AFEdemy ( is a private limited company based in Gouda, the Netherlands. It was founded in May 2017 and since then AFEdemy is successfully involved in European networks and projects. The reason to found AFEdemy is to address the challenge of implementation where many organisations embrace the WHO holistic concept of age-friendly cities and environments. Therefore, AFEdemy's mission is to build capacity of national, regional and local stakeholders in the field of smart healthy age-friendly environments.

Main target groups for training and advice are older adults, public authorities, architects, health care institutions, research and ICT development agencies. To achieve the company’s aim, AFEdemy offers the following services: stakeholders’ connection and networking, curriculum and MOOC development, trainings, coaching and research. AFEdemy has 2 CEOs and 5 employees. The promotion of inclusion ranges from aspects such as gender, race, age, personal opinions and lifestyles, literacy, and skills levels, environmental concerns, and sustainability, with shared responsibility between all citizens and within democratic values.

What we really foster is to help imagining a society that is already built taking into consideration the different needs of all citizens and creating integrated solutions that can help them to be happy and have a fulfilled life. SHINE’s CEO is the Chair of the COST Action NET4Age-Friendly and Director of the SHAFE Foundation | Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments.

Willeke van Staalduinen

Willeke van Staalduinen is CEO and co-founder of AFEdemy. She is a political scientist and was nurse in practice. She worked in Dutch parliament and developed guidelines and standards for ageing in place in The Netherlands. Since 2013 is Willeke involved in working with smart inclusive environments at European level. She coordinates the Stakeholder Network on Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments, founded the SHAFE Foundation ( and is vice-chair and grant holder of COST Action 19136 NET4Age-Friendly (

Lucia Thielman

Lucia Thielman is project officer/researcher at AFEdemy. She has experience in action research projects concerning care for older adults and collaboration between healhtcare and social professionals. Lucia obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at Leiden University. She then completed her master’s degree in Management, Policy-Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences in 2018. She worked as a project coordinator and researcher for several social projects and research institutes, among others. Alongside her work at AFEdemy Lucia is a PhD student at the LUMC on resilient communities.

Patricia Lucha Farina

Patricia Lucha Farina is project officer/researcher at AFEdemy, where she is involved in different social projects, concerning education of older adults and implementation of age-friendly environments, such as DigitalScouts and GreenerAge. Patricia studied Sociology with an interdisciplinary approach and Economy as the minor subject at the Goethe University in Germany. She gained work experience in the areas of finance & accounting, market research and human resources and volunteered at the Erasmus Student Network, where she implemented strategies to ensure and promote social inclusion and Health & Wellbeing.

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