Be understanding, but don’t forget to provoke

Texel. Texelaars. What to say? Innovative? Yes. Stubborn? For sure. Open for change? To a certain degree, yes. I just realized after spending three days on this beautiful island how difficult it is to come up with a plan to make Texel self-sufficient and to have it be adopted by the locals. By the way, three very enjoyable days I should say: it has to be off my chest. Until now I experienced it as a period in which we have gotten to know each other better, in which we suffer and enjoy the same moments. A good teambuilding excercise towards the finish line one Friday is the least I would call it, if not more.

But back to reality. How the hell do we get these local innovators to adopt innovations that are even outside their scope? I can come up with two things: either make the innovation theirs, or just make the innovation happen: if they are convinced of its utility they will follow and start using it. This last point has also nicely been illustrated by the success of the Texelhopper. Although causing quite some polemic on the island, Texelhopper starts to get adopted and protest and resistance are slowly evanishing. This shows in my eyes that ‘radical innovations’ are also possible on Texel and that resistance to a change of the status quo should be expected, but certainly not feared.

That is why I say: for our final design to make Texel self-sufficient, which we will present on Friday the 16th of January, we should take into consideration the the opinion of the Texelaars, however we should not take these considerations as leading principles for the design. We should not forget that we are here with about 20 students from the TU Delft, one of the leading technological institutes of Europe. On top of that, we have gotten an enormous amount of access to reliable information and data, regarding the subsystems we are studying. My opinion is therefore that we can make a very proper design, in which we can show the Texelaars that we have listened to them, but that in order for a sustainable community on the long term, certain radical changes ‘might’ be needed. It might cause some resistance, maybe even protest. Is that a big deal? For sure not. It shows that we have thought outside the box, the scope of the Texelaar. And if they decide to give the plan a go, I am sure that their box will widen over time and they will fully adopt the changes we are going to present, just as is happening currently with the Texelhopper. So, Texelaars, open for change? 100% yes, the only thing we have to do is open them for this change.


Derek van den Berg