How the Dutch Government Can Make the Economic Crisis Work for You and for Meby Oscar on Apr 9, 2012 • 12:37 No Comments
Holland, once called the ‘best fiscal school boy’ amongst other European countries, is negotiating its financial reforms. Outcomes of the talks are yet unknown. That is, the specifics are not out. In general, however, we know that the Dutch government will need to cut down on its projects (and people). And, like newspapers will come to argue, this will have dramatic effects on our direct economic growth. However, is it mere bad news? Maybe not.
Raised with the saying ’a coin has two sides’, the same goes for the crisis. It may affect some institutions and individuals more than others but it is also an opportunity for all, for example, to critically review budgets. And this is needed: current government is big, expensive, and not always effective. But can we do something about this? What other European initiatives can we learn from? How can we stimulate talent, innovation, and entrepreneurship? Can we use our full potential to address today’s economic, social, and environmental issues?
Let us turn to the UK government. They have redefined themselves through forming the ‘Big Society’ movement. Its goal is to create an entrepreneurial talent-based innovation network. So society can better help itself and the government can focus on its core tasks (like security, infrastructure, health, and education). The government becomes ‘the host’ of societal actors working on their individual dreams, who do take on their mutual responsibility.
With the introduction of the internet (and how it redefines governments), we have become increasingly aware of how our society can be viewed as a network. Networks move in specific ways. They become bigger or smaller, and are formed around themes. People take responsiblity if they feel something needs to be done. Action now!
A smart government builds on the networked societal structure. Plans and decisions become more effective as the government involves its stakeholders at an early phase and throughout the decision-making process. And that is crucial. Stakeholder involvement creates emotional engagement. And that is efficient. After all, emotional engagement takes emotional barriers towards the mutually desired results away. The question that remains then is ‘who does what?’ - making taking responsibility transparent, and one’s contribution both visible and meaningful.
Where to start? First and foremost, the Dutch governement will have to make clear decisions on what projects it will continue or not. Next is to set the conditions under which the government will ’hand over’ specific tasks towards societal actors (like companies, non-profits, and individuals). The means of local entrepreneurs and citizens are brought together through social media. So society – you and me – can really see how to contribute again.
For a taste of the concrete decision-making process you are more than invited to our first interactive demonstration on the 9th of May 2012, at the National Dutch Congress of Public Administration (Landelijk Congres Bestuurskunde at Utrecht). You can register here. Places are limited to those who subscribe beforehand.
And I am inviting all who resonate with the above to contact us at +31(0)616875201. So we can both explore new ways of working and living together. Redesigning our worlds can also start today. Looking forward!