Reward Policy Plan University of the Underground




The way our public institutions, governments and companies deal with climate change, social-economic divides within society, financial structures and other ‘wicked problems’[1] seems to be longing for new perspectives.

With establishing the University of the Underground we want to support social dreaming, social actions and power shifts within institutions, companies and governments. The young generation deserves to reclaim their part in public institutions and to improve society as a whole by doing so. We believe that it is most urgent to equip young designers with the learning that allows them to use their knowledge of the material world within the navigation of governmental systems, institutions and power structures.

The University of the Underground was founded in January 2017 with the purpose to create a global engagement with society as a whole, with an explicit focus on engineering situations, social dreaming, social action and ultimately the alteration of power within institutions, to provide the public with the tools to create power shifts. We hope to achieve this by providing scholarships to students so that they can study a fully accredited MA  in the Design of Experiences and to provide a programme of Arts and Culture for the general public including live events, book clubs, podcast and master classes. Within this Policy Plan you will read our history, our mission and vision, our objectives and information on the funding and finances.

As described within the Foreword, the University of the Underground began with the explicit purpose of creating an engaged and proactive community, who work and participate together and are able to best support social dreaming, social actions and power shifts within institutions, companies and governments, ultimately working towards the greater societal good. We believe in social dreaming becoming the fuel for social actions. We aim to create an environment in which every participant can develop and contribute to this. We will do this in 2 different ways: by proving scholarships/ bursary’s to students so that they can study fully accredited MA programmes in the Design of Experiences. This programme aims to create a global engagement with society as a whole, with an explicit focus on engineering situations, social dreaming, social action and ultimately the alteration of power within institutions, to provide the public with the tools to create change. Secondly, we will provide a public programme of Arts and Culture events, including live events ranging from music, theatre, architecture and more, as well as book clubs – with access to our donated library, and educational master classes. The University of the Underground is partnered with the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam. Events will be hosted in the underground of the urban spaces; under the nightclub of De Marktkantine in Amsterdam, Netherlands and under the Village Underground in London, UK. Both venues have partnered with the University of the Underground and donated their time and space for the next 100 years. The University of the Underground is currently a not for profit Foundation registered in Amsterdam. Registered number: 67932975.

We ask our contributors, be that students or members of the general public to use speculative design proposals to challenge assumptions and to visualise possibilities that are not already presented to them, for the good of society. We do this by providing them with the opportunity to explore these ideas through our Arts and Culture Public Programme and through scholarships for MA Students.

The University of the Underground started as a response to the current trend of increased fees for postgraduate programmes by firstly proposing a model in which people are provided with scholarships to cover their tuition fees. In the near future scholarships are to be provided to students through the support of philanthropists (80%) and governmental grants (20%). As such, it aims to act as a model of what can be achieved through coordination, shared passion and belief in the next generation. One of the ultimate goals being to create many more of these educative structures worldwide on that basis 80%, 20%. We assert that by supporting socially involved students in their ambition to gain knowledge and experience at Masters level. These students will bring this knowledge and experience back to the Netherlands and enrich our society. The University of the Underground selects students who demonstrate broad involvement in their environment, with the desire to make change for the good of society. We expect that this engagement will continue to play a large role in their lives as a whole and that they may become promoters and directors of beautiful social and cultural projects and organisations in the future. 

The University of the Underground allows recipients of our scholarships to study the Design of Experiences, a course that aims to allow them to view their creative practices from a fresh unexpected perspective and extend it in scale, scope and modes of engagement into the territory of architecture, systems thinking, critical design, sociology, philosophy, music, film, performance of politics, and experiences. The University of the Underground within the first year provides briefs in collaboration with societies institutions – companies, health services, government departments etc. – and provides teaching so that they can use their creative drive to change these institutions and make them serve society better, all this alongside academic study, tutorials and lectures. And during the Second Year students will work with their own selected institutions with the same aims and purpose. For more information on the programme, please follow this link. 

In the beginning, we also realised that The University of the Underground had an opportunity to work with society as a whole to create communities and subcultures within the general public and to offer education and events that would instigate social change, driven by the general public. We accept that experiences and events make you feel alive and connected to the world around you, but not only that, they also create a learning environment for members of society who might not otherwise have the opportunity to be engaged with these ideas.

We support arts and culture in the most board sense of the word, including performing arts, music, theatre, visual arts, design and more and aim to provide access to these things for a large and diverse group of people. We accept that society works best when everyone participates and works together as a larger whole. This programme of events, performances, experiences and books groups, explicitly targets those members of society that might otherwise feel as though they are ‘outside’ and welcomes them in offering an opportunity in which they are able to develop and contribute We want society to experience the best of art and culture and the University of the Underground offers a pathway to do just that.

