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Healthy Society is a joint effort between Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities and Medical Delta with the goal of improving the health and well-being of all segments of the population while reducing health disparities. To achieve this objective, the program fosters interdisciplinary scientific research and education in partnership with citizens, knowledge institutions, healthcare organizations, municipalities, and other societal collaborators. The “Challenges of Healthy Societies” congress signalled a fresh collaboration between the three TU Delft faculties of Technology, Policy, and Management, Industrial Design Engineering, and Architecture, in addition to other LDE universities, universities of applied sciences, and UMCs. 

The day began with an inspiring keynote and a Q&A session led by Prof. Dr. Nico van Meeteren, the Director of Health~Holland. He underscored the significance of interdisciplinary partnerships and the synergy of insights from citizens, researchers, engineers, and policymakers to build a healthy society. 

When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘we’, even illness turns into wellness.

Following the keynote, an engaging TU Delft panel discussion took place, featuring our dean Prof. Dr. Ir. Caspar Chorus (Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering), dean Prof. Dr. Aukje Hassoldt (Faculty of Technology, Policy, and Management), and representative Prof. Dr. Ing. Carola Hein (Faculty of Architecture). They shared insights into their recent collaboration, delving into intriguing topics like the use of economic incentives to promote healthy behaviour, data integration in spatial planning, and the successful unification of institutions by Healthy Society.


David de Buisonjé MSc introduced the Healthy Society Map, an initiative dedicated to fostering transdisciplinary cooperation between knowledge institutions and societal partners – facilitating the exchange of information between policy and research agendas related to health-related topics. Participants had the chance to interact by sharing their perspectives and suggestions on six distinct theme maps, offering valuable insights into the well-being of South-Holland residents and potential pathways for addressing health-related challenges.

Following a refreshment break that included nutritious snacks, our PCM Lab Director Dr. Ingrid Mulder, moderated an engaging fishbowl panel discussion on challenges for transdisciplinary ways of working. The panel featured Prof. Dr. Judith Rietjens, Annet Bruil MSc, Dr. Reinout Kleinhans, Dr. Lieke Oldenhof, and active participation from members of the audience. The session proved to be both highly interactive and fruitful, with many starting points for improving transdisciplinarity in the upcoming Healthy Society collaborations.

The day proceeded with the presentation of the daily board and theme leaders for the five recently launched themes within the LDE Medical Delta Healthy Society strategy, as introduced by coordinators Prof. Dr. Andrea Evers and Dr. Sandra van Dijk. The board and leaders will play a vital role in building partnerships, facilitating collaborations among projects, and implementing initiatives in the South-Holland region. These themes encompass: 1) Healthy upbringing and ageing from a comprehensive perspective, 2) Sustainable healthcare for health promotion using advanced data technology, 3) Personalised solutions for promoting healthy behaviour, 4) A healthy physical and social environment for all, and 5) Designing and organising a healthy society. 

The day concluded with an energetic reception and a networking session. This Healthy Society event highlighted the current achievements of interdisciplinary cooperation between knowledge institutions and societal partners, and underscored the significance of future transdisciplinary collaboration among societal partners for health and well-being.

On to the next chapter within Healthy Society!

Sterre de Jager

MSc Sterre de Jager