Except Integrated Sustainability
Except Integrated Sustainability
We are a collective of experts that realize sustainable business, industry, policy and urban environments.
Multi-disciplinary innovation
With over a dozen specializations at our disposal, we love creating synergies between science, design, nature and systems thinking.
Urban Renaissance
We (re)develop cities, buildings, and regions, into beautiful, healthy and resilient places.
Clarity in complexity
We use systems analysis and route mapping to develop strategies to go from now to a resilient future.
Worldwide experience and network
We rely on a decade of global experience, and partnerships.
Complete sustainability services
We are a one-stop shop for innovation, including energy, urban environments, agriculture, products, industry, and governance.
Fundamental Sustainability Research
We ensure long-term resilience with our full-spectrum Symbiosis in Development (SiD) method.
Software, Websites & Tools
In addition, we develop tools, websites, and software for knowledge management and sustainability analysis.
“Because Except understands both content and communication, they are an ideal partner to work with. Ideas are quickly processed and critically reviewed, the process is fast, and delivers quality.”
-- Ben Roemgens
Principal consultant, DNV
What is Except?

Except is a cooperative of over 30 scientists, designers, and social entrepreneurs that take sustainable development to the next level. Together we develop concepts and strategies that make businesses, industries, cities, buildings, and day-to-day life more efficient, more sustainable, more human.

We provide advice, conduct research, design solutions, and reconcile stakeholder interests for various projects: from a sushi menu to wind turbine infographics and from sustainable office interiors to self-sufficient urban communities.

Our clients are as diverse as our projects: from small family businesses in the Netherlands to large organizations in the US and Asia. They all have one thing in common: they are looking for cutting-edge solutions that are future-proof, resilient, and above all, realistic and feasible.

This is what we offer at Except: through systems thinking and applied innovation we convert complex challenges to game changing opportunities. Would you like to know what we can do for you? Talk to us. We’d love to help you with your challenge.

What's new?

Meet the Team

Our team consists of 30 multidisciplinary experts from around the world, including scientists, designers, engineers, software developers, and business developers. We're practical and commited social entrepreneurs that love standing by our clients in any challenge.

Explore the team
Spotlight

Tom Bosschaert

Director

Tom founded Except Integrated Sustainability in 1999, and directs the company with much pleasure since then. He built Except from a dream: to create a place where people commited to sustainable development can work together to make a fundamental difference. A place where they merge their talents and achieve groundbreaking innovations, combining solid scientific knowledge, business savviness, and the resolve of creative processes. To turn the tide. To create powerful movements of change towards resilient communities.

Tom develops the Symbiosis in Development (SiD) methodology that lies at the core of Except’s operations. SiD combines inter-disciplinary innovation strategies with systems-thinking tools to find solutions for organizations, cities, and industries that accelerarate their transition to sustainble operations.

Tom is fascinated by complex systems, and finding ways to understand and improve them. He works to unravel their complexities to create resilient, ethical, and autonomous communities. With this approach he develops solutions for the circular economy, natural capital, bio-based economy, and resilience development.

As director and designer, he's driven Except's bio-based architectural and urban designs, such as the Merredin Algae plant, Shanghai vertical agriculture tower systems and the urban redevelopment of Schiebroek-Zuid. He has designed refugee housing for Katrina victims, developed innovative software solutions for knowledge management, and developed sustainable agriculture systems such as Polydome. Tom founded the Rotterdam Collective (RoCo) together with Richard Boeser in 2010, a collective for socially engaged entrepreneurs in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Tom advises national and regional governments as well as multi national corporations on sustainability strategy. He has worked in Australia, Canada, China, the Netherlands and the United States. He has taught in various schools and institutions and publishes articles and a variety of magazines and journals regularly. He lectures on congresses and events as a keynote speaker on sustainability.

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Chris Muglia

Project Developer

Chris has wide ranging interests, ultimately focusing on business, technology and the challenge of sustainability. As a world-savvy business developer, he believes that profit is neutral and a powerful motivator of individual and societal behaviors. He believes that intelligence, science and technology are our most powerful tools, and that they are the key to individual and collective achievement, success and a sustainable and abundant future.

Chris' first job was working as a deckhand on a salvage ship. This led to a degree and a move to Wall Street. The move to Wall Street proved dissonant, so he left and co-founded a business in Mexico. After selling, if you could have found him, he spent the next ten years pared down to a backpack and The Meditations stuffed into a back pocket, working as an officer or captain on research vessels, hospital ships, offshore supply boats, tugs, and square riggers on many of the world’s oceans.

