Vulnerability evokes considerable fear and it's often seen as a weakness, a defect, insecurity.
Whether it's the vulnerability of a functioning system or of an individual, sooner or later we all have to deal with vulnerability. Because of it's negative connotations, vulnerability is often suppressed. The risk of failure, of being caught out, is present. Politics, the authorities, businesses and individuals – seldom will they deliberately opt for vulnerability or publicly support it. But how does vulnerability affect the choices they make? Institutions designed to protect and strengthen society seem to have their vulnerabilities. IT systems are under attack daily rendering our highly personal information accessible for all. While judicial power is being questioned and journalism and media are losing their credibility, belief in the invincibility of our democratic and economic systems is being replaced by the question of how resilient they are. It is often forgotten that recognition and utilization of vulnerability can be of great value. Especially now, in our rapidly developing world. Those vulnerabilities present the opportunity for change. Shouldn't we therefore be drawing attention to vulnerabilities instead of hiding them? Is successful innovation even possible without awareness of the vulnerable aspects of human development, culture and the environment? How can development and growth be sustainable if its vulnerability is forgotten or suppressed? " This year the Veerstichting is opting for vulnerability. Motivated students, influential thinkers and the so-called 'formers of society' will gather to discuss vulnerability. What role does vulnerability play in the decision-making processes in business, politics, social organs and people – as individuals and as professionals?