Sophie Kiesouw

Local Connector, Amsterdam

Why Democratic Society?

Power to the people! My mission is to create more inclusive societies for all, by creating human-centered solutions. I strive for a world where everybody can be who they are. For me, Democratic Society is about creating space for citizens to be involved.

Where I'm based: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Languages I speak: Dutch, English and Portuguese

Sophie Kiesouw is the Local Connector in Amsterdam for Democratic Society. Her work focuses on facilitation and involvement the local network of citizens, government and the civil society. Driven by a strong belief in bottom-up and collaborative approaches, working with local communities is what she loves most. Previously, she co-founded Starters4Communities, a social enterprise working with cities & community initiatives in The Netherlands. She’s a hands-on organizer and views the world with an anthropological eye: curious and attentive. She makes sure people come to new perspectives by providing her facilitation and process design skills. She has worked on several learning experience programs, like Community Lab Beirut, where graduates and activists used placemaking tools for participatory actions in public space.

She also developed a matchmaking and design thinking course for refugees, to include them in Dutch society. Apart from working at the Democratic Society she is working as a creative consultant on informal education, community development and (youth) participation. Sophie holds a MA in Sociology of Globalization and Diversity.

3 things that make me unique
  • You can always ask me to think along on creative exercises and interactive processes. I love to think along on engaging people in a fun way.
  • I enjoy hearing and seeing ‘untold’ human stories, and I like watching and making documentary movies. Recently, I’ve made a short documentary about my brother, who has autism, and his fascination for the sounds of washing machines and trains.
  • Apart from Dutch and English, I speak Brazilian Portuguese, the language of my grandmother. I love the Brazilian culture, the music, the nature and I have been studying, traveling and working there for a while.
3 things I'm learning
  • To be patient and kind to myself, in general. I’m sort of an overachiever and not easily satisfied. 
  • Reading more books. I have the tendency to go over things quickly and find it hard to read books outside of holidays. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve been reading more and it became sort of a life goal.
  • To become a real gardener, with some friends we are having a plot of land where we grow our own vegetables. 
What I'm currently working on at Democratic Society

At Democratic Society, I’m working as a local connector on climate experiments for the Climate-KIC Healthy Clean Cities program on mobility and renovations of housing. In a systems approach, I make sure the city and other design partners are engaging citizens.

Contact details

Sophie@demsoc.org

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