The Serendipity Tables projects connects youngsters and students with the wider community and enhances entrepreneurial mindsets.
The cooperation between education and governmental bodies “Accoord van Groningen” states that the institutions should use the large innovation potential of the city of Groningen. This innovation potential can be increased by placing Serendipity Tables throughout the city. The philosophy of the Serendipity Table is: “ that many innovative possibilities are left untapped because society and organizations are organized in patterns and structures in such a way that they limit exploring new possibilities.” The goal of the Serendipity Table is to connect the unconnected and stimulate entrepreneurial behaviour. Youngsters and students from different cultural, social and economic backgrounds share ideas at Serendipity Tables with the wider community. The purpose of the program is to train youngsters and students at the Serendipity Table and facilitate learning among partners.

Resources needed

Project Manager, 20.000 EUR per year
Project Manager Assistant, 12.500 EUR per year
Human resources officer, 10.000 EUR per year
Trainers, 30 EUR per 45 minutes gross Outsourced services:
Marketing agency, / cost vary depending on targets

Evidence of success

Evidence of success:
The triple helix of the Assen municipality has adopted serendipity tables as strategy for inner city development and connecting business and student initiatives.
Increased number of locations/participants every year, - 240 students and youngsters, and 10 businesses have been effectively participating., Recognized participation effects - Continuous project quality assurance tracking.

Difficulties encountered

During the project it appeared that the wider community which facilitates the Serendipity Tables need more background information and involvement. This forges new learning partnerships in complex landscapes. 

Potential for learning or transfer

It all started that students were visiting conferences and business meetings. Students and Youngsters had difficulties connecting with the other participants and had the feeling that they were excluded from the networks and meetings. Others knew each other and were having conversations while excluding the new comers. As a matter of course some participants had the courtesy to invite the newcomers in a conversation. However in general, the newcomers did not feel very welcome, invited nor included.
Then the idea started to;
(a) create special spaces, and
(b) train the students to be host at the table.

These special spaces are not designated locations and can be created anywhere. It has the potential to bring different kinds of people (students) together within the local community and regional area. Thus, (students) people can share their ideas expand their network and work on personal skills. The idea is that people meet and have positive unexpected experiences.
Main institution
Hanze UAS
Start Date
January 2017
End Date


Alexander Grit Please login to contact the author.