Learning for Social Impact

Learning Labs - Education Design

Hosting & Teaching Change Maker Education. 

Building the future of higher education. The Learning Lab develops and teaches interdisciplinary honours and social entrepreneurial programs with universities.

Designing & Facilitating Learning Spaces for Change Maker Education. 

These short term labs for adult learning programs use lab methodologies to explore and design transformational learning environments. They integrate practice, theory, and capacity building for educators, students, leadership and partners to explore and design experiential learning.

Learning Labs - Social Innovation

Social Innovation Labs

We develop labs as vehicle for strategic organisational learning and innovation, or as facilitated environment for multi stakeholder social change initiatives. Social innovation is first and foremost a learning process. Labs provide the flexible structure and facilitation in which organisations learn and develop new capabilities to explore and realise impact. They produce social, economic, human, or intellectual capital.

Why Labs?


Labs give insight into the bigger picture and map root causes of societal and organisational issues with all affected stakeholders. These different perspectives are essential in order to reframe challenges, find the deeper causes, develop possible solutions together, and mobilise support from a vast network that can help implement and sustain solutions. They also allow different disciplines of knowledge to be used and produced.

Hands-On Learning

Labs provide a facilitated learning space to prototype early versions of possible solutions, connect real stakeholders, and embody change so that 1) ideas do not remain ideas, but are grounded in real world feedback/feedforward, 2) real world situations can enable deep learning, 3) taking risks is less costly. Often Labs include training and capacity building for co-creation, leadership and social entrepreneurship.

Facilitate change

Labs facilitate and host participatory design and personal transformation processes with a wide variety of methods and tools, but most of all by use of able facilitators. They create a new playing field and a safe, collaborative, and experimental space. Our labs develop self-organising capacities and distributed leadership. We believe that in order to make a significant change in the exterior world, one has to make an equal change inside.

Future Education

School Design

School Design Labs enable co-creative (re)design of schools as zones of ubiquitous learning, making and sharing. A lab provides a safe and experimental space of co-design and learning for the school community to develop visions, school plans, strategies, and (physical) learning environments. They empower teachers, students, and the wider school community to have a strong ownership and collective makership in the development of the school and its education.

What is new?

Teacher Maker Camp

In cooperation with De Waag, De Balie, and several experts, the Learning Lab organized a 4-day professional development course for teachers on maker education. Teachers get acquainted with the newest maker technologies—like digital fabrication, 3D printing, electronics, and programming. But most of all, they get to experience being a learner again. It takes a maker to educate one, so come experience what it is to be a maker, and come make what you have always dreamt off.

Leonardo Award for Learning

Besselink receives European Leonardo Award for Corporate Learning, placing a particular emphasis on work at the intersection between business, art, communities and societal innovation in learning and knowing in today´s economy.

The jury speaks of:

“far-reaching pioneering work as an innovator, philosopher and adviser, who combines academic fundamental research with practical implementation in a rather diverse context. The variety of aspects you have focused your important work on are truly holistic in the spirit of Leonardo.”