Fair opportunities in education

sQuare Amsterdam: Redesigning educational systems to value practical talent


Misvaluing of citizens with practical talent in Dutch educational systems and labor markets. In a just society, head, heart and hands are balanced. How do we build systems in which practical talent is valued and nurtured?



  • Co-initiating and facilitating a 6 month local design research process. Selection and guidance of a group of 25 committed professionals: alumni of creative vocational courses, designers, education professionals and business strategists.
  • 2 years of ongoing strategic consultation of initators, local boards, government.
  • Coordination of design, development, test and launch of a digital community platform with portfolio tool, aimed at the recognition and nurturing of vocational, practical talent. Digital design and development in co-creation with the sQuare community.


  • The action research has laid the foundation of sQuare. sQuare is currently an independent foundation with a locally and internationally recognized Agency and is at the forefront as an educational innovation model.
  • The digital portfolio tool aimed at the recognition of practical talent is actively in use by the sQuare community for over 2 years now.



Curious how we can help you design and facilitate transitional processes?

Drop Vera an email.

Year: 2017-2019

Location: Amsterdam

Services: Action research, process facilitation, building movements.

Expertise: Fair labor market, reflective society, local economy.

Changemakers: Marieke Gervers and Johan van Aalst.

Financial support: City of Amsterdam, Creative Industries Fund.



Process documentation by Vincent van der Brink.


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