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An awareness raising campaign on labour exploitation in the Netherlands.

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

By Amy Sercombe, Chantel Speelman, Delia Buur & Sohna Touray.

We started our value creators' journey with Delia suggesting human trafficking as a topic in the value creators’ group chat. A call with the four of us followed where we all were very enthusiastic. However, as there were so many interesting discussions going on around us a few of us had doubts about whether we really wanted to work on this complex problem. Eventually we had a talk and decided that, yes, this is what we want.

Originally, we had talked about human trafficking. But human trafficking isn’t a very specific topic, so we started brainstorming and tried to narrow down our focus. Eventually we decided that we would want to work on tackling labour exploitation of migrants in the Netherlands.

We started doing desk research to try and learn as much as we could. During this period, we also started contacting people that were experts in different fields surrounding labour exploitation. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much luck as many people did not respond to our requests. At this point morale and motivation were down and we didn’t know what to do. Luckily, we prevailed and kept trying. One by one people were getting back to us, and we were talking to some extremely knowledgeable and helpful people.

By being able to talk to experts in the field we were able to identify a few different kinds of solutions that we could try and implement. With our list of solutions in hand, we kept meeting with different experts and eventually decided that we would create an awareness campaign aimed at teenagers and young adults. This solution was chosen because it best tackled a root cause of the problem and we would be able to add the most value in the time frame possible. After many more meetings we eventually decided that we would create an Instagram campaign together with the organisations CoMensha and Fairwork.

Here we were, in the final phase of the journey trying to create a campaign that would be engaging, informational and ready to post. Progress went quick as we were excited to finally work on a product instead of a vague idea. We managed to create a campaign that the organisations loved, as well as an implementation plan that would guide them as they would take over responsibility in the future.

Lesson learned during this journey

During this Value Creator semester, we have learned many things that will help us in our future personal and professional life. We have learned how to deal with uncertainty and co-creation, and that it might take longer and feel more insecure but in the end what you deliver is of much higher value and more sustainable. Looking back, if we had not spent so much time collaboration with all the stakeholders, but just had done our own research, we would have created much less significant value. Our coach taught us that the stakeholders that are a pain in the ass in the beginning are the best stakeholders in the end as they truly gave their opinion and therefore agree with what you deliver.

Aside from stakeholder management, we have learned how to work remotely in an online environment as we do not all live in Zwolle. The few times that we did decide to meet up were spent catching up with each other instead of working. Working remotely was challenging as we could not meet with each other, we couldn’t meet with our coaches, and we weren’t able to meet with our stakeholder network. Luckily, in the end we became more comfortable with working online and we are confident that in the future we would be able to work remotely in our careers.

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