea/concept to grow into a saleable product available on the market. In this case, the product is an educational programme. 11) Ernst & Young | University of the Future (2012) 9)
Global Marketing Technology Director at Royal Dutch Shell / Founding member of Digital 50)
7. The need to focus on a more
and practice 8)
6. The greatest added value that higher education institutions contribute to society is no longer content
9. The increasing competition with private institutions for certification
Table 1. Nine drivers of change for radical reform of education
The reason for introducing the DSS is clear: A radical, alternative educational model is needed to teach the digital professionals of the future the necessary skills as well as possible. This model should be based on the nine motives for reform (see 1.3) and should also be flexible enough to anticipate a rapidly changing context, in respect of both the business community and society as a whole. It must therefore succeed in: 1) training (international) human capital, 2) solving (technology) integration problems in society and 3) aligning with the collaboration between the business community and the government. This challenge is endorsed and the new DSS applauded by a representative cross-section of the business community and knowledge institutions. The DSS is a long-term initiative that is supported by Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and co-governed by an industrial advisory board.
â€˜A corporate shakedown awaits us when people and organizations cannot cope with the rapid change. Together with the DSS we need to build accessible collaboration instruments for the future workforce.â€™
2. Vision The city has its challenges. Challenges that go beyond policy or urban development. Challenges that concern issues relating to the digital society involve embedding digitisation more deeply in our society. While the digital world transcends everything else, it is increasingly intertwined with the physical world. This complexity calls for a school that trains (digital) professionals who will continuously commit to meeting these challenges, as well as a school which will ensure the ongoing development of solutions in close collaboration with the public sector and the business community. To guarantee flexibility, the DSS will distance itself from traditional teaching methods based on linear, long-term learning pathways (e.g. four-year programmes). In fact, these will be set aside altogether and knowledge will be acquired and trending technology implemented on the basis of a modular short-term vision: From trending to ending.12 The long-term vision focuses primarily on the principle of lifelong learning: learning doesn't end with graduation. A student could enter the school, take a module, leave the school, continue working/studying and return again at some point in the future. This circular, modular approach makes it an appealing alternative for international talent and allows closer collaboration with the project-driven business community.
has developed a successful digital teaching and learning environment that is used by students who 'visit' seven metropolises while following lessons as distance learners. Chen believes the success of the digital products lies in the dual organisational structure of Minerva: 1) Minerva Projects operates as a tech company that focuses on the digital products and 2) Minerva School is the programme which focuses on the students and their competencies: the strengths of a business combined with the strengths of an education institution. This proposal is based on the presumption that a new school aiming to succeed in the development, application and integration of technology in the digital society should, in essence, be organised as a business and not as an education institution. That entails: a core team of management, designers, developers and implementers who are responsible for product optimisation, technology integration, the proposal of solutions for challenges facing metropolitan areas, as well as for training 'human capital'.
2.1 Tech company as well as a school
2.2 Always in Beta
To create an innovation culture in which solutions can be developed for the challenges metropolitan areas are currently facing, speed and decisiveness are of the essence. These qualities are familiar to the business community, and to establish closer collaboration with that community while also aligning learning and working, the school would do well to consider the ways in which the business community is organised differently. The business community focuses strongly on integrating technology to ensure everything meets consumer requirements (otherwise they will not invest). A company will ensure that all departments and core tasks are harmonised to the optimisation of their product. How could these qualities be linked to an education institution? There are examples of successful hybrids (product/education) such as Minerva University13 which, according to first-intake student Jia Lucy Chen,
'Be the change that you wish to see in the worldâ€™, Mahatma Gandhi said. If you want to see change, then you have to be that change. A school looking to herald reform, therefore, will not only have to implement a new form of organisation, but should also adopt an ongoing commitment to the latest trends, technology and challenges. In short: perpetual beta, or being always in Beta.14 Another important premise is that something which is trending will, eventually, also become ending. A flexible structure, enabling response to trends in society, the market and technological progress, is essential. Finally, there must be continuous experimentation with the latest technology and this should also be conducted in the school itself. To eventually make education more personal, less location dependent and more workable in interdisciplinary environments.
'From trending to ending' refers to the perpetual fluctuations in the trends in society and technological progress.
