the method

"the City coalition UNLOCKS TALENTS, 
enrichES cultural life AND CONNECTS PEOPLE. RESULTS ARE SOCIAL COHESION, ECONOMICAL cooperatioN AND CULTURAL inspiration from various parts of the world. A MORE HAPPY AND HEALTHY COMMUNITY."

objectives & results
The City Coalition methodology unlocks talents & networks, and builds coalitions so that citizens flourish, the quality of life in neighborhoods & cities grows, and cultural & economic sustainability thrives. The City Coalition Foundation develops innovative methodologies based on servant leadership so that citizens who, for whatever reason, are not fully participating in social life, feel seen and find space to engage and evolve.

The result is an atmosphere of cooperation and economic activity that has proven itself. Apart from the many talents that are unlocked, the City Coalition has received the encouragement Culture Prize 2018 Municipality of Leidschendam-Voorburg, we passed our knowledge on during two Masterclasses in cooperation with Free University SERVUS, we made a documentary about our action-research and our method got attention in the regional newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

key values

Our core principle is reciprocity.Together we create a livable city. Recognition and understanding are key values. By giving space for everyone's story, connection is created, talent blooms, and cultural heritage & entrepreneurship become visible. This leads to motivation, ownership, economic prosperity, cultural enrichment, and improvement of social cohesion. The City Coalition Foundation strives for a movement based on the above-mentioned key values and is founded on three pillars related to the SDG's:

 1. Positive health & wellbeing          (SDG 3 & 11 health, wellbeing and a sustainable community)

 2. Cultural heritage & community    (SDG 11 & 16 just inclusive city)

 3. Craft & entrepreneurship              (SDG 8 & 11 decent work, economic growth)

Impact City coalition approach

The City Coalition approach has led to impact on the following levels:

  • Individual: active participation in society, larger self-esteem, health and economic independence (for example: parfume maker, caterer, bag maker, couturier, clockmaker, jewellery maker, musician, poet, ceremony maker)

  • Group: Larger economic and cultural activity of (invisible) networks

  • City: Sustainable cross-overs between different parties in the city (politically divers)

  • Society: social cohesion, cooperation, dialogue, transfer of knowledge and a different discourse: ‘talent’ instead of ‘refugees or underprivileged citizens'

action-research 2016-2019

The City Coalition methodology started as an action-research in 2016 in the Municipality of Leidschendam-Voorburg, an initiative of Esseline van de Sande (Social Psychologist) in cooperation with Shervin Nekuee (Sociologist). Halfway 2017 Esseline has further developed and expanded the concept and methodology of City Coalitions. The key questions of our action-research are:

  • How come new citizens don't to prosper in our society?

  • What happens when we use different words and thus change our perspectives?

  • How can we realize social sustainability and inclusion?


our commitments

Change starts with language, words lead to behavior and results. If we take individual talents as a starting point it will lead to reciprocity, giving & receiving, respect and cooperation. Out commitments are:

  • An eye for talent

  • Heart for people and their stories

  • Connection through creating encounters and cultural interventions

  • Collective interventions like making sessions, coalition diners, concerts and pop-up bazaars

  • Create situations of reciprocity: What can I do for you? What can you do for me?

  • Learn the local language by doing (apprenticeship and cooperation in the same field)

  • Building up a personal network growing in the community via SMEs

origin of the city coalition

The main reason for the start of the City Coalition was the alarming report of the (Dutch) Advisory Board of the Government (WRR) “No time to waste” in 2015. The conclusion of this report was that 50% of new citizens never will be active on the Dutch labour market. The result is a waste of talent and a loss of social and economic capital, among other negative effects both on an individual level as well as in our society at large.

Foundation The City Coalition, New Talent in the City, has been founded by Esseline van de Sande in September 2020 by invitation of Moerwijk Cooperation & MOOI Welzijn in Moerwijk, The Hague South-West. Our goals are building cultural economic sustainable coalitions, unlocking and developing individual talents.

van de Sande

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Founder & Driving force

Facilitates social change



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Mechanical Engineer 

van Dooren

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Community builder & developer

Local coalition partners



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Artist & Graphic designer

Maurice Kraanen

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Program maker and artist with an eye for social cohesion as an art form

Shamie Hamidi

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Secretary Afghan cultural foundation & entrepreneur

Haimanot Belay

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Intercultural adviser

the core team

the Board



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noortje magis

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lalash tahir

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“The City Coalition is culture, entrepreneurship and community spirit; connected in the best possible way. ”

- Arnout Timmerman

social and cultural policy developer

© KvK 80516955 Stichting De Stadscoalitie: Nieuw Talent in de Stad

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