Mensa Fonds Awards: why?

why give awards for high intelligence

Mensa Fonds Awards

In 2012-2013, Mensa the Netherlands worked with great enthusiasm to create a ‘daughter’, the Dutch Mensa Foundation. It was inspired by the American Mensa Foundation www.mensafoundation.org that was founded in 1971 already. Somehow no ‘Mensa country’ followed that example so Mensa the Netherlands decided to be the first one and hopes for more Mensa countries to do the same and create a worldwide network of Mensa foundations. Every country has its own motives and issues to fulfill the overall Mensa mission that highly intelligent people cooperate ‘for the benefit of humanity’. What the benefit is, differs by country and that is OK.
In the Netherlands, one of the things we started to do from the very beginning in 2013 is giving Mensa Fonds Awards in the fields of Education, Society and Work. The awards are not given ‘for’ high intelligence; they are given for the role a person played, the example that person shows or the product or service a person invented in that field. We need that in the Netherlands because we have a culture that is rather focused on the ‘average’ and ‘fitting in’ and much less to be ‘out of the box’ and ‘stand out’. Dutch society will benefit a lot with awareness of HIQ potential and active measures to use and develop extraordinary talent. This is why the Awards were created.
Everybody can come up with proposals for nominations – a jury chooses 3 candidates per field that receive an official nomination from our Mensa Foundation. This week, the names of the nominations for 2015 will be published. November 7, everybody is welcome to join the meeting in Leiden where the names of the Mensa Fonds Awards winners will be made public and nominees and winners will be honored! And we are happy that Mensa member professor John Grin will speak at the event about ‘creativity, setback and inspiration’. More info at http://mensafonds.nl/index.php/awards. It is in Dutch but for anyone joining, we will do our best to make you feel home also if your Dutch is limited. Talent and intelligence are transnational indeed, aren’t they! Let’s go for the benefit of humanity in all its aspects…

Another blog that might interest you: Professor Mönks receives international Mensa Award

Read also: Perceptions of Power
Or: Left Handers Day and High Giftedness

Arab spring – surprise surprise?

arab spring Arab spring – surprise surprise?

Today the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad publishes an article written by professor of policy science John Grin and myself about the apparent ‘surprise’ of the Arab spring – or in terms of English Al-Jazeera: a region in turmoil. For those who speak Dutch, find it here: Arabische lente kwam niet als verrassing, in English: Arab spring did not come as a surprise.

In 2006 an official scientific government advisory board published a report about the dynamics in islamic activism. It was a 3 year study, very well documented, 234 pages, showing how new islamic thinkers and movements were connecting with democracy and human rights. However, in just 1 day most politicians had given strong, condemning reactions, calling the advisory board naive and the report ‘nonsense’. The report was so unwelcome that the board was threatened with reorganisation and even abolishment. There was no discussion about the content, about islam and the development of Dutch foreign policies in the light of new democratic movements in muslim countries, the fear of fundamentalist islam being predominant. John Grin and I published our ideas about this taboo already in 2006 in NRC Handelsblad.

Fear is a bad adviser, also in the debate about islam, human rights and democracy. Now in 2011, we face a lack of insight in what is really happening in Arabic countries, how Arab spring evolves and what that means for Dutch foreign policies… as if the turmoil couldn’t have been predicted. Politicians are ‘surprised’ by the events and stay silent. Or is that because they are busy reading the 2006 report after all?

Other blogs that may be interesting for you:
Portrait du décolonisé – Albert Memmi
How much spring is the Arab spring?
Ramallah: Jews removing Christians from the Middle East