Jan Roggeveen, Business Developer Public Sector - Cisco Systems
Minerva - Education for the 21st Century. https://www.minerva.kgi.edu/ Perpetual Beta: existing systems that are in a perpetual beta phase to enable faster and more flexible development, staging and implementation of new versions. 14)
2.3 Inclusive and diverse The tech industry has a population that is highly homogeneous and a school that aims to provide new sources of human capital could take advantage of that. The DSS adopts a diverse and inclusive approach to training new talent. Previous education and background should have less influence on the admission of students to the school. The choice to focus less on four-year programmes and more on shorter modules is important to enable rapid response to new requirements from the industry. As IBM’s ‘global Head of talent organization’, Sam Ladah, explains: 'Around 10-15% of the new employees currently recruited by IBM worldwide do not have a traditional four-year qualification.' Intel is even looking at secondary schools to fill the gaps, according to VP Danielle Brown (Chief diversity and inclusion officer). So here lies a golden opportunity for a school to train high-level human capital yet remain open to talent in various stages of their (learning) career.15
2.4 International impact A key aspect of the DSS is the strength of Amsterdam and the opportunities and challengers its residents experience. Innovative power is increasingly managed from towns and cities. The Global Power City Index,16 which lists Amsterdam in a significant 8th position, clearly reflects the appeal of urban areas in relation to new technology, the creative sector and innovative businesses. The DSS will put the Amsterdam metropolitan region clearly on the map as an international hub for knowledge development and professionalisation in the field of digital technology. Another ambition is to become a significant link in a 'global innovation chain', a worldwide network of the leading cities committed to innovation in the field of digital technology and solving issues regarding the integration of the latest technology (see 6.1).
Fastcompany (April 3rd 2017) - Why More Tech Companies Are Hiring People Without Degrees 16) Mori Memorial Foundation - GPCI - http://mori-m-foundation.or.jp/english/ius2/gpci2/index.shtml
‘I believe the DSS’ practical-but-expansive approach will result in graduates who are valuable out the door and whose value will increase over time.’ David Womack (Head of Design Strategy, Europe, Cognizant Digital Works)
2.5 Building on each other's work worldwide As discussed in chapter 1, it is not so much about the actual technology, but rather the question of whether technology could provide the answer to the major societal challenges of our age. These challenges are not limited to cities or regions. There is a consensus between governments, businesses and knowledge institutions worldwide. They have committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals.17 These concern our human rights and our primary necessities of life, such as water, health and safety, employment and security, and the need for a functioning administration. For these goals to be achieved, it is vital that science, technology and social agendas are linked. Building on each other's work more effectively is also very important. Worldwide, vast amounts of valuable knowledge are currently being lost because it is not shared, or not found. The DSS will expand the existing collaboration between Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the United Nations,18 in order to link the integration of (digital) technology to the aforementioned 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
17) United Nations Development Programme - Sustainable Development Goals: http://www.undp.org/ content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals.html 18) De Global Goals Jam - www.globalgoalsjam.org
‘I believe this school is an exemplar of the future of design and tech education. Only a program like this can prepare the next generation of designers that will influence the world.’ Alvaro Soto (Senior Design Manager at IBM Watson)
3. the digital society school
3. The Digital Society School The Digital Society School (DSS) is the ambitious solution to the aforementioned challenge (1.4) in the light of the vision set out above. At the core, the DSS will link societal challenges to new technology, talent and innovative teaching methods. The DSS has defined the following vision and main objectives:
1. A school with a global brand • Stands for: building better societies, with a social heart and face • Is alert to global trends and facilitates inclusive growth19 by adapting to social and technological changes • Links to the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, World Economic Forum and the EU Societal Challenges20
2. A school as a global community that is firmly rooted in Amsterdam • To propose and drive solutions for metropolitan issues • To specifically attract international talent to the Amsterdam employment market • To safeguard the valorisation of solutions within the Amsterdam metropolitan region
3. A school which, as tech company, both creates and applies knowledge • Flexible and modular: from trending to ending • Range of short-term education (for self-directed learning) • Optimised collaboration with the business community, science and education sectors for sustainable integration of solutions in the city • Digital should be digital: all materials and knowledge will be shared online
4. A school that trains future-proof digital professionals • Inclusive and diverse: multicultural, multidisciplinary focus and facilitating lifelong learning • Focus on 21st century skills: both hard and soft skills • Interaction between students and the business community: co-creation of the jobs that do not yet exist
3.1 The core of the school: DSS Operations and Tracks To achieve its objectives, the core of the DSS operates as a tech company (see also 2.1), DSS Operations, and organises so-called 'Tracks' that focus on projects and solutions for metropolitan challenges. These are organised and implemented by the DSS in conjunction with the business community, 19) This concept builds on the traditional economic growth models and concentrates on our own capacity for improvement in relation to: health, human capital, environmental quality, social security and food safety.
