Out now: From Containment to Free Flow

In this book, Menno Spaan presents sixteen cases of successful innovation in the Netherlands. These range from infrastructure projects to the development and use of new technology, and from public organisations that decide to do away with managers to local residents who determine what their town should look like. Menno Spaan has studied these innovations, identifying the principles for succesful innovation, and brought them together in a handbook for public innovation.

Out now: From Containment to Free Flow



The Dutch version of From Containment to Free Flow, published in 2018, has now been translated to English. However, it is more than just a translation. Menno Spaan has expanded ten of the cases of public innovation with recent developments and has added a paragraph for each innovation describing the possibilities of replicating the innovation in other countries. Although it is not advisable to copy an innovation that has been put together in a specific context without tailoring it to the new context, each case of public innovation contains ideas and principles which can be used anywhere. Moreover, because public issues often do not stop at national borders, countries would do well to learn from each other's innovations and build on their ideas.

Each case of public innovation contains ideas and principles which can be very useful to other countries

The Netherlands has a public sector that ranks highly in international indices. As a country that largely lies below sea level, the Netherlands depends greatly on its innovation capacity to survive. Collaboration across organisational boundaries is deeply ingrained in the culture and has produced some truly special innovations.

Innovation cannot be directed, but does not emerge by chance either. It asks for innovative doers at the beginning of the process, working in teams on ideas that are worth bringing further, innovative administration, the ability to scale up successful initiatives and dogged finishes. And all this only works in an innovation-friendly ecosystem.

We are delighted to announce that the book has now been published and is available on Amazon and bol.com under the name From Containment to Free Flow, a handbook for public innovation.

We are looking forward to bringing the subject further in an international context. Read more in English about our projects and fill in the self evaluation test about innovation capacity on our page about innovation of public organisations.

We are thankful to everyone who helped getting the book out, especially the public organisations whose innovations are included in the book and Warden Press for publishing the book.


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