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How your source of self-worth may affect your standpoint regarding migration

The topic of migration has been a hotly debated issue in many countries, including the Netherlands. One of the questions tailored around this topic is what makes some people living in an increasingly multicultural neighbourhood xenophobic and others not?

While there is no single answer to this question, one explanation can be derived from which source people derive their self-worth. According to Paul Collier Professor of Economics at Oxford, people derive their self-worth from mainly three sources: work and education, traditions and community, and the nation. In our increasingly more secular and meritocratic Western societies, people more and more derive their image of self-worth from their level of education and work. However, if someone is low-educated and has a less desirable job, they are more likely to attach greater value to their traditions, community or the nation.

Going back to the multicultural transformation of a neighbourhood. People who are low-educated or have less desirable jobs are more likely to perceive an expanding sociocultural environment as a threat to the self-worth they derive from their national identity. On the other hand, people who derive their image of self-worth more from their level of education and work, such as university students, feel less threatened by a changing sociocultural environment as they don’t attach so much personal value to it.

Although the debate among migrants is complex and multifaceted, understanding the different sources of self-worth can help us better understand why some people may feel more threatened than others.

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Kim Pillen

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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