'Technology is not neutral.'

Technology is not neutral. Waag reinforces critical reflection on technology, develops technological and social design skills, and encourages social innovation.

Waag works in a trans-disciplinary team of designers, artists and scientists, utilising public research methods in the realms of technology and society. This is how Waag empowers as many people as possible to design an open, honest and inclusive future.

Programming at Waag
Waag (BY-NC-SA)

Mission

Waag Futurelab contributes to the research, design and development of a sustainable, just society

  • By collectively researching emerging technology, and questioning underlying cultural assumptions;
  • By experimenting with and designing alternatives on the basis of public values;
  • By developing an open, fair and inclusive future together with civil society.

Waag Research Labs

Waag consists of twelve research labs that conduct research on various themes related to technology and society. These labs use research methods to empower as many people as possible to help design our future. We call this Public Research. The social environment and the perspective of citizens are central to it.

Waag expedition to planet B

Over the next four years, Waag will organise an expedition to planet B, during which we will seek an answer to the social, technological, and ecological challenges of our time. This expedition will provide a platform for designers, scientists, policymakers and citizen initiatives. Each year will explore a partial aspect of our desired, shared future.

Waag Open

Waag Open is our monthly public programme. Within this programme, we highlight current themes, organise a variety of workshops, and present collaborations between scientists, designers and artists. The first Thursday of every month, Waag opens its (digital) doors so everyone can participate. We also offer an open stage for partners and other interested parties to make proposals for additional programming.

Waag Academy

In our Waag Academy programme, we offer courses for young people and professionals to develop students’ skills in new technologies and manufacturing methods. Waag Academy bundles and disseminates the knowledge and methods from our research labs in several formats. We offer a variety of learning methods: from intensive courses (like the BioHack Academy) to one-off co-creation workshops. The Academy programmes can take place in the Waag itself, on location at other organisations, or in spaces like Maakplaats, a makerspace that Waag has set up in collaboration with the Amsterdam Public Library.

History

Waag was founded in 1994 by Marleen Stikker and Caroline Nevejan. Its precedent was ‘De Digitale Stad’ (the digital city), which was the first public access portal to the internet and a social media platform before the idea even existed. Stikker stood at the forefront of the digital public domain. In her book ‘Het internet is stuk (maar we kunnen het repareren)' (The internet is broken, but we can fix it), she describes the evolution of the internet since the Digital City.

Known as the ‘Society for Old and New Media’ in its early years, Waag has since evolved into a Future Lab for technology and society. The organisation’s development and evolution has occurred gradually through many projects at the intersection of technology, art and science.

Anti-Racism Statement

Waag is an anti-racist organisation and strives to contribute to the growing collective awareness against all forms of racism. This means we are committed to the mission of discussing, tackling, and responding to racism when we see or experience it. We write about, among other things, how prejudices, inequalities, and racism are ingrained in technology. We also want to use our position as a public organisation to educate the public about racism in order to encourage positive change. We do this through our projects, our public programmes, and in collaboration with our current and future social partners.

Financial partners 

Waag is a foundation. In the 2021-2024 period, she is being supported by the Cultural Basic Infrastructure of both the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and the City of Amsterdam. Waag has been assigned the role of Futurelab by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science. Next to this, Waag executes many projects funded by public institutions and organisations, such as the European Commission, CLICKNL and Grant for the Web.

Management

Waag is a Dutch foundation, managed according to the Dutch Supervisory Board model. The managing director is founder Marleen Stikker. The Supervisory Board consists of: