the age of‘harmonizing technology’The challenge of a new generation.
the age of‘harmonizing technology’The challenge of a new generation.
Barely one hundred years ago, flight was still just a dream. yet, more aircraft are in ourskies now, than there were cars on the road Back then.
in supermarkets, we can Buy produce from all four corners of the gloBe and we live longer, healthier lives than any generation Before us. technological progress has Brought us a long way.
however, technology will have to achieve far more.climate change, population growth and environmental conservation present an enormous challenge.
we’re now entering the age of ‘Harmonizing TecHnology’in which technology takes into account the environment and social dynamics.
harmonizing technology will connect every aspect of our lives and comBineprogress with a sense of responsiBility. we will make our earth cleaner, more social and Better Balanced. faster will have to Be cleaner, and more economical must Be fairer.
the fusion of technology, amBition and ideals is opening upa whole new arena in which society will Be reshaped.
17 NUtrItIoN&vitality foreword21 scIeNce&exploration Technology is playing an increasingly prominent role in our that appeals to me is that harmony is also the society. Technology forms the basis for our most important challenge in understanding nature, in science and24 what caN I BecoMe? developments, and the global challenges that face us are in music. crying out for technology-based solutions, yet very few young27 lIfestyle&design people are opting to study or work in the field of technology. The age of harmonizing technology is opening ‘Science’ and ‘Technology’ have an image problem. up amazing prospects for young people today, as31 MaN&medicine illustrated by the inspirational portraits of students. It is time to shed the old stereotypes about science and Hands-on scientists, idealists, creative types and34 what caN I do? technology and to highlight the new role of technology. career-oriented young people, they all opted for a Technology is no longer the realm of nerds and tinkerers, career in science or technology to fulfil their own37 MoBIlIty&space and ‘technical’ is no longer the opposite of creative or social. personal ambitions. Technology is interwoven into every aspect of our lives.41 Market&money The vision of harmonizing technology is also This publication clearly illustrates that technological opening up opportunities for educators and44 what caN I learN? developments are entering a new phase in which a new counsellors to tell the broader story of ‘science’ and generation will be creating harmony between ourselves ‘technology’ and to interpret this for students of47 water, eNergy&environment and the world around us. Whether it involves issues such various levels. Education can provide the inspiration as nutrition, water, health, design, entrepreneurship, that young people are so desperately searching for50 what dIffereNce caN I Make? communications, spatial planning or pure sciences, the when looking to their futures. vision of harmonizing technology is the thread that runs through the worlds of science and technology. A thought Robbert Dijkgraaf 15
NUtrItIoN &vitality Food connects human beings to one another and to the earth we lIve IN aN age oN UNtold lUxUrIes. Never Before has the sUpply of prodUce BeeN so varIed, of sUch hIgh qUalIty aNd so affordaBle. at fIrst glaNce, we seeM to have Matters well orgaNIzed. however, the world of food Is IN a state of treMeNdoUs flUx. here, oBesIty threateNs oUr NatIoNal well-BeINg, whIle oN the other sIde of the world, people are starvINg to death. food prodUctIoN aNd dIstrIBUtIoN have dIrect coNseqUeNces oN oUr clIMate aNd eNvIroNMeNt. what we eat has a fUNdaMeNtal IMpact oN oUr well-BeINg aNd that of the world aroUNd Us. ‘We’re trying to inspire consumers to make responsible choices,’ explains Onno Franse. As head of Ahold’s Healthy Living & Climate programme,16 17
he is looking to make food a higher priority in our lives. ‘This would be possible by adopting specific technologies, Economic goals and corporate responsibility can no Everyone working here is open-minded.‘Food is what links people to each other and connects us as well as by changing current subsidy programmes. longer be opposite poles. Anyone not operating in a If you’re not open to new ideas, then you’ll never arrive at new insights.to our planet. Nutrition has to become more appealing.’ Shouldn’t we be subsidizing healthily and sustainably sustainable fashion is undermining the long-term Ankie Kreuwels produced foods, so that it’s cheaper?’ sustainability of the company.All too often, we opt for convenience and price, as well astaste, when passing down the supermarket aisles. Health As an employee working at the largest retailer in Despite everything, Onno is not pessimistic aboutoften comes in fourth and social considerations such the Netherlands, Onno and his colleagues have the the future. He says we can shape the world for theas organic production and Fair Trade come in last. ‘It’s opportunity to change things for the better. The market most part, ‘Look around at everything mankind haseveryone’s responsibility to care for themselves and their works in such a way that consumer demand here dictates achieved. I believe we’re capable of developing thesurroundings. Technology-based solutions can make it what is grown on the other side of the world. ‘How can technologies needed to make food production more The world is seriously out of balance.more attractive to make more responsible decisions.’ we ensure that people opt for quality? It’s up to the food efficient and fairer, and in so doing, make it easier to In my field, I help people in poorer industry to find innovative solutions.’ make responsible choices.’ countries live longer, happier lives.There is a discernable health trend underway. Increasing Suzette Boontjenumbers of products are being enriched with substances We can play a role in helping things improve in the rest ofthat help us live more healthily. Margarine contains the world. The division between rich and poor is as largecholesterol-reducing Omega 3 and yoghurts have added as ever. The challenge is to make the entire productionbacteria. The emergence of functional nutrition is process more efficient as well as fairer. We need to makebreaking the divide between nutrition and medication. sure that the rest of the world does not suffer as a result of‘Some products will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the western world’s eating patterns.some people, but anyone who eats healthily doesn’t needa cholesterol reducer.’ Onno prefers a holistic approach. New technologies will help make production and distribution more efficient,This is why Onno Franse thinks it has to be made easier to but a paradigm shift is also required within companies,make more sensible choices. Consumers need to be better government and among consumers. Everybody in theinformed and more emotionally involved in the origin and supply chain has his or her own responsibilities. Problemsproduction of foodstuffs. Sensible choices could also be such as food shortages, depletion of the earth’s naturalmade cheaper, as has been done for green energy initiatives. resources and climate change can no longer be ignored. 18 19
scIeNce &exploration Nature’s efficiency as a source of inspiration research Is cUrIosIty. lookINg for the UNkNowN, fINdINg what yoU’ve BeeN lookINg for, or stUMBlINg UpoN soMethINg yoU dId Not kNow yoU were lookINg for. goINg oN aN expedItIoN throUgh the jUNgles of BorNeo IN search of a New specIes of paNther. seNdINg a sUBMersIBle 10,000 Meters Below sea level to the BottoM of the MarIaNa treNch to look for a gIaNt sqUId. gazINg at the heaveNs throUgh a telescope to dIscover how the earth was created... we are coNtINUoUsly dIscoverINg lIfe IN places we oNce thoUght INhospItaBle. sUch dIscoverIes force Us to adjUst oUr perspectIve oN oUr owN exIsteNce. the More we dIscover, the More we realIze jUst how MUch there Is stIll to Be dIscovered. Bob Ursem is a discoverer. He invented a fine particulate magnet. He devised how to dissipate thick mist at airports20 21
by studying gorse. He discovered a biological UV filter Just think about how we build aeroplanes. Nature is a you have an eye for unusual things, then you can go and created a flower clock. Bob is a biologist and chemist. magnificent source of inspiration.’ far. If you can look beyond the confines of your own He used to sail around the Arctic Ocean following whales field of study and think differently, then you’ll have and lived in a hut in the tropical rainforest for research Bob has countless inventions credited to his name the opportunity to discover new things.’ This is a purposes. As an amateur astronomer at NASA Star thanks to these natural sources of inspiration. He prerequisite for a sustainable future society. There Watch in Utrecht, he contributed to our knowledge of discovered a biological UV filter while away on a are so many amazing things still left to be discovered, I want to help clean up the world. the moon and the stars. He is now the director of the skiing holiday studying small pine trees. They grow he adds, ‘It’s fantastic trying to understand things as a chemist working at shell, Botanical Gardens in Delft, where he grows plants that at high altitudes in the snow and protect themselves better and doing something extraordinary with this I can change the world have technological applications. from sunburn by converting UV light into more knowledge. The fun of discovery is when something from the inside. Marije Nijkamp useful light form. Bob reproduced the substance in becomes clear to you, and you realize that this is Making discoveries is a question of curiosity. We want to the pine needles that filtered the UV light to produce something new.’ know how the world, nature and society work. Mankind a biological sun cream. has always instinctively sought an explanation for the things around him. The trick is to apply the knowledge Nature has a lot more to offer us, says the inventor, that we gather from this research. We use our knowledge ‘There is a whole new world of substances, plants of biology, genetics, medicine and chemistry to produce and mechanisms that we don’t yet know or use. We I see beauty in the smallest things. drugs from plants and animals. We are turning nature can learn so much from nature.’ For example, the yew Microorganisms can bring about to our will. tree produces a cancer drug called taxol in its needles. major changes with the most subtle of changes. Plucking the needles to harvest the taxol kills the tree, Eric v/d Berg At the same time, nature is an immense source of so researchers developed a way to milk the needles inspiration. By studying the solutions that nature has sustainably using electricity and without killing the developed for itself, we can form ideas about tackling tree. This method was inspired by the tree’s reaction problems in our society. Bob Ursem is an expert when it to an electrical charge in the air. comes to discovering these solutions. ‘In a world full of technology, there is so much we can learn from nature. It If you want to make a difference in the world around is out-an-out artis natura magistra [nature is the teacher you, then you need more than just facts and figures, of art]. We’ve copied so many technologies from nature. says Bob, ‘If you learn to observe things carefully and22 23