  1. The Foundation’s objectives are to end the ever-growing gap between generations by reconnecting people through social dreaming, culture and education and to perform all such further acts and activities as are in the widest sense connected therewith, incidental thereto and/or which may be conducive thereto. The ever-growing gap between generations is caused by their different viewpoint on how power structures should function within public institutions.
  2. The Foundation shall make every effort inter alia to attain and accomplish its objectives by:

       –      guiding and supporting studying artists, performers and designers in order to develop, stimulate and continue the creative process in design, film, music, politics and theatre;

       –      providing or have study programs in design, film, music, politics and theatre been provided;

       –      financing, subsidise, support and guide organizations who provide study programs in design, film, music, politics and/or theatre;

       –      organising inter alia concerts, symposia, workshops and performances; and

       –      opening up of networks.

  1. The objective of the Foundation is not to gain profit. 

We aim to provide scholarships and a programme of Arts and Culture via the University of the Underground for the next 100 years. We are aiming to develop this programme across the world, and are already in conversation with other partners with within the USA.

The board of the foundation consists of:

  1. Ms. Nelly Ben Hayoun, residing at 112 Chatsworth Road, London, E5 0LS, born in Valence (France) on the twenty‑seventh day of May nineteen hundred eighty‑five, holder of a passport with number 14DF23350, issued in London (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) on the twenty‑second day of October two thousand fourteen, not married and not registered as partner;
  2. Ms. Angelique  Spaninks, residing at Boerhaavestraat 96, 5017HE Tilburg, born in Berkel-Enschot on the twenty-third of June nineteen, holder of a passport with number NWFJP7DO8, issued in the Netherlands on the fourth day of December two thousand and fifteen. 
  3. Mr. Didier Hoch, residing at 1508 route de Bellegarde, St Cyr les Vignes, 42210 France, born in Strasbourg (Germany) on the thirty‑first day of March nineteen hundred fifty‑six, holder of a passport with number 12DD18399, issued by the Préfecture de la Loire Saint Etienne on the twenty‑sixth day of September two thousand twelve, married.

       NOTE: A member of the board is not allowed to dispose of the funds of the foundation as its own. A private person or a legal entity in the capacity of board member is not allowed to cast a majority of the control regarding the funds of the foundation. In order to secure the independence of the foundation the board exists of three board members with equal votes.

  1. The Management Board shall consist of an odd number of at least three (3) members, whose exact number is to be determined by the Management Board and shall be appointed the first time by (means of) the present deed.
  2. The Management Board (with the exception of the first Management Board, the members of which are appointed in office), shall elect out of its body a chairman, a secretary and a treasurer, together forming the executive Management Board.

       The positions of secretary and treasurer may also be held by one person.

  1. The Management Board members shall be appointed for an indefinite period of time.
  2. If one or more vacancies are created on the Management Board the remaining Management Board members unanimously (or the sole remaining Management Board member) shall fill it or them by the appointment of one or more successor(s) within three months after the creation of the vacancy or vacancies.
  3. Should the Management Board have one or more vacancies then the remaining Management Board members or the sole remaining Management Board member shall nevertheless remain a lawful Management Board.
  4. If there is any disagreement among the remaining Management Board members about the appointment and also if at any time all the Management Board members should be lacking before the vacancy/vacancies created has/have been filled and furthermore if the remaining Management Board members should fail to fill the vacancy/vacancies within the period mentioned in paragraph 4 of this article they shall be filled by the court on request of any interested party or on demand of the public prosecutor’s office. 
  1. The meetings of the Management Board shall be held at the places from time to time to be determined and designated by the Management Board.
  2. One meeting shall be held at least every six months.
  3. Furthermore, meetings shall be held whenever the chairman deems the holding thereof desirable or if one of the other Members of the Board makes a request In Writing to that effect to the chairman, at the same time specifying the items of business to be discussed and considered at such a meeting.

       Should the chairman fail to comply with such a request in a way that the meeting can be held within three weeks of receipt the said request, the applicant shall be entitled to convene a meeting himself, with due observance of the formalities required.

  1. At least seven days’ previous notice of any such meeting shall be given by the chairman In Writing – subject to and with due observance of the provisions laid down in paragraph 3 of this article -, excluding the day on which notice of the meeting is given and the day designated for the meeting.
  2. The convening notices shall – in addition to place, date and hour of the meeting – state and specify the items of business to be discussed and considered thereat.
  3. If the regulations and requirements given and made by the Articles for the convening and holding of meetings have not been duly observed and complied with, valid resolutions may nevertheless be tabled and passed at a meeting of the Management Board on all items of business that are brought up for discussion thereat, provided always that at the meeting of the Management Board concerned all the Members of the Board are present and provided that the resolutions in question are taken by a unanimous vote.
  4. The meetings shall be presided over by the chairman of the Management Board; if the latter is absent, the meeting itself shall designate its chairman.
  5. Minutes of the business transacted at the meetings shall be taken by the secretary or by one of the other persons present to be invited and designated for that purpose by the chairman of the meeting.

