Cognitive Cities, Amsterdam

Sometimes, in a quiet moment, when nobody is watching, I do ask myself: why are we so successful with Cognitive Cities?

It has been months since we organized the conference and still, wherever we go, this at-one-time little project that became an international conference, seems to open all kinds of doors for us. It became a brand in itself. It can be a bigger brand than Third Wave, potentially.

Which is fine. We are encouraging it, too. That is one of the reasons why we decided to diversify and, instead of sticking to a once-a-year conference format, do a few smaller events that are scattered around the world. We at Third Wave are perfectly comfortable with the idea of creating things that will be more recognizable than our company brand.

Alas, the first Salon. The decision to go to Amsterdam for the first iteration was an easy one. It is a city full of dedicated people in this field, many, many bright minds. On top of that, we loved the idea of working more closely with Juha from VURB (he is involved in many other projects as well). He was one of the speakers at the main conference and he has an almost intimidating infrastructure in place. So, in essence our investment – time wise – was very limited. Everything was just … there, waiting for an event to take place.


Every new event format is an experiment. The main conference was one and the Salon as well. We knew from others that Salons usually work very well, but we never organized one ourselves. But as always, the main receipe is: curate the best possible speakers and you will do just fine.

While we didn’t record the talks of Kars Alfrink (Hubbub), Katalin Gallyas (City of Amsterdam), James Burke (VURB) and Edwin Gardner (Volume Magazine) on video this time, we’re happy to point towards some reviews of the event. And if you ever get the chance to see them speak live – Kars for example will be at dconstruct -, do use it.

In that sense, we continue our journey with Cognitive Cities, it has been a smooth run so far. For now, thank you Amsterdam for being so kind to us.