able to help mankind and the environment in a more direct way. Establishing a sustainable village in Africa really appeals to me. To do that though, I have to gainwhat caN I BecoMe? more knowledge and management experience.’ ‘Some people are born to do certain things… you can just tell. I wonder what I am destined to do, what I amCharting your own course really good at,’ contemplates Marc Overgaauw. This Industrial Engineering & Management Science student does not know the answer to this question yet. ‘But consciously or unconsciously, I’m always on the‘People with guts,’ are those that Joost van Boven You can utilize it building solar farms in Africa or development. I get really annoyed by the nine-to-five lookout for an amazing idea. An invention or conceptadmires most. ‘Don’t follow the herd, make your own aiming to become a senior manager in a multi-national. and C-student mentality in the Netherlands. People with which to start my own company. I like to dodecisions.’ Chris Kleinschmidt admires people who should live more consciously and critically. Criticizing things my way. Environmental problems are gnawingare both good in their field and can also inspire others. Joost, Chris and Marc are charting their own courses. and complaining is easy, finding the solutions is what away at me. We can’t just keep depleting the earth’s‘This combination is unusual.’ Marc Overgaauw adds, ‘I strive to keep developing myself further. I want to do it’s all about.’ resources as we’ve been doing. If we built a solar farm‘Richard Branson and Henk Keilman are people I have new things and act outside of the box,’ says Joost van in the middle of the Sahara dessert measuring 300 bygreat respect for. People who follow their hearts and Boven. ‘Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean going bungee ‘Technically, it’s more than possible to live and 300 kilometres, it would produce enough power to doare successful.’ jumping from skyscrapers… the quick thrill. I aim to manufacture things more sustainably,’ says energy away with all the power stations throughout the whole establish something real, create something new and consultant Chris Kleinschmidt, ‘but economic of Europe. My thoughts are, “So what are we waitingWhat do you want to become? ACEO, astronaut, watch it become a success. To achieve this, you have to interests too often take a priority. I really hope that for?” The world can be changed by applying ourprime minister, Nobel Prize winner, TV presenter, rise above the crowd, take risks and dare to follow your more people would start to take responsibility for knowledge and enthusiasm, and we are the ones thataid worker? Using technology, anything is possible. heart,’ says the Industrial Engineering & Management our world. There’s so much you can do.’ Chris studied can do it. So, let’s get going!”Look to Bill Gates, Wubbo Ockels, Gerard Kleisterlee, Science student, ‘and to have the guts to go against the Natural Sciences & Innovation Management andMargaret Thatcher, Jan Terlouw, Gerard’t Hooft or grain.’ Joost thinks it is a waste of time watching soaps currently works at KEMA advising companies andToine van Peperstraten. Technology is thinking on television, ‘If I watch TV, then it’s a documentary. organizations about biomass and wind power. ‘I dologically, analyzing and searching for solutions. Otherwise, I’d rather read a book on personal research, write reports and give advice. I’d like to be 24 25
lIfestyle &design Enhanced performance using innovative materials everythINg has to Be faster, sleeker, Better. thIs Is possIBle wIth nanotechnology – techNology at aN atoMIc scale. we have the aBIlIty to MaNIpUlate MolecUles INdIvIdUally aNd Make MaterIals wIth UNprecedeNted propertIes. MaN-Made textIles ofteN have Better propertIes thaN tradItIoNal cottoN or wool. a New geNeratIoN of clothINg wIth hI- tech propertIes Is fIllINg the shelves. textIles are BeINg INterwoveN wIth electroNIcs. cheMIstry aNd electroNIcs fUsINg. Dress to impress has a whole New MeaNINg. Sylvia Vonk has a dream job. She works at Nike developing the latest clothing for top athletes. ‘We make sure that every technical option is used26 27
to provide top athletes with the very best clothing, lightweight stretch materials or ultra-strong fibres seam placement and grip sucker printing techniqueso that they can compete at the highest level!’ were practically non-existent. This all changed very were all unheard of. rapidly, Sylvia explains, ‘New technologies provide‘It’s just great working on these products designed dozens of different materials to fulfil every athlete’s Sylvia does not think we will be returning to purefor top athletes. Championships and Olympic medals requirements.’ cotton ever again. The future is recycling andare won and world records are broken in our clothing. renewability. ‘Most top-level sports clothing isI know for sure that it wouldn’t be possible without One good example is the rugby shirt that Sylvia helped only ever used for one game. So it’s important to the most important thing to learnthese new materials and technologies… and that makes develop for some of the best English and French think about the environment when developing and is how to think clearly and logically. that’s of practical use in life.me feel proud to be a part of.’ rugby teams. Traditionally, rugby shirts were made manufacturing our clothing. We make sure that you can use this to create of cotton and were always fairly baggy. They were not there is no unnecessary waste when cutting the new opportunities.Nanotechnology has opened up a whole range of particularly suited to top-level competition where the material. Where possible, we produce textiles and Femke de Poorternew materials for the