de Pellikaan


The World is becoming more and more one global society where much is interdependent and where nations such as The Netherlands play a role interacting with the rest of the World. Even if we don’t like it, the economic crisis of the last few years has shown us again the multitude of relationships among events happening all over the World. In this respect, there is on the one hand a lot of discussion arguing for more permissiveness towards different moral values, but on the other hand a demonstrably growing lack of acceptance of differences in moral values and beliefs.

In The Netherlands, we see an increase in opinions which are rooted rather in populistic emotion - including fear - than in facts and experience, based on research and/or travels in contact with others from around the world.

It looks like we haven't learned from the past in which we went out to discover and to develop new insights driven by open curiosity and wonder. Darwin and many others come to mind here.

This aforementioned 'fear' emerges from a virtual knowing, unbalanced by a physical sensing and real life experiencing. Current developments in world-wide communications have not only created many new possibilities, but have also led to laziness with respect to the willingness to discover.

In short, many ideas from the Sixties require renewed attention, including renewed feminism, re-valuation of family, environment (sustainability), and also intercultural collaboration. There are a lot of similarities between founding a "Wereldwinkel" (shop specialising in products from developing countries) in the Seventies and organising a global sourcing programme for a multinational in 2010.

The current period of crisis, economic and otherwise, offers an opportunity to redefine one’s outlook on the World, as a nation as well as as an individual being part of this global society and of an extremely diverse community. Foundation “de Pellikaan” aims to contribute to this redefined outlook by stimulating collaborative development projects by young people from diverse cultures. The underlying assumption, which has scientific support as seen in the work of Milton Bennett, a.o.), is that intercultural collaboration has intrinsically more potential than monocultural collaboration. Moreover, intercultural collaboration leads to the development of a new, common culture and participants who become more aware of their own cultural identity and behaviour and their own value within the context of cultural diversity.

© 2010 Hugo Velthuijsen