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September 2, 2013

Economic and Social Council (Sociaal Economische Raad, SER)

Orientation and Space

Orientation and Space

Photo: www.ser.nl

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, 
I'm still embarrassed that here. I come from an academic family - my father was rector, and I've often seen in gowns go to college him out the door. My sister also went into academia. After I left the academic nest, I have promoted a half attempt yet myself (as I did not get the funding round) and I still feel now that I'm back in the area where I come from. I stand here as embarrassed because my sister, Nel Draijer, associate professor at the university is, and then you totally feel like you are being watched by your own family.Thank God my sister is very busy and they are not in the room, which makes presenting at this stage again easier. Introduction: the second law of thermodynamics my own field of mechanical engineering, has a beautiful law, the second law of the thermodynamics.When I was asked from my own perspective and their own experience in the area where I am now, to speak of 'social engineering' and 'society in the making, "I could not help but go back to the second law of thermodynamics, which states everything basically seeks rather to order a larger disorder. Even when I just Rene Smit heard about the ups and downs of the university in the past year, I could not help thinking to believe that the second law of thermodynamics also the VU has been applicable. With this law in mind there for manufacturability been a disproportionate effort to combat the disorder. During my lecture I will discuss social engineering, the influencing of human behavior at different levels: micro, meso and macro - from parent-child level, the Energy Agreement to the government-citizen relationship. When you talk about social engineering, it begins with the question: how are decisions taken and there is a way to influence in a shared direction?


Micro level: study, eat with knife and fork

I start at the micro level, because ultimately a society is a collection of millions of interactions and millions of decisions. 
To illustrate how to influence decisions in a shared direction, let's start with your - perhaps imaginary - daughter, who now has to choose to her study whether or not to go. one direction You, with your science background, are undoubtedly convinced that it would be if your daughter would choose one science subject nicely. Whether you have gathered from newspapers and media that beta a better future is to achieve than in other directions. For you is clear: a smart girl ... choose the science faculty. 
You can then go to apply to get your daughter extent that a variety of techniques - do you good - choice to make. What can you do? You have several options: 

  • You can write rules impose limitations: they can choose anything as long as it is science. 
  • You can also excite with carrot and stick: if she chooses beta, I pay her apartment or her annual tuition. 
  • You can also inspire: you take her along a famous field of science greats, women understood (Madame Curie, Rosalind Franklin, a whole series), take her by science museums and tells her passionate about what science and especially science, for it may mean.

This latter form of influence is now often grouped under 'nudging'. This means that you can take that may be considered from the whole. Desirable people with convenient push much better in the direction In England, this technique has gained a huge popularity and there is even a 'nudging unit', launched by David Cameron in the hope of getting a better paying such taxes and discipline with this unit. In other words, it has inspired in one way or another a practical foundation. myself am surely distressed at the thought that you suggested manipulative light in a particular direction. Now it so that in my previous job - before I, say, in the polder ended - in some places helped with large-scale changes. In the field of management science is to make changes certainly not a new area. We had therefore a relatively simple model, and that seemed to work well in practice. To illustrate, you can imagine yourself to how it was when you were a child and learned to eat with knife and fork back. Everyone has finally learned to eat - instead of what is much easier, with your hands - gripping knife and fork and thus eat, which is basically an awkward intermediate step. Four factors play a role for parents: 


  • The first is that you have to give a good example. Itself If you're using only one tool and tries to convince you that it needs two or three, you can 'shake', as they say in America. 
  • The second is that you have to explain why the behavior of learning is good., In one way or another You have to convince why it is good for a child to eat with knife and fork, "because if you ever sitting at table with the king, you have a bit to do if he" or "if you want to make an impression partner for the future, it is important that you do it properly instead of you eating inside slide. 
  • The third factor is a light stimulus, an 'incentive', 'If you eat with a knife and fork, you get a dessert, "or something to that effect. That is a 'root'. Or, "you remain so until you've eaten it with knife and fork." That may be the 'stick' are. 
  • The fourth thing you do is give support. Shows you how to do it, and you also help the child when holding knife and fork.

Actually, change is essentially a mixture of these four factors: a good example, persuasion, incentives and support. The people who want to exercise on your behavior influence should lead by example, there must be that convincing and understandable story, there must be incentives to help (positive or negative) you push in the right direction, and there must be something support and confidence. This is a simple model to bring. Changes at the micro level My experience is that of a business, but this is also applicable to large institutions. I am convinced that if we make simple and influence back to the millions of decisions that need to be taken, you should at least think about those four factors. That on the micro level.

