Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre for Applied Research on Economics & Management

Assessing the Amsterdam Economic Board: How to make a better match between the Board and small firms&citizens?


In this project, the Amsterdam Economic Board has commissioned students and researchers to analyse the perceived gap between the "high level" Amsterdam economic board, consisting of key leaders in the Amsterdam economy, and the cities' smaller companies and citizens.

Supervised by experienced staff, teams of students will develop innovative and targeted communication actions successfully run in either Amsterdam, Barcelona or Paris, providing answers to the following questions:

  • How can local insitution(s) actually engage citizens in urban economic development?
  • How should the Amsterdam Economic Board stimulate citizen intitiatives in urban economic development?

The Amsterdam Economic Board is particularly interested by concrete and innovative ways to communicate to stimulate citizen engagement and to support the "initiators" bottom-up projects in urban economic development. The research will be done by students from the minor programme "City Marketing in Europe", embedded in the research programme on Amsterdam's knowledge economy.


The Amsterdam Economic Board was founded in 2011 as an advisory institution on economic development and innovation to the regional government of the Amsterdam metropolitan area. The Amsterdam Economic Board is particularly representative of these "new public management" institutions in which different urban stakeholders network together address a specific issue.

The Board consists of representatives from governmental agencies, research institutes and the business world which collaborate to strengthen the economy of the Amsterdam metropolitan area. In particular, the Amsterdam Economic Board is instrumental in strengthening the Amsterdam metropolitan area international competitiveness as well as in stimulating and supporting innovation and sustainable development. According to the Amsterdam Economic Board: "The Amsterdam metropolitan area has all of the key assets to be an innovative and economically-strong region. Thanks to strong clusters, the Amsterdam metropolitan area can play a pioneering role both nationally and internationally. In order to fully exploit this potential, collaboration between governmental agencies, research institutes and the trade and industry sector is essential."

The Amsterdam Economic Board experiences the existence of a gap with the "ordinary inhabitants" of Amsterdam. The Board members (representing established institutions) are concerned with being perceived as "isolated" from the daily realities of citizens. The board members find it critical that their institution maintains a high degree of awareness and a positive public image. Additionnally, The Amsterdam Economic Board members wants to seize the opportunity represented by the renewed interest of citizens in being active in the city economic development. An emerging trend in public action can be observed in which some citizens, the so-called "initiators", self-start and develop projects influencing urban economic development. The Amsterdam Economic Board recognises that these initiatives could be instrumental to its cluster strategy success and therefore is willing to better integrate these "initiators" and their projects to its agenda for economic development in the Amsterdam metropolitan area.

To meet these challenges, the Amsterdam Economic Board is asking us to support its current effort to remain the first institution supporting economic development in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. And, in particular, the Amsterdam Economic Board hopes to benefit from the international experience within student teams to get an insight on how similar institutions in Barcelona or Paris are currently handling their potential perception issue and facing the emerging reality of bottom-up urban economic development through citizen initiatives.

Rather than just a benchmark of international "best practices", student work shall be presented as a series of creative, realistic and feasible recommendations taking into account the specificities of the Amsterdam metropolitan area. The most inspiring and/or relevant solutions could provide the basis for a work placement within the the Centre for Applied Research on Economics & Management (CAREM) during which students would further elaborate and actually implement the selected solutions.

Gepubliceerd door  CAREM 24 juli 2014