Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam | Netherlands
Academic research and education at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) is characterized by a high level of ambition, and encourages free and open communications and ideas. In 2016, VU hosted approximately 22.000 students and over 2500 scientific staff. VU comprises 10 faculties. Research is divided into four themes, reflecting a strong level of involvement in current societal issues: Human Health and Life Sciences, Science for Sustainability, Connected World, and Professional Services. The total research output in 2016 translated to over 3900 scientific publications, and 271doctoral theses. Within the Institute for Societal Resilience (ISR) we collectively ask what it is that makes citizens, institutions and governance systems resilient in dealing with complex social issues, such as increasing social inequality, tensions between ethnic and religious communities, new forms of (cyber) crime, doubts about the welfare and systems of care and welfare. The ISR connects the expertise of FSW researchers to the expertise of professionals in so-called ‘expertise labs’. This collaboration creates on the one hand more scientific understanding of the complex dynamics of the social challenges we face today and offers on the other hand concrete insights on how to improve policies, methodologies and interventions for specific problems. We identify and address systemic challenges through evidence based research, state of the art investigation of global, national, regional and local solutions, developing solutions by taking into consideration the local ecosystem, cultural dynamics, meet the stakeholders needs and implementing those solutions as we keep constant vigilance to ensure continual feedback loop and adjustments. The feedback mechanisms and processes we employ allow us certainty in keeping in touch with our stakeholders and continually update our social solutions proposition. CSI team is composed of open-minded, fully equipped researchers, educators, social workers, social entrepreneurs, project managers, trainers and Information Technology Developers. CSI encompasses the capability and capacity to identify social needs, design and implement adjusted initiatives, and project and provide the fertile ground for sustainable growth. Our areas of expertise are in the fields of social justice, labour market, education and e-learning, social entrepreneurship, project management, project evaluation services, product validation, and training.