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CBE Webinar 'Professional Stakeholders as Co-Creators of Knowledge'

Wednesday 25 January 2023 / 10.30 - 12.00


Saskia Ruijsink (TU D): Engaging with Professionals: Integration of Knowledge in Practice

In this webinar

Saskia Ruijsink will share her experience designing a training programme for professionals called Integrated Urban Development, which has been implemented three times in Rotterdam municipality. You will learn why the underlying place-based approach is expected to contribute to integrating various sources of knowledge. Additionally, we will explain how the training has been designed, implemented and evaluated. We will discuss that learning is a continuous process for professionals, and together we will seek means to do this effectively.

Sarah de Vries (WUR): The Mixed Classroom: Transdisciplinary Experiential Learning

In this webinar

In this webinar, you will learn more about the mixed classroom. We will share findings from experiments with the mixed classroom at Wageningen University & Research. In addition, you will learn more about our innovation project and design principles for the mixed classroom. We will also exchange thoughts and ideas that surface during the webinar.

Jan Axelsson (Linköping University, Sweden): Challenge-based learning and impact  

In this webinar

Jan will present a challenge-based approach to education, research, and innovation. A core concept of The European University alliance ECIU University enabling and facilitating activities where learners from different disciplines, cultures and countries cooperate with researchers, companies, cities, regions, non-governmental organizations, and local communities in finding creative and innovative solutions to global challenges. Using impact planning as a management tool the outputs, outcomes, and potential impacts are elaborated and further specified for the various stakeholders. 

More Information on the respective talks can be found below:

Engaging with Professionals: Integration of Knowledge in Practice | Place-based approaches for sustainability challenges

With the continuing urbanisation trend worldwide, academia and policymakers emphasise the importance of addressing diverse and complex urban sustainability challenges. This complexity requires a variety of stakeholders to work together in cities and regions at various interconnected scale levels. 

In the Netherlands, place-based approaches are typically used to enhance spatial quality and to facilitate the integration of interconnected dimensions of complex (urban) sustainability challenges and the various relevant policy fields. Various efforts currently focus on strengthening stakeholders' collective ability to meaningfully integrate knowledge, viewpoints, needs and stakes in place-based approaches. While place-based approaches have yielded positive results, it is not a silver bullet, and associated challenges might be rooted in low levels of urban transformative capacity. 

Lifelong learning in practice

Professionals are engaged in some university and classroom-based education programmes, such as MSc programmes targeting professionals, PhD programmes for professionals, MOOCs for professionals, or seminars to which professionals are invited. In addition to such programmes, there are some initiatives where academics partner with professional trainers and develop a training programme for professionals. The course 'Integrated Urban Development' that was designed for professionals from the municipality of Rotterdam on how they can better integrate their diverse knowledge, viewpoints, needs and stakes in place-based approaches is an example of such a training programme. 


Saskia Ruijsink has developed the course with Ruth Höppner from Veldacademie. Saskia started in September 2022 with a research project funded by the Resilient Delta Initiative. This research explores how the collective ability of stakeholders to meaningfully integrate knowledge, viewpoints, needs and stakes in place-based approaches can be strengthened. 

The Mixed Classroom: Transdisciplinary Experiential Learning

Wicked problems

Climate change, poverty, and health issues; are the significant, wicked challenges our society faces, and no single solution can be found for them. Different perspectives are required to contribute to solutions: from science and society. Addressing these challenges is where the mixed classroom comes creating a transdisciplinary classroom. There, students and professionals contribute to solving wicked problems by integrating science and practice.

Lifelong learning

There are calls to make lifelong learning education an official task for higher education that should be enforced by law. A pressing issue is how we will include professionals in our higher education system. One way to go is to teach them separately, as we do in many universities. However, what if letting professionals and students learn side by side proves incredibly valuable?

 Concept of the mixed classroom

The mixed classroom consists of students and professionals with different disciplinary backgrounds. Like that, the classroom composition mirrors the skills we want to train in our learners: the ability to integrate different disciplines and the coming together of both academia (students) and society (professionals and possibly other societal stakeholders). In that way, the mixed classroom becomes a form of experiential learning and provides a rich and authentic learning environment.


You can find more information about the mixed classroom on the 4TU website. As of 1 January, Sarah de Vries is a PhD candidate focusing on the mixed classroom.



Wednesday 25 January 2023






free of charge for anyone working at 4TU universities or RU Groningen