Make a Difference

Make a Difference

Make A Difference Case Competition: Innovating for Sustainable Rotterdam

The greater Rotterdam area is an urban region with almost one million inhabitants. The region hosts three major universities (Rotterdam, Delft, Leiden) and has an extensive cluster of industrial activities. Rotterdam’s Vision 2020 has the ambition to develop a more agile and liveable city that can compete on a global scale. Innovation and sustainability are central to this ambition.

Target initiatives

Two initiatives stand out in this respect. First, the “South Wing” project seeks to render the Rotterdam region economically more competitive. The region has an ageing population, heavily relies on fossil-fuel-intensive industries, and faces limited collaboration among major cities. In order to regain a competitive edge vis-à-vis cities such as London, München, and Paris, the project aims to develop innovative initiatives that enhance both economic performance and a sustainable living environment.

Second, the “waste separation” project seeks to increase Rotterdam’s post-consumer recycling rate. Most of the city’s inhabitants do not separate their household waste. They have little space in their apartments to accommodate separate bins, dislike having multiple waste containers in their proximity, and experience little social control to separate waste. This also counts for students. Therefore, the municipality aims to develop a project that makes Rotterdam students effectively separate their post-consumption waste. 

Case Competition Day

On 2 April, Make a Difference 2015 Case Competition identified the two most promising initiatives on economic revitalisation and waste recycling.

Best Presentations

On 10 April, at the RSM Sustainability Forum, the audience heard the top two proposals and actively selected the best presentation to advance.


Team Gemeente Rotterdam was selected the audience favourite.

View Team Gemeente Rotterdam's winning proposal

Team members: (photo left to right) Lukas Brauschwieg, Rexin Singotani, Stefanos Stasinopoulos