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March Newsletter of the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco 
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Dear reader,
 
As our world grows increasingly connected digitally, we become more and more dependent on technological devices in our daily lives. Think about reading the newspaper on your tablet, watching Netflix on your laptop, or you and a friend splitting a bill with your phone. That is why cybersecurity is becoming a valuable asset, and often something we take for granted.
 
Countries are tackling these cybersecurity issues, and the Netherlands and the United States are working closely together to fight cybercrime in all forms. The Netherlands recognizes the urgency of a digital safe environment and is continually working to improve security infrastructures, making us a frontrunner of smart tech solutions and security.
 
Twenty-two Dutch companies and organizations in cybersecurity traveled to San Francisco for this year’s RSA Conference, the largest cybersecurity conference in the world. RSA 2020 marked the first time that the Netherlands hosted a Dutch pavilion, a clear sign of the importance the Netherlands places on cybersecurity.
 
We have some exciting projects coming up. We kick off March with the annual Flower Bulb Day, turning Union Square in San Francisco into a colorful tulip field. We are also preparing our pop-up consulate in Seattle, as well our yearly King’s Day celebrations.
 
Hope you have a great month!
 
Best,
Gerbert Kunst
Consul General

 

Holland IT Security House at RSA 2020
The RSA in San Francisco is the largest cybersecurity conference in the world, this year focusing on the theme of “The Human Element.” A Dutch delegation of 22 companies was present at this Silicon Valley conference to make connections, gain knowledge, and talk all things security.

RSA 2020 marked the first year the Dutch hosted a pavilion at the RSA, called the Holland IT Security House. Companies that showcased in this Holland IT Security House were Cybersprint, EclecticIQ, Secura, ThreatFabric, Briddge, ICT 2.0, On2IT, and Invest in Holland.
Deputy Director General for Foreign Economic Relations Peter Potman and RSA Director Linda Gray Martin opened this Holland IT Security House in the presence of Consul General Gerbert Kunst, who talked about the opportunities the new orange pavillion presents to the Dutch cyber delegation.

“For an innovation nation like the Netherlands, events like the RSA perfectly fit into the ambitious and committed vision of our tech institutions,” said Consul Kunst. “Being a leader in the field of cybersecurity, the Netherlands gladly shares its expertise by forging valuable international connections, which brings us one step closer to solving some of the world’s most difficult cyber challenges. As a consulate general, we are more than happy to support such a mission, and of course very proud that the Dutch pavilion has become a reality.”
The results of the Dutch RSA speak for themselves. Next to the promotion of Dutch expertise at the pavilion by Innovation Quarter, many valuable connections were made and milestones reached. Tech company Booz Allen Hamilton announced the establishment of its European headquarters in the Netherlands, while ICT 2.0 fortified The Hague Security Delta by becoming a premium member. The Dutch IoT Security Dialogue was also a success, featuring speeches by experts Mark van Staalduinen and Petra van Schayik on the internet of things.

The Dutch companies were also satisfied with the RSA week, which enabled them to showcase their unique solutions and models. “Radically Open Security is the world’s first not-for-profit computer security consultancy company,” said Anh Tran, who works for this revolutionary Dutch organization. “We believe RSA is a great opportunity to connect with other companies and partners, to share information about new developments in cybersecurity, and to spread information about our nonprofit business model.”

Nort van Schayik, business developer at the Dutch company Compumatica, also discussed the success of the RSA and how sharing knowledge and connections is important to keep up with increasingly complicated cyber threats. “Cybersecurity becomes more and more a political topic, whereby the national security is placed above the principle of an international free market,” said van Schayik. “The challenges companies face today are so diverse and complicated that a tailor-made approach is required to fulfill their security needs.

NL Talks: Cyber Security & Impact on Geopolitics

During the RSA, the Netherlands Consulate General also hosted the NL Talks. These talks, which drew a large crowd, featured a keynote speech by Dutch Stanford Professor Marietje Schaake on cyber security and its impact on geopolitics. The lecture was followed by a panel of experts, in which Marietje Schaake, Timo Koster (Ambassador for Cyber Policy) and Melanie Rieback (CEO Radically Open Security) discussed the future of international cyber security and business. The panel was moderated by Deputy Consul General for Foreign Economic Relations Peter Potman, and was followed by a networking reception.

Pop-Up Consulate in Seattle

At the end of April, the Evergreen state will turn orange! From April 19-22, our Consulate General will pop-up in Seattle, strengthening economic ties and building business networks. Washington exports over 1.63 billion dollars of goods to the Netherlands, while more than 160,000 of its inhabitants are of Dutch descent. Seattle is furthermore the final destination of our Anne Frank exhibit, which has been touring the US school system and will have its last exhibition as the consulate pops over. Both home to many multinational companies and used to rain, the Dutch consulate is looking forward to sharing knowledge, ideas, and a new Dutch playbook on entrepreneurship and business in Seattle!
 
The pop-up consulate also brings the mobile passport station to Seattle, making it possible for Dutch citizens to renew their passport without traveling to the consulate in San Francisco. You can sign up through our website.

