Europe’s largest event for sustainable cities.


Here we come, Rotterdam!

June 16-18 | 2021

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CityChangers, we miss you.

Let's meet virtually !

We love real events. The busy atmosphere, the excitement and the friendships that arise in between sessions and excursions! Nothing beats that, right?
But as the world is still not on the safe side, we’d like to stay in touch and reconnect you with your favourite CityChangers from around the globe.
In June, we started off with the SOFA SESSIONS and CityChangers tuned in from more than 100 cities worldwide. Up next is our HOW TO series that will bring you closer to the core question of urban change-making: How to make it happen?

#1 HOW TO create better neighbourhoods?

Rotterdam edition.


In this online workshop we want to showcase the power of districts and neighbourhoods, focusing on those that are actually driving change. After setting the stage and raising inspiring, relevant, and critical questions on neighbourhood transformation, the spotlight is on three Rotterdam-based CityChangers that have not only talked the talk, but walked the walk: In breakout sessions, participants are part of the conversation and learn first hand how to get started, what challenges to overcome, and who to get on board when effectively driving change for better neighbourhoods – all demonstrated by examples that have been implemented in Rotterdam. The workshop is co-organized by UFGC, ISOCARP and Humankind.


Jorn Wemmenhove | The urban change-maker, social entrepreneur & creative strategist co-founded Humankind.

Milena Ivkovic | The architect by trade, storyteller by heart is director of BLOK 74 and Board of Directors Member at UPAT, ISOCARP.

Gerald Babel-Sutter | The Founder and CEO of the URBAN FUTURE global conference has a strong passion for making change happen.




Nienke Bouwhuis | Nienke is all about greening the city and creating value for citizens by doing so. Discover how.


Sander van der Ham | Sander – a city psychologist with a special interest in participatory projects and public space – is including kids into climate adaption and making their vision a reality.


Lot Mertens | Lot is a city whisperer and programme leader of “Involved City”. She was also a driving force behind Mooi Mooier Middelland.



José Besselink | As an Urban Planner in the field of public space & mobility at the city of Rotterdam, José is responsible for facilitating and coordinating a number of urban projects and tactical experiments.

Teun van den EndeTeun is head of the Urban Development and Architecture section at Vers Beton and explores the link between historic developments and popular culture in the Netherlands second-largest city.


Cornelia Forsthuber | She is our chief of “districts” at Urban Future Global Conference and coordinator of the amazing cohort of Young Leaders (Host).

#1 How to mobilise?

Mastering the task of getting others on board.

To drive change, you need supporters. That’s why it is critical for CityChangers to identify and ultimately win over others for their cause: whether its experts, citizens, organizations, groups or entire city environments. But how do you get started, which do’s to follow and which don’ts to avoid? Join 3 big-time CityChangers on the SOFA who share their experiences to help you make a difference.

Sorry, you missed the live session!

Watch the recording here.

Erion Veliaj | U-turning a city in mobility

Maria Vassilakou | Handling difficult situations

Jennifer Keesmaat | Building a campaign

Miriam Staley | Host

#2 Pathways to your dream job

How to build a career working as a CityChanger.

So, you want to change your city for the better! But where and how do you start? And more importantly, how do you build a career out of it? Luckily, cities offer a universe of opportunities these days. Join city legends Maria Vassilakou (former Vice Mayor of Vienna) and Greg Clark (advisor to hundreds of cities) when they share their knowledge on opportunities, on which pathways exist and how to make your ultimate dream job come true. Join them on the SOFA and bug them with your questions! It’s all about your career.

Maria Vassilakou | Urban Consultant, Former Vice Mayor Vienna, Austria

Greg Clark | Global Advisor, Future Cities & New Industries (& Global President, Maria Vassilakou Fan Club 😉 )

Matt Stewart | Founder, Yarra Pools & Life Sprint, Young Leaders Alumni (Host)

Unfortunately, you are too late to join live. But you can watch the session on our Youtube channel.

#3 Behaviour change 101

Why you cannot change people – and what to focus on instead.

“Changing behaviour” is seen as the #1 challenge by CityChangers who are passionately driving change around the world. We can see why: Humans just hate to change. What’s even worse, scientists tell us to forget about making people change. So what should we do instead? Take a seat on the SOFA with seasoned behaviour experts to hear how you should focus on people wanting to change.

You missed that one. Watch it here.

Jeni Cross | Director of Research at the Institute for the Built Environment, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

Margaret Heffernan | Entrepreneur & Writer, Bath, UK

Mathis Hampel | Programme Director, UFGC, Graz, Austria (Host)

#4 Bringing your vision to life

It’s all about creating images and stories to relate to.

Okay, so you’ve got a vision: now what? If you want to bring it to life and to prevent it from ending up in some drawer, it needs to be widely shared! Your job is to create images and a storyline people can emotionally relate to. People must “live” it. Take a seat on the SOFA when we will take a close look at some of the most powerful visions, identify their key ingredients and learn the most effective ways to develop a vision that thrives.

Episode online now.

Soraya Axelsson | Head of H22, Helsingborg, Sweden

Enno Schmidt | Co-Founder Initiative Basic Income, Basel, Switzerland

Jan-Jaap in der Maur | Owner of Masters in Moderation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Host)