3. the digital society school
researchers and various knowledge partners. During these projects, knowledge is also developed that will form the basis for teaching methods with a wide (online) reach.
DSS Operations DSS Operations' tasks go beyond organisation and especially include development, implementation and optimisation. Core values are ‘Always in Beta’ and the application of the latest technology to improve learning experiences and to promote knowledge distribution and valorisation. In addition, DSS Operations is responsible for the integration of digital solutions, developed in the tracks, throughout the DSS and beyond, in society. How is DSS Operations organised as tech company? The roles are divided into a core team and a design & development team. DSS Operations is building a world class (digital) product and instrument portfolio. The combination of developing these instruments and embedding them in teaching, research and the business community, in an urban context, could set a global standard and create the potential to copy and implement this model in cities worldwide.
Tracks Besides instruments, DSS Operations also develops trend-related, non-linear programmes to teach students the relevant competencies for a future-proof digital professional. These tracks and corresponding projects are devised entirely in co-creation with the business community according to the latest tech trends and the most urgent challenges facing the city. Whereas DSS Operations is the operational core of the DSS, the tracks are the substantive core: similar to a company’s R&D department, with impact on
3. the digital society school
both the school itself and on the substantive social issues being addressed. The solutions developed during the projects in these tracks will directly impact the city. Not only in the form of visible experiments being conducted in the city but also as examples of an ideal mix between education, research and practice. The working methods applied in the tracks are explained in more detail in 4.1.
Education: Development and transfer of knowledge During the projects and research programmes within the various tracks, knowledge is developed which is used to design new curricula to reach larger groups of students. These include subjects (Fundamentals), Minors and Master’s programmes. The people operating within the tracks are responsible for both the development and the transfer of this knowledge. This means that they transform the project results into insights and subsequently incorporate the insights in teaching materials for the various teaching methods.
3.2 Infrastructure and facilities With the recent campus development, AUAS has invested in facilities and infrastructure for 21st century education, including co-working spaces, Makers Labs and a powerful, secure digital infrastructure - a stable foundation for the DSS. As the school is designed in a flexible and adaptive way, it will experiment continuously with new tools and technologies. The instrument designers and programmers work in conjunction with technology partners who use materials, applications and digital tools to provide a robust infrastructure for students. To avoid restrictive facilities and limited infrastructure inhibiting innovation, the DSS embeds technological expertise in the core of the school, DSS Operations. This will make the school less dependent on the development of the facilities and infrastructure of a large organisation and create a fertile ground for progress.
3.3 Culture and community DSS Operations
Fig. 1 = DSS Organisation
The DSS is more than a school - it is a movement and a community. DSS students come from all over the world to be part of this growing community, which is defined by a collective identity, shared values and an unequivocal objective. Together, students, researchers and professionals will provide a basis for a shared intellectual and methodical standard in the field of digital technology, that will have both local (in the city) and global impact.
1. 3. chapter the digital society school
3. the digital society school
3.4 Network and Positioning
3.5 Embedded in experience
The DSS collaborates intensively with knowledge partners from Amsterdam and, via the tracks, with public bodies such as the City of Amsterdam on a local scale and the United Nations (UNDP) on a global scale, and with business partners that include Cisco, KLM, Infosys and SDL to address societal issues and train human capital.
Although the DSS is a new initiative it is firmly anchored in the wide experience, expertise, infrastructure and networks of the lead organisation: the Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries (FDMCI) of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS).
Thanks to the commitment by business partners in the tracks, the partner network will expand further every year. The collaboration with the public bodies will be expanded through Amsterdam Creative Industries Network (ACIN) and be intensified in substantive terms with the expertise from the tracks. The ACIN Industrial Advisory Board will keep the DSS on course, as regards content. The AUAS international network will be substantively strengthened in terms of the Digital Society theme. Through its international programme and network Design Across Cultures, the DSS will play a leading role in attracting talent to Amsterdam while at the same time researching how digital transition manifests itself in other cultures.
