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Claire Boonstra's onderwijsmanifest: 'Voor mezelf, voor anderen en voor een betere wereld'

23 november 2012

In onderstaand manifest wijst Claire Boonstra op de sleutelrol van het onderwijs om het systeem te veranderen waarin we onszelf gevangen houden. Een systeem dat ons van oplossing afhoudt ten aanzien van de grote problematiek (financieel, energie, gezondheid) waarmee we in deze 21e eeuw zijn geconfronteerd. De 37-jarige zakenvrouw - o.a. succesvol met het bedrijf Layar  - sprak recent op TEDxEducation in Amsterdam (zie filmpje). Haar betoog en plan:  'I want to contribute  and use myself as a tool to make things better. For myself, for others and for the world'.

In the summer of 2012, two good things happened in parallel. First: I realized that Layar, the company that I co-founded in 2009, had reached an important next stage and is in great hands with its new leadership. Second: I found my calling – in education. On September 27th, 2012, I announced on stage at TEDxAmsterdamED that I want to help change society by changing our education systems. We need to better prepare the next generations for the reality of today and tomorrow, so they are well equipped to make this world a better place. I am now ramping down daily activities at Layar towards the end of 2012 and started to explore my value in this field.

I started with taking a ‘helicopter’ perspective; I want to diverge first before I converge and dive into something specific. I have given myself 6 months to explore this field, to better understand specifics and how I can contribute. In the past 2 months I have created an action plan and wrote this manifesto, for the following reasons:

  • For myself, forcing me to become specific with my thoughts and ideas

  • For others, to relate to and decide if you share the same line of thinking (or not)

  • It is easy to share, which can help to spread the word

Please join me on my journey – and start by viewing my presentation on TEDxEduaction and by reading (and have an opinion on) my manifesto!


The manifesto is set up in such a way that it can grow. Most theorems (‘stellingen’ in Dutch) can be clicked for more information and (personal) examples. I explicitly would like to ask you to contribute, by sharing your comments, additions, examples and ideas behind each subject. Also if you don’t agree, please share your thoughts – but make sure they are backed with examples, proof or other argumentation/ substantiation. I will remove non-substantiated criticism simply because it will not help to make things better.

Although I am by nature a very positive person (my glass is always ‘half full’), I sometimes use strong language in stating the problems of society, our system and education. I know, and have of course experienced, that it is not always that bad. But I want to make a statement about the general state of it. For awareness, it helps to be more on the strong and slightly controversial side than being too nuanced. So it is ‘functional negativity’ – I am genuinely worried and sometimes very frustrated on what I encounter and describe below.

Today’s society: we are stuck in our system

Our education system: not preparing for reality

The solution: power of self: value & variety

What is needed to make this happen: dare to let go

The pieces of the puzzle have already been created

Thresholds: awareness, inspection and… balls?

My main starting points: pull, parents – and myself

Claire’s plan: massive action!

What can YOU do? Share & discuss!

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