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Reflection on the second Make-athon: pitches, post-its & chips

On June 26th, around seventy enthusiastic policymakers, scientists, and advisors gathered for the second Make-athon at the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen. The goal? To collaboratively develop adaptation pathways for five (eventually seven!) key themes within the new National Climate Adaptation Strategy (NAS). The energy and collaboration throughout the day were impressive, lasting well into the evening! This unique pressure-cooker day resulted in valuable insights and creative solutions, which we are eager to reflect on together.

Hackathon + Making = Make-athon

The Make-athons are designed to collaboratively develop adaptation pathways for a climate-resilient Netherlands. By involving a diverse range of stakeholders, we aim to bring together broad input and expertise.

Within the nationwide National Climate Adaptation Strategy (NAS), 15 tasks have been defined, with the current focus on five tasks: water management, health, cultural heritage, waterways, and infrastructure. The latter two tasks were addressed in four sub-topics during the session. While these adaptation pathways are usually explored individually, we aimed to use a consistent method and principles for all topics.This second session focused on the substantive elaboration, following an earlier meeting on method development. The third and final Make-athon will take place on October 17th, which will explore the interrelationships between the adaptation pathways.

A day packed with activities

After a warm welcome by our moderator Desiree Hoving, a creative drawing session was led by lecturer Tamara Witschge. The theme, ‘imagination in transitions,’ involved drawing an object that symbolized what is needed to get stakeholders moving. This resulted in a beautiful garland of various artworks.

Afterwards, participants were briefed on the NAS and the process of revising the NAS, of which this series of Make-athons is a part. To start off well, the PBL future scenarios used as a basis for developing the adaptation pathways were outlined, and the method was explained.

The morning focused on knowledge sharing and gathering feedback. But then the participants got to work themselves! During the first and second sprints, participants in the theme groups worked on future measures and identified key risks for their task themes. They also explored possible measures for the short, medium, and long term. They did this by looking forward to the future from the present, as well as by looking back to the present from the future using the PBL scenarios as a guide. And all of this, of course, happened while enjoying a nice ice cream, given the summer-like temperatures.

During the break, participants had the chance to get some fresh air and explore the beautiful Cobra Museum. This was followed by the third and final sprint, during which the previous work was analyzed and the forward and backward perspectives were combined.

After a walking dinner and drinks, the day concluded with a plenary feedback session and pitches. This final feedback was visualized by artist Edwin Stoop from Studio Sketching Maniacs.

Key insights and highlights

The day yielded several valuable insights. The creative start fostered an open and positive atmosphere, which was essential for collaboration. While the first sprint involved some initial exploration (after all, we are pioneering!), creativity and teamwork quickly took off. The second sprint showed clear progress, and in the third sprint, the first transition pathways even began to emerge. It was remarkable to see how engaged and energetic the participants remained, even past 9:00 PM. The location, the Cobra Museum, contributed to the inspiration and provided a welcome change of scenery.

And now what?

Based on the insights gained and the inventory of required expertise, a small consortium is now being formed. This consortium will continue working on the development of the adaptation pathways over the summer. On October 17th, the third Make-athon will take place, where we will further explore the relationships between the adaptation pathways and analyze the influence of other tasks on the NAS tasks. Stay tuned for updates and further developments!

Visual summary

Curious about the visual summary of the day? Check out the full-size visual summary here. Photos have been sent to the participants, but if you haven’t received them or would like to, please contact us at

Stay up to date!

Want to stay updated on the progress and future Make-athons? Keep an eye on our newsletter. Sign up via the link at the bottom of the page. Registrations for the third Make-athon on October 17th are closed, but if you would like to actively participate, please email us at