The NL ExtraOrdi Register

The Netherlands has a problem. It is called “Act Normal“, while we have and need worldclass outliers, upstreamers and blackswan innovators. From the earliest days of our education and kindergarten school we are constantly reminded by parents and friends  to behave within everybodies expectations with the expression “if you act normal it is crazy enough”. Do not stick your head above the group. Maybe this has to do with the very flat landscape of our river delta?! I remember that in school and later drafted in the army to blend in as much as possible, so as not to be noticed and assigned tasks. This “try to be average and uniform (interchangable)” is structural and has been reenforced for decades by the education system, at all layers and in all special educational paths kids can go through. The OECD has published a few years ago graphs that show how well people in different countries achieve in their job careers after their school education, compared to the OECD average which is a Gaussian bell curve. The Dutch graph was remarkable in the sense that our education system had and has succeeded to shift the left side of our bell curve to the right. Meaning that we have been very good at helping less talented kids to get higher levels of education and training than when they started. That is a fantastic achievement! But the right side of our curve is at the at the OECD average. So our bell was not shifted to the right as a whole, but made more narrow. Around the “normal”, right !? To put it simply: kids that lag are helped, ok. But kids that are very talented and have broad abilities and interests get no help at all. Result is that they are discouraged, are bored, try as much as possible to move below the radar even to their friends. They do daydream and get 6’s for tests as much a possible. Sure every parent think their child is highly gifted (hoog-begaafd). Teachers hate that because they then must apply extra attention taken from the time needed for laggards, right? So in this structural approach kids which are born quite diverse and not uniform, are MADE uniform. Reactions to requests to make more distinctions between kids where answered by rejections stating that that would be elitist. That is nonsens since (differently) gifted children appear random in very part of our society, even from quite stupid parents 😦 And it would only be elitist if these children would be put in a special position and uniform group above the other kids. They do this in France which is part of the Napoleonic military tradition of meritocracy (continuous selection and separation in uniform command levels).


This uniformity is quite opposite of the strong wish of present day kids to be exceptional and special as an individual, while at the same time be a valuable member of a children’s tribe. And right they are! We now need more than anything people who are special and very good at something. And the parents are maybe right: every child is very good at something. Some interest that has his/her obsessive focus and drive to show to others. In Finland which has now one of the best education systems in the world they take time to find what is the real skill and love for a kid.


Why? In The Relation Society on Internet we are now in, people specialise and will be involved and hired for jobs or projects (that must be on budget and ready on DEADLINE) if all internal or external participants can and do deliver what they have promised to do. We must be abe to trust their abilities otherwise the whole train of project steps and components stops and has to wait. So the very best people in each needed skill, from wherever in the world are hired and flown in if necessary.


So what we need is young people that are extraordinary good in DOING something and can collaborate with other extraordi’s. Yes they must be unique, can demonstrably do Better, Broadly Gifted (Begaafd) and able to listen and understand others, so they can learn fast and improve things all the time in a Pull Economy team. Faster than Push Economy competitors that just have copied what was developed [see books by John Seely Brown]. Besides tests for IQ and EQ I suggest we test kids for BQ.  A Quality Quotient for Can Do Better.


If this sounds strange to you, just imagine how it must feel in our present schools and universities to be a Dilbert, Hermione, Harry Potter or Frodo.

geek meisje

One of the steps to get this situation, which is a relic of the past military-industrial society, reformed is recognize the present outstanding ExtraOrdi’s in our midst.

So here is a Register of NL ExtraOrdi’s with a very high BQ and who are extremely non-interchangable. This register will be updated frequently by me, I hope with your help (Email me your candidates please, with ‘extraordi’ in the subject line) since it is incomplete:

* Rop Gonggrijp

* Karin Spaink

* Dirk-Willem van Gulik

* Hendrik Rood

* Ben Woldring

* Dirk van der Woude

* Harold Teunissen

* Frank Kresin

* Simon Hania

* Cees de Laat

* Robbert Dijkgraaf

* Ingrid Mulder

* Roel Croes

* Anneloes Cordia

* Ranomi Kromowidjojo

* Zef Hemel

* Claire Boonstra

* Hans van Ispelen

* Siegfried Woldhek

* Rob Blokzijl

* Nico Baken

* Marieke Klaver

* Eric Luiijf

Ik hoop dat onze nieuwe Koning een versiersel voor deze uitblinkers instelt, die immers rolmodel voor onze jeugd moeten zijn in de Connection Society.

jaap van till , TheConnectivist

PS. A very good video published by the Ericsson company tells nearly the exact same story as I wrote down in this blog (and in the chapter of the SURF Foundation WTR “Trendrapport 2012” about needed changes in education) : <The future of #learning in a networked society: inspiring video by#Ericsson and some takeaways | … …> Hat tip to prof. em. Rik Maes, who calls himself @hoogleering on Twitter.

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3 Responses to The NL ExtraOrdi Register

  1. kwalitisme says:

    Reblogged this on kwalitisme and commented:
    Alas, I’m not on the list 😦 Never mind, still a very good observation on how education must change.

  2. Greetings! I know this is somewhat off topic
    but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha
    plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blg platform as yours
    and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

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