â€˜The Digital Society connects both people and objects, digitizes goods and services, enriches everything with information and automates human labor.â€™ Elisabeth Lagerstedt (Executive Growth Consultant and CEO, Inquentia)
Applied research has had a formal place within AUAS, in the form of professorships (research groups), since 2003. In 2004 the first labs were set up in which applied research was conducted in collaboration with students and industry. Since 2011 AUAS has been divided into faculties, of which the FDMCI organises education in the fields of fashion, ICT, communication and media design. In 2014 the many years of experience in applied research, ICT and collaboration with the creative industry led to the establishment of an Amsterdam Centre of Expertise, called the Amsterdam Creative Industries Network (ACIN). ACIN led to a significant increase in the number of projects where research is conducted in co-creation with the market. An international programme and network, Design Across Cultures, was set up in the same year. The success of this programme resulted in international collaborations with leading labs and institutes and, in 2016, even to a formal cooperation agreement with the United Nations under which designers and programmers in 17 different locations worldwide collaborated on solutions for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (also referred to in 2.5). In 2014 FDMCI set up the Knowledge Mile, a community in which students, researchers, designers, residents, institutions and entrepreneurs work together to shape the city of the future. Since 2014 market demand for applied research and methodology has led to investment by the business sector in various labs to create more access to knowledge and talent.
4. Approach The approach and methodology the DSS adopts to achieve its objectives come together in an important core activity: organising and facilitating Tracks. These Tracks are directly related to the very latest societal challenges and developments in digital technology. Tracks offer an intensive learning experience for students (multidisciplinary teams who work in short sprints) and in-depth collaboration between the business community, researchers and the DSS. This generates optimum capability to devise innovative solutions in the projects run within a track. At the DSS knowledge is acquired in these smaller scale tracks and expanded to teaching methods which can then be used to teach larger numbers of students. In terms of content, the tracks cover such subjects as 'the robotisation of society', 'the ubiquity of data', 'the fading distinction between digital and physical products', 'internet of everything' and the digitisation of 'organising systems'.
4.1 Programme: Tracks (from trending to ending) What is a track? The DSS tracks are trend-related, non-linear programmes in which the business community (professionals), DSS Operations team members and researchers collaborate with multidisciplinary teams of students in short iterations (sprints). The tracks are temporary by nature (from trending to ending), but they serve as input for new learning materials, teaching methods and instruments such as Minors, Master’s programmes and Hybrid Education (e.g. MOOCs). These will continue to exist after the duration of the track and the impact will last longer. All knowledge acquired during a track is archived on an open digital platform where the results can be used as a foundation to build on.
‘Future digital professionals should possess ‘digital intuition’, which can only be learned in an environment with room for uncertainty, a dynamic context and real life problem solving, in an iterative way. This is the DSS.’ Jasper van Veen
(SVP Digital, TMB Bank Thailand/ ING)
Fig. 2 - The 3 phases of a track
Track Projects (12)
Track Transfer The people involved in a track Three people will be involved in the Semester 1
Year 4 Fig. 3 - The projects in a track
The 3 phases of a track A track lasts a maximum of four years and consists of a start-up phase (track development), a phase during which projects are conducted (track projects), and a final phase (track transfer). (See figure 2). 1.
track from the development stage. The track owner supervises all projects and, in close collaboration with the business community representative(s), ensures that the projects meet the broader thematic objective (the main trend the track is focused on). Each track will also involve a PhD candidate who is specialising in the subject concerned (trend). Working in close collaboration with the track owner, the PhD candidate will also be responsible for the academic output of a specific track. The industry ambassador is a professional who, from their company's perspective, will suggest various challenges for the projects. Together with the other members of the core team, he/she will provide appropriate project briefs. In addition, he/she will ensure there are sufficient valorisation opportunities for the output (products) within their company.
