The future of the Lowlands in 2025

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The future of the Lowlands in 2025

Everywhere around the Western world, the events of 9/11 have triggered the start of significant changes in societies. While the exact impact has been different for individual countries, an increased sense of physical and social insecurity has been shared among most of the Western world countries. In The Netherlands, this effect of increased insecurity was further pronounced by the liquidations of Pim Fortuyn (2003) and Theo van Gogh (2004): both politically motivated murdering acts, which had not been experienced in The Netherlands since the beheading of Van Oldenbarnevelt in medieval ages.

These changes have given rise to heated debates within the wider society about amongst others the critical importance of freedom of speech versus openness and respectful behaviour towards other cultures. Looking at the Dutch: once a proud and outward (sea-)faring nation, they have long been famous for their tolerance, multicultural interests and their openness to publicly discuss and accept what may appear morally challenging dilemmas in other countries (such as e.g. the use of drugs, euthanasia etc.), which now appears to be gradually but fundamentally changing over time. The recent Dutch ‘No’ against the newly proposed European Constitution may only signal a symbolical start of what could turn out to be a profound and apocalyptic change in the history of The Low Lands when looking back at history in 2025…

Strategic dilemma: ‘Where to for the Lowlands?’ From this introduction, the strategic dilemma faced by the Lowland societies can be framed as:‘Where to for Lowlands: a change from (focus on) integration to ultimately disintegration and segregation?’

Four Scenarios

"Communist Lowlands" "World Diplomats"
Lowlands 2025 Scenarios.jpg
"World Class Poverty" "Yankee Doodle Lowlands"

Scenario document: Four Scenarios

System Diagram

Driving Forces

Global Labour Market
Global Terrorism
Islamic Fundamentalism
Increase of concentration of non-western immigrants in the lowlands
Increase of international conflicts against Muslim countries

Aging Population
Life in balance
Increasing influence of Millennials

Decrease in R&D investments in the Netherlands
Decline in the numbers of high-tech skilled employees

Declining revenues from national gas fields in The Netherlands


Research topics
Research topics

Research performed
An extensive research has been conducted to the forces which might impact the future of the Lowlands. Only a limited number of these forces have been used as driving forces in the scenarios (see above).
The total research is presented in the following document:
Research Driving Forces

Original research question
Original research question

Articles, Concepts, Links

Four Futures for the Netherlands

Lange Termijn bevolkingsscenario's voor Nederland

De Toekomst als inspiratiebron

European Statistics


Four futures of the Netherlands

Long-Term Population scenario's for the Netherlands