As a foundation, we are proud of what we have achieved during the pandemic as we continued to support Arcadian’s growth and development. Below is an update on the developments we have seen throughout the last half-year at Lovinklaan.
We successfully managed to adapt our Shelter program to continue providing support in a virtual setting. In response to the global health crisis, Shelter provided remote, pro-bono support to UN-Habitat to help communities in need. As a result, several initiatives were introduced, including a rapid response help desk consisting of a diverse team of experts lending their time to offer solutions for health resilient cities. Additionally, the Shelter academy alumni network was activated, where people who have previously participated in a knowledge transfer program on resilient cities can now serve as a point of contact regarding urban questions in relation to COVID-19.
Furthermore, the Shelter program has continued to support online projects in Lebanon and the Philippines in addition to launching a new program for UN-Habitat Mongolia focusing on Ulaanbaatar Ger-areas.
In April 2021, we hosted a wonderful online Shelter workshop in the UK with over 80 enthusiastic participants which led to some great discussions.
Applications for the 2021 Accelerator community program were submitted in Q1 2021. At the end of May, Local Sparks in Zuilen Utrecht began renovating a garden and playground at the Logeerhuis Zuilen – a home for children. While the project is still underway to renew the shed, swing and slide for the children at Logeerhuis Zuilen, the next steps involve a playground specialist reviewing Arcadis’s design for safety. The Local Sparks team in the Netherlands is still welcoming support on this project, so please contact Martien Lathouwers if you are interested in contributing!
The Imagine awards kicked off via Quick Launch, and in early March, a pool of selected teams were narrowed down to 10 finalists by two assessment teams, consisting of Arcadians from various regions across the globe. In fact, our very own Holly Herner apart of the assessment program – you can read all about her experience in our latest blog, where her team shares their experience reviewing the submissions! The winner of this year’s Imagine Award introduced the Arcadis Sustainability app, designed to help Arcadians integrate small changes in their lifestyle to become more sustainable.
Earlier this year, we launched our first ever virtual sustainability module in an effort to further emphasize the importance of sustainability within the Arcadis strategy. In March 2021, Expedition DNA #6 was launched in a completely virtual setting, with nearly 60 participants from across the globe taking part in the 10-week intensive program. Throughout the program, participants gained in depth knowledge about the digital and sustainability from experts in these fields, while connecting it to the strategy of Arcadis.
In May 2021, we successfully kicked off Expedition DNA #7, making it the second fully virtual Expedition this year. We are incredibly proud of the participants who are taking part in this program and are confident they will flourish!
Quarterly Board Meetings
The board of Lovinklaan has continued meeting in a virtual manner since the beginning of this year. While adjusting to this new way of working was challenging at first, the meetings have proved fruitful, as the board has maintained open and effective communication across regions and time-zones. That being said, the board also saw a few changes in structure: in January 2021, Gordon Baxendale departed the board of Lovinklaan and Marc Kefford was welcomed as the newest member, representing Australia. Cécile Cluitmans stepped in as Chairperson while Marco Foo took over as Treasurer of the Board and Nora Taylor entered the role of Secretary.
Looking ahead, we aim to realize as many programs in a virtual manner for as long as is necessary to maintain safety. As we continue to focus on the growth and development of all Arcadians, we hope that soon more will be possible in person so that all our wonderful programs can flourish again.