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Let’s Talk Immigration

By Leona Klein, Thimo Lok, Sebastian Alm & Svenja Hundsdörfer.

Hello everyone! We are Leona, Thimo, Sebastian, and Svenja. For our Value Creators journey, we aimed at adding value to the debate on refugee immigration in the Netherlands and Zwolle.

Right from the start, our journey began with a lot of uncertainty. The only thing we were sure of was that we wanted to look more into refugee immigration. But that is quite a broad and complex topic as it involves many parties such as politicians, the media, and society at large. Furthermore, there are differences in how refugees are handled across the world and some countries are more affected than others.

So, to get started and learn more about our topic we reached out to organizations and professionals in the field. We talked with many different people, from project managers to volunteers to academics. Soon, we decided to focus on refugee immigration in Zwolle, the Netherlands to narrow down our topic. After researching for a while, one aspect of the topic emerged. The trend that people in the Netherlands (and in Zwolle) were starting to increasingly disapprove of refugee immigration to the Netherlands caused by an incomplete understanding of the topic. We thought we had found the topic that we wanted to focus on and many professionals we talked to agreed that this is an important issue. However, we struggled to come up with a final product. Trying to improve the Dutch public’s understanding of refugee immigration was still a brimming topic. So, we kept talking to our network and exchanged thoughts.

Finally, it emerged that one decisive driver of the problem is that there is a discrepancy between people’s personal experiences and their political actions, meaning that even people who had positive experiences with refugees might not vote in favor of receiving them. In light of the upcoming national elections in March ‘21. We saw our chance to approach here: by creating a campaign to engage people more with the topic of refugee immigration. Due to the pandemic, we decided on an online campaign via a website and Instagram page. Furthermore, we want to raise awareness for the campaign by hanging up posters and giving a series of short lectures about the topic. The campaign shows people why this is still a relevant and important topic for everyone in light of the upcoming Dutch National Elections in 2021.

If you would like to know more, check out our website and Instagram.

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