Graduation Ceremony MADE

The first lucky 7 students have graduated from the MSc MADE (Metropolitan Analysis, Design and Engineering) programme! They received their well-earned MSc diploma during a festive graduation ceremony at AMS Institute. Two years ago, they joined AMS Institute together with elven others for classes on metropolitan challenges, entrepreneurial skills, and data analysis in the urban context. Now they have developed to be the first generation of interdisciplinary metropolitan innovators.

On September 24th, we have celebrated this milestone together with their family and friends when receiving their joint degree diplomas from Delft University of Technology and Wageningen University & Research. This is extra special as these are the first engineering degrees that are handed out in the city of Amsterdam in over 450 years! It has been quite an adventure to write this progrogramme from 2016 until its successful accreditation, and, subsequently, I am happy to have been the first director of this programme.

The transcription of the speech of Maurice Harteveld at the graduation ceremony (on 24 September 2019, in Amsterdam) is given in honour of the first MSc MADE Graduates, Carola, Dieuwertje, Marijke, Marjolein, Martijn, Nono, Toni, but also of the rest of the pioneers; Anna, Anne, Anthony, Brian, Gwen, Koen, Laurens, Moja, Mike, and Sya, the first generation metropolitan analysts, designers, and engineers, the ones who go before others, pioneers preparing paths for others to follow:

In 2040, just a not-random date in the near future, people will find your names as if carved in the foundation of the MSc MADE programme. It would be nice to beam yourself into the future and look back. I believe we can do so if we know where we are and where we are heading. Imagine, you as one of the clients, lecturers, or living lab coaches. I remember an occasion 15 years ago or so when I studied the history and present state of graduate programmes at my home faculty. After part-time weeks of study, but also archival hunts, there was suddenly a steel box including dusty paper sheets with handwritten names of people graduated decades ago: Among those, famous ones: the first known graduates: I remember the names of ir Witteveen or prof Granpré Molière, once young masters who I’m knowing now from heroic stories and history books. So, in the case of MADE, what will people find in the 22nd century? What will happen to you? – I can’t wait to recover my old iPad.

I have seen some of you almost three years ago during master events. Your names passed by in the mail, via the admission procedures, and by phone, and even video chat. A draft description of a MADE student emerged, after little over a year of too intense collaborate sketching on your programme. The MSc MADE teachers met you, you met them. The fun part came: real people not paper. I remember particularly the first day of the MSc MADE. At that moment, I knew it for sure!
And I have told it before to some of you: I saw wet dreamy eyes on the horizon, visions on the future, and hands itching impatiently while sitting in a chair. The MADE student was born: She/he has a dream for the city of the future, and wants to make it happen today!

That first day our programme was only just accredited, you had to come to action in a fast temp. In the introduction to the study programme: I showed you a squatters house, created in a prefab concrete structure. The message was: ‘the frame is there, but you will make it!’ So you did. I remember one of you asking if a thesis topic was made for MADE. You can guess what the answer was: you make it. It concerned the wide scope of MADE, yet it had precision, and it used Amsterdam as a lab. To make it happen, of course, you worked hard. You lived the lab to the next level! You co-created, discussed, interviewed others, opposed us, came to a consensus, developed yourselves, and you used a lot of post-its. Quite a group flew to Sydney, others preferred to rail to Paris, 2040 avant la letter… We set every scene again and again, and now we are here

To gain an MSc MADE degree, you reached all learning goals, thus the exit qualifications. You made knowledge clips, saw the blue screen, canvassed everything while having a cosy Xmas, and were linked. Democracy by design. Minister Sigrid Kaag came by, Mayor Femke Halsema, King Willem-Alexander, and the President of Singapore came to see what happens here. You met PI’s and PA’s, industry and society; and of course a lot of Amsterdammers with real challenges in our field. As into the urban wilderness, I want to emphasise again, you have been the first in the field of official metropolitan innovators. Educated in complexity, bringing city, citizens and The City together.

While we moved from the KIT Tropical Institute to the Marine Terrain. You had to become dedicated to push academics from an imperial attitude to an ‘action’ mode. In 2017, you formed a multidisciplinary bunch of individuals, now you are about to be officially transdisciplinary master’s in MADE. So, dear Analyst, dear Designer, Dear Engineer, …dear Businessperson, dear Researcher, dear Group-worker, dear Chairperson, dear Specialist, dear Monitor, dear Caretaker, dear Former, and sure dear Plant: You MOOC-it, you MADE IT. You are here, all together as one group to which the exam committee of MSc MADE on behalf of two universities, and given their ‘jurisdiction by law’, have the great honour to give the first diplomas and with pleasure to give it to you.

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