In the spring of 2023, 'Sapiens' will open its doors on Amsterdam's Zuidas; a unique place where young people from science, government, business and the arts will work together on projects that improve our planet. The creative center will be used as a museum, workshop and debate center. This is an appeal and a call to action. The current partners are convinced that change is only possible through multidisciplinary cooperation. The partners want to shape this with a large and diverse group of people. Together with our partners we join forces to work with ambition and guts in this inspiring environment, creating a better living environment for people and nature – learning together, doing business, innovating, acting, and thinking of life on earth – with the new generation of young talents taking the lead.
Sapiens is accessible to everyone who wants to cooperate, wants to be inspired or is curious about the role of man on earth and the contribution we can make together to leave our planet better than we seem to be doing now.
Sapiens is an initiative of InHolland, VU Amsterdam, MVRDV Architects, developer EDGE and Naturalis Biodiversity Center. Sapiens is part of the building Valley at the Zuidas in Amsterdam. Valley was designed by Winy Maas, a founding partner of the renowned architecture firm MVRDV, and is being developed by real estate developer EDGE. Naturalis is the national research institute in the field of biodiversity and provides historical and current knowledge about the state of biodiversity, as well as expertise on specific species and ecosystems and state-of-the-art research techniques. InHolland and VU Amsterdam’s Sustainability Institute has the role of providing research, cohesion and students working on projects with a broad social perspective.
It is a place for, with and by young people, young professionals who want to work together on projects that contribute to a better living environment. In addition to young professionals and academics working on projects in a pressure cooker on a daily basis, Sapiens will host lectures, debates, and exhibitions that stimulate solutions. Mirjam van Praag, president of the Executive Board of VU Amsterdam: "Humankind is ingenious. With the willpower of young people and the experience of the current generation we can go far.”
Sapiens is a unique concept that brings together elements of a museum, a laboratory, a workshop, and a think tank to address the enormous questions that the climate and biodiversity crises pose. Sapiens comes at the right time. We, Homo Sapiens, are inventive. But we have also changed our own living environment in such a way that we will no longer be able to live there ourselves in the future. With our current way of life we are heading for our own extinction and many other species with us in this era, also called the Anthropocene. At Sapiens we immediately get to work with each other and provide solutions in a positive and realistic way. With small tips, advice and suggestions, but also improvements on a large scale. Sapiens is a unique initiative that links the urgency of a derailing Anthropocene - the current era in which the climate and atmosphere are affected by human activity - to the ingenuity of mankind. This is more important now than ever.
Why work together?
Sapiens aims to accelerate solutions to issues that currently require social attention such as climate, biodiversity, poverty alleviation, mobility, urban environment, governance, financing of new cities, other buildings, transport, food, clean drinking water, clean oceans and financing instruments. Precisely in this corporate and densely built environment, where the influence of mankind is so visible, we want to continue working towards a sustainable future. As a particularly sustainable, green building, Valley is the best conceivable location for this. Science, charities, entrepreneurs, governments, media, the catering industry, and culture come together in this high-profile building, creating the right energy for new developments.
It is a place for, with and by young people, young professionals who want to work together on projects that contribute to a better living environment. In Sapiens they work on ideas and innovations. The results are then further developed in large and small organizations and brought into society. With small tips, advice and suggestions, but also improvements on a large scale.