Foundation BMP

The Foundation for the Promotion of Social Participation
creativity and involvement



The structure of society and the choice of subjects to be placed on the political, social and cultural agenda are not just matters for politicians and the governing bodies of organisations and institutions, but also for citizens themselves. In a personal capacity, in temporary groups and in permanent organisational relationships, they address such subjects as:

  • the promotion of interests (for their own group and for other groups)
  • themes connected with migration, human rights and the environment
  • the structure of their own (social and cultural) environment

These forms of participation in the community do not always happen automatically. Sometimes organisation or subject matter requires an extra push. The BMP is a national, project-orientated organisation, whose goal is to objectively promote ways in which people can participate in social and cultural trends. BMP therefore focuses on exploring new  themes and formulating new methods of approach. It is committed to facilitating the active involvement of individuals, groups and organisations in social and cultural trends that affect them. BMP’s projects place great emphasis on opportunities for self-development , self-realisation and co-creation for groups and individuals.



Founded in 1986, BMP is a professional non-profit-making organisation with a small governing body. Management and staff generally take decisions on strategy and the development of new projects. Each project has its own project management to deal with subject matter and social aspects. This may take the form of an initiative committee, steering committee, core group and so on.


At the heart of BMP there is a permanent team of five people who are responsible for coming up with new themes and projects. Project staff are hired on temporary contracts. Apart from project staff, BMP also employs several freelancers. Because BMP has no structural source of income, its workforce fluctuates.


Working method and funding

BMP greatly values its independence. This allows BMP to take initiatives, including putting forward unorthodox themes and safeguarding the innovative character of its projects. As well as working on its own initiative, BMP also carries out research for others. In practice, this means that BMP and its principal consult closely on the plan of approach for the survey in question and that they jointly look at the funding possibilities. In recent years, BMP has focused on three core themes:

  • Upbringing in a multicultural society and partnership with parents
  • The stories of refugees and their representation in heritage institutions
  • The development of a Dutch Oral History Centre
  • The implications of aging for society and different generations

BMP’s projects are either intrinsically surveys or are geared to the development of methods and structures. The products that evolve from the projects can be described as advice, future scenarios, and theme surveys. Also, BMP sometimes gives courses. Key points of the projects are the vision creation, structural development and the encouragement of creativity. Working methods can be summed up as sociological research, particularly actuating studies, group support and theme-focused social planning.


Various bodies fund BMP on an individual project basis. These bodies include ministries, local authorities, community organisations, funds, the European Commission, etc.



Examples of BMP projects
  1. Specially Unknown, a European oral history project  is to promote the participation of refugees in cultural life and society through the dissemination of the results of the Dutch oral history project Ongekend Bijzonder by implementing its innovative methods (life stories, co-creation & cultural productions) in collaboration with partners in 4 EU cities (Antwerp, Paris, Bochum, Turin) as well as to investigate in 9 Member States (The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Portugal and Sweden) how cultural participation can be used as an instrument for the integration of refugees in society overall. 2017 -2019
  2. Feasibility study into the support for a Dutch oral history centre in which universities, museums, archives and social and cultural initiatives exchange data, experiences, methodology and knowledge. 2018
  3. Neighbourhood Academies on upbringing and parenting. The development of local pedagogical societies in which parents play the main role. A five years national project with 17 local academies. 2013-2018
  4. Refugee oral history project Ongekend Bijzonder (Specially Unknown) in the four main cities of the Netherlands. The collection of 248 life stories of (former) refugees and the making of over 30 cultural productions in co-creation, based on these stories. 2013-2017
  5. AMWAHT – Informal Carers with a migrant background are working on their future. January 2009 up to October 2011. The development of a training and empowerment program to support informal caretakers who want to set-up mutual support group
  6. The Power of Older Refugees (POR), a European project in eleven countries, consisting of a Delphi survey, urban discussions and four local empowerment programmes in Berlin, London, Vienna and Ghent. 2006 – 2009