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Digital Society School opens

AUAS learning environment for future-proof digital talent

17 Sept 2018 10:17 | Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries

The first week of September saw the launch of the Digital Society School: the new form of education within Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) that sees students, researchers and businesses work side by side on digital solutions to social problems. The Digital Society School was officially opened on 7 September by Touria Meliani, Deputy Mayor for Arts and Culture for the City of Amsterdam and Geleyn Meijer, Rector at AUAS.

Useful integration of technology into society

With the Digital Society School (DSS), AUAS is introducing an ambitious higher education model consisting of short, modular programmes, meaning that participants can put together their own programmes. The aim of the DSS is to educate future-proof digital talent, develop knowledge and apply this with the context of the digitalisation of society. A diverse community of developers, researchers, designers and students will work together within the DSS to integrate today’s technologies into society and share the resulting knowledge with the rest of the world. The first two modules (Tracks) have now started: Digital to physical and Data-driven transformation.

A public-private partnership for a shared goal

The Digital Society School is an initiative of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. With the huge demand for digital talent and rapid metropolitan growth of Amsterdam, the City of Amsterdam is an enthusiastic advocate of and investor in this project. Creative digital agency GRRR is partnering with DSS in the area of digital strategy and communications; the first results of this cooperation are the corporate branding and the website digitalsocietyschool.org. Other partners include Acer, Cisco and NYC Media lab.


Driver of change

Geleyn Meijer, Rector of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and an initiator of the Digital Society School, underlines the need for this new educational model. “Digitalisation is the driver of change in everything we do. The DSS offers life-long learning in relation to the knowledge and skills needed to work in the digital society, to do business and to play a leading role.” The DSS is open to everyone, with particular attention to transfer students, mid-career students and international students.

From 21-23 September, the Digital Society School and the United Nations Development Program will organise the Global Goals Jam.

The Jam seeks to design realistic, actionable interventions for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Nearly 200 world leaders have committed to achieving these goals by 2030.

This three-day event consists of short design sprints, focusing on the following Sustainable Development Goals:

  • No poverty
  • Good health and well-being
  • Gender equality
  • Affordable and sustainable energy
  • Sustainable cities and communities

The event is open to the public, and will see teams work together on local challenges related to these topics, using a tailored design method toolkit provided by the Digital Society School.