The Symposium ‘Homo Florens in het HEO’ / Leren voor Morgen Peter Luijten struck a chord with me. Patrick Nullens talked about new human image models in which the protection of human dignity (minimum) and the promotion of human well-being (maximum) are important key points. In order to flourish, our drive to connect -drive to belong- and our drive to understand – drive to comprehend – explicitly require more attention. Drivers we need to upgrade if we want to create a new portrait of humanity.

In the words of Kate Raworth (Donut Economy), I think Nullens sent the message that economists could use some help with that…

Read Kate: “And so it’s time to look at ourselves all over again, and remove the caricature [of Mill] from the economic exhibition and replace it with a new portrait of humanity. It will turn out that this is the most important portrait commission of the twenty-first century, which concerns not only economists, but all of us. The preliminary sketches are currently being made and, as in Leonardo’s studio, many artists are working together here – from psychologists, behavioural scientists and neurologists to sociologists, political scientists and, indeed, economists” (Raworth 2017, p. 95).

Suzanne Ekel added Lans Bovenberg ‘s cooperative thesis: ‘economics = collaborative science’. By co-creating an economy based on Leonardo’s ‘recipe’, that seems interesting to me.

It only really dawned on me what personal chord had struck me once I looked at the painting ‘Longing and belonging’ by the Canadian painter Desmarais: for me, desire and connection are inextricably linked to the discovery of the homo florens in myself and that of others.

Can Desmarais help us with a new portrait of humanity? As an inspiring prelude perhaps to a new Week van het Economieonderwijs … and more?