Ferd Crone

Mayor city of Leeuwarden (NL)

Ferd Crone studied economics at the University of Amsterdam. In the past, he was chairman of the student union and member of various governing bodies of the Economic Faculty of the University of Amsterdam. Crone was employed by the trade union  movement and in 1993  was appointed head of global environmental policy department at the Ministry of Housing, Town Planning and the Environment. In 1994 he became a member of the Dutch parliament after being elected at the parliamentary elections. He was finance spokesman and spokesman for environmental, energy and market policies. He left parliament to become mayor of Leeuwarden in 2007. He was appointed Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau.


Water Technology, dairy and cross-sectoral innovation through the design methodology are key in our innovation profile. We stimulate the transfer of promising innovations into economic structural improvements with added value. This will lead to investments, will attract and hold knowledge workers, whilst delivering employment. Leeuwarden is developing and has already created and supported various meeting places and (living) labs. We want to be the place where you can design your future.


The design methodology is a helpful instrument to create new solutions by multidisciplinary teams. In Leeuwarden we support the Frisian Design Factory. The Design Factory plays a catalysing role in spreading the knowledge and skills of design thinking.  Together with other knowledge institutes, educational partners, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, creative experts and large companies the Design Factory works on solutions for real life problems through the design methodology. Important is that the Design Factory is a bridge between the global network and the region. The Design Factory is part of the Design Factory Global Network that is spread over all five continents of the world.


Leeuwarden is the European Capital of Culture in 2018. This gives an enormous boost for innovation and cooperation in our city. The cultural programme is an opportunity to innovate and learn more about the design methodology. An interesting example is Innofest. Innofest uses festivals as a living lab for innovation. Festivals are temporary places where a lot of end users come together and directly give feedback about concepts and ideas. This makes festivals and cultural events ideal living labs for innovation.

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