Sociale Innovatie Meetup #2
Pakhuis de Zwijger BY

The need for innovation is everywhere

Around 200 people came together at Pakhuis de Zwijger for the second edition of the Social Innovation Meetup. Along with Pakhuis de Zwijger, Kennisland and a growing number of others we organize these evenings to shed light on the major social issues. The aim is to create a network of people who see opportunities in times of crises and cease the moment to do things differently. A network for collaboration and inspiration.

In the eye of the hurricane
First, Jan Rotmans (Professor Transition Management) brings solace and inspiration. Recently, he published his book "In the eye of the hurricane”. The book makes clear that there is a storm raging through society, although many people have not yet experienced this. People will only change if it is the only option. According to Rotmans, we are nearing the end of the era of the old economy, but mankind is obstinate. The biggest barrier to change is in our own heads. What changeovers should we make? For example, towards new values (self-reliance together instead of individually), towards new structures (bottom-up and networking), and a new management geared to facilitate rather than direct.

We have reached the turnover, so various indications tell us. This creates a whole new bottom-up dynamic of creative people who break existing systems. This will initially cause more conflicts, but ultimately it prepares the way for the transition to a new sustainable society. The inviting prospect Rotmans sees is in the greening and sustainability of cities and industries. Here the social and economic opportunities can be found. Innovative and transformative leadership is sorely needed in the coming years to guide our country into a new era. Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who will do so. A call to those who take a fresh look and think different.

Fresh Views
The initiators of Geef Cafe and Peerby take such a fresh look. Two very different initiatives that both started from the need for new connections with people in their neighbourhood. From this need, they just got busy. Both confirm from experience: the time is ripe for change. If you have a good idea, just do it!

Tanja Jadnanansing (assembly member for the Dutch Labour party) and Giep Hagoort (professor and lecturer Arts & Economics) dedicated the last part of the evening to young people. One of the biggest social problems, youth unemployment, is not mentioned in the coalition agreement - whereas it is a co-responsibility of politicians to create opportunities for young people. We desperately need people to help shape a new society. In the development of new policies, the voices of young people are often not heard. It is an urgent task to inspire the youth, helping them to shape their dreams and ideals. Learning to deal with failure and setbacks is also part of this process. The degree of adaptation, flexibility and thinking outside the established framework is decisive for the development of creative people. Education plays an important role, but still is not attuned to the necessary skills for the 21st century. We need creative minds! What are we waiting for?