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Break out of your political bubble!

With the Dutch elections around the corner, we currently live in a time where differences are highlighted and amplified. Whether it be lower class versus middle class, the climate versus farmers or migration versus national interest, political parties are keen to differentiate themselves strongly from other parties and along with it the division between different ideologies becomes more apparent. 

A recent survey by the Dutch governmental research organization SCP set out to test the perception of polarization in the country. 73% of respondents said they felt the differences between people’s opinions are growing (up from 63% in April 2020 and similar to 75% in 2019). Additionally, 60% of respondents said the conflict between people of different political parties felt (very) big.

But in this time of strong contrasts, it is even more important to keep an open dialogue, especially with those that think differently than us. That is why a platform called ‘WaaromKiesJij’ (Why do you choose?) provides a breath of fresh air. The website’s purpose is to match you with a ‘political opposite’ and allow you the chance to chat and discuss your different opinions (respectfully). 

This enables people to get a better understanding of the ‘other’ and while you don’t have to agree, it shows that civil discourse might prove some valuable insight into the motivations and convictions of the human behind the ideas you’re opposed to. So how can brands help facilitate an open and curious discussion about our differences?

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Douwe Knijff

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Kim Pillen


Before Kim Pillen started as a trend consultant at TrendsActive, she worked for four years as a creative strategist at Dept. For brands such as Philips,, Beiersdorf, JBL, and the Consumers’ Association, she built (online) campaign, brand, and social media strategies. After four years, she decided that she wanted to better understand people and society in order to advise brands more effectively. That’s how she ended up at TrendsActive. Here, she can do what she loves most: digging into people’s needs and then working with brands to see how and where they can be relevant and meaningful.

Douwe Knijff


Douwe is fascinated by how people work. With a background in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (Bachelor) and Psychology (Master) and an analytical mind he tries figure out how societal shifts manifest themselves through social culture and human behaviour.

Aljan De Boer

Keynote speaker

Aljan has been widely recognized as an inspiring professional speaker on the critical trends that will shape society in the decades to come. He works as the Head of Inspiration at TrendsActive, a trend consultancy from the Netherlands using social science to human-proof business decision for brands like

  • Disney
  • Vodafone
  • Hugo Boss
  • ASR
  • Rabobank

Next to his role at TrendsActive he is the Community Director at the Institute for Real Growth where he inspires and connects a global community of +400 CMOs.  

He has been on the board of the Dutch Platform of Innovative Marketing for almost a decade. Regular speaker and moderator for the Dutch Marketing Awards and 3 times winner of the best of MIE. 

Kees Elands

Founder & Strategist

Kees his purpose is to help ambitious leaders and brands to human-proof their business. In 2003 he founded TrendsActive, a trend consultancy enabling brands to become more human centric.

Kees consults global brands like

  • Disney
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • Asics
  • Discovery Channel
  • Swiss Life
  • Vodafone

and many more.

Next to being the founder of TrendsActive, he is also initiator of the first academic trend master for executives at the University of Utrecht and is initiator of various trend studies and white papers on subjects like trust, meaning, visual culture & generations.


Kees Elands

Founder & Strategist

Kees Elands

Founder & Strategist