lunch talk about the COP 23 climate conference

In the last two weeks a climate conference and international negotiation took place in Bonn. The various Wageningen researchers and students who were involved would like to share their experiences and engage in an open dialogue with you. The outcomes of the conference will be discussed and put into the perspective of Wageningen research opportunities. Topics include climate smart agriculture, fossil fuel divestment and climate negotiations.

24 November, 12.30 – 13.30, Impulse.

We are proud to announce our panel:

  • Prof. Dr. Martin Herold who spoke at the COP23 at an official side event titled “REDD+: Bridging national and subnational levels of government”.
  • Eline Floor Houwen who is one of the student leaders behind “WU’R Going To Bonn” and active at Fossil Free Wageningen.
  • Fabian Kemps Verhage, Research Student Assistant at CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture & Food Security (CCAFS), who has attended the full two week conference.
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Workshop ‘Make your own bee hotel’

RUW Foundation and Green Office are inviting you for an afternoon full of ‘Bee Hotels’.

Poster Workshop Workshop Beehotel

In the beautiful forest area of Ppauw Ecovillage we get to learn about the function of Bee hotels, and already work towards making one ourselves. The tangible results you can either take home or donate to the forest. All material and tools will be provided.

Only 3,- subscription fee, and max 13 participants, so subscribe soon.

 

Subscription list:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1oAqhoJeFvPFq4LZUxhlsVF-G9U9XDFj9zm-r8ynO7Ss/edit

*This event is part of the ‘Seriously Sustainable week’, hosted by Green office, 9/13 October

Vacancy: “Wageningen’s visions on the future of food”

A documentary about Wageningen UR

RUW Foundation is proud to announce that during the Academic Year 17/18 we will be making a video documentary around the topic of “Wageningen’s visions on the future of food“. The application for a position in the documentary is now open.

We have noticed that there are strong and often conflicting ideas and methods in Wageningen that are developed and promoted to feed the world sustainably. Globalise or localise? Permaculture or GMO’s? Or are these dichotomies outdated?

We want to create an overview the different schools of thought in Wageningen by interviewing researchers and professors and find out where their science agrees and disagrees. The spectrum of opinions is broad but we all work to “Explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life” at the Wageningen University. This documentary is there to celebrate that diversity and to critically assess the beliefs that underpin these different schools of thought. The viewer should, after having watched the documentary, have a better understanding of the current state of Wageningen research in sustainable food systems and be able to form an opinion herself based on the information presented.

“How do we want to feed the world in a sustainable way?”

Additionally, we will produce a set of high quality knowlegde clips. These are excerpts from the documentary and extended interviews which didn’t make the cut for the documentary or are extended sections that delve deeper into one topic. These videos will be given to the Wageningen University for promotional useage and to celebrate the Centennial. 

Making a full-featured documentary is not a small challenge and we are aware of the amount of work that will have to go into this ambitious project. Only with your input and help we can create the documentary Wageningen deserves. That is why we applied for funding (FOS) for 5 Wageningen students to form the documentary team with us. Do you have experience in working with video? Do you dream about making a movie? Thanks to funding from Wageningen UR we are able to offer the following positions in the documentary team:

  • Director
    • The director is the logistic and artistic leader of the group and carries the final responsibility for the outcome.
    • Acts as contact person
    • Keeps the overview of the project
  • Camera person + planner
    • Operates the camera and has a keen eye for creating the most fitting shots. Having a camera is plus.
    • Sets the conditions for creating these shots: logistics, room booking, making sure everyone is there, etcetera.
  • Editor
    • Compiles and arranges the recorded material into a coherent and visually appealing product. Having experience with Premiere Pro, After Effects or other professional video software is a plus
    • Develops the styling of the documentary together with director and storyboard maker
  • Storyboard
    • Creates the narrative together with the researcher and director and visualizes this in a storyboard
    • Writes the script
    • Helps with the research and the creation of infographics and movie posters
  • Research + interviewer
    • Delves into the topic of sustainable food systems and finds who at WUR is relevant to talk to
    • Conducts the interviews and is able to ward off misleading answers
    • Is sceptical and critical by nature (with this we don’t mean cynical and negative)

The documentary team will be supported and supervised by the RUW Foundation board and coordinators throughout the process. All students and staff of Wageningen university can apply for these positions.

Send a short motivation in which you illustrate relevant experience for the role you aim for + some video material if you have done video projects in the past to ruw@wur.nl. The deadline for application is the 1st of October. The aim is to premiere the documentary in June 2018.

The Celestine Prophecy – Book Discussion!


We’ll be discussing James Redfield’s “Celestine Prophecy” summer-style: on a terrace while having a drink in the sun. If you’ve read this book about a spiritual awakening or if you are interested to know more about the various insights that are laid out in this book, feel free to join the conversation on the 6th of July, 19.30 at Café de Zaaier.

What did you think about the book? You can already start the discussion in our Facebook event (and invite your friends).

 

Organic versus Intensive Agriculture: The Facts!

We want to know the actual facts about organic agriculture! Therefore we organized a tour to the organic dairy farm ‘The Hooilanden’  and afterwards we will look at several statements about oganic agriculture. Because; what is the difference with intensive agriculture? Is it really ‘better’? These and all other things you always wanted to know are discussed during this event.
To join the tour costs €3, send an email to ruw@wur.nl to subscribe!

