The City of Venlo is in rapidly changing times. They have fully embraced a flexible, open workspace that enables working together beyond the bounds of departments and roles. From their new completely sustainable office they challenge everything and welcome everybody. Jos van der Heijden speaks about his contributions.
Could you describe something about yourself and your role at the City Of Venlo?
Venlo is constantly building its reputation as a strong, growing region. We’d like to continue to be attractive to (young) well educated people who’d love to work and live here, in the city of Venlo. More than a decade I’ve had the pleasure of working towards these goals. First, in an advisory role in the fields of labor, the knowledge economy and educational infrastructure. Now with my team within the department of city development we are focused on economic growth and last but not least Cradle 2 Cradle in Venlo.Why has the city of Venlo joined an initiative like TEDx Venlo?We are always improving the connection between entrepreneurs and the knowledge and educational domain. We believe it’s very important they can benefit from each other’s ideas and experience. By doing so, we hope to contribute economic strength and innovation for the future. Initiatives like TEDx Venlo fit this role perfectly and can continue to count on the support of the City of Venlo.How have you seen our region evolve?Just a few years ago many cities were mainly involved in internal affairs. This also applies for many businesses. With large events like the Floriade we’ve noticed that working together is mutually beneficial. We’ve build upon these experiences and are seeing great results. Smart Logistics Centre, Brightlands Campus and Greenport Venlo to name a few. All these developments have greatly contributed to the innovative force of our region and in turn, our economy.How has your organization evolved?The role of government in society is changing at a faster pace. We cannot change everything ourselves but need to continue to play a vital role in the interest of individuals and organizations. We are all looking for a meaningful new ‘role’ that is focused on collaboration, citizen ownership, interaction and co-creation.In a ‘networked society’ where we all solve problems and challenges collaboration is key, this without a doubt applies to the City of Venlo. Our employees are increasingly connected with their surroundings that’s why we say: “from a thousand employees to 100,000 co-workers”.