Client: Divosa

Making real impact with social innovation

Strategic Positioning for Public Sector Innovation in the Netherlands


Divosa, the association for directors in the Social Domain in the Netherlands was keen to optimize their program ‘Vakmanschap’ (aimed to assist local governments in professionalizing their approach to getting civilians back to work) against the needs of their members.

What we did

In a multi-facetted approach, in which Divosa team members themselves had in-depth conversations with their association members to uncover their needs, we realized directors across the board were making massive changes in their approach to leading the organization. Creating organizations that are efficient and goal-oriented is a top priority. Coming from a regulations-led approach, this was quite the pivot and directors do seek support in this challenge. Though Divosa was seen as a potential partner, the current Vakmanschap-program was felt to aim predominantly at the executive level of the organization and therefore of lower relevance to directors personally.



Divosa has decided to re-direct primary focus to the directors within the Social Domain, and optimize the organization’s approach way beyond the program Vakmanschap, that had initially inspired the start of our project. Capitalizing on its strength of having an excellent network within the social sector, the association’s objective is to fulfil a role as the connective force between its members. Divosa will facilitate connections and interaction between the right people to inspire and drive change. Provocation as a means to inspire will not be shied away from.

Public sector

Strategic Positioning

Working with Happen was like stepping on a train and being served with some surprising views. It opened our eyes to a reality we hadn't seen before and it gave us a new perspective on our destination.

Marcel van Druenen

Project Lead Vakmanschap & Social Innovation Advisor



Industry Public Sector

Happen's perspective

Key success factors of this project were the open-mindedness and flexibility of the core team, which enabled us to make a radical pivot halfway in our project, completely re-defining our project scope to create a high-impact result

Our People