Publications in the media

Brainwash 2019: three programs of FreedomLab Thinktank

We will take part in no less than three events during Saturday’s Brainwash festival in Amsterdam:

Lebowski Publishers and FreedomLab Thinktank: Extreme Scenario Stories

On a Thursday evening this summer, we were joined by five authors from Lebowski publishers to explore three extreme future scenarios. They wrote four short stories for Lebowski’s online literary magazine 2.3.74, which you can find here:



Video: Future Affairs #7: McMindfulness & Instagram-boeddhisme

Future Affairs #7: McMindfulness & Instagram-boeddhisme

Paneldiscussie met filosoof en schrijfster Stine Jensen, journaliste en bestuurder Yvonne Zonderop en filosoof Emanuel Rutten.

Spiritualiteit en religie zijn in het Westen bezig aan een verrassende opmars. Mindfulness-apps zoals Headspace en Calm schieten als paddenstoelen uit de grond, elke buurt heeft een yoga-studio en het is de gewoonste zaak van de wereld dat bedrijven hun medewerkers laten mediteren onder werktijd. Staat die moderne spiritualiteit voor iets groters?

Is de huidige spirituele golf een logische reactie op de grote onzekerheden van deze tijd (klimaatverandering, technologie die ons leven beheerst, populisme, post-truth)? Of past deze ontwikkeling misschien juist beter in de opkomende omslag in ons denken over gezondheid, de omgang met de natuur en wat een goed leven is, waarin nieuwe waardes onze richting zijn gaan bepalen. Is het ‘Instagram-boeddhisme’ een teken dat er echt iets verandert in ons denken over economische groei en het belang van het ego, of is het slechts een lapmiddel om weg te duiken voor de grote onzekerheden van onze tijd?

We gaan hierover in gesprek met drie sprekers die over dit onderwerp spraakmakende boeken schreven: Stine Jensen, Yvonne Zonderop en Emanuel Rutten.

Video: The Future of Architecture in a Digital Age with Ben van Berkel UNStudio Ad Verbrugge Arief Hühn

Our habitat is drastically changing. Our living environment looks drastically different in comparison to decades ago. Not because it changed physically, but because we have initiated a large-scale move to a digital environment. This digital environment offers an enormous amount of possibilities. Not only can we work there, recreate, meet each other, but our imagination can do things that the physical environment would never allow.

At the same time, we are also becoming aware of the disadvantages. Our privacy, social skills and our freedom, all seem to be at stake. And the question is: how do we shape our environment so that we will find an ideal balance between the digital and the physical, is becoming increasingly urgent.

We ask Principal Architect of UNStudio & Founder of UNSense Ben van Berkel, philosopher Ad Verbrugge (VU Amsterdam, ‘t Filosofisch Kwintet, Tijd van Onbehagen, Zomergasten) and Arief Ernst Hühn (Head FreedomLab Thinktank, Phd. Human-Computer Interaction TU Eindhoven).

Images: 6.38 sec. – Hyperloop, Europe – Hardt & UNStudio 3.01 sec. – Central Innovation District, Den Haag In Dutch with English subtitles.

Credits: Lourens Aalders (, Eva Wubbe (FreedomLab), Jessica van der Schalk (FreedomLab Thinktank).



Video: Fixing the Internet Marleen Stikker, Valerie Frissen, Wouter van Noort, Arief Ernst Huhn

Speakers: Marleen Stikker (Waag), Valerie Frissen (SIDN Fonds), Arief Ernst Hühn (FreedomLab), Wouter van Noort (NRC)

The perspective on the Internet is rapidly changing from a liberator to an oppressor. Major problems as censorship, the dependence on a few liberal tech giants such as Google and Facebook and the resell of personal data are often attributed to the fact that the Internet is in the hands of a small number of powerful companies. In response, a large wave of projects emerge in an attempt to decentralise the Internet. Crypto currencies and initiates around Blockchain, such as Blockstack, promise a decentralised infrastructure in which users have ownership of their data and where platforms can emerge that remain out of the circle of influence or large corporations.

However, there are potential disadvantages to these developments, for example what to do with decentralised platforms that spread content that calls for violence? And what are the consequences for media and companies that rely on the current structure of the internet? Does this development indeed offer a solution to the current cracks or are there too many pitfalls? In the fifth edition of Future Affairs, we explore possible solutions and pitfalls of an alternative internet. We do this with a panel of experts in the field of internet innovation.

Credits: Lourens Aalders (, Eva Wubbe (FreedomLab), Jessica van der Schalk (FreedomLab)



Video: GenZ: How digital technology forms the next generation. With prof. Eveline Crone, Wouter van Noort

GenZ: How do emoji’s, Fortnite and the iPhone form the next generation? With professor Eveline Crone (Universiteit Leiden), emoji-expert Lilian Stolk, tech journalist Wouter van Noort (NRC), researcher Alexander van Wijnen (FreedomLab Thinktank) and Emilie Notermans, sharing her experience as GenerationZ.

Last January, 10 million youngsters were dancing in their living room at a party that took place in the virtual world: a live concert by DJ Marshmello, given in Fortnite. If you have never heard of DJ Marshmello, don’t worry, he is especially popular with young people who in their turn probably don’t know who Gloria Estefan is. However, for who thinks Fortnite is a type of video game, or thinks it will be a new type of disco, is unlikely to see that a whole new world is emerging in which ‘today’s youth’ gains most of her formative experiences. A world with new possibilities and rules: the virtual world.

In this video, we discuss the influence of this hyper-technological environment on growing generations. Will this generation gap show characteristics of clichéd nature or will there be a deeper gap between young people experiencing the formative phase in the virtual world and older generations who experienced the formative phase mostly in the physical world?

In Dutch with English subtitles. Credits: Lourens Aalders (, Eva Wubbe (FreedomLab), Jessica van der Schalk (FreedomLab Thinktank).



Video: The New World of Designer Crops: How Gentech & Data are Radically Changing our Food

CRISPR is hailed by Silicon Valley and Big Food as a revolutionary new tool to alter genes in organisms with a precision never seen before. Sweet lemons, anti-allergic peanuts, frost-resistant potatoes, drought-tolerant corn, and self-curing plants: all kinds of human-designed crops and foods are on the verge of entering our supermarkets and winding up on our plates. Technologists’ and investors’ imaginations are running wild. Recently, the U.S. decided to give the green light to experiments – which is widely expected to lead to an explosion in innovation and investment. What can we win and lose with the CRISPR-technology in the future of our food? And who should take action tomorrow and what should be done? For this edition of Future Affairs, we have asked professor plant physiology Michel Haring (UvA), journalist Wouter van Noort (NRC, 1Vandaag), FreedomLab’s researcher Julia Rijssenbeek and food experimentalist Matthijs Diederiks ( to brainstorm with us about the future of food.

Laat natuur en technologie samen optrekken in de voedselindustrie

‘We moeten af van het idee dat mensenrechten een exclusief concept van de westerse wereld zijn’