Flower Bulb Day

A colorful flower paradise in the middle of an urban jungle. Join us on Saturday, March 7, when we turn Union Square in downtown San Francisco into a stunning sea of Dutch tulips, showcasing all that the Dutch agricultural sector has to offer. Celebrate Flower Bulb Day 2020 like the Dutch by picking your own bunch of free, colorful flowers! The pop-up garden will be open to the public from 1-4:30 p.m., so make sure to drop by and kick off spring the right way. Organized by Royal Anthos in partnership with the European Union and the Consulate General, this celebratory day is free to all. And Miffy might also make a surprise appearance. Please make sure to be there on time, as a large crowd is expected.

To celebrate the 445th birthday of Leiden University, a Cleveringa Lecture was hosted at the Consulate General in San Francisco, marking the first event of the Dutch Bay Area alumni chapter of Leiden University. At this lecture, Professor of Law and Society Maartje van der Woude discussed her ongoing research titled “Empathizing with ‘the Other’: Crimmigration and notions of Membership.” The event showcased the strong Dutch presence in San Francisco, and the vast network of Holland in the Valley.
Anne Frank Exhibit in San Diego
On February 6, the Timken Museum in San Diego hosted the Dutch Anne Frank Exhibition for the public, eventually extending it for two more days due to unprecedented popularity. The exhibition was a great success. Never before did so many people visit the Timken Museum in one day, as some waited 2.5 hours to catch a glimpse of the popular exhibition. 

The Anne Frank Exhibition has been traveling through the US school system for a few years now. Its power lies in its peer-training construct. School kids are trained as tour guides, touching on the important topics of tolerance, freedom, and justice.

The evening reception at the Timken Museum featured talks by Gerbert Kunst and Honorary Consul of the Netherlands in San Diego Hendrik Hanselaar. The high schoolers themselves also took the stage to talk about their experiences guiding the exhibition.

The exhibition is now in Portland, Oregon, with an event on March 19.
Visit to Utah and Speed Skating 

Consul General Kunst traveled Salt Lake City to speak with Utah Governor Gary Herbert and visit the World Trade Center of Utah and the Salt Lake Chamber to talk about business opportunities and the growing trade between Utah and the Netherlands. The Beehive State exports more than $400M in goods to the Netherlands, while more than 64,000 of its inhabitants are of Dutch descent, revealing a strong mutual bond.

The visit also included a meeting with Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, in which topics of climate policies, sustainability, and of course biking were discussed.

He also visited the ISU Speed World Single Distances Speed Skating held in Salt Lake City on February 13-16, to support the Dutch athletes competing in this World Championship. As expected, the Dutch speed skaters did not disappoint. No fewer than seven gold medals were won, once again proving Dutch dominance in speed skating and our ice-cold determination to keep winning.
 
World Press Photo in Phoenix

From January 17 to February 8, the World Press Photo exhibition returned to Phoenix Arizona. The exhibition was organized by the Dutch Honorary Consul in Phoenix Siebe van der Zee and sponsored by the Dutch Embassy and the Consulate General in San Francisco among others. Its opening ceremony saw speeches by Mayor Kate Gallego and Consul General Gerbert Kunst.

The exhibition showcased press freedom and freedom of expression through photography. Important themes, considering how the Netherlands is currently celebrating 75 years of freedom after World War II.

“You see that in many parts of the world freedom of expression is under threat,” said Consul General Kunst, who visited the exhibition. “The number of imprisoned journalists has risen sharply over the past few years. We believe it is important to give journalists and photographers center stage. No press freedom namely means no access to reliable and independent information. A picture doesn’t lie.”


At the end of April, the Netherlands will host the World Press Freedom Conference at the World Forum in the Hague, emphasizing the themes of freedom and justice that are so closely connected to this city. At this Dutch exhibition, the theme of focus will be “Journalism without Fear or Favor.”

Did you know...
  • Consul General Gerbert Kunst went on speed dates with Dutch entrepreneurs at the annual Ambassador’s Conference in the Netherlands, to see if they're ready to make the next step to the US.
  • Almost 400 foreign companies chose the Netherlands in 2019, making it a record year in foreign Dutch investments.
  • Consul General Gerbert Kunst discussed doing business in the US with Dutch magazine De Ondernemer. According to Consul General Kunst, a good preparation is key for those looking to make it in Silicon Valley.
  • Our Startup Liaison Michael Dooijes discussed all things startup with IT-platform Computable. For him, ambition and courage are the two main components for startup success in the Bay Area.
  • The Dutch have overtaken Denmark as the country with the best work-life balance, according to the latest OECD Better Life Index.
 What’s up next? 
  • March 7, 2020: Flower Bulb Day
  • March 19, 2020: Anne Frank in Portland, Oregon
  • April 4, 2020: Golden Gate Park 150 Years
  • April 19-22, 2020: Pop-up Consulate Seattle
  • April 25, 2020: King’s Day San Francisco
  • May 3, 2020: Prinses Christina Concours
  • May 5, 2020: 75 years of Freedom
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Copyright © 2018 Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, San Francisco, All rights reserved.

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Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco · One Montgomery Street · Suite #3100 · San Francisco, CA 94104 · USA