InScience Film Festival

Future stories: Frans de Vijlder

If the predictions from a few decades ago were right, we would by now have flying cars and easy communication with aliens. Yet, the future has turned out differently than expected. What are predictions for the future in 2020? Frans de Vijlder, Professor of Good Governance and Innovation Dynamics in Social Organizations – and speaker for the theme film Das Forum – gives his vision of the future, against the background of his field.

An exciting time

“In the nineties, not long after the fall of the Wall and with the Internet still in its infancy, I wrote my thesis ‘Nation State and Education’. It was about the emergence of nation states and the simultaneous development of national education systems. My thesis was that both, nations states and educational systems, needed each other in order to develop and ‘lose boundaries’ under the influence of globalization and individualization. In any case, their existence was not self-evident. In my work, I also developed a number of scenarios for their future development, with two dimensions as a frame: vital adaptation versus pathological adaptation on one dimension and global culture versus national policy traditions on the other.

Twenty-five years have passed since then, and in that period elements from all four scenarios have become reality, as befits good scenarios. At the same time, I have to conclude that I (or perhaps better “we”) was (were) also a bit naive in the euphoria of that time. The next few decades are going to be really exciting. Are the vital and pathological value syndromes still somewhat in balance? And do we manage to maintain the balance between national self-interest on the one hand and the need for mutually respectful global action on the other? I see the global dialogue as a decisive factor, but organizing it is not easy. The question is: in what form?”

Das Forum (2019) by director Marcus Vetter offers a unique look behind the scenes of the World Economic Forum. 81-year-old founder and economist Klaus Schwab is followed in his mission to improve the world through dialogue. Frans de Vijlder contributes to the film with a discussion between him, researcher Noëlla Aerts and the poet Qader Shafiq.

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