About Make it Happen

A city of distinctive character, Rotterdam is energetic and constantly changing. Rotterdam and its inhabitants never shy away from experimentation. In fact, they would rather seek it out. Rotterdam has many faces. It is the city of the royal rowing team and has been the city of the Royal Netherlands Navy since 1665. Rotterdam is the city of dancer Timor Steffens and freestyle football player Soufiane Touzani. Of driving into the Maas in a bus and zipping down the Euromast along a zipline. Of creating and doing business, of enterprise ranging from large multinationals to individuals launching start-ups.

The high-energy character of the city is an important part of Rotterdam’s image. Like the Nieuwe Maas, a waterway that represents a powerful symbol for the city’s constant motion. Rotterdam is a city where the Make it Happen mentality can be seen and felt. Involving people and organisations that make a clear choice for Rotterdam and add their own take on that Rotterdam mentality and ‘can do’ spirit. Whether you live here, are just visiting, or are running your own business, sector or cluster.

Joint profile

At the end of 2014, Rotterdam Port Authority, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Municipality Rotterdam and Rotterdam Partners joined hands to put Rotterdam even more firmly on the map, both in the Netherlands and abroad, and to attract locals, companies, students and visitors and inspire them to get involved in the city. How? By launching a joint profile and the pay-off ‘Make it Happen’, reflecting the typical Rotterdam mentality that shows what the city, the port and its inhabitants stand for: pioneering, pushing boundaries and practicing a no-nonsense approach. Read the news report about the launch of Make it Happen (December 2014).

The joint Make it Happen profile is based on the city’s DNA: internationally oriented, entrepreneurial and raw. Worldly, pioneering, no-nonsense. Would you like to know more about the DNA of Rotterdam and its inhabitants? Explore this web page (in Dutch).

Three central themes

Rotterdam’s profile follows three central themes: Rotterdam as a connector, Rotterdam as a society and Rotterdam as a place to discover.

Rotterdam as a connector: Rotterdam provides unparalleled space for innovation and entrepreneurship. In Rotterdam, it is conceived, manufactured and then shared with the world.

In Rotterdam, local residents, entrepreneurs, businesses and students can find unparalleled spiritual and physical space to develop, innovate, grow and take the world by storm. If you are decisive, act fast, and have boundless ambition, Rotterdam is the place to be. In Rotterdam, you can do more – and things actually get done. Rotterdam is a city of collaboration and connection. These qualities lead to unorthodox combinations and innovative cross-overs between economic sectors.

Rotterdam as a society: People from Rotterdam are pioneers, take their place in the world, and make an active contribution to the sustainable city of tomorrow: in Rotterdam and in the world.

It is not the city council but the residents, knowledge institutes and entrepreneurs that provide substance to the social structures and to Rotterdam’s new economy. Residents and entrepreneurs utilise the space the city provides for events, initiatives and sustainable solutions. The city council facilitates while the residents, knowledge institutes and entrepreneurs innovate, and together they make the new Rotterdam happen. The municipality is a proactive partner for all residents of Rotterdam.

Rotterdam as a discovery: Rotterdam surprises, each and every time again. Visitors and residents view it as a city to experience, to discover and cherish.

Rotterdam is the least ‘Dutchified’ city in the Netherlands. The city is different every day, and its residents and visitors will surprise you time and again. It is a dynamic city that never runs out of things for you to discover. It might come across as a bit distant at first, but then it grips you tight and remains a source of fascination. This city combines statements in the fields of architecture, urban development and design with small-scale activity, extraordinary shops and personal initiative. It is a combination that acts like a magnet. Rotterdam is a ‘must-see’ city. Audacious, lively, cultural, featuring a wide range of culinary delights, and constantly developing. It is a city that has picked itself up and rebuilt after World War II, a city that is currently experiencing a renaissance.

Inspiring examples

Make It Happen is not just another pay-off or slogan. Every day, residents of Rotterdam add their own take on Make it Happen. By pursuing innovation and entrepreneurship. By collaborating and connecting. By having the guts to walk ahead of the crowd and stick out their necks, by demonstrating courage. By thinking about sustainable solutions. By discovering, experiencing, taking action.

On this website (under 'Inspiration' in the menu), we show various inspiring examples of how the Rotterdam mentality takes shape through people, organisations and companies in Rotterdam. Genuine success stories, authentic expressions of Rotterdam’s spirit. Each story with its own take, each and every one good examples of Rotterdam. Make it Happen.


Do you have any questions about the brand policy? Or do you have inspiring stories and examples? Let us know at info@rotterdambrandingtoolkit.nl.