Speakers interview TEDxMaastrichtSalon: Vincent Taapken

Vincent Taapken(1974) is an modern-­day entrepreneur and business innovator generating new ideas, projects and work methods in urban planning and real estate. He studied at Erasmus University Rotterdam (The Netherlands) majoring in Change Management. In 2009 Taapken founded his cross­disciplinary company New Industry Development in response to the traditional real estate and urban planning culture. With his enthusiasm, creativity and progressive working methods Taapken manages to regenerate urban areas and give new life to old buildings. He also writes blogs and articles in local and (inter)national newspapers and magazines.

Tell us more about your current projects, how are you making a difference in the world?

Our current projects have one thing in common: creating lively urban meeting places focussing on peoples rapidly changing needs and behavior. My focus is adding value to existing locations by giving creative direction, connecting people and ideas.

What is the current state of the field you work in? What direction do you think it’s going in?

The real estate and urban planning industry is conservative, traditional and based on slow planning instruments. But the world around is changing rapidly: digital revolution, demographic change, climate change and a new economic reality. The industry needs to adapt quickly. If we don’t change the way we organise and plan our environments, we will build things now that we won’t be needing in the near future. For example: roads, parking garages and mono­functional buildings.

What does a city mean to you? 

A city is a physical meeting place for a great mix of people. The more our societies and communities digitalise the more important physical meeting places will be.

Looking back on your career, what advice would you give to the young generation who wants to make a difference in the world?

Learn and work in different working environments and cultures. Think and act cross­disciplinary and experiment with unknown methods. Learn from traditional institutions like schools and universities but also continually question what they teach you as institutions slowly change and adapt to new realities and conditions.

What is a great book/article you read lately? Who are your top influencers?

Book: Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail, Michael S. Malone and Yuri van Geest. Influencers: Tom Bloxham (Urban Splash), Richard Florida, Singularity University

Where can we learn more about you (Twitter, Blog, etc.)?

Twitter: vtaapken
Facebook: New Industry
Pinterest: New Industry

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