textile industry. The boundary opposition could easily grab you causing tears with clothes at the locations where they are needed inbetween chemistry, materials and electronics is just a sharp tug. Cotton shirts were not particularly order to reduce unnecessary transportation. Andfast disappearing. Plastics can be made to conduct suited for ball control either. we use clean materials. The 2008 Olympic Gameselectricity, textiles are made of plastics, and so were called the Green Games because so much ofminiature electronics can be interwoven into the Nike researchers listened carefully to the athletes’ the sports clothing was recyclable or made from the world can be changed by applyingfabrics. Designer dresses that emit light and quilt wants and then Sylvia’s team decided that a strong, recycled materials. Some shirts were even made our knowledge and enthusiasm.covers that act as bedside lamps are just a few tight-fitting shirt was the answer. This was a novelty. of bamboo fibre.’ consciously or unconsciously, I’m alwaysexamples, as well as self-cleaning ties, self-ironing Together with a factory in England, Nike developed on the lookout for an amazing idea that Ishirts and odour-free sports clothes. Virtually an ultra-strong fabric that would not tear. Seams can use to start my own business.anything is possible with nanotechnology. should not cause irritation, so these were moved to Marc B.J. Overgaauw the rear. Finally, tiny studs were incorporated intoWhen Sylvia started work at Nike thirteen years the material on the front of the shirt to prevent theago, there were hardly any textiles with such ball from slipping. These studs mimic the worldextraordinary properties. Clothing was simply of nature. The source of inspiration was the gecko,cotton, polyester or nylon. Waterproof and a lizard that thanks to minute suckers on its feet canbreathable or moisture-wicking materials, extreme climb up vertical walls. Ten years ago, the fabric, 28 29
MaN &medicine Symbiosis of man and technology we are lIvINg INcreasINgly loNger lIves. aNyoNe alIve today wIll hopefUlly lIve a loNg, happy, healthy lIfe. MedIcal scIeNce Is faced wIth the challeNge of MakINg thIs possIBle. geNe therapy aIMs to Make dIseases sUch as caNcer aNd aIds NoN-terMINal. roBots assIst IN the operatINg theatre allowINg sUrgeoNs IN New york to operate oN a patIeNt IN aMsterdaM. wheN Body parts stop fUNctIoNINg, artIfIcIal replaceMeNts wIll Be avaIlaBle to take over. techNology exceeds expectatIoNs. If the espresso machine is grinding away in the kitchen, then it is hard to conduct a conversation. Nonetheless, Romy de Jonge can hear and understand virtually everything around her, despite being deaf, thanks to two chips implanted in her head.30 31
technology is all about design, Romy had been wearing hearing aids since childhood, This also caused the loss of the last of Romy’s In hectic surroundings, such as at office drinks parties, creativity and production. but her hearing was becoming gradually worse. residual hearing. There were other risks associated she still has difficulties hearing clearly. Even larger creativity gives me a real kick. ‘At a certain point, I could only hear dull sounds like with the operation too. Facial nerves could also spaces, such as cinemas and churches, present Rabih Alzaher footsteps and then only barely perceptibly,’ she explains. have been damaged in the process, meaning that problems. Telephone conversations can also be tricky, ‘I couldn’t understand speech. When I was eighteen she would not have been able to laugh or make any ‘A fixed-line call is fine, because I can turn on the a doctor told me I’d be totally deaf by the time I was sort of facial expression. ‘For a long while, I had no speakerphone. But mobile phonecalls interfere with twenty-five.’ sense of taste. But worse of all, I was worried about my implant, so I can’t use them to make calls.’ The becoming blind. Then I would have lost everything,’ implants in her head have to be replaced in twenty The cochleae in both ears were not functioning says Romy. years time. ‘Hopefully, by that time, things will have properly and this was why a regular hearing aid was advanced so far that these problems will have been our hardware and software no longer working. The cochlea is a channel within The operation went perfectly and after only a few resolved. These are the two sole remaining obstacles,’ improve people’s health. It adds an extra dimension. the ear that picks up sounds by means of tiny hairs or months, she was able to hear again. Two years says Romy. Richard Vogelaar cilia. These hairs pass on a signal to the brain via the later, she even got a second implant. ‘I was already nervous system. Doctors at the Amsterdam Medical really happy with one, but now I couldn’t bear to She realizes that she is totally dependent on this Centre told Romy about an electrode that could be be without them both!’ Now her ears can function technology, but is not too concerned about this. ‘The chips implanted into her head that would allow her to hear better together, so that she can differentiate sounds work really well, it’s just so much better than before. again. more clearly, such as male and female voices. She is An advantage is that I can also turn them off.’ Although one of just a few patients with two CIs. This is why she is not particularly technical, Romy thinks that it A cochlear implant (CI) bypasses the cochlea, and scientists are following her progress so closely. is simply amazing that there are people that can make transmits sounds directly to the auditory nerve, these sorts of devices. ‘I think it’s a miracle. It must be so which in turn passes the signal to the brain. ‘They’re Romy has successfully finished her education and great to be able to come up with a solution that relieves basically electrical impulses, but I hear them as now works fulltime as an accountant. ‘This would somebody of a handicap that dominates their lives. sounds,’ explains Romy. never have been possible without CIs,’ she thinks. Priceless!” ‘The programme was very challenging without The implant was inserted into her head during an CIs, and in this job, it’s so useful to be able to ask operation through a hole in her skull. A hole was a colleague to explain something.’ made in her cochlea to accommodate the implant.32 33
