Selbststeuerung und zusammen-senden


(in Englischer Sprache)

Preface for the annual report 2011

Looking back at the year 2011 I observe a confusing and precarious complexity in our society. Disastrous occurrences in nature and society determine the lives of millions of people and call for change. In many places there was upheaval that led to agitation, outrage and resistance. Take the worldwide Occupy movement and the Arabic Spring in a number of countries. There were a tsunami and a nuclear disaster in Fukushima, earthquakes in Christchurch and Pakistan and Violent massacres in Oslo and Alphen a/d Rijn in the Netherlands.
Already in the first half year it was established that economically 2011 would be the most expensive year ever because of natural disasters. And the 'avalanche' did not stop... Also in the social sphere there was a growing feeling of unease and negativism.
How can I personally relate to all this? A hundred years ago the artist Paul Klee described his poetic longing as follows; “In me foams, definitely, a sea, because I feel. It is disastrous to feel in such a way that a storm roars everywhere at the same time and that there is no master who can command chaos."
This feeling wants to tip the negative over to something positive. Something like the 'Dedication to something Higher' with which cultural sociologist Gabriel van den Brink wants to deal with feelings of negativism in society.*¹ Can we see this as a time of transition? Changes accompanied by destruction, social chaos and a reflection of all this in the economy? Can we search for a higher- ordering principle, a consistency, that fits this complexity?

It is remarkable to see how artists around a 100 years ago, also turbulent times, searched for inspiration. Around 1911 they thought that the salvage of society could be compared to the creation of a work of art by multiple makers; you live it and shape it accordingly. Of course you stumble across complex problems that are not easily solved. To begin with there are the limitations of the materials you use. Then there is the realization that multiple dimensions do not work simultaneously, synthetically. Artists formed 'sanctuaries', places where together they could search for inspiration.
The painter Mondriaan hoped that the best of material and spiritual traditions could flow together in the 'New Imaging' movement; a society as a work of art in which culture, politics, law and economy are subservient to each other.

For me this means that in 2012 I want to be: more representative, more contemporary with others, striving for a close cooperation in various fields of interest. Cooperation from a multi-dimensional simultaneity in various fields.

Foundations like the Iona Stichting have always been able to create a free-space in society from where they can bring innovative ideas into practice. This active attitude is still very necessary. If, for example you stimulate self-steering in health care the various interested parties start to search for new ways of cooperation. In the end this does not only improve health care, but also reduces the costs. By actively involving education, agriculture and food health care becomes more than 'curing diseases'.

Government and industry have their own agenda. But personal initiative is important. You can be responsible for green energy or better food and fight negativism. The independence of the third sector is paramount. Foundations can make an impact; work together and become social entrepreneurs. Existing chains that are already linked around theme's in education, energy, food, agriculture and health care give us good hope. It appears also that companies realize their subservient role within these connections. Within the chains a more natural supervision emerges. the partners stimulate each other in their ambition to reach their goals.

Renewal asks for a multi-dimensional approach. ‘In triple we connect the best of three worlds’*³. like the famous triple-P (People, Planet, Profit). In this sense Profit is the additional value that can emerge in connection with people and the earth. The same accounts for the treble transparency, social responsibility and sustainability. Hackneyed phrases that can become meaningful again when used in connection, as a composition. Well founded transparency provides insight, is value-driven and kindles enthusiasm. Sustainable responsibility is directed towards others and brings continuity and trust. Transparent sustainability is action-oriented and creates a better world. Separately the terms stand isolated in society. But the dynamics between the three can (again using the words of Paul Klee) 'feed development.'

May 2012 be a year full of meaningful connections from where many goals can be achieved. After all the United Nations proclaimed it the 'Year of co-operation'.

Ignaz Anderson,

* Gabriël van den Brink: Eigentijds Idealisme, een afrekening met het cynisme in Nederland
* Presencing Global Forum Boston; see
* Nicanor Perlas: Mission Possible, about three sector democracy