       The minutes shall be confirmed at the next meeting and shall in witness thereof be signed by the chairman and the secretary of that meeting.

  1. The Management Board may pass valid resolutions at the meeting only if the majority of its members from time to time is present or represented at the meeting.

       A Member of the Board may cause himself to be represented at the meeting by a fellow Member of the Board upon production of a written power of attorney, which is in a form being satisfactory to the chairman of the meeting.

       In this connection, a Member of the Board can act as attorney for only one fellow Member of the Board.

  1. The Management Board may pass resolutions without holding a meeting, provided that all the Members of the Board have cast their votes In Writing.

       The provisions in the preceding sentence also apply to resolutions to amend the Articles or to dissolve the Foundation.

       For decision making, without holding a meeting the same majorities apply as for decision making in a meeting.

       A report of a resolution passed without holding a meeting shall be drawn up by the secretary, upon adding the votes cast, which report shall be added to the minutes after it has been countersigned by the chairman.

  1. Each Member of the Board shall be entitled to cast one vote.

       To the extent that the Articles prescribe no larger majority, all resolutions of the Management Board shall be passed by an absolute majority of the valid votes cast.

       If the votes are equally divided in the case of an election of persons, lots shall be drawn to decide who is elected; if there is a tie of votes in another voting, the proposal shall be deemed to be rejec­ted.

  1. All votes at the meeting shall be oral unless the chairman deems a vote by ballot desirable or one of the persons present at the meeting and entitled to vote so demands a ballot before the vote is taken.

       Votes by ballot shall be taken by means of unsigned, folded ballot-papers.

  1. Blank votes shall be regarded as not having been cast.
  2. In all disputes about votes not provided for in and by the Articles, the chairman shall have the final decision.
  3. The provisions laid down in this article shall as much as possible apply correspondingly to meetings and resolutions of the Executive Management Board. 
  1. The Management Board shall be vested with the conduct and management of the business and the affairs of the Foundation.
  2. The Management Board shall have the power to resolve that the Foundation enters into agreements for the acquisition, alienation, encumbrance and disposal of registered real estate and enters into agreements, under and in pursuance of which the Foundation binds itself as surety or severally liable co-debtor, to answer for a third party/person or to give security for binding itself for a debt of another party or person.
  3. No remuneration can be granted to the Management Board members.

       Expenses will be reimbursed to the Management Board members on production of the necessary proof.

  1. The Foundation shall be represented by the Management Board, in so far as not otherwise provided for by law. Furthermore, the Foundation may be represented by the chairman together with another board member.
  2. The Management Board may grant to and confer upon other persons powers of attorney for the representation of the Foundation at law and otherwise within the limits defined in those powers of attorney.

Membership of the Management Board shall terminate by:

– the death of a Management Board member;

– loss of the free disposal of his capital;

– written resignation;

– dismissal by virtue of article 2:298 of the Civil Code;

– a resolution of the other Management Board members passed unanimously.


The method the foundation raises funds:

Funds and means.

The funds and means of the Foundation will be formed and created from:
subsidies and other contributions;
gifts, bequests and legacies;
all other acquisitions and gains.
The Foundation may accept bequests only with the benefit of inventory.

The financial year of the Foundation shall coincide with the calendar year.
As at the end of each financial year the treasurer shall draw up a balance sheet and a statement of income and expenditure for the previous financial year, such annual accounts to be submitted to the Management Board, together with a report of an auditor or an accountant/administrative consultant, if the subsidizing parties so desire, within six months from the end of the previous financial year.
The annual accounts shall be confirmed by the Management Board. Confirmation of the annual accounts by the Management Board shall constitute a discharge to the treasurer of his duties in relation to the administration and management conducted by him

A positive liquidation balance of the dissolved Foundation shall be spent for the benefit of an organization with ANBI status (algemeen nut beogende instelling) with similar objects as the objects of the Foundation or for the benefit of a foreign organization which exclusively or almost exclusively intends the public utility and which has similar objects as the objects of the Foundation.

The management and the expenditure of the funds and means of the entity:

The funds and means of the foundation will be managed by the treasurer.

The foundation applied for the ANBI status and in connection herewith the foundation has the obligation to keep an administration. This administration needs to present which amounts are spent to acquire funds and management of the foundation. The administration also needs to present which amounts are spent regarding all other costs, the nature and the extent of the revenues and the funds of the foundation.

The board members are acting on a voluntary basis. The board members do not receive any remuneration.

The received funds will be spent for the performance of the activities/purposes of the foundation.

At the end of each financial book year, the books will be closed. The annual accounts will be drafted, regarding the concerning financial book year.

The board will review and check the financial documents and approve by signing the financial documents and grant discharge to the treasurer. After the financial documents have been approved the annual accounts will be published on the website of the foundation.

University of the Underground Foundation

Address: Fred. Roeskestraat 96, 1076ED, Amsterdam

Contact Number Nelly Ben Hayoun: 0205882400

Email Address: