Looking into the mirror can be very enlightening. That's what we have experienced at the Smart Up! event on the 19th of September 2018 in the Atlas Theatre in Emmen. As the Northern Netherlands, we need to work together in order to find solutions to the challenges we face. Not only now, but in the future as well. Everyone needs to be involved: businesses, knowledge institutions, government, civil society and citizens. We want to be able to find each other in a creative environment, where we can come up with new and exciting ideas. After all, innovation has the power to change the lives of people for the better.
The Smart Up! event was the first step into that promising future – because we need to be critical of ourselves first, in order to do better. The Smart Up! event served as a mirror for the Northern Netherlands. A creative crowd of entrepreneurs, researchers, policy advisors, managers of clusters and innovation hubs, innovation experts, trend watchers and guests from other European regions and European organisations held up that mirror to us – and pointed out our strengths and weaknesses. We met, discussed, exchanged experiences and determined future actions. There are more than enough roads we can take to make the Northern Netherlands even smarter and better – together.