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Haroon Sheikh is a senior scientist at The Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR). I consider him to be a bit like the Dutch version of the famous historian and writer Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Sapiens). Some time ago I attended a presentation by him. It was about the origins of generational differences that we have identified in our society, such as generation X, Y or Z. He said that each generation has had specific ‘formative experiences.’ Which have all had a strong collective influence on their norms and values. Human intellect increases very rapidly, especially between the seventh and eleventh year of life. The things we learn or experience then become firmly anchored in what we think and do during the rest of our lives. An event of global significance can, therefore, be formative for an entire generation.

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