Track development During Track development, metropolitan issues are linked to track trends. During this phase business partners, knowl edge partners and problem owners are brought together and co-create the project briefs. A trend-related research programme is also set up. Track projects During this phase the (twelve) specific projects (see Fig. 3) are prepared and set up, the multidisciplinary teams are formed and the projects are carried out in a series of design sprints. Here, the emphasis will lie on the technology to be used and the scope of application. Track transfer During this final phase of the track the results will be valorised in respect of society, education and the business community.
Track owner Responsible for: organisation and output of the track PhD Responsible for: translating knowledge to the academic world and platforms. Industry ambassador Responsible for: introducing industry-challenges and translating knowledge, products and human capital to the industry (and supervision)
Fig. 4 - The people involved in a track
In the track projects the project teams are made up of students, a professional digital doctorate and a stretcher. (See figure 5.)
Students Each project team is made up of five students from different backgrounds and disciplines. These students are selected, following projectspecific recruitment, on the basis of their pitch, portfolio and profile. This is intended to encourage diversity rather than selection on the basis of educationrelated admission requirements. Students will receive an internship allowance from the company involved in the project and will not earn any ECTS.
Professional Digital Doctorate (PDD) The PDD is a two year post Master's degree programme. PDD candidates play a pivotal role in the DSS tracks by setting up and steering projects, applying knowledge, organising programmes and developing education for the DSS. The PDD is a more practical oriented doctorate in engineering than the PhD and is better suited to the needs of industry, focusing on (technological) designs. Stretcher Stretching is intended to encourage students and professionals to collaborate more intensively and to participate in peer reflection. It is a structured, two-way method of mentoring and learning (peer-to-peer learning) organised within the context of track projects. The stretcher is a professional from the industry who works on the project.
Team Track Project Fig. 5 - People attached to a project
4.2 Track projects At the Digital Society School projects are carried out that seek to solve metropolitan issues. Together with various relevant partners, the team then looks for a tech trend that can be linked to the issue in question. In conjunction with an industry partner, a knowledge partner and a so-called problem owner, a brief will then be prepared that describes the ultimate project challenge. The various stages and elements of each track phase are set out below:
Metropolitan issue: E.g. related to • Mobility • Circular economy • Digital connectivity • Health • Talent for the future
Preparing a project brief: • Related technology, such as mixed reality (VR, AR), machine intelligence (AI), dark analytics and block chain. • Facilities such as tools and techniques, materials, data access, access to users. • Areas of application such as automotive, retail, transport, media, energy and finance.
Valorisation: Products • Prototypes, proof of concepts to market • Integration with society
Track trends: • Robotisation of society • Ubiquity of data • Fading distinction between digital and physical products • Internet of Everything • System organisation
Compose a team: At least including: • Programmers • Designers • Social scientists (e.g. psychologist, sociologist) • Marketeers/ Growth hackers • Engineers
• Tech partners • Knowledge partners
A series of short three-week sprints alternating research,
• Problem owner
experiment and creation.
Knowledge: • Publications • Teaching materials for Fundamentals, minors and Master's in Human Capital
Fig. 6 - Constant loop around research and creation, with room for interpretation
Below are three examples of possible track projects, on the basis of a particular issue, linked to a trend and technology, in conjunction with various partners and integrated in a specific area of application.
4.3 Working in sprints in multidisciplinary teams Sprints The track projects are carried out by completing seven short, three-week sprints. A sprint is characterized by structure: set rituals, team members have set roles, and set artefacts (templates, method toolkits, etc.)
1: Metropolitan issue: Nuisance in the city centre caused by congestion and volume of tourists.
Project brief: Design solutions to spread the tourists in Amsterdam (sparing the city centre).
Track trend: Ubiquity of data
Tech: Data tracking, Ubiquitous Computing, GPS, sensors in the city Facilities: data repositories, transport data, tourist contact (VVV) Area of application: Tourism and transport
search) and creating and testing ‘tangible’ prototypes (create). It is continuous loop that centres around reflection and translating insights (see fig. 7). Within the DSS this is called Translate and it initiates a moment for every team to make the complex simple, to reach team consensus, to understand the general story between iterations and to subsequently communicate it to the business partner. In conjunction with the PDD, knowledge is exchanged thus making it immediately transferable.
2: Metropolitan issue: Rights and obligations of robots in the city
Project brief: Design solutions to enable robots operating in the city, in the future, to relate to the current society.
