At A City Made by People, we encourage passionate speakers to take the stage and share with us what they do and the passion they pursue. Every month we gather around to hear these stories to spark luring conversations with one another. As the new intern at A City Made by People, I was able to see this little community with a fresh pair of eyes. And I was happy to hear the stories that were shared that night.
On Wednesday last week, over 80 people joined together to listen to our three local speakers: Isabella, Jip, and Barbara. On the 6th floor of the Zoku hotel, we were given an amazing view of Amsterdam’s cityscape. Not to mention the instagram-worthy hallway when we enter, showcasing the hotel's rooftop garden. It was a comfortable setting that quickly filled with the hum of conversation and buzz of laughter. Sooner than later, people started to take their seats.
Isabella Rozendaal - Documentary Photographer
You guessed it! Our first speaker was documentary photographer, Isabella Rozendaal. Isabella spoke to us about her photography surrounding Dutch people and their pets. With her new book, Animalia Amsterdam, she captures a collection of dogs, cats, birds, and even pigs in the most riveting ways. I remember the roar of laughter from the crowd when she spoke of Pasha the stubborn parakeet, who just wouldn’t leave his banana! And how she at one point, had her entire body smushed by sixteen Dachshunds. Her job really is as fun as it sounds.
‘That’s the beauty of being a documentary photographer. I don’t have to talk about me, or the meaning of my work… We can just talk about what’s actually happening in the picture.’ - Isabella
Jip van der Duin - Founder of Stichting Bildung
Jip’s speech begins by asking our opinion on a couple of statements, a little audience interaction to start it off. He tells us of his social housing foundation and community called Stichting Bildung, a collective of people who work together towards the aim of being a breeding ground for new cultural entrepreneurs.
What surprised me was his openness for questions during his presentation - as if it was a challenge to spark conversation. And the audience took the bait. Among the many were: What organisations have you hosted in your space? How did you get permits to live there? How do you work together with the municipality?
Barbara Vos - Programmer at ADE Green
Last but not least was our third speaker, Barbara. When she took the stage, she spoke of her combined passions for innovation, technology, sustainability, music, and events. Without getting too technical, she explained how she uses the position of ADE Green to try and change how people think and act towards sustainability.
'We are a knowledge sharing platform… All year long we try to look for the game-changers in the industry when it comes to sustainability and innovation.' - Barbara
She shares with us how ADE Green showcases pioneers in the industry as an example of creative solutions to waste-management. Amongst them include DGTL, a festival experience heading towards a sustainable impact on a global scale.
Overall, my first A City Made by People event left an impression on me. Passionate creatives are gathering in Amsterdam every month, and they’re not there just for the beer. Each speaker addresses the questions of the crowd and the constant back-and-forth made it easy to feel as if you’re a part of the conversation.
To finish this article off, we’d like to thank Zoku for their continuous co-operation and beautiful rooftop terrace. It was indeed, such a sight to see. And a big thank you to those who attended the event, you made it a blast! For those of you who missed out on taking our journal home, you can find them here at our online store.
P.S. If you read this story and you’re digging the vibe, join us for our 21st edition on the 18th of October. Mark it on your calendars! You’ll probably find me fiddling with an iPhone, setting it up for our Facebook live event (#newintern).