By mapping the picture of the entrepreneurism in the Texel we identified two possible pathways leading from the current state towards sustainable entrepreneurship. We call these two scenarios: “business path” and “hippie path”.
These two scenarios varies in the actors, that need to be involved and who need to be the triggers of the change- different blacksmiths are defined. Both of them are hybrid pathways, however each of them tend to incline to the opposite sides of the top-down / bottom-up spectrum.
Business scenario is defined by prevailing power of the landscape level. In this pathway, the strategy is initiated by the municipality of Texel for Texel to become known as a catalyst for carbon zero future. Texel will function as a living lab for innovative carbon reducing solutions. After succeeding in becoming energy self-sufficient in 2020, Texel will aim for the next step; completely Duurzaam Texel. This will be used as promoting the island as an innovation hub and knowledge platform (on island level) for locals, experts and entrepreneurs as well as tourists.
what needs to change and how it will be done?
While zooming in to Texel, probably the highest level of this political hierarchy could be seen in municipality of Texel, and within the municipality we seek for our blacksmith. In order for this scenario to succeed, an enlightened Aldermen in the municipality are needed. A new organisational body under the municipality focused only on this transition will be established, whose main aim will be to define step-by-step transformation agenda for the whole Texel island in all the important aspects of lifestyle: food, waste, water, mobility, education and accommodation. The solutions addressed in this agenda should be seeked primarily from within Texel; local businesses and entrepreneurs - such will also ensure boosting the local economy.
The aim for Texel is to become completely self-sufficient in its food production and handling of its waste, because these are the areas in which Texel in its size can become self-sufficient. Some products will of course still need to be imported from the mainland, however, such should be weighted out by the local products exported from Texel towards mainland; local products such as TexelWool will be supported in such matter. As the production of the sustainable local products will be more expensive at first, the municipality will need to subsidise the difference in order to help the “green” entrepreneurs in the business. Help for supporting new ideas could be seeked in green banks, which will be established around the island in bigger numbers or via European Union funds.
changes in people's daily life
For entrepreneurs, Texel will function as a creative hub, where many master classes and workshops are organised in order to share innovative ideas and learn from one another. Sustainable Texel Awards will be yearly organized to find the best sustainable entrepreneurial initiatives on the island and beyond. Already established platform and initiatives on Texel as TexLabs, JONT, TOP-Texel will become much more important as the main organizers of such regular events, supervised by the municipality. Moreover, masterclasses about the practical use of lean management, ICT and various forms of financing the startups (such as crowdfunding) will take place; every Texelaar will have thus the possibility to gain the knowledge of how to become a small entrepreneur himself. This broadened life-long education on local level may also convince the young Texelaars to stay on the island and become part of this innovative transition. Through using lean management methods, starting entrepreneurs will be much more connected with the customers, with whom they will constantly check the possible demand for their sustainable products.
It is however not possible to expect that the Texel residents and tourists will “jump” for sustainable products themselves, only because these will be given to them. The Texelaars need to become actively engaged in this transition process and such could be done for example through internet apps and informative smart screens and smart meters. Smart screens and smart meters will be installed on the spots of Texelaars' daily life to inform the inhabitants about their energy usage, CO2 reduction etc. For example when buying food at the supermarket, the detailed information, such as product's CO2 footprint, will be provided to customers to increase their awareness. The apps, which could be designed by for example Stichting Duurzaam Texel (or by municipality, entrepreneur or other collaboration), will function on basis of semi-serious gaming.Small goals can be set in a "playful" manner by means of an island-wide app that sets sustainability goals/challenges every week or month. People can gain points by finishing such challenges and after a set time period the "greenest" person will get a prize. This will function as smaller steps towards bigger goal and will show sustainability as “fun” thing to do. Tourists coming to Texel will also be engaged in this type of challenges, more short-term ones.
new rules and regulations
It is expected that on high levels of the government, tough laws regarding CO2 reduction will be placed upon all the European countries, with big penalties for not fulfilling the carbon binding goals. Texel will thus have to comply with such agreements. However, Texel with its Duurzaam Texel transformation agenda will go even beyond the set goals.
By the municipality of Texel the regulation of having smart screens in bigger food stores will be placed; installing the screens will be subsidised.
The pitfall of this scenario is a quite high dependency on the municipality and the actions the municipality will take as they are seen here as the leaders of the change. Such reliability on the governmental body contradicts will our ultimate goal of “sustainable entrepreneurship” as becoming financially independent.
