In practice: Vechtclub and science, a good match!

Vechtclub is a creative incubator that has started a collaboration with the Centre for Science and Culture. The series of programmes Creativity Dissected (Creativiteit Ontleed) addresses the questions of what creativity is, what its value is and how it can be used. Why has Vechtclub joined forces with the university? We asked Daan Lustenhouwer of Vechtclub.

How did the partnership come about?

“Vechtclub is a creative incubator in Utrecht consisting of 170 creative entrepreneurs of all sorts. We have a venue and a stage to present programmes. At Creativity Dissected we address the creative (thinking) process, the role of creativity in education and the value of art in protest movements. Every evening we look for a range of complementary perspectives, including scientific expertise. With this quest in mind we got in touch with the university to see if a partnership was possible.”

The speakers are often an interesting voice in our post-event discussions with the audience.

Daan Lustenhouwer is head of programme at Vechtclub

Why did you choose our university?

“Utrecht University in particular suits us well. Not just because we’re in the same city, but even more so because the Studium Generale programmes, such as Science Café Utrecht, match what we had in mind for the Creativity Dissected series. Aside from that, the contact with the programme makers of the Centre for Science and Culture went smoothly right from the start. They had a good feel for the intention of this series of programmes, and contributed suggestions for the content. On every occasion there was an excellent match between the evening’s event and the speaker.”

Stefan van der Stigchel geeft in lezing bij Vechtclub

Why does the Vechtclub audience want a scientific perspective?

“The audience that visits these programmes is an inquisitive one. The theme of a given evening is often related to their jobs, but we also have visitors who attend every evening and who appreciate the in-depth exploration. We want to challenge this audience with a substantive offer and by approaching the theme from various angles. In addition to practice, we think a scientific angle is indispensable. We often start with the science speaker, so as to lay a (theoretical) foundation that the rest of the evening can build on. In addition, these speakers are often an interesting voice in our post-event discussions with the audience. In short: for us, this scientific perspective is an essential link.”


This article also appears in the second edition of the magazine Close-up, full of inspiring columns, background stories and experiences of researchers and support staff.

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