Now with the Dutch parlement elections, and all the politicians making promises about the future, this very nice television program, called ‘There is always something’ asked a couple of experts to explain their vision of the Netherlands in 2030.
Barbara Baarsma, economics professor at the University of Amsterdam and director of SEO economic research indicates that decisions in the coming years will be crucial for our society in 2030. She foresees that the aging polulation will result in a huge shortage of workforce in 2030. Her call is to anticipate now. Writer Geert Mak thinks that the need to care for this large group of elderly people will change the dynamics of our society. Transition researcher Jan Rotmans, professor at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, sees a far more sustainable future compared to the present. “Every house and building will be an energy plant. We will have many large wind turbines, solar energy and even transport that energy from the Sahara”. Craddle tot craddle, upcycling of waste streams is now relatively new, but will applied everywhere in 2030. The Province of Limburg is now experimenting with this. According to Rotmans, in the future recycling and upcycling is a mere necessity. Mak compares this with his yought just after WOII, where his parents also had to be creative with resources. Baarsma thinks it will be unavoidably that we will become more self-reliant, because the government cannot afford to pay for social care in an other way. Eveline Tonkens is professor at the University of Amsterdam specialized in active citizenship and the self-reliant citizen. She thinks that self-reliance will yield more social injustice. Politicians often see self-reliance as synonyme to self paying for care or organizing care by means of relatives. Mak calls it a matter of civilization that the government cares for the weak and vulnerable, which he sees throughout history. One other big theme for fall 2012 is how to continue with the Euro. How to cope with the crisis? One sign of this may be the emergence of local currencies. Currencies that can be used in a particular area only, which stimulates local shopping and support of the local economy. All these weak signals of the future can be very meaningful. And these experts all hope that politicians will recognize these signals and consider the future in their policies.