Together, we own the future
The way forward
Eindhoven's strength lies in cooperation. The Brainport approach is an excellent example of how the region reinvented itself economically. Now it is time to take joint action on the major societal challenges that lie ahead. We see five key challenges for the coming decade:
Challenges for Eindhoven
Our social fabric is unravelling
Worldwide, individualism is redefining relationships. The loneliness fostered by digitalisation has been exacerbated by the pandemic. A growing number of people suffer from anxiety because they feel a lack of belonging.
Cities need to find ways to give all their citizens a sense of community. ‘Together’ is encoded in Eindhoven’s DNA. As a city, how can you create a vision and ambition that citizens support, and to which everyone can contribute? It’s time for a new goal that connects all our communities and guides the city into the future.
Magnet for bright talent
The international battle for talent is raging and is expected to intensify. The world needs creative, technological innovators able to function in an interdisciplinary environment. These bright talents come up with the keys to solve urgent issues of all kinds, and infuse cities with magnetic energy – for progress, renewal, hope and optimism.
Cities that attract and retain this kind of talent are the winners of the future. These talented individuals need the pull of purpose-driven ambition and the promise that they will participate in building a magnetic innovation hub that is home to like-minded people. This mentality is in Eindhoven’s lifeblood. How do we build today’s new multidisciplinary communities that unite the human sciences and the power of technology?
Climate change is not a choice
The impact of climate change on our health can no longer be ignored. For younger generations, the environment is the first, second and third priority. Many problems originated in cities, and cities will need to solve them.
Cities need to strike a better balance between long-term objectives and the short-term perspective of fighting for political gains. Eindhoven is the second greenest city in the Netherlands, with a green zone as its playground. Our triple-helix thinking, which is unique to this region, means that as a city we are able locally to address key issues in the sphere of green and circular thinking, vitality and health, and tackle them collectively.
The paradox of scale
Scale has been our mantra since the industrial era, but we’ve now reached the point where scale has become a paradox. Scale is destroying us, yet we need scale to live – and survive – together efficiently. What does scale mean for cities?
Eindhoven has always been a compact city capable of huge achievements. It is a liveable and networked 15-minute city, which, given its ideal scale, is compact enough to be intimate and personal. Cities have often focused blindly on growth, but what if growth doesn’t have to be the end goal?
Cities able to connect and inspire their creative and technological systems have enormous creative potential to develop innovative solutions for existing social issues. For years, Eindhoven has promoted itself as the city of technology and design, but T and D are actually two separate systems.
We have a unique unfair advantage thanks to the presence of those two systems. . If the city is able to unite design thinking and technological innovation in a mission-driven way and use it to renew the public domain, it can become a global leader in developing a better society for its inhabitants.
Comparing the five challenges reveals that Eindhoven’s task for the future is to remain relevant as an international player in creative technological innovation. On the other hand, Eindhoven has to allow everyone to benefit equally from the economic prosperity generated by its international relevance and impact.
As Eindhoven365, we advocate defining a moonshot 2030 for Eindhoven that strikes a better balance between well-being and innovation:
The most human
Eindhoven365 wants to shape the city’s future by taking a mission-orientated strategy inspired by the thinking of Mariana Mazzucato. Let’s show the world where the talents of this city and region lie by merging our skills and know-how to address the issues that are vital to the city’s future.
A good strategy ought to be ambitious and it is ok if it feels a bit awkward. Shoot for the moon, land among the stars. In five lines, we describe how we’re going to support Eindhoven over the next four years to become the most human innovative city.
In recent years, we promoted the city as a hotspot for design and technology. That message was aimed primarily at the outside world: this is where it’s happening – come and join us! That said, there are countless opportunities to strengthen local people’s ties with the city. Proud residents are, after all, your best ambassadors.
With this, we position Eindhoven as a city with a human scale that makes its residents part of urban progress. We would like to reach the people of Eindhoven (and beyond) who feel involved and want to make a contribution to the city. Our goal is to make citizens feel proud of Eindhoven by mobilising communities and giving them a say in greening their living environment.
