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Unlock the power of uncertainty in 3 steps

We live in a culture that shies away from uncertainty and prefers to get answers to every question as soon as it arises. However, according to research by Maggie Jackson, author of the book “Uncertain: The Wisdom and Wonder of Being Unsure”,  there are huge benefits for everyone who tolerates the stress that comes with uncertainty, such as easier learning, better crisis management, and richer social connections.

First of all, be curious. When you are curious, you are in a much better position to overcome the stress of uncertainty. This is because you will learn to see it as an exciting opportunity to explore the unknown rather than a threat. One way to train your curiosity is to keep a list of topics that you come across in your everyday life that you know little or nothing about, and whenever you have a few free minutes, read up on one that interests you.

Secondly, simply enter moments of uncertainty. By doing so, your attention level is expanded, and you become more receptive to learning new things. If you consciously accept taking steps into the unknown, over time you will learn how to better oversee these challenging situations, find solutions, and generally perform more consistently.

And finally, try to break out of your social bubble and start engaging with people who are most different from you. This allows you to build empathy, break down black-and-white thinking, and contribute to tackling social polarisation by building bridges to the other side. Travel to an unknown destination, try another festival, or volunteer for a good cause…

Although it might feel counterintuitive for many, it shows that embracing uncertainty comes with upsides. How can you incorporate these steps at work and in life in general?

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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