Meso-level: Energy Agreement

A good example of the meso level, the middle level, the Energy Agreement, which many are now working intensively. Several people have asked me: "How can you believe in agreements?" Agreements seem to have become the standard for the organization of society: a Care Agreement, an Education Agreement, a Social Accord and now again an Energy Agreement. It is very easy to believe that this approach does not work. It is very easy to fall on the second law of thermodynamics back. My own experience is that agreements can indeed be useful:

  • If there is a clear understanding of the need to do something, such a process can greatly help to bring the parties together at the table and choose which is already embedded in the parties to the table a direction. 
  • If there is a mutual trust in and among the people present - a realization that the effort is not just for tomorrow, but also for tomorrow and that's why you can not cheat each other, because you have to get back to do business with each other - then creates a term coupling to such an agreement. 
  • If you are willing to make even measurable and demonstrable and, agreements with each other, say, practically, you are eventually able to measure whether something happens. 
  • If you also want to meet them that you love one another accountable, remains at the table together while you get started with the process with each other, it might even just well be that it really helps.

Look at the famous Wassenaar Agreement, which was an agreement of two A4 pages.The strength of an agreement must be that it is simple principles to explain. When you know each other some clear directions to agree, then all forms act that basically follows a strengthening of those directions. My hope, my sincere hope is that we stand with the Energy Agreement close to such a moment and momentum and that we can bring. Acceleration trigger on a subject in which the Netherlands certainly not at the forefront,

So even at the meso level is indeed an opportunity to add something to the direction and development of a country. That does not mean that you have to believe them blindly that does not mean that they should always apply, but it might help - in defiance of the second law of thermodynamics.

Macro-level: the Netherlands in the right direction

If you then scroll to the macro level - let's just say the plan of the country, the level of the country - I think it's worth eminently worth right now to think about direction. At this moment we need more sense where it's going. A little more awareness of how the country looks like we have finally come true the tunnel. As we know, consumer confidence should I do to get a boost. 
It would be a story comes under which people may think, I think it hurts now, and maybe tomorrow too, but housing is again once up. If we are convinced, it is easier to get on. I mean, a story which the trust is not so much bought, but get a foundation.

We are moving into a new environment where people want more individual freedom and less believe in a government that governs for them. In such an environment, there is even more need to get., In one way or another, a frame or a picture 
My belief is that we are moving into a phase where it is useful to think more about direction. Although I am aware that this has many critics, yet it seems exciting to me to think about what this might be, which would have to meet, but especially - and I will come on - how do you do that closer ?

If you ask what that direction should be, then I think there should be fixed. In at least three factors 1. Reply to unsustainable It is clear to me that, in the long term, really need to solve. several developments that we are now facing, but that is no longer tenableConsider the development of healthcare costs, financing the business, banking system stability, but eventually the financing of the public. We need to find a form that ultimately provides stability. You would these developments 'millstones' call, but that might be a bit heavy.


2. Strengthen the competitive base 
A second category that could figure in such a story is to strengthen our competitive basis.Our country operates arguably the world. If you would take wealth, the mix relative satisfaction, social security, opportunities to people who are present in this country - and if you add up this the reality that we have a world less work - you could even argue that in the all-around economic performance, we have here the best possible. At the same time, the loud scream to make it better and they seem to have the second law of thermodynamics can be found. Applicable 
Competitiveness is not something that you can love, but you have to maintain continuously. Without maintenance you threaten to sink slowly because the environment does something. We must proactively invest to ensure that we remain competitive. This part of the story is about innovation, education, and to a large extent also on our knowledge and our entrepreneurship. We can not escape there in the job market to find where the labor market is a participatory form and impetus to improve themselves and strengthen the people. The work is not finished.

3. Choose promising sectors 
A third category of such a story - a picture of the future is not enough with those two first - it's very slippery direction in which you say, we can also afford ourselves to choose. We have in the past almost punished for the belief that you can choose (see the history of RSV and the like). But for the future, it is worth considering whether a small country can all the trouble. Which I aim at investing in those sectors that have the opportunity to create more jobs than others. I will not answer the question of what it would be, but I think there are some in which you find the base here in Amsterdam. 
The important thing is to invest in the Netherlands as a turning point in Europe. Find the appeal of the Netherlands within the context of a greater Europe, in particular Asian operations of their way to Europe and the Netherlands where there is pivot point. But it is also there to join in the regions, including Amsterdam, Eindhoven, east, south and north of the country, each in his own way. Forces The urbanization is an almost ontstopbaar phenomenon, which you can build that strength is found to be inadequate. In other words, you would only be able to choose, if you wish so.

