PICNIC is a gathering to share ideas and build social change through creativity.

PICNIC wants to cause and provide a stage to new collisions that lead to new projects, everywhere. By helping to realise such projects, PICNIC is an accelerator for social change, creating a sustainable impact. PICNIC projects always enter new and undiscovered spaces, making it a learning environment for all participants. PICNIC helps to explore how the creative application of technology can enable us to meet the challenges they bring for business, the planet and society at large by bringing people together. What are you bringing?

Inspired by a visit to Silicon Valley, two Dutch entrepreneurs named Marleen Stikker and Bas Verhart envisioned establishing Amsterdam as a similar hub for creativity and innovation.

Early Beginnings

In 2006, they launched PICNIC, an annual festival dedicated to inspiring creativity in cross media content and technology, with support from the Dutch government, the City of Amsterdam, corporate sponsors and cultural institutions.

Since then

The PICNIC Festival since then evolved to a true festival, including a conference, specialty workshops, demos and an evening entertainment program and other activities throughout the year, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Over time, PICNIC broadened its focus beyond cross media, repositioning itself as a festival dedicated to blurring the lines between creativity, science, technology and business in order to co-create the future.

The PICNIC Festival became the launching ground for several important initiatives which support entrepreneurs, like the collaboration with the Dutch Postcode Lottery to develop and launch the Green Challenge: a global competition which annually awards EUR 500,000 (US$660,000) and expert coaching to the best green product or service.


Since the start, PICNIC has featured well-known and soon-to-be well-known speakers, including Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group), John de Mol (Endemol), Philip Rosedale (Second Life), Michael B. Johnson (Pixar), Biz Stone (Twitter), Clay Shirky, Niklas Zennstrom (Skype), Tom Hulme (IDEO), William McDonough (Cradle to Cradle)Jeff Jarvis, Charles Leadbeater, Robin Chase, Oliver Medvedik, Adam Greenfield, Charles Landry (MIT), Benoit Jacob (BMWi).


We believe that innovation and creativity are powerful forces that should be used to meet the world’s challenges head on.


Today’s big challenges can’t be solved by one company or one industry. PICNIC believes that bringing together people from many industries, companies and fields and encouraging them to create solutions together is how the world’s big challenges should be solved. We create informal environments where people can step out of their comfort zone in order to collaborate.


PICNIC organizes activities that inspire, broaden and challenge. We encourage participants to improve, re-imagine and develop unexpected but useful ideas which lead to a better world.

For whom

PICNIC participants are curious, engaged and action-oriented. They’re committed to broadening themselves professionally and personally and are looking for people to collaborate with. Like PICNIC, they want to play an active role in shaping the future.