The Social Contract Project

Centuries ago, social security was formalised in The Netherlands. The system was based on a shared value that even ended up as an article in the Dutch constitution: the right to livelihood is broader than just getting financial support to survive. Livelihood is the guarantee that everyone has the space and time and means to build a nourishing life for themselves and develop themselves to the fullest. In 2020, that system is under pressure. Not just because of the climate crisis and the technological changes, but also because of changes in our definition or labour or work, our changing role in society as individuals and our increasingly bad health (both mental and physical). That is why Commons Network and Novum (an innovation lab that is part of the Dutch Ministery of Social Affairs) have teamed up to investigate the future of the social contract and the role that commons-thinking might play in re-defining the welfare state.