Coming ashore, he merged his knowledge of the maritime industry with Web 1.0, co-founding a project that connected the international shipping industry with the emerging internet businesses. This led to an intense and successful stint as Director of New Ventures for a large civil construction company. He left to co-found Portland Capital, a boutique firm taking on a range of advisory services and investments in the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, and Europe.

From there, he went to the Caribbean, attracted by the opportunity to lead a turn around of a large, region-wide marine construction group and a company villa on the beach in Barbados. There, with the acquisition of new young talent, a focus on integrity, execution, the introduction of Lean thinking, and a lot of hard work, the results were rewarding.

 

 

 

 

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Elke Miedema

Architect & Architectural Researcher

Elke Miedema is an ambitious architect and architectural researcher with a passion for the social aspects of architecture. She spent the last 7 years researching how our built environment relates to society’s well-being. 

At Except she continues bridging research, design and practice in actual relevant problems. Finding solutions for the increase of social interaction in health care and public domain.

As a researcher she investigates different perspectives within context. As an architect she takes a stand and translates this in design solutions. Elke challenges herself to find ways to make architecture facilitate social interaction, reduce stress and pain, and increase value for people, for example in the healing process of patients. From this she expands from the field of architecture into the field of environmental psychology, evidence based design and healing environments. 

Elke has a Bachelor in Construction and Building Engineering from the Avans Hogeschool in Tilburg (minor at the Academie van Bouwkunst in Rotterdam) and a Master Degree in Architecture from the TU Delft. She loves to brainstorm on complex issues and to get to the bottom of the case. With this technical bachelor and analytical and creative master, she is able to bridge the knowledge of research and practice into design solutions. Fascinated by forensic psychiatric care, she has also performed reasearch how to build for aggressive, unpredictable psychiatric patients. 

On her days off Elke loves inviting friends over for dinner, surf when it’s sunny or snowboard when it’s cold.  

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Tijn Schmits

Software Architect & Developer

Tijn has been doing two things all his life: acting, and trying to make the complex more simple. He is known to captivate audiences whilst explaining the technological evolutions of present day and the future possibilities they might enable. Though often recommended to become a teacher or entertainer, Tijn has chosen to use his skills as a software architect/engineer for online development, which he percieves to be the most interesting frontier with the most exciting projects for a better future.

Tijn has a master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Amsterdam, and has 3 years of experience as a software engineer at Logica. Initially joining the Logica NL Space department (“to hone his development skills”), Tijn has mainly been involved in European R&D projects on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems as Test-Site/Demo Developer and, later, Software Architecture Coordinator on European level. His biggest challenge has been to align project partners over Europe together to design an integrated system cooperatively, according to technological and architectural standards – a task finished in early 2011 and deemed succesful by colleagues and the assigned EC project review committee.

Though succesful as Logica employee, Tijn did not agree with the principles of the global IT consultancy, the company structure and the sustainability of the services provided. Tijn has been collaborating with Except since September 2011 with his company Uplink, developing online tools; open source and aimed to share knowledge and expertise.

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Laurina Phillip Muglia

Social Entrepreneur

Laurina believes that talent, knowledge and drive have the power to transform anything. She is excited by the new economy; one that is not defined by geography or nationality, but by unconventional businesses, creativity, technology, exceptional productivity, and social and environmental values. This is what she focuses on to develop at Except.

She believes that this kind of thinking, when applied in the developing world, is one of the keys to both local and global sustainability. New ideas and technologies have the capability to leap-frog old systems and ways of thinking within these societies and present significant step-change opportunities.

Laurina is interested in the practical application of sustainability in any situation, paring early adopters to suitable systems and methods in both developed and developing countries. She is particularly interested in tapping and leveraging the intellect and ambitions within the developing economies that are quickly coming online literally and virtually. She feels that developing new ways to include them into the conversations and implementations of sustainable methods will contribute significantly to addressing the world’s grand challenges and drive developing economies.

Laurina began her working life at a massive Caribbean petroleum refinery saturated with benzene and bureaucracy. Her way out was an MBA into London’s Financial district. Her insistence that HR should be strategic rather than administrative led to new ways of thinking about what created an organization’s best strategic advantage. The culmination of this part of her career was building and developing a young, awarding winning team in a previously failing company that created profits ten times higher than best-in-class in less than two years.