Multidisciplinary team Each track project is carried out by a team of five students with different backgrounds. Each team will include at least a designer, a programmer and someone with a research profile. Each team has specific team roles.
Track trend: • Robotisation of society Partners: e.g.: Tax Authorities, City of Amsterdam, VU, DHL, IVIR (UvA)
Tech: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning Facilities: Policy guidelines, robots already developed, test location Area of application: Legal, telecommunication and electronics
3: Metropolitan issue: Debts due to poor personal financial awareness and management
Project brief: esign solutions to better enable people to get control of their financial dealings.
Track trend: Personal and intelligent fintech of the future
Tech: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Big Data Facilities: data relating to debts, buying behaviour, borrowing behaviour, etc. Use intelligent agents. Area of application: economics, consumers, psychology, law
Partners: e.g. TomTom, GVB, Booking.com, VVAB
Translate Every innovation project is a balance between research (re-
Partners: e.g. ING, BBVA, VU, UvA, NIBUD
Fig. 7 - Sprint structure and rituals of a project consisting of seven sprints
1. chapter 4. approach
5. the student
5. The student 4.4 Programmes: Digital Camps and Executive Education The PDD, the PhD and the Track Owners are responsible for organising a number of programmes provided on the basis of a track. In terms of content, therefore, these programmes are linked directly to the track trend.
Background or previous education are not the only considerations, skills and motivation are just as important. The school's core philosophy â€˜everybody's a learnerâ€™ is based on the power of diversity and an interdisciplinary approach.
Digital Camps In Digital Camps, the tracks provide opportunities during
5.1 Student profile
flexible periods to train people of all ages and with different backgrounds. These Digital Camps could be in the form of (international) crash courses lasting just a few weeks, hackathons, design jams and summer courses.
Students in the tracks The core of the DSS is the organisation of
Design Across Cultures Within the Design Across Cultures (DxC) programme, DSS students can participate in international learning experiences. DxC projects are exchange projects between two and twenty weeks facilitated by the DSS and her international partner network. Students work abroad in a multidisciplinary team, on real societal challenges while there is another team working on the same challenge in Amsterdam. Each team tackles the same challenge, using the power of the local perspective and the inspiration of the cultural differences. The teams are in constant contact and share methodological insights, prototypes and research results to improve each otherâ€™s work. Executive education The DSS provides short programmes for professionals. These modules are subject to a fee and besides face-to-face, they are also delivered via digital platforms (Hybrid education).
tracks. Students in the tracks consequently play a pivotal role in the DSS. These students are recruited and selected based on informal selection criteria, primarily on Pitch, Portfolio and Profile. To guarantee diversity and inclusiveness, the recruitment procedure specifically includes personal contact and a matching process is used (to form the best teams, in keeping with the project briefs). DSS Students will help build the digital society and will themselves become a part of a larger community. It is therefore important that there are common motives. In the DSS, students with different skills and different cultural backgrounds are grouped together. The aim is to achieve a balance of skills in the field of tech (coding, programming data, cyber security, cloud computing, etc.), design (design thinking, design methods, user experience, user interface, etc.) and research (A/B testing, persuasion, ethics, rights, etc.). Roles in the track have also been defined for post-Master students: the Professional Digital Doctorate and the PhD, with expertise at Master's level in the above subjects. In addition, knowledge and skills outside the digital domain are also included and there is a place inside the DSS for people with a more creative/artistic background. Besides creativity, this diversity also promotes the application and integration of digital technology in society. It is the DSS' ambition to attract a diverse, international mix of students (see 1.2 and 2.4), in different stages in their career. Makers and thinkers, with academic, applied or artistic backgrounds, work together in design processes.
5. the student
6. aspirations and partnerships
6. Aspirations and partnerships Motivation Prospective DSS students indicate that the project-based learning and modular approach provided by the DSS are very much in line with their need to determine their own tracks and to become well acquainted with the practice while learning.
Digital Society Track Communities
Professional Digital Doctorates
5.2. Intake of students We have big ambitions (see chapter 6) but the demand and growth in the Amsterdam metropolitan region are evident. The DSS develops programmes in conjunction with Amsterdam education institutions, research partners and business partners. Students consequently become familiar with the work in practice and with the region. They are encouraged to apply their knowledge directly in society. Students entering the DSS have no intention of filling a specific job profile. Their aim is to become future-proof digital professionals. They enter in a particular track, take a Digital Camp, an Executive education crash course or decide to obtain a Professional Digital Doctorate degree. It is the DSS' ambition to attract a diverse, international mix of students (see 1.2 and 2.4), in different stages in their career. Makers and thinkers, with academic, applied or artistic backgrounds, work together in design processes.
