A government in transformation


What if the outside world changes quicker than the organization?

Dutch society is changing very rapidly. Central government, municipalities and social organizations are facing the challenge of having to adapt continuously. But what is the direction of the change and how can you respond to an uncertain future? What is the impact of technology, an ageing population, people power and, for example, a lifestyle divide on the social domain? What will be the long-term impact of citizens’ initiatives? How will the sharing economy change the world of care and welfare? Is robotization a curse or a blessing for clients, or a threat to professionals?

If you can identify with these questions, you are not alone. Many organizations that are active in the fields of welfare, care and the wider social domain have to turn their attention to both internal development and external changes. In order to be an organization that creates value today, but that is also future-proof.

BeBright studies, creates and implements

BeBright works together with several Ministries, Provinces, municipalities and partners on the vitality of Dutch society. This collaboration often starts with a scan of the regional or local vitality. In the Nijmegen region, for example, we are working together with dozens of organizations, business and citizens to create a shared and supported view of the current and future vitality. In projects for municipalities, insurance companies and banks, we are able to bring into view the current and future economic, social and physical vitality of inhabitants per neighbourhood. This image is then used to cooperatively opportunities for innovation and to achieve them.

Ever since the publication of Social Housing 2030, we have been working together with housing associations, municipalities and citizens to create specific visions and strategies for housing and liveability. We analyze the changing demand for housing, the supply and the possibilities to better match the two. We are, for example, supporting the transition from care home to homecare and prepare shrinking municipalities for a change in housing demand.

A third and important pillar in the public domain is the construction and application of scenarios. Together with municipalities, we use scenarios to understand the changing society and to articulate a vision on the changing relationships between municipalities, social organizations and citizens. Our approach is as follows.

Scenarios, strategy and innovation

The construction of external scenarios is an important first step in developing a strategy for the future. In our view, the challenge for many professionals is to get a clear picture of the changing society. Because the rate of change on the outside determines the rate of change on the inside. Scenarios are not a goal in itself, but a tool to verify existing ideas and to improve the quality of strategic decisions. In collaboration with more than 100 municipalities, we have constructed scenarios for the social domain, explored policy options and initiated innovations.

“”Constructing scenarios and exploring strategic options connects parties and creates energy”

What are the benefits
1: being prepared for vulnerable citizens

In 2015, various municipalities and BeBright worked together in constructing scenarios to get a grip on the transformation of the Social Domain. The scenarios paint a clear picture of the challenges in the next 5 to 10 years. For example, we discovered, that in one municipality the number of citizens who live independently but are in need of support will increase by one third over the next 10 years. During the scenario session, social services, mental healthcare (GGZ) institutions, neighbourhood police officers and housing associations agreed that this development is already noticeable.

At the same time, the revenues of municipalities will go down as a result of budget cuts, an ageing population and a shrinking local economy. In the follow-up session, in which the policy options were explored, the participants came up with a regional linking pin for vulnerable citizens. By sharing information with each other at an early stage, organizations and municipalities can join forces to provide tailor-made solutions to these vulnerable individuals and families. It’s not a question of what the municipality can do for them, but where their own strengths and possibilities lie to live independently as best as possible. Looking at the numbers will reveal the scale and urgency of a problem. The shared interest brings organizations together to work jointly towards a solution.

2: exploring the basic income guarantee

Another concrete case is the fall in employment in one shrinking municipality. The number of benefit applications is expected to increase significantly here in the next 10 years. A possible solution is to disconnect income from work, for example by introducing a version of the basic income guarantee. During the scenario building process, municipalities and their partners agreed to explore the feasibility and consequences of the basic income guarantee. Related to this, a number of citizens’ initiatives are actively supported so they can provide a safety net for vulnerable groups. The changing relationships between inhabitants, organizations and municipalities become visible in scenarios and shape the solution.

Experience, knowledge and a network

BeBright has gained extensive experience through conducting several scenario studies in retail, finance, insurance, healthcare, welfare, housing and education. This knowledge has been brought together in several projects for Dutch Ministries (of Security and Justice (V&J), of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK), and of Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS)) and for municipalities. We have a trend database containing more than 40 extensively described trends and developments, readily available work methods, and a treasure trove of figures. This enables us to conduct a thorough and widely supported scenario exploration with you within a short time period. This will lead to concrete projects and innovations.

In 2016 we will once again share our knowledge with everyone who is interested. Because those who have a view of the future, can cease the opportunities it will bring!

Our experts

Berend Buys Ballot

+31(0)6 42 43 86 85

Joost Kadijk 3
Joost Kadijk

+31(0)6 28 97 20 37


Maurits Verweij

+31(0)6 10 03 17 60