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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Netherlands

Netherlands

8. Creativity and Culture

8.7 Fostering the creative use of new technologies

On this page
  1. New technologies in support of creativity and innovation
  2. Facilitating access to culture through new technologies

New technologies in support of creativity and innovation

As mentioned before in other parts of this chapter about culture and creativity the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap OCW) believes that it is important to make the relationship between culture and other social domains more visible. The Ministry’s web page on culture provides an overview of government involvement with Dutch culture policy. There is no specific information about culture for young people, but programmes and projects for and by young people are included in the good practices that are presented on the website. Examples of new technology promoting creativity and innovation:

  • Culture on campus – UT Eindhoven

The University of Technology Eindhoven has a special programme and a Studium Generale about culture. The university aims at good academic forming in an intellectually and culturally stimulating environment. Technology and culture come together in public debates, joint projects with artists, films, workshops, exhibitions, music and theater in and around the campus. Each academic year, their Studium Generale offers students and workers a diverse cultural programme with new and innovative initiatives.  

  • Gaming for study points – UT Twente

The University of Technology Twente has many culture-oriented projects, like for example High Tech Human Touch, Gaming for study credits and culture on campus. Culture on campus offers many activities like performances, lectures, concerts, theater, exhibitions and courses. With the culture courses UT Twente wants to boost the creativity of students and workers. Also, many courses are available at the sports center, from running to yoga.

The course Gaming for study points is a serious game where students work in groups on asset management. In various rounds of the game students have to take management decisions to make a fictional pharmaceutical company more viable and valuable. The group that designs the most valuable company wins the game.

  • Culture sensitive design – UT Delft

The University of Technology Delft offers many activities in the fields of culture and technology, such as courses about Dutch culture, design, lectures, presentations (e.g. about the Council of Culture at local broadcasting) and the combination of sports and culture in a newly renovated center on campus. In the Culture sensitive design online programme for both students and designers, the participants’ potential for innovation in new product and service design is stimulated. Participants are challenged to use their cultural sensitiveness and understanding.

For ten years, the University of Technology Delft, appointed a Dutch writer or practitioner of music, visual arts, film and photography, and performing arts to be that year’s Cultural Professor and to work together with students on an assignment. This Cultural Professorship consisted of open lectures, as well as several master classes for students only.

Facilitating access to culture through new technologies

Children and young people today are referred to as the digital generation. Young people prefer internet to search for practical information about cultural organizations instead of relying on offline media such as newspapers or magazines. This was one of the main findings of the research ‘How cultural is the digital generation? The use of internet for cultural means among teenagers’ (only in Dutch) of the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (2011).  

Trends

To make access to culture easy and attractive for young people is equally important to other information providers in the social and cultural domain. This becomes clear in the publication ‘Trends in society. Developments in the areas of demography, economy and information in the social and cultural domain’ (2014) of the National Library of the Netherlands. Young people need to be well prepared for the future labor market. Next to literacy, other skills and competences like cooperation, creativity, digital literacy, communication, problem solving ability, critical thinking, social and cultural skills are becoming more important.  

Social learning

‘Trends in society’ describes how learning has become more of a social process that happens in co-creation and by collaborating and sharing with others, also known as social learning. Fablabs and Makerspaces are informal learning environments with machines for children to get acquainted with technology in a playful way. New knowledge and experiences are shared on online platforms. Fablabs and Makerspaces offer a space where collaboration, creativity, technology and ‘hand and head work’ come together. Knowledge does not get transferred in a formal school-like manner, but by creating something together.   

Fablabs and Makerspaces

Some libraries offer Fablabs and Makerspaces to attract young people to create things together using digital and physical tools and 3D printers. For example:

  • Makersbase: "Let's inspire each other and create new things!"

In a creative workplace in the back of the central library in Breda, modern and traditional techniques come together, such as 3D-printing, software programming, laser cutting, film and animation. Makersbase offers a variety of activities for different target groups, private persons and schools. Makersbase is a programme of Nieuwe Veste Arts Centre Breda and the Municipality of Breda The programme is specifically targeted at young creators aged 12 to 24 years. They offer workshops like Vlog and Video, for 12 to 16 years, to develop the skills of a real vlogger in 10 lessons, or Coderdojo Breda, for 7 to 17 years, to learn computer programming.

  • Education

Nieuwe Veste Arts center Breda believes that young people from the age of 12 years and older should be introduced to new developments in the area of media and technology. An example is Programming with the Code Qube for the advanced grades of primary education and the first years of secondary education. Children learn how to make their own website step by step with HTML and CSS. 

The corona crisis boosted online access to culture

The online accessibility to culture has risen quickly since the start of the corona crisis in the Netherlands in March 2020. Museums, theatres, art galleries, choirs, music clubs and other cultural organizations and associations were forced to close their doors or to limit their number of visitors, because of the measures governments took to reduce the spread of the corona virus. They developed a wide range of digital alternatives to their regular activities: digital rehearsals, online concerts, lessons on social media, virtual museum tours, vlogs, podcasts, home programmes with video’s and challenges, phone calls by poets and manuals for your own online home exhibition, to name a few. The National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts (Landelijk Kennisinstituut Cultuureducatie en Amateurkunst) listed many of these digital cultural initiatives.