Involving people

The only question is whether choices are accepted in this environment. Much more than the question of what the story is good, how is it being taken over by people themselves.The challenge for me is to for direction is not so much selling the best possible story, but finding interacting with people. How do you ensure that, in a society where people are individually much freer and want to have unlimited freedom and transparency of information, people are involved in some way in the direction of where it is going. There is in my opinion a major challenge in many other countries at this time.

There are great initiatives. There is an institute in California, the institute Fishkin, a methodology has been developed to deal with in conjunction with a total of 700 to 800 people in the room, including experts (large, complex social problems where a political choice to come to pass, Deliberative Polling). In addition, they enter into a discussion about the essence of the problem, there is all the information in the room, and then is spoken in various groups about the tradeoffs how to come to a decision. 
It does not mean that you necessarily get a better choice, who leaves the audience will be guaranteed to feel more involved in that choice and more easily acceptable in one way or another, the exact outcome is. Such techniques have been widely applied, and also found in a number of countries around us application.

It is my belief that we should do it. Approach in all areas In the Energy Agreement, which I have just referred to, we have tried on a large scale. We have at the front of the process, the door wide open put so basically anyone who has something to report, in one way or another, there may have. Participation in Anyone who has an opinion on how we should give in such a way that we grow lash out but ultimately sustainability, sustainability in the land form can also enter answer (in this case via a form available online). In this way, almost 80 thousand people their opinion on the direction of sustainability. That is not to say that it can cause the outcome precisely guided, but you have people involved in the choices and they are aware of the tradeoffs. The beauty is that eventually turns out that we would (hopefully by the end of this week) come into an agreement in close proximity is what is already entered in their own wisdom and balance that independent-minded Dutch have brought together .

Again, that does not mean that you have the best answer to it but it is a way to get all those people a chance to think. This experimental space is also interesting for renewing democracy. Herman Wijffels once said that he would want people on the ballot with a cross can not just put the person on whom they want to vote, but also in the subjects which they find that the next government should solve them properly. That is not to say that it is a contract, but that people are included in "what the real problem is that we want you to solve for us." So there are many, many embodiments which makes you known, I would like to have more sense of direction, at the same time I want more sense of involvement.

State intervention

It is noteworthy that adopt right now, in the crisis, the call for government intervention an almost unprecedented scale. It's almost always about restoring what is wrong. Everyone knows that it is a path impassable. The government can not regulate everything, the future is not the welfare state that re-arranges everything for us - that we can not afford and that does not fit with more responsibility. It does mean that in some cases we have more control, more observation where excesses are promising.

For example, I have in my training period for several days walked with the Labour itself.You can imagine that if the Labour arrives at a workplace, employers spot to get some kind of abomination reaction if the police on the ground running. In practice, the opposite happens. On good workplaces the Labour says: great, but this and this can be even better. People walk hence with greater confidence around and say, look, we are very good at some points along the way but we can do even better. Obviously makes the Labour make it hard on the finger is placed. Excesses at In a future where there is more freedom for the individual, the inspection should be. Credible instrument Not like the police, but to ensure that excesses are avoided. This applies to the labor market, which applies to health care, which applies to all areas where you're looking at.

Direction and space

If you take all this into consideration, you have on the one hand, hopefully a better picture, a worn picture of where it can go, the direction, on the other hand you have a filling for more space for the individual and the involvement of the individual in his or her own environment.

The same picture you can also restore the micro level. If we have your daughter with her study recall: it is undoubtedly more confident when they are on the somehow has a picture of where it is heading in the long term, is convinced of the direction you are trying to make, but also can make her own choice - with some incentives and suggestions, but themselves.

And so I would like to end. Ultimately, we are back at the science faculty, because it could ultimately be that daughter you ultimately choose to actually choose from. Those new science faculty here formed at the VU, just An academic environment is perhaps the most difficult to give direction to (my past experience). The decision to add two faculties together and merge into a common unit to another is undeniably a decision that testifies to a great deal of courage. They require persuasion that direction ultimately a good thing.And then you have to then allow the area to which the faculty is able to arrange it so that they can fill. Ambition that goes on its own, And therefore I hope that daughter - and I also remember my own daughter - eventually to study there.

Thank you. 

Source: www.ser.nl