Three Dutch events in two weeks time show a trend toward a YES…but…..
Event 1: Innovation Estafette 2013 (12.11.13): This gathering in the RAI in Amsterdam was organized by the ministry of Economy Innovation. It’s message was that “the entire population should be actively involved in the issues of the nation”.
The question then arises: “What is the issue of the nation? Money? Technology? Pollution? Health?” Different opinions show during the conference.
Event 2: ROET conference 2013 (13.11.13): This gathering in the High Tech Campus of Eindhoven was titled “Air quality, are we done?”, referring to the efforts of the Dutch government to comply with standards set by Brussels.
The question arises: “Are we just to comply with norms? Or do we need to invest in responsibility?”
Event 3: Half year members meeting of AiREAS (27.11.13): This event took place in Eindhoven where this global citizen’s initiative for healthy cities was started.
The question arises: “How can we manage the citizen’s leadership relationship with dominant institutions?”
It is interesting to note the built up of the events. Event 1 is calling for responsibility, event 2 is taking responsibility from a political, economic point of view and event 3 is turning the paradigm around to take responsibility from a humanitarian citizen’s perspective.
It shows a clear tendency towards a new global standard of awareness, responsibility and co-creative action in favor of environmental and human health. The “but” refers to the underlying stress between the reigning system of economic and political compliance and the universal system of nature that reacts to unbalance.
The real turn around is in event 3, helped by the awareness and commitment offered through the first two event. Even though event 3 is still minute, vulnerable in the magnitude of the old lobby of system’s dominance, it is extremely significant. It is not just a bunch of citizens that are standing up. The memberships contains global institutions such as Philips, ECN, Imtech, intellectuals and researchers from the Universities of Utrecht, Amsterdam, Twente, Madrid, Eindhoven and Delft, as well as local governmental officials from the city of Eindhoven and province North Brabant. All professionals interact as citizen’s first.
The three events show the usual human inner conflict:
Do we sell or buy responsibility (economics)? If so, who takes final responsibility for the “healthy city” if we prioritize our economic options (politics)?
Or do we take responsibility our selves as human beings before even considering our professional priorities (sustainocracy)? If so, are we in the ability to take responsibility in the complexity of our city development?
The duality can be clarified when we look at the way we deal with it in our homes. A family is the smallest human community in pursuit of sustainable human progress and securities. The society of which we are member is expected to provide the same, just a size bigger.
How do we deal with health at home? Who is the boss? What happens when someone gets sick? Do we go to work (economics)? Do you prioritize our sickness with other issues (politics)? No, we deal with health first.
So: Will “health” become a standard? Yes!
BUT: We all need to give it the same priority as at home.