Digital Society School: Building on the European public-private stack

Working on and coordinating innovation projects supporting organisations in developing the means necessary to guide digital transformation – through building and advising on alternative digital products, services, experiences, through knowledge sharing and trainings.


Clients external projects: Gemeente Amsterdam, GGD, LegalTech Lab, Amsterdam Economic Board & more
Internal stakeholders: Recruitment team, Courses team, Management team, Transformation team, Sales & MarCom, all tracks (theme-based departments)
Worked as: Designer, Design & Tech Lead, Digital Society School
Artefacts: User journeys, personas, problem statements, wireframes, prototype(s), interaction schemata, feedback loops, data flows, MVP plans, SBMCs, BMCs, service blueprints, planning, prioritisation frameworks, roadmaps, pitch decks, collateral, copy text & articles, interviews
Process: Instruments team way of working, design thinking methodology, SCRUM & SCREAM
Co-creation sessions: Yes
Status: Ongoing


  • Define, refine, communicate on instruments, way of working, services, vision & setup. Plus: deliver.
  • Develop internal capabilities, empower peers, navigate & manage stakeholders, co-create
  • Partnerships (model)
  • Hands-on approach: IxD/UX/Service Design
  • Design & Tech approach, knowledge sharing, coaching, team kudos and ๐Ÿ’–

Instruments, way of working, ‘services’ stack

Part of my job is to set the tone & vision towards technology and (co-)define, communicate, advocate for a DSS way of designing systems, platforms, tech etc – complete with the values we care about. We call these Instruments and we make a distinction between them and what are generally called Tools.

The team process is iterative, SCRUM/Agile at base but adapted and tweaked to every clients’ needs. There’s a core belief here: that a professional should be pragmatic, adaptable and care for getting to the best result (irrespective of method – we all know that there’s no cookie cutter framework that will deliver for all our partners and projects). to be able to adapt quick, switch between methods and approaches comfortably, inspire comfort, trust and confidence towards partners and not be afraid to learn and change along the way.

The instruments team is set up to deliver across the full stack for our partners – internal and external. See below for some of the services provided. I’ve worked on defining and refining this stack – needless to say – this is the setup at this point in time and we’ll adapt if need be.

Developing internal capabilities: direction & product ownership

I make sure we walk our talk. Coordinating the internal tech stack of Digital Society School, and managing stakeholders in the process.

The goal & vision: That we donโ€™t just preach, we make sure we ourselves at Digital Society School are equipped with the right tools, skills and mindset to tackle systemic change for the greater good. We are constantly busy experimenting with the latest methods, technologies and approaches.So we develop and maintain internal tools, templates etc. to empower each other. We can break those down in 3 categories:

Partnerships (model)

I work together constantly with the transformation team at DSS to define and refine our partnerships model. We work on multi-stakeholder, multi-partner projects with a high degree of complexity – with public and quasi-public governmental institutions, universities, research labs, knowledge centres – in PPS (public-private partnerships), or triple-helix setups.

(Some) projects I’ve worked on -and that I’m proud of

I’m hands on working on projects next to leading the Design & Tech division. Below some of the inspiring, rewarding, meaningful projects I’ve been involved in to date:


Consulting, expert knowledge support, setting up project, briefs, UX/UI design & service design, technical setup for the TOMAS platform. In collaboration with EdTech for Social Change track @ Digital Society School (handling product ownership, and UI expanded).


Development, design, user testing of Finstrument – an ecosystem of tools that can help municipal policy professionals choose the right financial instruments to bring about important social change. As a 21st century expert system and knowledge base, it promotes economically, policy-oriented, legally responsible selection and decision support. For policy advisors, legal consultants and financing experts this means:

  • In-time orientation, checks and justification of choices.
  • Help finding out which instruments are suitable and possible
  • A thorough selection process that eliminates unnecessary risks
  • Reports, justification and extensive documentation of choices
  • Faster, more efficient and targeted advice when needed

This is now part of a (much bigger) follow-up project – where we develop a framework for designing such systems and maintaining them more effectively.

Hit me up for more info


Working on an approach to more inclusive dashboards for managing and updating GGD datasets – integrated within GGD intranet. Design approach, design and product ownership of phase 2.

Goal & context: Itโ€™s not always easy for GGD employees to figure out what datasets already exist that could be useful for new projects, or situations they encounter.  Weโ€™ve set up a dashboard together, to make the process of discovery simpler, more fun and more inclusive for employees of all ages and skills sets.

Hit me up for more info and demo


Branding, design, information design, UX/UI design, communication design, template/educational materials design for the first-ever European dual career toolkit for professional athletes.

Goal & context: STARTING 11’s goal is to stimulate dual career practice in the EU. In a multi-disciplinary approach, expert partners from 7 European countries create a broad set of tools for various areas of athlete support targeting dual career service providers in sport, education and the labour market. There is a strong demand for better quality services that support high-level athletes in their career path – that STARTING11 moves to address.

Hit me up for more info and demo

Strategy, knowledge sharing, coaching & team ๐Ÿ’–

Design & Tech direction

Currently leading design & tech operations at Digital Society School – through the instruments team.

Yearly talkshow I spoke about the team and work we do

Interview for one of our partners

As Design & Tech lead, I am part of the transformation team (strategic direction team – together with Business Development Manager & C-suite). Together we

  • Define, refine and communicate the strategic direction of the Digital Society School (DSS);
  • Represent and advocate for the DSS world-vision, organisation, team;

Instruments team ๐Ÿ’–

The instruments team is a team of 5 staff and 4-8 interns and apprentices per year – designers & developers with a passion for sustainable, fair, human-centred, accessible tech. Team credits and plenty of kudos to the inspiring, superhuman:

  • Jake Henderson – Software Developer, Cybersecurity specialist
  • Tamara Pinos Cisneiros – Software Developer, PhD candidate
  • Kwan Suppabiboonsuk – Software Developer, VR/AR Specialist
  • AJ Magee – UX/UI Designer

Coaching, knowledge sharing, training

I coach and mentor Instruments team design interns as well. I am immensely proud of:

  • Sarah Maglio – Sustainable Web Design Toolkit (thesis project) and Global Goals Jam Report design.
  • Saimum Sultana – UX/UI internal tools & systems, communication assets

I also give regular trainings, workshops & participate in supporting young UX’ers & technologists within the Digital Transformation Intensive Programme @ Digital Society School. Stuff like:

  • Designing for conversational agents
  • UX Design 101
  • MakersSprint – the basics of setting up files, formats etc and why we should not be afraid of Adobe Illustrator.
  • Adaptable Mindset online course – learning to deal with change and uncertainty in a way that stimulates innovation (together with Robert Overweg, Ruben Jongkind).