With this, we position Eindhoven as a city with a human scale that makes its residents part of urban progress. It is Eindhoven365’s contribution to the challenges ‘Our social fabric is unravelling’, ‘Climate change is not a choice’, and ‘The paradox of scale’.
Making tourism more sustainable
For the last five years, our strategy focused on the ‘City Explorer’: international tourists eager to go off the beaten track and experience Eindhoven’s unique energy. . Over the next four years, we intend to refine and enhance this profile.
We will be focusing on city explorers in a service area of about 300 kilometres around Eindhoven. We will, of course, continue to boost tourism and short trips but, in the wake of the pandemic, will do so in a more focused fashion. We’re launching a sustainable city trip programme dedicated to greening the city in terms of offerings, events and interventions in the public space. This greening will help us promote Eindhoven as an attractive alternative for a sustainable city trip.
This will position Eindhoven within a small leading group of European cities actively embracing sustainable tourism as the future new normal. This is Eindhoven365’s contribution to the challenges ‘Climate change is not a choice’, and ‘Magnet for bright talent’.
Over the past five years, we focused on attracting new bright talents. Competition for talent is fierce and efforts aimed at landing international talents in Eindhoven are fragmented, and may lead to losing talent prematurely. Retaining that talent is the focus of the next strategic period.
We will specifically target students and alumni of Eindhoven University of Technology, Design Academy Eindhoven, Fontys Universities of Applied Sciences and SintLucas. Creative innovators from all over the world who operate on the interface of technology and design, and with the ability to offer new solutions. We are going to build a physical and digital community in which we connect bright talents working across disciplines, and link them to social issues. Bringing together bright talents from different backgrounds unlocks a new kind of creativity that can spark the innovations of tomorrow.
This way, we position Eindhoven as an innovation hub where bright talents, together with like-minded people, build the solutions of tomorrow. It is Eindhoven365’s contribution to the challenges ‘Magnet for bright talent’, ‘Our social fabric is unravelling’ and ‘Mission-driven connecting’.
Due to the enormous boost from the technological ecosystem in the Brainport Eindhoven region, the influx of international families from around the world has gained huge momentum in recent years. The question is whether international newcomers in Eindhoven find enough connection and are welcomed by the local community. All indications point towards these families experiencing difficulties, especially the spouses (partners of), in landing and setting down roots despite all the good existing programmes.
We will be focusing on expat spouses in the Eindhoven region. These are the partners who are often highly educated and looking for their own spot in the local labour market and in the community. We are building a community of people with various cultural backgrounds. Through employing exchange programmes, we plan to link expat spouses and Eindhoven residents. We facilitate the meet-ups, with the objective of creating new social connections.
Positioning Eindhoven as an international city where newcomers are welcomed by the local community. It is Eindhoven365’s contribution to the challenges ‘Our social fabric is unravelling’ and ‘Magnet for bright talent’.
Involving design professionals
A great deal of Eindhoven’s international shine is a result of the work of its design community. However, we can also see that design as a professional discipline still has a lot of status to win when compared to the technology ecosystem. The synergy between the TDK brand pillars is too weak. We want to make design more visible in the coming years.
We will be focusing on design professionals. Local creatives, in this context often social designers, who work according to the principles of design thinking. Social designers contribute to the humanising of the city on both an aesthetic and functional level. In the coming years, we are going to focus on the further development of the Eindhoven Design District: a project involving design professionals in the transformation of the city. As a city, this means we are utilizing the local design strengths and, at the same time, providing designers with a platform through allowing them to contribute to the quality of life in Eindhoven.
Making it possible to present Eindhoven as an experimental city that actively involves its local design community in urban innovations. This is Eindhoven365’s contribution to the challenges ‘Magnet for bright talent’, ‘Climate change is not a choice’ and ‘Mission-driven connecting’.