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Synergistic Refugee Integration via Internet Based Revitalization of Rural Europe

Inclusion of disadvantaged people like rural citizens, unemployed and refugees is achievable via implementing Internet based collaboration.

Photo of Johannes Cornelis van Nieuwkerk

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Refival: Inclusion Sourcing as a Global Solution against Economic Deprivation

Looking at Brexit and the American election results, the outcome of elections was unexpected and contested political establishments. In Europe, public sentiment also changed and many asylum deserving refugees meanwhile increasingly face closed borders.

Question is: what is the outcry about? Many people’s dissent is explainable if around them jobs disappear without replacement, if economic areas decline instead of becoming modernized or upgraded. Although beneficial for millions, in practice, globalization is not without friction.

Worldwide, 58% of the people now live in increasingly big cities. This majority no longer represent the interests of less urbanized communities, which are consequently deteriorating. Without measures, a growing division between advantaged and disadvantaged people is evident. More symmetry could be beneficial though: reducing overcrowding whilst improving sustainability for the deprived.

As a practical way to achieve improvement I propose to put a policy named “inclusion sourcing” in place. 

Inclusion means that economically privileged areas take responsibility for disadvantaged ones by making them an integrated part of their workforce. Whereas “rural” areas are not as specialized and offer less human interaction, they offer more space and lower living cost. This enables nature versus city lifestyle or larger family versus expert type career choices. The two profiles are equally valuable complements.

Sourcing means in this case to use the Internet for redistribution of work and education facilities. Aiming inclusion, government and business process tasks that do not need the urban type of specialized human interaction are actively relocated to deprived areas. Such, more proper, division of duties leads to a personal preference based, fluid, bi-directional migration between urban and rural zones.

Inclusion sourcing reduces cost and generates a lower threshold for self-sustainability of vulnerable groups like unemployed or refugees. This brings them better chances to be involved and integrate. Demographically, the availability of more living space and lower living cost could mend the currently too low birthrates faced in European cities. Finally, less deprivation will lead to upward social mobility for many.

Explain your idea

Since remote collaboration technology is readily available, Internet based economic inclusion and equal social participation of disadvantaged people like rural citizens, unemployed and refugees is now achievable. Furthermore, the current and future effects of job losses caused by the 4th Industrial Revolution can be balanced by spreading the remaining activities. ”Inclusion sourcing” prevents deprivation because it keeps people connected to innovation.

Although very useful as an instrument for inclusion, today’s business process outsourcing (BPO) and shared services organizations (SSOs) predominantly focus on job-relocation rather than on reorganizing (micro) activities. In the near future, however, it is not entire positions but specific tasks that will be robotized. Therefore splitting-off activities from today’s jobs and moving them to socially deprived areas can be an advantageous approach to integral workplace reorganization.

Collaborative Robots (Cobots) and A.I. based assistants, working jointly with people, have become a fast growing phenomenon. Surprisingly, improving the alternative of human based backing is significantly less explored. Sharing of available labor via Internet, by teaching and handing-over less specialized jobs or tasks to more cost-effective Collaborative Human Beings (named Cobeings by Refival), is nevertheless a realistic alternative to machine based support.

The benefit for people turning-over activities is a stronger focus on specialization. Their roles become more unique and this generates an increase in added value and competitiveness. For the disadvantaged groups, executing “micro-working” tasks can be easily merged with carrying out “micro-learning” tasks and enables them to continuously learn while working. Refugees or unemployed thus gain access to social mobility and
are offered a way out of welfare dependency.

Who Benefits?

The Refival approach is in principle universal. It can benefit all deprived areas where an Internet infrastructure is or can be made available and where disadvantaged people are computer literate or can be educated to become computer literate.

Refival's current European focus could benefit the, 100 million people (20%), remaining rural population of Europe and many of the 2 million refugees who arrived in 2015 and 2016.

In a longer term perspective Refival addresses rural-urban unbalance and creates mechanisms for general inclusion, benefiting almost everyone.

How is your idea unique?

Refival shares some basic elements with and However, its European context and structural rural revitalization approach differs from the aforementioned projects and makes it unique.

Refival's goal lays beyond outsourcing of work alone. Its main focus is to "policy-wise" reestablish an Internet based rural economy and a related community structure which possesses a sustainable future.

Further, for the current project, it includes an integral refugee incubation and integration approach based on relocating support or welfare budgets from urban to rural, investing the living cost difference in people via education.

Finally, it focuses on establishing a structural symbiotic two-way relationship between rural and urban areas.

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about you

Refival is my personal initiative to which I dedicated my time since September 2015.

Watching the stream of refugees to Europe arriving and based on more than 30 years of experience in concept and strategy development, I decided to develop a business approach to refugee integration.

Refival is currently seeking for a larger, established, organization willing to adopt and staff its project. This way available EU and government funding can be obtained for the startup stage.

Further, it seeks private and public sector partners to undertake pilot projects. Together with such partners it expects to be able to demonstrate practical, case based, models for "the sustainable village of the future" and for "efficient refugee integration".

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years
  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.


Join the conversation:

Photo of abubakar Mbarak

hello Johannes Cornelis van Nieuwkerk
good idea, i believe mine is in the same line as your, take a look at it through
since you have more years in expertise i would love to learn from you and get some mentorship from you.
thanks abubakar Mbarak 

Photo of Johannes Cornelis van Nieuwkerk

Dear Abubakar,

You are welcome, please write me if there is anything I can contribute!

Hans van Nieuwkerk

Photo of abubakar Mbarak

please provide me with your email and i will contact you.

Photo of Johannes Cornelis van Nieuwkerk

Dear Abubarak,

I meanwhile sent you a Linkedin invitation.


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