Eric studied Biochemistry and now cultivates moulds, yeasts and bacteria with genetically modifiedwhat caN I do? properties. Microorganisms can often be made to produce or convert certain substances in a cleaner, more energy-efficient or effective way by making very subtle changes. ‘There are already microorganismsPride in your work that can convert straw into fuel… a neat solution to the energy problem. By the time I’m sixty-five, I hope to have booked a few major successes and to have contributed to technological progress.’‘Respect for one another,’ is a motto that appeals up in the middle of the night with an idea in my head. Lebanon. ‘I have artificial lenses in both eyes.to Rabih Al Zahar. ‘Ideals are great, but dangerous In a flash, I know how to tackle a problem,’ explains Manufacturing or conceiving something so amazingwhen you don’t allow another his or her freedom. Rabih Al Zahar. ‘I always keep a pen and pad of paper and useful appeals to me greatly. Lebanon appealsAccept people for who they are.’ Eric van den Berg’s next to my bed to jot down my ideas.’ He helped build to me as well, because my roots are there, but alsomotto is, ‘Don’t forget to have fun! Whenever the Delft solar-powered racing car that won the World because I can make a really big difference there.’possible, I grab my suitcase and fly off into the wilds Solar Challenge across the Australian outback. He wasof Norway or the Grand Canyon.’ responsible for the mechanics and drove more than ‘We’ve successfully modified a yeast that we can use to six hundred kilometres in the scorching desert sun. produce lactose-free milk without any strange tastes.Buildings, devices, products and equipment. ‘Amazing and enlightening. Cooperation – I now know The organism produces exactly the enzyme that weTechnology has brought about a whole range of – is also about taking the rough with the smooth… and need. So now it’s possible for people with a lactoseuseful, beautiful, clever and impressive creations. putting collective goals first. intolerance to enjoy milk too.’ Eric van den Berg,Some are visible and tangible, such as the Erasmus To me, technology is all about design, creativity and Senior Technician at DSM, tells this success storyBridge in Rotterdam, or a solar-powered racing car. production. Creativity gives me a real kick. I also draw, with justifiable pride. ‘It’s such a great feeling when aOther things stay hidden behind the scenes, such as write poetry and play violin,’ explains the Biomedical microorganism that you’ve been working on actuallyartificial limbs or operating devices. Rabih and Eric Technology student. Rabih hopes to start a medical gets used in the factory. After all, that’s why you doingboth want to create new things. ‘Sometimes I wake instrumentation or prosthetics factory in his native it in the first place.’ 34 35
MoBIlIty &space Quality of life in growing cities aN INcreasINg proportIoN of the world’s popUlatIoN Is lIvINg IN cItIes. oUr roads, water aNd sewage systeMs, aNd power sUpplIes were Not desIgNed to accoMModate thIs growth. oNe of the largest challeNges for the fUtUre Is the ModerNIzatIoN of thIs INfrastrUctUre. New MaterIals aNd proper desIgN wIll provIde Better hoUsINg aNd cleaNer power sUpplIes. New traNsportatIoN systeMs wIll solve traffIc coNgestIoN proBleMs. cItIes wIll oNce agaIN BecoMe BeaUtIfUl, healthy places to lIve. On the edge of the town, there is an old industrial site with dilapidated factories, rusting equipment and workers’ homes. The new town with its residential neighbourhoods and beautiful old town centre is nearby,36 37
but nobody wants to live there, yet the town needs In growing towns, more people have to live and Even old ideas can contribute to creating a liveable you work as a team onto grow. People are coming from elsewhere to live work in the same area. Renewable and energy- urban environment with a little creativity and concrete solutions to real problems. we’re looking forand work there. The urban area where the old efficient construction is no longer an option – it is a marketing. Luke thinks that the beach cruiser bicycle technology-based solutionsindustrial zone is located is desperately needed to necessity. The buildings that Luke Bruins develops is a good example of this. An entire lifestyle has been that fit human behaviour.meet the requirements of the local population and are by definition renewable. He reuses as much of the created around this bicycle ranging from clothing, Jillis Manicompanies. dilapidated industrial estate’s buildings as possible. bags and travel. He even bought twenty of these ‘You could just build a beautiful, cheap, new building, bicycles for his employees at Red Concepts to getLuke Bruins is the developer working on the town’s but if you have to tear it down again in ten year’s time, around town. ‘Next, you have to make sure that peoplefringes. His company, Red Concepts, is creating then you’ve accomplished nothing.’ He also ensures can actually take their bikes on the ferries and metroinnovative urban zones in these areas. ‘Peripheral that the buildings’ power is generated locally – for system. You need to create a feeling of being trendier It’d be so cool to go backareas are blanc canvasses. They’re currently not top example, using geothermal sources. than ever using branding and marketing. Making to curaçao one day andlocations, but it’s our goal to turn them into highly things become fashionable. This way, you implant to use my knowledge toprized locations.’ Luke believes that a town needs an Creating a clean urban environment with a high clean transportation into the soul of the city.’ help improve the qualityidentity, ‘Every town has a church and a square. If quality of life requires creative thinking, says Luke. of life there. Rigobert Nivillacthese were the same everywhere, then no one would He does not only concentrate on individual buildings,come to your town in particular. So you have to ask but on entire areas, including their infrastructure.yourself, “How proud are the residents to live there?” For example, he arranged a ferry connection when hisand “Why would a company or tourist want to come to company relocated to the NDSM Dock in Amsterdam.your town?”’ He believes that ferries are a means of transportation for the future. More boats should be sailing the‘Creativity is a new trend,’ says Luke. ‘That’s why we canals and other inland waterways. ‘The technologycreate a creative identity that fits with the town’s DNA. exists to create a comfortable and fast transit systemSmall companies working in the creative sector – for comparable to the metro system. But something likeexample, in media, fashion or culture – can occupy the this hasn’t been implemented yet. You create addedsame building. This creates a synergy, an added value value by investing in continued development of theseand an identity for the town.’ new technologies. The knowledge gained can then be exploited.’ 38 39
Market &money New technologies, new opportunities the INterNet has chaNged the world. the INterNet is the world. BoUNdarIes are BeINg BrokeN dowN. socIal INteractIoNs are BecoMINg More INter- NatIoNal. yoU caN coNtact soMeoNe IN New york More easIly thaN yoU caN yoUr NeIghBoUr. hIgh-street shops are slowly takINg a secoNd place as we INcreasINgly coNdUct More of oUr BUsINess oNlINe. socIety reflects the chaNgINg world of Ict aNd coMMUNIcatIoNs. there Is a whole UNdIscovered world jUst waItINg for eNtrepreNeUrs to dIscover. ‘We are exceeding expectations,’ says Wiebe Draijer, Managing Partner at the consultancy firm McKinsey & Company. ‘All our economic pre-internet bubble predictions have not only come true, they’ve been40 41
surpassed. We purchase more goods online that People now rely more heavily on a hundred positive gained in the gaming world being applied more it was ever thought possible. Social networks, like online references than a single reference from a seriously. The benefit is that there are customers for MSN and Facebook have grown far larger than neighbour.’ whom the investment is very worthwhile.’ anyone would have thought possible. ‘The social side of technology fascinates me immensely. We’re This also offers huge opportunities for entrepreneurs. ‘Dare to be entrepreneurial!’ advises Wiebe. ‘There’s gradually experiencing that it’s just as easy to make Anyone can open up an online store and a good idea little to lose and so much to gain. The barrier to entry I aim to establish something real, friends in New York as it is around the corner.’ can become global very quickly. Dutch entrepreneurs is low and using information technology, a company create something new and watch it latched on to this fact very early on. According to can be set up quickly that can become relatively grow to become a success. It also instils greater social control – not only on Wiebe Draijer, our country is at the forefront of the successful in a short space of time.’ However, it is Joost van Boven people, but on companies too. The internet is an creative industry. ‘Many people were experimenting serious business, he warns. ‘If you’ve discovered important factor in achieving greater transparency. with and developing online games during the early the goose that lays the golden egg, then you have to Safety and sustainability have become a lot more days of the internet,’ he explains. ‘This meant that look after it properly. Google’s success wasn’t just important. ‘The pressure on companies to do right the Netherlands is now a major player in this field. about having a brilliant idea; it was about the way the has become a lot greater,’ says Wiebe. ‘Product But there’s still a lot more to be gained. There are still idea was implemented. So learn fast how to conduct complaints are instantaneously communicated countless amazing things to be developed within the business well.’ around the globe.’ gaming industry that can also make you extremely you never stop learning here. rich.’ ‘I’d love to see far more people go into business and what’s more, I’m creating The changes that ICT has brought about also exert for themselves and experience the pleasure that it products that make everybody’s life more pleasant. enormous influence on innovative companies. Take ‘If I were to start a company now, I’d create a can bring. It’s the only true commodity we have to Sophie Kuijt Dell for example. Dell stopped selling its computers combination of gaming technology targeted at the differentiate ourselves as a small country in the via retail outlets and opted for a 100% online retail medical sector,’ says Wiebe. future.’ strategy. This turned the computer world on its head. Wiebe notices how the way people shop is For example, gaming technology enables sensors to be changing. Every sector – where trust and personal placed on your body so that you can control the game. relationships are fundamental to the purchasing This technology is now being applied in the medical process – has moved online, e.g. insurance and sector to help people recover more quickly. ‘I think housing. ‘No one predicted this happening. it’s a great example of the experience and technology42 43
