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.
“Except’s people storm the gates of heaven, work extremely hard and invest unbelievable amounts of energy into solving your problem, making it their own and getting to the bottom of it.”
-- Bart Verhagen
Development Manager, Estrade / Vestia Housing Corporation
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?

Latest News
All News
Apr 13, 2015
­­Wormfood – April 13, 2015 - We need nature

­­Wormfood – April 13, 2015 - We need nature

Global News Digest

Jan 30, 2015
Grid Night - Transitions
Grid Night - Transitions
Grid Night - Transitions

Grid Night - Transitions

A theatrical evening to celebrate Except's fifteenth birthday

Jan 22, 2015
Winter '15 News Update

Winter '15 News Update

Happy birthday to us!

Jan 20, 2015
Urban Renaissance founded
Urban Renaissance founded

Urban Renaissance founded

Transforming cities and neighborhoods into resilient communities

Jan 15, 2015
Cycling under water
Cycling under water

Cycling under water

Designing a refit for the existing IJtunnel to provide space for cyclists

Nov 18, 2014
Open Position: Strategic Urbanist
Open Position: Strategic Urbanist
Open Position: Strategic Urbanist
Open Position: Strategic Urbanist

Open Position: Strategic Urbanist

Come strengthen the Urban Renaissance team

Nov 06, 2014
Except Academy
Except Academy
Except Academy
Except Academy
Except Academy

Except Academy

It sure is...exceptional

Oct 13, 2014
Open position: Program Manager Industry & Food
Open position: Program Manager Industry & Food

Open position: Program Manager Industry & Food

Guiding our production systems to the next generation

View all news

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

Marcos Spinella

Agro-ecology & Permaculture designer

Marcos is permaculture designer with expertise in soil regenaration, water conservation and holistic management. He is passionate about everything related to food, and believes that it should be healthy, full of nutrition, grown in a way that enhances soil and the environment, and above all, really well cooked.

Apart from being a permaculture designer, Marcos has a MBA from Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo, and BSc. in Electrical Engineering.  He is passionately against corruption in his country, fascinated by the insanity behind our global industrialized food systems, and recently re-engaged in a love of teaching children capoeira. 

Marcos has an extensive experience working in the field with industrial development for the energy sector, in such a variety of cultures and economic backgrounds. Senior engineer with 10 years of experience in industrial management, when it comes to industrial development, he has seen and learned a lot about the way our world is developing. One of his specific expertise is lean management, which is a philosophy that cuts waste and improves productivity: waste of energy, waste of space, waste of money, waste of time, and probably worst of all, waste of creativity of people. Not surprisingly, waste can be found everywhere, and he has dedicated his career in identifying them and work together with people to minimize them.

Marcos strongly believes that humanity will face a water shortage in his generation, and he wants to be an active change agent to prevent that.


more...

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.  

more...

Noémie Benoit

Engineer Architect

Noémie is a kind of virus. A sustainability virus. Aiming to replicate inside organizations, platforms, and communities in order to support and accelerate the transition to sustainability. She is trained to work in a variety of sectors as well as cross-cultural contexts, and developed skills to address sustainability issues to diverse stakeholders.

Noémie's main expertise is developing integrated strategies both at local and global scale: merging top-down and bottom-up approaches into concrete plans of action, and designing the solutions.

After having worked at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and at Futureproofed in sustainable business innovation, her focus rested on regenerative projects to restore natural ecosystems and local economies, and in conducting pioneering research at the edge of technology, business, natural ecosystems, and the built environment.

Noémie is educated as an engineer architect in the Netherlands, France and Italy, she completed a
2-year research project in 2012 on the links between biodiversity and design. The thesis has been conducted both in New York City, Rotterdam and Ghent and awarded with the First Prize of the Green Architecture Competition on Biodiversity of the Netherlands Architecture Institute and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation in July 2012.

From January 2013, she is carrying out her PhD research at the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT), dissecting the actual effectiveness of initiatives like urban farming and ecological water management, for cities' sustainability and resilience.

more...

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.

Industry & Food

Guiding our production systems to the next generation

Enable resilient, circular, and healthy industries

The industrial revolution left us with a radically different world, with its benefits and problems. Today, we find that the supply chains we rely on for vital resources are ancient, inefficient, and fragile. Luckily, there are plenty of options to start producing our food, products, and energy in much better ways, working with supply chains and learning from nature.

We guide our partners in this process, focusing on the entire supply chain, and on creating value for individual organizations, and society at large.

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?

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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