by Tom Bosschaert

Oct. 2, 2013

Tom Bosschaert

Dear friends, colleagues, and partners, Fall is around the corner, and while the days get colder, we hope to keep you warm with some exciting news. We have some great new projects, some new events for you, welcomed five lovely new members, and are preparing and exciting new Grid Night for you in Amsterdam. Thanks again to everyone for the support we are receiving from around the world. A big thanks from all of us!

WWF asked us to investigate sustainable settlements around the world, see if they live up to their promises, and how they could be made better. We're currently making this 'Sustainable Settlement Report', which examines and maps the development process of 10+ international settlements, with special attention on how suppliers influence sustainability performance.

We've set out a road map for material suppliers and other actors to increase their impact on sustainable urban development. The project is expected to be finished in October/November, keep an eye on our website for updates.


After months of concepts and design, we're thrilled to present you our new overview booklet. The first print copies will be given away at our upcoming Grid Night, or be the first to read it here.


For those of you lucky enough to have talked your way onto our secret Grid Night invitation list, here's some exciting news... We're hosting a brand new and improved mind nurturing evening about the City of Tomorrow, in the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, together with a dozen of our partners, such as Posad, Platform 31, copper8, ShareNL, Urhahn, and Grow Down Town.

We will tickle, challenge and inspire you with future urban scenarios concerning food, living and working, The goal is to liberate your inspiration and open doors for more sustainable projects. Bites, drinks, and interesting people included. Registration is full, but if you want to be on the invitation list, let us know.



How to feed 9 billion people in 2050? We sponsored the Thought For Food community in Berlin to tackle this question. Among many inspirational speakers, Tom presented about how multidisciplinary thinking leads to solutions.


NEVA is a revolutionary way to explore knowledge on the world wide web. It is a tool which connects the shared knowledge on numerous online platforms and visualises in a ‘knowledge landscape’. NEVA re-imagines the way we interact with knowledge, webcontent, and people to explore the web like flying through a real-life library.

The NEVA project is a collaboration between Valorisatieprogramma Rotterdam, STC-Group, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Except. Together we explore how we can improve knowledge sharing and communication within the Rotterdam maritime sector and beyond. More news will follow, and if you'd like to participate or know more, contact NEVA developer Gijs Broos.



Have you seen our new office-jungle concept for an industrial setting? Erik explains Crystal Forest in one minute (Dutch). There are many old industrial warehouses and factories suited for a blooming energy-neutral retrofit. Find the Crystal Forest project here.



PureFood is a research network focussed on sustainable food supply chains, public sector food procurement, and (peri-)urban food strategies. We joined the researchers in Riga to support them in linking the research and realize projects, and PureFood PhD student Gina Villarreal joins us for a few months investigating opportunities for Polydome.


A crew of us visited Schiebroek-Zuid to see how the neighbourhood projects are doing. We are thrilled to see how our plan from 4 years ago is transforming the neighborhood with shared urban gardens, providing many families with food, a new restaurant, and catering with local produce. It’s great to see how the neighbourhood has improved: a decline in criminality, increased social cohesion, and more entrepreneurship.

Find more info on the Schiebroek-Zuid project here.



Merel pitched Urban Renaissance at the Circulaire Stad event in Pakhuis de Zwijger with a nice personal story (Dutch). The focus was on circular cities with presentations from Thomas Rau (TurnToo), Prof. dr. Louise Vet (NIOO), and Prof. Maarten Hajer (PBL).

Have a look here for more information about Urban Renaissance.



Tom presented on the Future of Urban Gardening at the Club of Amsterdam. An informal event with a mixed crowd hosted in the inspiring Geelvinck city palace dating from 1687.


To stay sharp we keep training ourselves in integrated sustainability. Answering questions such as why complex systems cannot be predicted, why to focus on relations rather than objects, and how to investigate the full spectrum of sustainability.

If you’re interested in what integrated sustainability can mean for you and your organization, take a look at our Talks & Masterclasses or contact Chantal Klaver at



Are you an amazing web-developer that wants to work with us on a pioneering software project? We are looking for heroes and heroines to join our quest:

  • UI/UX Designer
  • Browser application guru
  • Systems and Networking guru
  • Python Django framework guru

Contact Erik Westerduin at If you know someone that fits the description and is looking for a challenge, please don’t hesitate to introduce us.


Our very own and amazing anthropologist Walter Faaij writes about climate change, world politics, oil exploration, huge social challenges and an overcharged ecosystem in Greenland. Walter argues that the cumulative effect of these trends can be seen as an example for global sustainability challenges



Walter is on a roll, asking himself whether urban farming is useful or a waste of time? Read here why you too should get your hands dirty.


  • Sharon Hesp works as a strategic communicator to make system changing projects become reality.
  • Elke Miedema is fascinated about the social aspects of architecture and researches the interaction between health care and the public domain.
  • Aernout “Aki” Ackerman lived the past 12 years in developing countries and among island communities. As an entrepreneurial strategist and business consultant he will focus on sustainable island systems (SIS).
  • Carmen Vercauteren is an Industrial Ecologist and Industrial Designer with a passion for food, urban agriculture, ecosystem-thinking, and sustainable lifestyles.
  • Marta Suanzes, our new trainee in architecturer and engineering from Cartagena, Spain.



Want to share your ideas or get quick updates about what is happening? Check out our social media streams for posts, tweets and more: Twitter Except_USA, Twitter Except_NL, Facebook, and Linkedin

We wish everyone an amazing fall, and love to hear from you. 

Oct. 2, 2013