Lifelong Learning Through Knowledge-sharing and Digital Collaboration


  • Kay Brouwers
  • Wouter van Lelyveld
  • Emőke Takács University of Amsterdam
  • Toon Abcouwer University of Amsterdam



Ecosystem, university, knowledge-sharing, lifelong learning, digital collaboration, platform thinking, resilience


Today, in the age of digital transformation, knowledge management is essential to keep an overview of the endlessly available information. Universities by nature must be leading in generating, sharing, using and managing relevant knowledge and information to equip people to obtain viable employment. It means that the basic assumption is that universities mainly work as the source of knowledge and information. However, in contemporary times knowledge sources are wider spread in society. In a case study, we analysed the current knowledge management initiatives of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). We found that these initiatives insufficiently facilitate the knowledge-sharing behaviour of partners and are too focused on a one-way flow of knowledge to external partners. Consequently, opportunities to learn from knowledge in society, identify societal needs and challenges, and tailor curricula to educate talent with knowledge and skills are not optimally leveraged. This paper suggests a possible way to enhance two-way knowledge sharing in the form of a digital collaboration platform. We based our proposed platform on a thorough scientific literature review on partners, ecosystems, knowledge sharing, incentives, and constructing and maintaining cohesive teams. Such a platform will ultimately facilitate lifelong learning. People can participate in the platform during their lives and bridge the gap between universities and organisations by enabling a constant two-way knowledge-sharing process. Our research mainly focused on identifying the requirements to establish cohesiveness and stimulate knowledge-sharing of the partners and teams of such a platform.