In this blog, student Kaily Akkermans (Tourism Management), tells you how students co-create with stakeholders within the lab. Parties such as the municipality of Rotterdam but also various entrepreneurs from Hoek van Holland are indispensable!
The KUZ House
My group and I are working on the issue for Hoek van Holland: “How can the development of a four-season seaside resort match the identity and quality of life of Hoek van Holland?”. We are in ‘De Hoek’ on Wednesdays, a great way of working because you work in the place where the issue arises. In the KUZ house we have the opportunity to work on our issue. Therefore, guest speakers are regularly invited to this location to tell us more about topics that may be important for our project.
On the Wednesdays when there were no guest speakers in the KUZ house, my group and I went out on our own to discover the area. Especially during the first phase of our project, we wanted to gain insights of the opinions of residents of Hoek van Holland. What do they think of these developments and how would they tackle this so-called “wicked problem”? We also used this time to visit companies and foundations that might be interested in our concept.
Stakeholders and our concepts
My group and I are creating a stamp card “De Hartenjager”, where visitors can earn stamps when visiting an attraction or restaurant in De Hoek. With a full stamp card, the visitor receives a seasonal price that has been jointly agreed between the participating companies and foundations. It was therefore an important question for us whether these stakeholders would also be interested in participating in this concept. What do they find so attractive about this idea and what would they do differently? Based on this feedback and of course the feedback of coaches and fellow students, we have continuously adjusted our concept.
On the studio days, we as students of the lab have the opportunity to invite stakeholders to share our ideas and concepts. Each studio day, the groups invite at least two stakeholders of their choice. In this way, each group can talk to people who may be important for their concept. They have useful feedback and can provide assistance in developing the concepts further. For us as students, these days are also very useful to make new contacts and share our ideas with the stakeholders invited by other project groups. After all, everyone has his or her opinion about our ideas and concepts. This often leads to new insights and gives us a good start to enter the new period.
Not only do the stakeholders give us new insights. Our new and fresh look at Hoek van Holland means that the stakeholders also learn something from our discoveries!