‘Whatever is state-of-the-art in the IT world today, will already have been superseded by next year. Who – fifteen years ago – would ever have thoughtwhat caN I learN? that we would be banking online? In my world, things change very rapidly,’ says Sophie Kuijt from IT supplier IBM. ‘That’s what makes my work so exciting and fun. You never stop learning here.Looking to understand the world What’s more, I create products that are actually used – it’s concrete and tangible. My home always looks different too – I love change.’As a small child, Jillis Mani was fascinated by a around the world and we live to an average age to solve the problem. There’ll be traffic jams for as long ‘What do people want to buy? What do they thinkminiature railway in his grandfather’s attic. Ankie of eighty years. Curiosity gives rise to knowledge as we don’t filter into traffic properly and don’t all want is an improvement? This is what’s on my mind.Kreuwels was given a microscope by her father. ‘I went that can make the world healthier, safer and more to live in the countryside. That’s why real solutions I no longer use my technical knowledge every secondstraight to the ditch behind our house to study the pleasurable. Jillis, Ankie, Femke and Sophie are are created by teams of technologists, sociologists and of the day,’ explains Philips Special Lightningfrogs.’ Femke de Poorter took every pen apart, ‘…just to certainly curious. behavioural experts.’ marketing specialist Femke de Poorter. Femkesee how it worked.’ Sophie Kuijt holds robot building answers customers’ questions about sunbed lamps.workshops for girls. ‘It’s amazing fun! If only I had ‘At every birthday party, the traffic congestion ‘I haven’t regretted opting for Chemistry for one ‘It’s important to have an insight into markets andexperienced this myself when I was younger, then problem is solved,’ jokes Jillis Mani. ‘That’s what second,’ states DSM Education Coordinator Ankie emotions. But the ability that I gained from myI’d have known straight away that technology was makes Transport Studies so much fun. It deals with Kreuwels emphatically. She encourages children and Analytical Chemistry studies to think logicallysomething for me.’ real day-to-day problems.’ Jillis is doing his student students to opt for technology. ‘Boring? Anoraks? I love always comes in handy. What’s more, I’m able to internship at TomTom where he is developing a new open-minded people who are receptive to new ideas, judge whether a more intense bulb or another tintHuman beings have always wanted to scrutinize and navigation system. ‘First, you have to understand and I meet people like that here every day. Did you know is technically feasible. But I could also sell anti-understand things. Why does the sun rise? How does exactly what is causing ever-growing traffic that DSM created the materials for Marcelien de acne lamps, or even realize my own dream, which isa bird fly? Our thirst for knowledge and understanding congestion. Tolls, improved infrastructure and Koning and Lobke Berkhout’s Olympic 470 sailing opening a sports nutrition store. With a technicalhas shaped the world around us. Thanks to our intelligent navigation systems are all wonderful boat? And did you know that the hunger-depressants background, you can choose to go in any directioninquisitive minds, we have central heating, we fly technical solutions, but technology alone isn’t going in Optimel were developed here too?’ you want to.’ 44 45
water, eNergy &environment Water – a valuable commodity water Is lIfe. we coUld Not sUrvIve wIthoUt It. we caN drINk aNd eat thaNks to the exIsteNce of water. we BUIld wIth It aNd oN It. If we Use too MUch groUNdwater IN the NetherlaNds, theN the groUNd wIll sUBsIde BeNeath Us. developINg coUNtrIes ofteN have too lIttle water. water MaNageMeNt Is aN esseNtIal part of developMeNt aId. however, water also plays a very IMportaNt role IN the race to geNerate cleaN power. daMs aNd geotherMal eNergy are soUrces for reNewaBle power geNeratIoN. a cleaNer world starts wIth water. ‘Water costs virtually nothing, but is incredibly valuable. This fact is often overlooked. Water should be cherished, not just for our own sake, but for future46 47
generations too.’ Pjotr van Oeveren, Environment ‘Using a variety of technologies, we can virtually it is shipped by truck to the farthest corners of theManager at Heineken, is concerned about water. purify any sort of water to make drinking water.’ country. Empty bottles then have to be returned.There is plenty of water on our planet, but most of it Energy required for these undertakings far outweighsis salt water or is unusable. Only three percent is fresh Saving water is the best way to reduce unwanted that used within the brewery.’water and most of this is locked in the polar icecaps wastage; however, hygiene is of critical importanceas ice and snow. Remaining groundwater is becoming in a brewery. A lot of water is needed to clean the Together with these partners, Pjotr is investigatingincreasingly polluted. equipment. Larger hop boilers require relatively less how to save even more water and energy. It is not I’m currently gaining the knowledge water for cleaning, thus making the cleaning process simply a question of technology and money. ‘Everyone and experience I’ll need to help mankind and nature in a tangible way.Not only do we need water to drink and to wash, more efficient. ‘Instead of using seven litres of water realizes the importance of the environment, but we Chris