Grand challenges – it is more than evident that the next generation, your generation, will be faced with unprecedented challenges on a global scale. How to feed 9 billion people in 2050, on a planet that is heavily pressured by climate change and its migration flows? And how to deal with the lack of natural resources, and rising social-economic and political inequality (to name a few issues) that result from it? It is evident that the current system, with its focus on growth ‘no matter what’, has caused a number of these problems. It’s time for a paradigm shift and a system change!
In a city like Rotterdam, which has become quite a metropole the past decades, we already see some of these challenges emerging, for example when we look at migration, social-economic inequality, public health issues, energy transition and climate adaptation. It is therefore an ideal surrounding to diagnose, reflect and act on these Grand Challenges on a more local level – for a hands-on experience.
"Interdisciplinarity, radical re-thinking, and teamwork go hand-in-hand; with these ingredients a sustainable future becomes imaginable - and feasible."
dr. Christian van der Veeke (see profile) is the academic director of the Erasmus Honours Programme, and senior lecturer in the Humanities at Erasmus University College (EUC)
As you might know, EUR traditionally is THE University for Future Leaders in business and (public & private) management. Those potential ‘gamechangers’ need, in this era, to be trained in a systemic and holistic way to be fully aware of the challenges facing us; and they have to be capable of handling them. These challenges can only be approached, faced or at least reflected on and partially dealt with, by creative and holistic thinking. This requires multi-disciplinary teams with individuals that show courage, optimism and a strong belief in a better future. It also requires a will to come to interdisciplinary approaches and practices.
Are you up for a Grand Challenge?
Students who are admitted to this Honours Programme will embark on a fascinating and exploratory journey through the complexity of (re-)thinking ‘sustainability’. This concept will be redefined from different angles – ecologically and philosophically, socially, economically, culturally, but also physically and mentally. The edition of 2024 will focus on the question: 'How might we regenerate city-life in Rotterdam.'