A smarter city

Technological developments mean that the labour market is rapidly evolving, in ways that cannot always be predicted. How can Amsterdam respond to this changing labour market, and ensure that there will be future enough work for Amsterdam’s residents? 

With that question, the municipality of Amsterdam won the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge earlier this year. Five IBM experts from around the world studied the issue, and the result is a report with recommendations presented to Mayor Van der Laan on 11 May.

The report contains several recommendations for Amsterdam, based on more than 50 interviews with start-ups, government officials, and educational institutions.

Re-training for the new economy

These recommendations included ensuring that people can continue learning throughout the duration of their careers, strengthening entrepreneurial talent, and collaborating with other cities in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe.

The recommendation about allowing people to keep learning throughout their lives was immediately put into practice in the plan for a “House of Skills”, a re-training institute that will help workers transition to a new job by learning the skills that the economy calls for. And for the StartupAmsterdam initiative, working with other cities throughout Europe is already an important priority.

Another urban challenge mentioned by the Amsterdam Economic Board is how Amsterdam can hold on to its talent. In the Amsterdam Economic Board, IBM and the City of Amsterdam have been working together for some time to sustainably strengthen the prosperity and welfare in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, along with other companies, governments, and research institutions. Their recommendations will be discussed by the members of the Board, and there will also be a meeting in September for anyone interested in contributing to this challenge.