Waag Society

Waag Society is an Amsterdam based Media lab that develops creative technology for social innovation. The Media lab researches, develops concepts, pilots and prototypes and acts as an intermediate between the arts, science and the media. Waag Society cooperates with cultural, public and private parties. The interdisciplinary Media lab, where besides research and development there is room for experiment with new technology, art and culture, works in five social domains: Healthcare, Culture, Society (public domain), Education and Sustainability.

Waag Society is one of the founders of Creative Commons Netherlands, the alternative licensing system that enables authors, artists, scientists and teachers to handle their copyright in a flexible way. Waag Society has a strong focus to let user groups participate in internet, new media and technology that otherwise have limited access. Examples are The Storytable, a multimedia table for elderly people to share stories and Pilotus, a tool for mentally impaired people to communicate. In 2006, the new cultural hotspot Pakhuis de Zwijger was opened, a renovated warehouse in the former Amsterdam Dock area that houses Media Guild, an incubator for creative start-ups, the Creative Learning Lab and Fablab Amsterdam. Many of the projects of Waag Society found national and internal acclaim and were awarded over the years.


Citilab-Cornellà is a centre for social digital innovation near Barcelona. Its aim is to exploit and spread impact on creative thinking, design and innovation that stem from digital culture. Citilab is a mix between a training center, a research center, and a business and social incubator. Its main working methods are design thinking and user centered innovation. Citilab started from the idea that digital technologies and especially the internet create new rules for innovation. It takes internet as an environment of innovation which is based on a collaborative and inclusive way to innovate with the citizen at the center of the process. Citilab organizes its activities in the following areas: Cities and Citizens, Education and Learning Environments, Social and Economic Impact, Design and Innovation processes and Social Media Lab.


The international community of FabLabs is a rapid prototyping platform, and as such is meant to encourage local entrepreneurs to take their own ideas from the drawing board to prototypes to starting local micro businesses. FabLab is an abbreviation for Fabrication Laboratory and a group of off-the-shelf, industrial-grade fabrication and electronics tools. FabLab also teaches users critical skills in computing, electronics, programming, and CAD/CAM fabrication techniques–a set of internationally recognized skills. It is additionally a platform from which a community’s technical challenges can be shared with an international roster of engineers, who can help problem solve and design solutions for the community. In return for the involvement of trained engineers with the community, engineers have an opportunity to work on real life design problems faced by large, under-served communities at the lower end of the consumer market. A Fablab can give its users around the world the ability to locally conceptualize, design, develop, fabricate and test almost anything—for example a Falab puts communication technologies within reach of almost anyone, anywhere. All the labs have the same equipment and capabilities so it is possible to share digital designs and fabricated solutions between labs, thus forming a network of intellectual property and idea exchange.


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