Since then she has developed two businesses: AccomplishedMinds where she interviews entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs from around the world, connecting the accomplished and fostering the ambitious. She also created Sound Body Science helping, trainers, physicians and Ministries of Health in the Caribbean deal with the crisis point they've reached with obesity related diseases.

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Clients & Partners

Some of our partners & clients

Keep in touch

Contact Information

Email: info@except.nl
Phone: +31 10 737 0215

Contact Hours
Monday-Thursday: 10:00 – 18:00
Friday: Time for reflection

Offices

Except Netherlands
Stadhuisplein 15
3012 AR Rotterdam
the Netherlands
rotterdam@except.nl

Follow Except_NL on Twitter

Except North America
northamerica@except.nl

Follow Except_USA on Twitter

 

Newsletters

We have two newsletters: a bi-monthly with the latest happenings at Except, and the bi-weekly Wormfood Global News Digest. 

Want to keep track of the important things in the world? The Wormfood world news digest gives you the low-down, curated by the entire Except team. Read previous Wormfood newsletters here.

Except Newsletter
Wormfood World News Digest

 

Understand Sustainability

Gain insight into the dynamic complexities of sustainability with our sustainability scanning and mapping tools.

Clarity in Complexity

Use systems-thinking and system-mapping to develop insights into complex dynamic structures such as companies, policies and material flows.

Envision Beautiful Realities

Design the world of tomorrow together with inspired engineers, architects, scientists and artists.

Embedded Ecosystems

Through our understanding of ecosystems and emergent complexity we devise ways to improve the food provision and social functions of our cities.

Using SiD we combine knowledge from different experts and stakeholders to deliver sustainable innovation.

Integrated Sustainability

We provide a full range of sustainability and innovation services for organizations, cities, and industry. We consult, research, design, and manage. Our team includes a wide range of disciplines to thoroughly synchronize with our client's ambitions and reality.

Because we seek optimal solutions for each situation, the results of our work are diverse, ranging from a sustainable sushi menu for a local restaurant to transformation trajectories for cities. What is always the same is our approach; we apply the Symbiosis in Development (SiD) framework, which is a working process and a range of tools to find the root cause of issues and powerful systemic levers for change.

SiD takes into account all aspects of a challenge, and enables a deeper understanding of the complex systems around us, involving stakeholders into the process. Using SiD, we find key strategies to realize effective change for less, and new ways to orchestrate the way we live, work, play, eat, produce, and prosper.

Signature Services

These services are a special selection of our finest ingredients, tailored for specific applications. They combine unparalleled speed, affordability and rigor for sustainability analysis, development, design and strategy.

Integrated Quickscan for Sustainability (IQs)

Boost your Sustainability IQ

The Integrated Quickscan for Sustainability (IQS) provides complete strategic insight into your company’s performance in a single scan.

This enables you to attract the best clients and employees, respond quickly to changes in the market, optimize the use of energy, materials, and water, develop a long term sustainability strategy, and achieve a variety of cost savings.

 

Future-proof buildings & estates

Revolution in renovation

One of the great challenges to achieve long term sustainability consists of converting our existing building stock to a sustainable state. Except combines smart new business models, sustainable renovation and bespoke design for pioneering redevelopment.

Innovation Communities for Sustainability (ICS)

Innovative business models for a dynamic world

Innovation communities (ICs) combine the best of the corporate world with the best of the entrepreneurial spirit. These flexible business models revive urban areas, react quickly to market changes and create new and engaging innovations in all disciplines.

These next generation collaborative workplaces succeed where open offices, flex work or business hubs often fail, and form a strong platform for innovators and entrepreneurs alike.

Knowledge Management & Software

Harness the opportunities of the network

With rapid software developments in the world, do you have a grasp on software and online technologies? Which applications are indispensable to you and why? How can tomorrow's software empower you, your business or even your society?

Understanding software starts with understanding people. Software needs to be intuitive, flexible, powerful and it needs to enable you. At Except we develop software that contributes to a better performance on system-level.

Island Renaissance (IR)

Enabling resilient and flourishing island communities

Island communities are vulnerable to rapid changes in economy, climate, fuel prices, material supply, and tourism trends. The Island Renaissance (IR) system detects and maps crucial dependencies, identifying opportunities to strengthen the local economy and to realize flourishing island societies.

The integrated approach of IR is based on a proven system that enables resilient, sustainable and beautiful island communities that are prepared for the future.

Urban Renaissance

Sustainable city and neighborhood redevelopment

Urban Renaissance is a redevelopment system that can turn neighborhoods, cities, and regions into beautiful self-sufficient places where people want to live and work. It is a strategic approach that involves all stakeholders in the process from initiation through to living realization.

