As students of UCR, we pride ourselves on being highly opinionated, cosmopolitan academics in the making. During the American elections, there was no end to the discussions, the shared Facebook posts and links to TrumpDonald.org – which is still a solid piece of gold. Even now, President Trump is an almost unavoidable topic, although I am getting better at sneaking away when someone mentions his name. However, there is not nearly as much interest at UCR in the Dutch elections that will take place next month. We are an international community, of course, but are we really ignoring this opportunity to share our opinion and let ourselves be heard?
Not anymore! Tuesday the 21st, from 17:00-20:00, the Roosevelt Institute, in collaboration with Jouw Zeeland and our mayor Harald Bergmann, is organizing a brainstorm session for the youth of Zeeland to see what our generation – the best generation – thinks are the most important issues we are facing today and how those should be tackled. Should health care and refugees be the most important themes in the election, or should those be sustainability and employment? How about pensions, housing and the EU? What issues that are important to you am I blatantly forgetting? We won’t know until you share your opinion and ideas with us.
You’re probably wondering what will happen with the brainstorm’s results. Won’t they just end up somewhere in a forgotten dusty folder? Nope! We at the Roosevelt Institute will take your input where it belongs; to the desks of politicians and policy makers both in and outside of Zeeland in the form of a generational blueprint detailing our vision for the Netherlands of the 2040s. Young people are often blamed for not participating enough in politics and not caring about current affairs, so it’s on us to not just show that we do have a voice that needs to be heard, but also that there are important issues we care about deeply and that we are able to formulate a vision for what the Netherlands should be like in 20 to 30 years. After all, that’s when we’ll be the ones in charge of this country.
So come on, and sign up for our Generational Blueprint brainstorm session at [email protected]! Even if you have class until 6, we’ll be glad to have you there with us. After all, what’s a better way of imagining the future of our country than together over a bowl of soup?
Jillis Jansen, Class of 2018, is a linguistics, cognitive science and computer science major from Rotterdam, the Netherlands.