- ESD proposal for self-sufficient Texel in 2065
- island self-sufficiency is put on top of the Aldermen's political agenda and financial funds for such transitions are ensured via E.U. funding
- new body of the municipality, taking care of the plans towards self-sufficient Texel, is established
- Texel becomes energy self-sufficient
- the plan for Duurzaam Texel in 2065 is presented to public as a campaign on the island, such is done in collaboration with TOP-Texel and JONT and SDT to ensure the implementation of local businesses into the plan as much as possible
- detailed transformation agenda for self-sufficient Texel is articulated
- plan for closed waste and water system is introduced
- more green banks are established on the island
- smart screens and smart meters are placed around the island
- apps for serious gaming are introduced by SDT
- established entrepreneurs are subsidies by the municipality in their few first years if turning produced products or services into sustainable ones
- workshops, masterclasses, event are organised to boost the innovation and to teach the locals about entrepreneurial activities
- Inhabitant are fully engaged in the serious gaming, trying to reduce personal carbon footprint
- “green tourism” takes place, tourists come to Texel not only to enjoy leisure, but to learn about how is it possible to change the personal lifestyle into a more sustainable one
- many more workshops, masterclasses, event are organised to boost the innovation and to teach the locals about entrepreneurial activities
- sustainable local products will become favorable and price-wise comparable with non-sustainable ones
- Texel become 50% self sufficient in food production
- Texel becomes a hub for young entrepreneurs to share ideas, knowledge and learn from each other. Such knowledge exchange is facilitated by JONT and TOP Texel
- Texel becomes 100% self sufficient in food production
- waste system within the island becomes a closed loop
- Texel is known as a living of carbon reducing solutions, from which other learn; Duurzaam Texel
In this scenario, we build forth on the trend regarding community and decentralization as mentioned in the previous chapter. Independence is the main theme. We spot an upcoming trend of people not wanting to rely on the governmental bodies, forming of communities and creation of initiatives, which support the sustainability from their own beliefs and not because they are forced to do so. To shape this pathway, we formulate several reasons as to why this self-realization and follow-up actions (that will be described later) came to be. The following scenarios (or combinations thereof) are envisioned:
- The amount of worldwide natural disasters increases, these are heavily covered by the media
- Growing distrust in the governmental bodies due to lack of action, or fear of a new financial crisis (banks do not seem to have learned from the previous one)
- Increase in electricity prices due to a combination of natural gas depletion in NL (Gas field in Groningen is depleted) and the unwillingness of the government to timely transition from natural gas towards other forms of energy.
Whichever is the case (there could be other scenarios as well) we assume that life from our starting point (2015) continues on as usual and that governments are not taking the necessary steps to promote and create sustainable initiatives. Texel residents decide to take matters in their own hands, realizing that their “isolated” island provides opportunities to become a close-knit, self-sustaining community. They work together to form a self-sufficient society, needing minimal resources and influence from outside Texel to provide in their needs. This will start slowly at first, the status quo will remain for a couple of years (5-10) before this shift in culture takes form. Beginning with a shared goal for self-sufficiency around 2035 (because 2020 came way too soon and was not realized due to lack of initiative both institutionally as well as locally at that time). After that, other initiatives are started to make other systems self-sufficient as well.
What needs to change and how it will be done?
The change in culture is considered to happen naturally due to the described external circumstances. The first thing that happens is an action plan for 100% self-generated renewable energy on Texel, due to the dissatisfaction about high energy prices. Solar panels are abundant and cheap, even more so in a couple of years. Hence, solar panels are bought in collectively through resource pooling. Entrepreneurs will dive into this gap by providing the necessary services and knowledge to make this happen. People who do not have enough roof space for solar panels or are otherwise obstructed, can share solar panels with a neighbor who has room for more than just him-or herself. Finance can be done privately, however for the less wealthy inhabitants who do not have the needed finance, entrepreneurs can provide a loan system. An added option would be to agree that part of the loan is paid back with generated electricity that is sold back to the entrepreneur. A price rate is then agreed and after a couple of years the loan will be paid back in this way. The entrepreneur can decide to sell the electricity income to the mainland, or to store it in storage facilities to sell back to the community when it gets dark and the solar panels don’t work anymore. Because the energy prices are expensive, this could provide an interesting business model. More funds can be raised through crowd funding, promising “free” energy packets during night for (local) investors for a limited time period in return for investment.
Assuming that energy self-sufficiency through this way is reached in 2035, other aspects will be taken up as well. Small initiatives, catalyzed by new and small entrepreneurs, will emerge that tackle water production and management, food production and waste management. More initiatives like “De zelfpluktuin” will emerge and perhaps entrepreneurs with bright ideas will come up with new technology, for example for cheap local water purification.
Changes in people's daily life
After the completion of self-sustaining energy, people realize that with no more energy bill to pay, their purchasing power will increase. As such, more “money-saving” initiatives are sought out such as emerging second-hand item shops or trading businesses, self-growing food initiatives, etc. Of course, such things require time investments that can not be put into “generic” jobs to make money. However, due to gradual cost reduction through these initiatives (growing own food, trading and repairing items, etc.) there will be increasingly less need for “paid” work in order to still be able to be provided with luxury items that cannot be produced or obtained on the island itself (think about TV’s, cars, etc.) Thus allowing increased room to invest more in such initiatives. This makes for a self-reinforcing causal chain. Not everyone will be good in everything though, and some will not want to grow their own food or repair their broken appliances. This is why people will invest their time in something that they are capable of and find fun to do. Trade between services and goods will happen more often. Though luxury items will still have to be bought from external suppliers.
New rules and regulations
Of course, a total independence of governmental influence is not likely to happen. However, within Texel the municipality can do several things to improve local climate for entrepreneurship and other community initiatives. They will have to guide entrepreneurs and be informative about the relevant legislation, requirements and conditions for them to work with. Furthermore, they will have to promote cooperation between mainland actors and Texel actors. However, to provide in the wish of Texel to become as independent as possible, they will want to use tendering procedures in order to keep influence of big companies at bay. However, this is legally not allowed because it is more or less discrimination. However, this can be circumvented by requesting very specific qualities for the tendered work.
2015 - Start
2020 - Increased climate concern, lots of talk about sustainable development, little is realized. Dutch political climate remains unchanged (lots of talk, little progression)
2025 - Texel residents are not expecting much from government, decide to take initiative
2035 - Texel becomes 100% energy self sufficient
2045 - Most energy loans will be payed off
2055 - Increased purchase power instigates more investment in small initiatives through (local) crowdfunding
2065 - A significant shadow economy has formed, second hand trading, local food production, etc.