Standard Services

These services are the bricks that form the foundation of our integrated approach, and enable multi-disciplinary and focused innovation.

Analysis & Intelligence

Sustainability Assessment

Sustainability Assessment

How sustainable is your organization? What are the effects of a new policy, or the impact of a product? How can we improve them?

These are central questions we are faced with today. Sustainability is a complex and dynamic issue, for which we develop effective ways to bring clarity and accuracy to the process. While sustainability methods change rapidly, our fundamental approach creates a long lasting, clear and actionable result.

Systems Mapping

Systems Mapping

Our world is a dynamic, complex place, and there are many opportunities to be found by gaining insight into the relations of the 'system' that we're a part of.

System maps do just that: they bring clarity in complex processes such as corporate strategy, supply chain analysis and performance statistics. They allow you to grasp complicated industries, policies or urban developments at a glance.

System maps also deliver significant advantages for working in group decision making processes, stakeholder involvement and higher management decisionmaking. 

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder Engagement

Making the world more sustainable requires cooperation. If you do not want to “go it alone” you will need to involve other stakeholders in your processes. But how do you approach stakeholders? How do you get their attention and their interest? And, how do you get them to co-invest in your ideas and plans?

Except provides support, facilitation and analysis in all phases of stakeholder engagement.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Through targeted CSR consulting, Except helps companies think deeply about how they can best contribute to a healthy, functioning, and sustainable society.

Strategy

Business Strategy Consulting

Business Strategy Consulting

Except develops business strategy for visionary clients to get ahead faster, and to realize resilient and succesful business operations.

With our full-spectrum analysis method and experience in unraveling complex issues and making them insightful we put you at the wheel of a powerful strategic engine.

We do this by providing global intelligence from our trend analysis, combined with systemic tools that find gaps in existing strategies, discover unexpected savings, analyze stakeholders and with network analysis programs that give a strong, long term backbone to business operation.

Industry & Sector Roadmapping

Industry & Sector Roadmapping

Except functions as the hub and driver of collaborative innovation. By organizing experts, stakeholders, and partners in a tightly orchestrated process, sustainability becomes a driver for true system-wide innovation.

Regional & Urban Strategy

Regional & Urban Strategy

As our world is changing rapidly, we need to ensure our regions and communities can adapt quickly enough to ensure they can flourish. Except works on strategies and implementation on these cross-disciplinary issues, which include policy, climate adaptation, local economies, marketing, community building and environmental improvement.

Future Visions

Future Visions

What would your city look like if it used the best ideas available today? What would your organization look like? What effect would a policy change bring in the lives of everyone around you?

An inspiring vision brings energy, commitment and dedication. Except has over 10 years of experience in developing inspiring visions of a sustainable, equitable and viable future, and we love doing it! 

Communication

Communication Strategy

Communication Strategy

Except develops metrics, infographics, visualisations, animations and other tools to help you communicate what is important about your story to the essential stakeholders you want to reach.

Communication strategy is about how to communicate what message to who, at the right time, in the right way. It is about structuring what you want to say so that it comes across in the way you intended it, and so that it has the right effect. The 'right way' may be through images, movies, a game or workshops, or by leaving things out. 

Events & Creative Productions

Events & Creative Productions

Involving other people in your initiative is a crucial step towards a successful outcome. At Except, we know this. Even the most brilliant plans that are created at the drawing table will fail to materialise if you haven’t shared them with the right people at the right time. And: in the right way.

Visualization & Animation

Visualization & Animation

Making an idea, ambition or project come to life with the right imagery is often a key to its success.

Except develops custom imagery, visualization and animation to supports its projects at all stages of development. This can range from sets of atmospheric hand sketches to full blown computer animated movies and presentations.

Talks & Masterclasses

Talks & Masterclasses

The world is changing rapidly... what about you? You are scanning the horizon looking for smart ways to progress and flourish. But what is the right direction, which solutions really work and which are a dead end? With who do I need to work in order to innovate? How do I combine quick wins with necessary long term investments? How do I create a vision that not only inspires, but also moves people?

It’s not just you asking these questions, but also your clients, partners, and colleagues. Who’s got the answers?

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Our articles

In our daily work we constantly generate new knowledge and insights that we want to share and continue building upon.

These articles contain excursions into new ways of thinking about a sustainable society, as well as tools and reviews. Chime in, and talk with us.

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Useful things

On this page, we share some of the articles, tools, and toys that we use and produce.

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