In 2019, NIOO-KNAW and the Center for Soil Ecology wanted to organize a meeting with societal stakeholders on the subject of ‘Makeable soils’. The scientific question that was central to the meeting was: is it possible to direct soil biodiversity towards multifunctional soils? Think, for example, of soils that contribute to both high agricultural productivity and CO2 sequestration. The meeting brought together about 30 participants from diverse backgrounds – business, government, science – and provided a platform for the exchange of ideas on the subject. The meeting was agenda-setting and provided insight into the interest in this topic among societal stakeholders.