Thijs Jansen: From professional pain to professional honor

  • Date: 02 November 16:30 - 17:45
  • Location: EMMA

People want the good, but see less and less how. At work, they are stuck in a technocratic discourse. Conversations often do not seem to be about what is necessary. They do not touch the essence, and the essence of collegial relationships is also under pressure. Being human: How do you do that when you work for a government that is bogged down on numerous issues? How do you do that as a consultant to that government? How do you do that in education, in health care, in politics, in the neighborhood, in business?

Thijs Jansen has been investigating for years why there is so much professional grievance in the workplace. Why professionals accomplish what they might reject as human beings. He draws inspiration from Rousseau, among others: 'Evil comes from scarcity. If you give man security he cannot be evil.' He asks: Isn't increased need the result of marginalizing the giving man?

Thijs Jansen is director of the Beroepseer Foundation, which is dedicated to craftsmanship and professional honor in organizations. He is author of, among others, Beroepszeer. Why the Netherlands does not work well (2005), edited together with Dorien Pessers and Gabriel van den Brink. Following the success of this book, Jansen and others founded the Stichting Beroepseer, a think tank in the field of professionalism and professional honor, in 2006. From Beroepseer, he provides training on professionalism, and on how to take human values as a starting point for your work, even in a systemic world. He has also edited a series of books on and with various professions, including: Article 5 The Professional Honor of the Accountant (2017) Really Doing What's Needed. Plea for small-scale effective youth aid (2018), The right to civil service professionalism (2022). Jansen has been director of the Beroepseer Foundation since 2015. He is also a researcher and lecturer at the Center Èthos of the Free University Amsterdam

Bas Mesters, discussion leader, journalist and author of the book The Recovery of the Netherlands. Mesters is co-initiator/coordinator of Intermediate Space.


Wijnhaven 88
2511 GA Den Haag

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