OBA Next centre in Zuidas one step closer

The City of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Public Library (OBA) and a wide range of civil society organizations including Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam have joined forces to create a new learning and development centre in Zuidas.

03/25/2021 | 9:24 AM

OBA Next will be a public resource offering a wide range of activities to promote equal opportunities by encouraging the development of talent and digital skills among all Amsterdam’s residents.

Digital city OBA Next will be dedicated to talent development, debate and knowledge of new technologies. The people of Amsterdam will be able to enrich their knowledge and enhance their awareness in areas such as reliable information, online resilience and new digital media: urgent issues for an increasingly digital city. The programmes available at OBA Next will be varied, welcoming and accessible to all Amsterdammers.

Contributing to a better world With its diverse student population, commitment to social wellbeing, strong interdisciplinary research and dynamic campus in the heart of Zuidas, VU Amsterdam is a natural partner for this project. Through innovative programmes such as A Broader Mind and Community Service Learning, in which students learn to engage with social issues using a range of academic disciplines, we contribute to a better world. Our students work to reduce low literacy, to narrow the digital divide between young and old, and to increase awareness of healthy eating among Amsterdam families who depend on social benefit payments.

By expanding links between the services provided by VU University Library and Amsterdam Public Library, we are pooling our resources to offer broader public access to scientific knowledge. In this light, two key initiatives are in the pipeline:

Oba.ontwerplab Firstly, VU Amsterdam and OBA are collaborating on a physical pop-up location of the oba.ontwerplab on the VU Campus, with connections to Zuidas and Amsterdam as a whole. This design hub will act as a driving force and a platform for innovation, expanding opportunities for experimentation and co-creation between OBA and VU Amsterdam, and developing services for the entire city. As an initiative, it embodies the shared vision of open access to knowledge and lifelong learning.

Open Science Open Science initiatives are also stepping up to give the people of Amsterdam open access to scientifically reliable information independent of time and place, sharpening their awareness of fake news / deep fakes and creating a safe digital environment in which to study. Innovative concepts are being developed for interacting with books and connecting physical and digital collections with social platforms, online streaming services and cultural initiatives throughout the city.

Read the full City of Amsterdam press release here (in Dutch)