Conference ‘Sustainability – the next level’ – 31 May 2018
Sustainability remains an important theme for EUR. Great progress has been made in recent years, some more visible, others less so. The question we are now facing is how we will proceed in the coming years. What will be our new sustainability goals for research, education and business operations? This and other questions were addressed by students, employees and academics during the conference ‘Sustainability – the next level’, which took place at 31 May. This conference was organised by the Executive Board in collaboration with the students from the University Council to gather input for the university’s ambitions with respect to sustainability in relation to research, education and operational management.
"Attaining sustainability in the Anthropocene, the era in which humans influence the Earth system, requires us to rethink how we relate to the human-nature interface and how we understand the traditional divide between disciplines, into social and natural sciences. This requires considerable research investment in all disciplines. Yet, more is required. Importantly, we need to engage creative young brains and help them prepare for addressing the implications of the Anthropocene for human behaviour. Sustainability and the challenges it presents should thus be part of all curricula, including those at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The advent of the Anthropocene challenges me to get my head around its implications for international policy and law.”
Prof. Dr. Ellen Hey | Professor of Public International Law – Erasmus School of Law
“Education is key to scaling-up global sustainability efforts to create a safe and just operating space for humanity and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Students need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to understand our sustainability challenges and have the attitude to create solutions. The next level on teaching for EUR is to ensure it is providing specialized programmes for deep knowledge, while also mainstreaming interdisciplinary sustainability skills and knowledge across our curricula.”
Dr. Steve Kennedy | Associate Professor – Department of Business-Society Management – Rotterdam School of Managemen
On the day of the conference, students presented a statue of plastic. The materials for this statue were collected on campus, in merely two hours. Students also made a video in which they state how education at Erasmus University Rotterdam can contribute to a more sustainable future.
These were our speakers
Joris Putman (chair for the day)
Joris Putman is a Dutch entrepreneur in sustainability and an inventor. In 2009 he started his media production company Green Dream Productions, to produce television programs for young inventors. In 2012 and 2013 he produced and presented two seasons of the discussion program Watt Nu? regarding the energy future of the Netherlands. With his company Antrojoule, Joris undertakes in sustainable projects.
Derk Loorbach is director of DRIFT and Professor of Socio-economic Transitions at the ESSB. Derk is one of the founders of the transition management approach as new form of governance for sustainable development. He has over one hundred publications in this area and has been involved as an action researcher in numerous transition processes with government, business, civil society and science.
Jan Rotmans was the first professor in the Netherlands to obtain his PhD on climate change. In 2004 he founded the new research institute DRIFT, Dutch Research Institute For Transitions, and became full professor in transitions and transition management at EUR. Apart from his scientific work he also wants to contribute to a better and sustainable society. Therefore a radical change, a transition, is necessary.
Emma Clemens is a youth representative for sustainable development at the United Nations. As a youth representative, she talks to many young people about climate change and lobbies for more (inter)national ambition for a better future. Besides her activities as a youth representative, she studies International Economics and Legal Studies at EUR.
Jan Stoop (pitch)
Jan Stoop is an associate professor in Behavioural Economics at the ESE. His research is about external validity of laboratory experiments, and field experiments on social preferences. He initiated a plan to switch the default option for catering that personnel at ESE receives: the standard is now vegan, and meat/dairy has to be ordered separately.
Jon de Ruijter (pitch)
Jon de Ruijter is, besides his function as Director Sport of the EUR, also responsible for all student-led sustainable activities of the EUR. In a newly established foundation, all sustainable projects such as the Hub, the Erasmus Food Lab and the Thrift Hub etc. are facilitated to stimulate awareness on sustainability at the campus.
Asmae Belhirch is sustainability program manager of the municipality Rotterdam. She is therefore responsible for the development and execution of the “Sustainability Program 2015-2018” and “PLUS”, securing this approach within the organisation of the municipality and with external partners, and the sustainability vision for the future. Furthermore, she is responsible for the profiling of sustainability and maintains an (inter)national network with the EU, C40 and G4.