Texelaars and Change

People define what cities and countries can be. Every country wants to improve and to be the best at something. The transition stage of a nation towards these goals is a delicate phase which can result in either make or break. Identifying what is important to the people is crucial. The culture of the people governs this aspect to a large extent, the rest of it is governed by what incentives can be given to the people of the nation. These incentives can be monetary based or better standards of living.

We came to Texel with the proposal of out of the box ideas like creating a controllable dyke (which can let in sea – water to create a floodplain so that saline agriculture can be practised) and usage of unmanned vehicles for transport in Texel. These ideas caused up a stir. They were taken with resistance from the Texelaars and shot down almost immediately. The older Texelaars believe that land primarily belongs to the people and it must not be touched for the sake of research. However, the younger Texelaars believe that the land can create much needed jobs which can reduce the on-going exodus. Still, since the lands belong to the older Texelaars they have a greater say in what happens with their island.

Furthermore, after interviewing a couple more groups of Texelaars we can came to unique conclusions that the average Texelaar is individualistic, innovative and stubborn. These characteristics primarily stem from the fact that they have survived the hardships of living on an island away from the mainland and seen the aftermath of the World War 2 affect them.

So coming up with ideas that will drastically change the landscape or the life style of the Texelaar will not be an effective strategy. Rather, to build a successful plan we need to appeal to their mind-set. Since this transition phase must be approached delicately we need to first acknowledge their ideas and then highlight that there are areas that need improvement. Next, we should unite the Texelaars towards one particular cause. It could be to put Texel on the global map. This will see that the individualism will turn to collectivism and more sustainable practices can be accepted with ease. A collectivistic approach is known to bring about positive results for the general community. Finally, maintaining an atmosphere of positivity during this transition is critical so that people know that opportunities are present and the community can benefit from these.

On course of developing a sustainable model for Texel we have reached probable conclusions that were not present in our initial plans. There is an enormous difference in the theoretical design and the practical solution. This projects a need for a site visit for every project.

In conclusion, the raw facts are that Texelaars are a hardy and protective bunch of people who cannot be swayed by elaborate bombastic plans but by explaining the need of a new system without criticising the old system too much. And also by uniting them towards a particular goal that resonates with every Texelaar.

Syed Aaquib Hazari