CITIES Foundation is an independent organisation based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. CITIES was founded in 2008 by two Metropolitan Studies Masters students who developed their own plan to provide local, scalable and tangible solutions for urban issues happening locally, on a global scale. CITIES Foundation analyses global urban development trends, focusing in on specific issues. CITIES has focused on de-industrialisation, citizens’ engagement, local food systems and waste management. Through community-based project development, research, communication, publications, events, experiences and workshops, CITIES empowers and supports urban communities, by co-developing scalable solutions that integrate our work into the urban economy and ecology with a long-term vision. As a result of this working process, CITIES also operates as an incubator for self-initiated social enterprises.

Amsterdam Noord

Duration of position


Basic requirements
We are looking for somebody that shares our mission and is especially acquainted with practical systemic change operations, expansions into new markets, circular/sustainable business and impact development.

How to apply
Please, send an email to with a brief introduction about yourself, Francesca will be happy to set up a meeting and discover whether CITIES is made for you.

Application deadline
We see tomorrow’s cities being shaped by complex interaction and collaboration between city-makers and citizens alike. This process builds knowledge within the community and enables a more informed and engaged citizen to participate in the problem solving process. The solutions and strategies developed provide blueprints relevant to many urban contexts, globally.

The working method is based on the following steps:

- Global research about issues that cities are facing worldwide. In this phase, the team grasps the issues of concern and analyses how different urban environments are sharing it. Simultaneously, local solutions are identified and examined as potential projects.

- The second step involves a local analysis. This generally includes interviews with local actors and further investigation into the social, political, geographic and economic circumstances relevant. In this phase, the team aims to grasp the necessary conditions required for a successful system, while identifying aspects which could be changed.

- These assumptions are shared with the community and relevant stakeholders, who are generally interested in small-scale systemic change. Together with the community a small project designed for the local system is experimented with. This phase is instrumental in developing solutions, conceived and created with the community.

- If the solution achieves sufficient community support, then the economic feasibility is considered and the business case developed. The ultimate goal is to develop Social Enterprises out of every successful experiment undertaken by CITIES Foundation.

- This process is long and complex. Many issues are taken into consideration in order to create positive systemic change. Given the complexity of the situations CITIES is aiming to address the process cannot be rushed.

To date, the following themes have been explored:
GLOBAL FOOD SYSTEMS. FARMING THE CITY global/local research developed into “Farming the City, Food as a tool for Urban Development” publication and the social enterprise, FOODLOGICA

CITIZENS ENGAGEMENT INTO URBAN DEVELOPMENT. WeOwnTheCity: Global analysis of how small communities are taking conceptual ownership of small urban areas, and redeveloping them to fulfil needed functions. This work has ben wrapped up in the publication: We Own The City, Enabling community practices in Architecture and Planning.

GLOBAL WASTE ISSUES. is experimenting on how to incentives household waste separation by providing rewards for good prosumers. WASTED will become a Social Enterprise in 2018. This work is part of CITIES wider investigation into how to utilise circularity principles as tools for systemic change. Also published: “The WASTED City: Approaches to circular city making”

CITIES Foundation is not supported by a structural fund or donor. Each project’s budget is fundraised independently, through public investment or international commissions. Each social enterprise is co-owned by impact investors or co-funders, who share the Foundation’s goals and mission. The long-term vision is to incubate and share ownership of several social enterprises to ultimately be able to self-finance new research themes and projects.

CITIES is looking into global expansion. We are proven researchers and innovators in the local context. Now the time to share our achievement and expand our reach has come. We are looking for a new member for the Foundation Advisory Board to support CITIES’ social enterprises growth, connectivity and general professionalization.

The board member would be a volunteer position (since CITIES is not allowed to pay Board Members in Dutch Stichting); he/she will

- Review the audited annual accounts once a year
- Review our progress twice a year and advise on strategic directions.
- Help to conceptualise yearly reports and visions
- Advise on our social enterprise (FOODLOGICA and WASTED) business progress and impact developments
- Be available for an average of 20 hours per year and provide a long term commitment.

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