On the 3rd of September AMS Institute welcomed forty new students from over nine countries who enrolled for the first year of the MSc MADE program. As the students signed in they had an opportunity to meet one another for the first time and share their reasons for joining the program and what inspired them to become “metropolitan innovators”.

MSc MADE Introduction Day

An introduction session led by Arjen Zegwaard and Maurice Harteveld, Education Directors of MSc MADE, shed more light on the MADE course structure and included group exercises for the new students to appreciate not only the cultural and geographic diversity of the group, but to also the diversity in academic and professional backgrounds. This variety would really capture the potential of the MSc MADE program to have both transdisciplinary and transnational perspectives on metropolitan challenges and solutions in Amsterdam and beyond.

Managing Director of AMS Institute Kenneth Heijns, together with Scientific Director Professor Arjan van Timmeren, delivered their welcome speeches to the students and shared more about the vision and ambition of AMS Institute to make meaningful change. This was followed by the day’s keynote speaker Ger Baron, CTO of the Municipality of Amsterdam, who then spoke passionately about the need for innovation and creativity when tackling metropolitan challenges.

The afternoon’s activities moved the students from the current location of AMS Institute at the Royal Tropical Institute to its future home at Marineterrein Amsterdam. Along the way, both first and second year MSc MADE students were taken on an afternoon cruise through Amsterdam’s famous canals with Plastic Whale – the “first professional plastic fishing company in the world”. Throughout the afternoon, students and staff participated in a little friendly competition to catch as much plastic from central Amsterdam’s canal network as possible. The haul of the day was staggering to all and brought home all of the day’s messages about the impact humans have on our environment – especially in dense metropolitan environments.

And so as the group settled in for some drinks and bites at Marineterrein, on one of the last sunny afternoons of the year, one couldn’t help but think: “I’m so glad I MADE it”.

This article was written by first year MSc MADE Student Noelle The.