40 Digital Camps
200+ concepts & prototypes
New Amsterdam based human capital
An important aim for the Digital Society School is to be a key player and educator in the global digital transformation the world finds itself in. To envision and create the educational framework for the future and to educate and train the professionals of the future that are ready to create impact today. International programmes such as Design Across Cultures and initiatives such as the Global Goals Jam that the AUAS has already successfully launched are important stepping stones for this ambition.
6.1 Cities as power stations in a global innovation chain Cities are opting to becoming smarter cities, which is leading to large investments in IT and technological enhancement. At the same time open innovation is on the rise, alongside the empowerment of citizens to shape the innovation and urban development. Where the DSS sees an important opportunity is to create a global innovation chain of cities that embrace the power of digital technology, design methodology and systems thinking as a common language.
6. aspirations and partnerships
Colophon Despite the conferences, the blogs, the meetups, the hackathons, the jams, the DSS states that there is no real culture of sharing in the innovation field. We do not openly re-use insights nor ideas. We want to do our own thing, we want to make that method our own, we want to look autonomous and authentic. As a result, valuable insights from design and innovation processes are lost. The DSS calls this loss innovation waste and initiated a mission to fight it. The DSS believes in the power of locality to solve global issues. Cities are a perfect context for creating small-sized eco-systems where innovation waste is reduced. From there, we think that intensifying collaborations between creatives between cities is vital to tackle innovation waste on a global level and build on each other’s work. Real innovation is more frequently speeding up within city contexts rather than national contexts. The DSS believes cities should therefore take up on the responsibility to not only design the city of the future, but rather tomorrow’s society. This is not a solitary mission, therefore, the DSS is calling for partners to join us, join our community, join our mission.
6.2 Partners The DSS builds upon tight relationships with international universities, institutions and labs that already exist within its current networks. All partners stress the need for a disruptive educational initiative such as the DSS on a global scale. The DSS now invites students, learners, professionals, companies and public organisations to join, collaborate, learn, share and invest in the growth of the Digital Society School. Become part of this growing community and have direct impact on the future of the digital society: Host students, invest in the development of new knowledge and expertise and use the DSS as a testbed for the latest technology. Above all, learn, work and grow with the digital talent of the future. Your and your organization’s future. www.digitalsocietyschool.org
This is a publication of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Sanne Veenenbos Katinka van Vuure Harry Zengerink
With support of the Amsterdam Municipality and Amsterdam Economic Board
Gijs Gootjes Marco van Hout Geleyn Meijer
with contributions by Frank Aldershoff Henri Bal Stephanie Beckers Matthijs ten Berge Robert van Boeschoten Willem Brouwer Pavel van Deutekom Gerlof Donga Twan Eikelenboom Felipe Escobar Vega Tim Jacobs Leon Janssen Geert Lovink Marian McLaughlin Marie Meeusen Casimir Morreau Charlie Mulholland Sabine Niederer Maren Pannemann Bas Pijls Irshad Rampersad Kees Rijsenbrij Maarten Rottschafer Yanti Slaats Esther Smit Irene Sparreboom Nancy Tuhuteru
Sjoerd Arlman Viktor Bos Willem Koeman Karen van der Kolk Justyna Krajewska Didier Manjoero Rian Muijsers Ruben Nieuwenhuis Hugo Niezen Lizann Tjon
Photography Bauke Bakker Fred van Diem Bibi Veth
Final editing Communications Department Faculty Digital Media & Creative Industries, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Design & Illustrations Fresqo
Become part of this growing community and have direct impact on the future of the digital society: Host students, invest in the development of new knowledge and expertise and use the DSS as a testbed for the latest technology. Above all, learn, work and grow with the digital talent of the future.
The Digital Society School is a unique new school, where modular, trend-driven, short-term education is offered to the future-proof digital...
Published on Jun 23, 2017
The Digital Society School is a unique new school, where modular, trend-driven, short-term education is offered to the future-proof digital...