Kleinschmidtagriculture and industry also use large quantities for the production of one litre of beer, we currently use all have to keep working at it. You have to understandof water. Drinking water is the basic ingredient for only five,’ says Pjotr van Oeveren. the way things work, be motivated, examine the entiremaking beer. Heineken has breweries around the supply chain on a continual basis and be on everyone’sworld and has been confronted with every conceivable Numerous solutions have been conceived to save on case all the time. And find the energy to help improvechallenge relating to water. ‘Clean groundwater isn’t even more rinse water. ‘Take wastewater, for example. things. Cooperation across the entire supply chainavailable everywhere. For example, our springs in We purify this using bacteria that produce biogas. This is the key for the future.’Spain simply dried up,’ explains Pjotr, ‘so instead, is used to fuel the power plant. We can also generate I am looking for a way to harmonizewe had to use public water supplies.’ power using other by-products of the brewing process. nature and technology. Maybe I won’t This means that we are less reliant on fossil fuels.’ be able to save the world, but at least IIn Indonesia, he helped scout a new location for can help make some progress.a brewery. ‘At the location that we found, water is Hence, water, power and the environment can be seen Annemarie van Groenesteijnavailable, but it’s far from the inhabited world. to be inextricably intertwined. By-products can beThat means that we have to ship the ingredients and used to generate power and this power can be used tothe beer there and back again. That requires fuel. So clean salt water. However, Pjotr explains that to brewwe had to make a compromise between water and fuel even more sustainably in the future, the trick is to lookconsumption.’ Heineken is looking for solutions to at activities performed outside the brewery, ‘We arethis dilemma by investigating methods of converting not an island. We deal with farmers who harvest, storeother sources, such as seawater, to drinking water. and ship the hops. Once the beer has been produced, 48 49
in keeping with society,’ according to the student of International Land & Water Management.what dIffereNce ‘Maybe I won’t be able to save the world, but at least I can help make some progress. That gives me a goodcaN I Make? feeling.’ ‘Buildings are actually works of art. Works of art inFor a more beautiful world which we live and work,’ contends Rigobert Nivillac. His study programme combines Civil Engineering and Architecture. Rigobert dreams of running his own architectural firm, as does every architect, andWhere is the most beautiful place on earth? ‘Corcovado this progress has often been to the detriment of our ‘I quite consciously don’t actually drive a car, but at preferably on Curaçao, where his parents come from.National Park in Costa Rica,’ says Suzette Boontje natural surroundings and the environment. Suzette, Shell, I develop new catalytic converters that help ‘Many highly educated people leave to try their luckwithout a moment’s hesitation. ‘Unspoilt, virgin jungle Marije, Annemarie, Rigobert and Richard are working convert petroleum and natural gas into fuels more in the Netherlands, but I want to make a differenceall the way to the beach.’ Marije Nijkamp says Iceland. toward making the world a better place. cleanly and efficiently,’ explains Marije Nijkamp. there. It’d be cool to drive around the island and to be‘The feeling of total freedom on a bike ride through ‘Currently, I’m working on an enhanced catalytic able to say, “I built that school”’.the magnificent emptiness.’ ‘The water meadows near ‘It’s actually quite disgraceful how the world has converter for converting gas into diesel. Gases areWageningen in the early morning light,’ says Annemarie become so unbalanced,’ states Suzette Boontje. One day, often just flared off, but thanks to this catalytic ‘You must know those wonderful 3D images in thevan Groenestijn. Rigobert Nivillac chooses his roots, she would like to focus hard, as a biologist, on providing converter, it will be profitable enough to create fuel latest computer games. That’s the sort of images‘Curaçao.’ Richard Vogelaars finds it too difficult African and Asian populations with healthier nutrition. from these gases instead. As a chemist, I’m helping we make too, but instead images of someone’sto decide, ‘There are so many beautiful places.’ ‘But this requires experience.’ She is currently recruiting to improve the world from the inside.’ heart or arteries. Using 3D imagery, cardiologists pharmaceutical research volunteers for Pharmaceutical can perform angioplasties or insert stents inMaking a difference in the world. Making it a little more Research Associates International. ‘Guinea pigs? I often ‘You can develop the most amazingly advanced heart patients that help keep the arteries open.beautiful, safe, fair, pleasant or healthy. These are hear that. But these volunteers are far from guinea pigs. irrigation system for Peru, but if you don’t take Richard Vogelaars works at Philips Health Care asdeep-seated desires held by many people. In recent Thanks to their efforts, millions of people have been century-old laws and customs into account, then a specialist in Medical Imaging. ‘Creating gamescenturies, it has become more pleasant, safe and healthy cured of illnesses. They are an indispensable link in the it simply won’t get used,’ explains Annemarie van is fun too, but our hardware and software improvefor some people, but certainly not for all. Moreover, chain to producing new drugs.’ Groenestijn. ‘Every technical innovation has to be people’s health. It adds an extra dimension.’ 50 51