Our answers

When we came to Texel, I had no idea what the week would bring. A lot of work went into our proposals, but even more was waiting for us. But more so, a lot of interesting people were waiting for us. It started on Monday evening after a day of hard work and bad weather. We met the real 'Texelaars' to show them our ideas. Most ideas were met by a very positive public. One idea however, was not received so well. One farmer was furious about the idea of flooding a part of the arable land on Texel to make a testing ground for salt water farming. The young people in the room said that they thought thinking outside the box was very important, so this should not be shot down so easily. They also said it might keep young people on the island. The old farmer responded that he was inventive enough without creating new environments, that farming on Texel was hard enough. This kind of set the tone for the next days. All people we spoke about our ideas showed us that they had already done so much inventive things that the world does not know about. There is a very stimulating environment on Texel. But everytime we talked to a 'Texelaar' long enough, something else became clear.  Everyone started with an idea and at some point only talked about the problems with implementing this idea, or the other social problems Texel faces, like the young people not returning to the island after their studies. The technical solutions we put forward were answers to questions the Texelaars never asked. Instead, they needed answers of a more social nature. This shows how important it is to talk to the people you are trying to help. Our whole Texel week we worked on converting our solutions to an answer to the actual questions of the Texelaar. Something we could never have done without talking to the Texelaars themselves.