Monday, 22 December 2008


Co-creation is at the heart of what we do, but what is at the heart of co-creation? In order to answer this question, we decided to give ourselves a dose of our own medicine. We asked an external moderator from Kaos Pilots to lead a co-creation session in which we would participate ourselves. 

To get a broad view and diverse input on the subject, we invited three of our clients from Heineken, Bugaboo and Leaseplan and three former expert-participants to join us in this session. Our goal? Get to the essence of co-creation! 

Between several exercises ranging from drawing each other's face without looking at your paper to imaginative sword fighting, various interesting topics were brought to the table. Group discussions eventually led to four co-creation essentials: 
  • Synchronising: get everybody on the same level
  • Equality: make sure everybody feels equal
  • Management of expectations: acknowledge the different personal expectations
  • Value-definition: know that everybody will value the session for different reasons
A result that will without a doubt add value to our co-creation sessions in the future. 

It was an interesting experience to be on the other side of the fence for once: not knowing what will happen in the following hours, not knowing what is expected of you and looking around at all other participants: What do they expect? How do they feel? What will they say? 

My biggest lesson? You will never get to the essence if you don't try it yourself, or, as one of our experts said: "It's good to see that your are eating your own dog-food!" 


Wednesday, 10 December 2008



Amsterdam Topstad is an ambitious project initiated by alderman Lodewijk Asscher, to mobilise entrepreneurs and individuals into a movement to get Amsterdam in the Top 5 lists of most popular, succesful, habitable, etc, etc cities of the world. The Topstad team organise regular 'inspiration & network' meetings to keep the fires burning.

Yesterday's session (charmingly organised at a former pathology lab) focused on consequences of 'The Crisis' and what it means in terms of challenges and opportunities for Amsterdam. Guest lecturer was none less than Tyler Brulee, founder of our Wallpaper and Monocle (our favourit magazine of the moment) - arguably one of the world's most inspiring lights on the topics of 'How to make urban living as rich as possible'.

To my surprise, out of all the issues that contribute to pleasant urban living and successful urban development, he zoomed in on RECOGNITION as the most important. Being recognised in the street, bakers' shop and by neighbours, apparently contributes so much to feeling at home, that it is central to successful neighbourhoods. An interesting one to think about.

He made another point that struck me more directly: having "A PLAN", preferably a clear and simple one, and sticking to it, was the best way to attract talent, business and residents. He also mentioned international connectivity (airports) and seamless urban transport as a key part of successful cities: so that you can get as much out of your urban day as possible.

More about successful cities: (great magazine!)

Monday, 1 December 2008



One of the other partners of the FIFI congress last week, was a company called POKEN, an interesting new product. Based on relatively simple Radio Frequency Identity Device technology, it enables you to exchange contact data, almost like swapping business cards.

Cleverly, you can add LINKEDIN profiles too, connecting the gizmo to established social networks.

By 'high-fiving' your counterpart, the tags are exchanged. The poken lights up (green light) when the data has been swapped. You then stick it in a USB port to upload and hey presto...a new friend.

Watch out for the limited edition 'Geisha' poken! More information at .



Last week, our partners XS4ALL (Holland's premier internet provider) celebrated 15 years of internet in the Netherlands. All subscribers were invited to take part in a conference called FIFI (hence the pink dog) which stands for Fear It or Fix It.

To comemmorate this special occasion, XS4ALL and Fronteer Strategy collaborated on an 'Inspiration Book' called ">5" : 26 visions of what the internet is expected to 'bring' us in the next 5 years. Rather than carting out the 'usual suspect' internet gurus, we decided to 'keep it real' by asking 'normal people' about their fears, hopes and expectations of the next 5 years online.

A primary school teacher, an Alderman, a police detective, the director of a Museum; this kind of people. A total of 26 different stories, from all walks of life, about what the internet will do to classrooms, democracy, profiling villains and interacting with science. What it taught me? That there really is not 1 internet - but many different internets all tied into one.

">5" is printed in Dutch only and so far, unfortunately it's not for sale. However, anyone who feels they would be inspired by it, please drop me a line at We have a couple of copies that i would gladly share.