top of page

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 & Target group

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)
We are focussing on professionals and makers with a specific skill, craft or entrepreneurship in a specific field (for example perfumer, clockmaker, couturier, musician, goldsmith, bag maker, tile mosaic, artist).

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'

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

Foundation The City Coalition, New Talent in the City, has been founded by Esseline van de Sande. Our goals are building cultural economic sustainable coalitions, unlocking and developing individual talents. Our Foundation has been granted the status of a Public Benefit Organisation. The main reason for the start of the original civil initiative and action research between 2016-2019 of the City Coalition was the alarming report of the (Dutch) Advisory Board of the Government (WRR) “No time to waste” in 2015, it's conclusion is 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 for our society at large.


Local coalition partners



  • Grey LinkedIn Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon




  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Author, poet and spoken word artist 


Shamie Hamidi

  • Grey Facebook Icon

Secretary Afghan cultural foundation & entrepreneur


Haimanot Belay

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Intercultural adviser


van de Sande

  • domainGrey
  • Grey LinkedIn Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon

Founder & Director

Facilitates social change




  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Mechanical Engineer 



  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Architect &
Landscape Architect




  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Community builder & developer

the Board

wang choy_edited.jpg



  • Grey LinkedIn Icon



noortje magis

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon



lalash tahir

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon


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

- Arnout Timmerman

social and cultural policy developer

bottom of page