Nora van der Linden

Director and social innovation advisor @ Kennisland

Nora leads the Kennisland (KL) team together with Kimon Moerbeek. She develops new approaches, strategies and interventions for complex social problems. Nora wants to achieve better outcomes for people who are not seen and heard in society, and to give them a voice. She is particularly concerned with problems connected to urban innovation, education and inequality.

Nora has developed a variety of learning programmes to support social innovators in the Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world. In recent years these have included the European Social Innovation Competition, Hivos Learning Community and various Social Innovation Safaris. During her first years at KL, Nora gained much experience organising bottom-up innovation in education by setting up experimental projects and networks with teachers and school leaders, such as for Innovation Impulse for Education. Nora is member of the Supervisory Board of Stichting TOT, for talent and leadership development in the public sector. She is also a member of the Advisory Council Graduate School Social Sciences (GSSS), University of Amsterdam.

Nora is currently exploring and developing new topics and partnerships for KL. Which social problems require new innovation strategies and methods? Her priorities include devising new approaches and solutions for problems connected to urban innovation, education and inequality.

Nora studied sociology and the philosophy of science at the University of Amsterdam and McGill University in Montreal. She was particularly involved with knowledge development and the role that science, politics and language play in so-called wicked problems.22Wicked problemsFor example, she investigated how scientific jargon excludes citizens and makes it difficult for them to participate in the public debate. KL is also involved with wicked problems: complicated issues, without a clear problem owner, definition or solution. During her studies she was the chair of HappyChaos, a collective of Amsterdam students who organise debates on social issues. She taught at the UvA for a year and a half, and has worked at Kennisland since 2011.