PICNIC 2012 report: Day 2

As premium sponsor, Waag Society was omnipresent at PICNIC. On the second day, Tuesday September 18th, we welcomed everybody on their way to EYE with our projects Fairphone and the Low cost prothesis. Besides that, we hosted PICNIC Young, created open source artworks at the Rijksmuseum's Fablab Studio, joined a Socractic conversation, presented the Mobiles for Good award ceremony, and created an Amsterdam visualisation based on 35 open data sets. Read all about our activities on the first day here.

What does education look like in 10 years? PICNIC Young, organized by our Creative Learning Lab, took off where they left it on day 1. Students pitched their ideas for the first time. Imagine a school that resembles a café with replaceable walls, that offers assignments in a cloud where you only meet with a ‘genius’ when you make an appointment yourself. In every idea, freedom, independence and creativity were key aspects. So in the Socratic conversation with Humberto Schwab these subjects where discussed: Is more freedom necessary? How can we incorporate this in a school system? How important is social interaction? Maybe schools should focus more on teaching students how to deal with freedom and entrepreneurship. In the end, they put all their thoughts literally inside a box to pitch their future ‘school’ for the PICNIC crowd.

Rijks studio Fablab 
It's time to move the Museum's art from behind its walls in Amsterdam into the world. Later this year, the Rijksmuseum will launch Rijks Studio, an online platform where it will provide the public with free access to very high resolution images from its collection. In support of the open design movement, the Rijksmuseum will invite people to create beautiful products based on its collection. At PICNIC, visitors and artists created open source art pieces. With the help of our Fablab experts and interaction developer Remko Siemerink they mixed elements of different artworks together with traditional techniques such as traditional paint, canvas and modern tools such as a 3D printer and a laser cutter. NOS op 3 paid a visit. Watch the episode here (spoken in Dutch, from 8:35 on).

The Clash of Systems: A Socratic conversation
To prevent a clash in the conversation, Humberto Schwab started this conversation by introducing the rules for a Socratic Conversation to all of us: no powerpoints, no referring to books, you can only have the floor when you ask for it, you have to be capable of summarizing the person who spoke before you and you have to speak in concrete, simple language. Knowing this, the participants introduced four central questions. Tim O’Reilly: Why do people do things for each other, especially when they don’t expect anything in return? Marleen Stikker: Do we own ourselves? Elizabeth Stark: Are we losing leadership in our current world? Farid Tabarki’s question got selected as main topic for the conversation: What am I willing to share?

Humberto stimulated the panel to bring up personal cases. Farid’s motivation for the question "What we are willing to share?" was that he hired an apartment with This got him thinking about his own apartment. Does one’s hospitality or generosity expect somebody else’s in return? Reciprocity comes naturally, according to Tim. We have to recreate our culture in order to let sharing become something that’s valuable. Marleen sees sharing as something valuable. We cannot live without it. Our current society is based on value and reputation, and we use a lot of systems that we trust with our own identity. These systems produce our value, without us being able to intervene most of the time. Is it for better or for worse? Accordig to Tim, we own nothing. It’s all about our ability to persuade other people.

Mobiles for Good
Pep Rosenfeld hosted the pitch sessions of the Mobiles for Good Challenge, the search for the best mobile health application, organized by Waag Society and the Vodafone Foundation. In his characteristic style he led the finalists to the stage, were they had 7 minutes to convince the jurors of their idea. They battled over a prize of 3 x 40.000 euro's and professional support to market their concept. The winners are:

  • The Amplino by Pieter van Boheemen, Wouter Bruins and Jelmer Cnossen
  • Hospitality by Dr. Marlies Schijven
  • Spraak Assistent App by Ton Schalke

For more information, got to

Amsterdam visual
Two of our developers, Laurens Schuurkamp and Bert Spaan, collected 35 data sets of Amsterdam, from public art, to bike routes and local food. With two screens and an iPad, people customized their own Amsterdam visual. It appeared as a black and white map, resembling one of the first datavisualization project Amsterdam Realtime. This was a demonstration of our Smart CitySDK project.

Thanks to PICNIC and all our great partners. See you next year!