Program:
– 15.30 Meeting at Forum, cycling to the Hooilanden
– 15.45 Tour at the Hooilanden
– 17.30 Discussing statements with our expert panel in C106, Forum

Our expert panel consists of: 

  • Bernadette Backers: from de Kardoen, organic shop in Bennekom
  • Bert Rijk: from the Plant Production Systems group (WUR)
  • Maria-Franca Dekkers: co-author of the book “A close look into organic statements”.

Skills for Sustainability: Summer Camp

This summer the RUW Foundation team invites you for 8 days of hands-on sustainability training, because there is only so much one can learn from books and lectures. During this summer camp you get to experience the real deal and put your knowledge into practice! To do this we will live, learn and build in Wageningen’s own ecovillage PPauw and in the self-sustaining Strohplatz house in Germany. You will, together with a group of green-minded people, will learn relevant new skills, in two great and inspiring environments and get plenty of opportunity to apply these immediately! In total we have 25 places reserved, makes sure you subscribe before the 25th of may here.

The Preliminary schedule:

Sunday, July 9 – Arrive in the evening at Ppauw ecovillage.
– Tour through the ecovillage + get to know eachother + setting up tents
– Introduction to local currencies.
Monday, July 10 make your own soap.
– Crash course sustainable cooking.
– Work on a sustainability project of your choice.*
Tuesday, July 11 – Day excursion to inspiring. sustainability project in the Netherlands (TBA)
Buscraft workshop
– Edible plants workshop
Wednesday, July 12 – Work on a sustainability project of your choice*
– Afternoon excursion to inspiring sustainability project in Gelderland (TBA)
Repair cafe workshop (learn how to fix broken things)
Thursday, July 13 – Workshop electrical skills
– Sustainability skills transfer among participants through self-organised workshops
– Finalise the sustainability projects at Ppauw*
Build your own Pizza evening + Party night
Friday, July 14 – Travel to Strohplatz, Germany
– Introduction by Niels Gorisse, the initiator of Strohplatz.
– Reflect on first part of the summercamp.
Saturday, July 15 – Contribute to a Sustainable building project at Strohplatz
– Learn about off grid technologies and self-sufficient living
Permaculture design primer
Sunday, July 16 – A beautiful hiking tour through the German landscape
– Non-violent communication workshop
How are you going to use the skills and knowledge you’ve gained this week in your daily life?
– Travel back to Wageningen

* During the Summer camp we offer the following projects for skill development:

  • Building a Pizza-oven (and make delicious pizza’s!)
  • Learn how to garden and harvest by using agro-ecological and permaculture methodologies.
  • Construct a composting system which incorporates chickens in its design
  • Get creative by reusing plastic waste with various upcycle techniques.
  • Build an outdoor summer kitchen facility, including a rocket-stove, hooikist and solar cooker.
  • Create your own soap and cleaning products
  • Build a huge circus tent out of recycled and reclaimed materials.
  • Design and make a constructed wetland filtering system for rainwater catchment and purification.
  • Install a 3kWh off-grid solar PV energy system.
  • Bushcraft: Learn basic survival skills like making fire, build a shelter, find edible plants and drinkable water.

Costs:  150,- (235,- for non-WUR students) This includes transport, material, workshops, stay, most of the food, etc

Register here.

The Uncertainty Has Settled

uncertainty

On Monday April 24 OtherWise and RUW, in collaboration with MovieW, bring The Uncertainty Has Settled to Wageningen. This controversial documentary from Marijn Poels is a must see! Afterwards there will be a Q&A with the director himself and professor Rik Leemans, IPCC scientist.

Synopsis
After eight years of travelling through conflict and poverty zones, Marijn Poels – a left wing filmmaker/journalist – decides to take some time off. In the Austrian mountains no less. It confronts him unexpectedly with the roots of agriculture and its modern day perspective. Globalisation and climate politics are causing radical changes such as farmers becoming energy suppliers. But the green ideology raises questions. The scientific topic of climate change has now become incontrovertibly a matter of world politics. Poels faces a personal conflict. Are we doing the right thing?

Directors statement:
A true leftwinged idealist I am. despite that I’m trying to be very critical towards my own ideology. Otherwise there might be a chance that my point of view will become a religion…

We are living in an era where the gap between left and right has become alarmingly bigger. Our believes are getting more and more determined on who’s saying it, rather than checking facts and evidence. Followed by preferred labels and loathing the other views in advance.

Films enough who are claiming truths and perspectives. “The Uncertainty Has Settled” tries not to calm but confuse the viewer with information where he or she must make up their own opinion.

Finding the sensitive line between big dogmas and controversies to break the mainstream beliefs in order to put up a healthy debate and bringing dogmas together.

In a cinematic environment, that is the journalism I like!

We will keep you up to date in this Facebook event.

The Dutch elections in a Wageningen and a Global context.

By Erik-Jan van Oosten & Roos Akkerman

The upcoming elections are not just a national affair, but take place within a context. At RUW Foundation we decided to pay attention to both the global geopolitical developments and the topics closest to the Wageningen research agenda: food and sustainability.

To get a better understanding of the global implications of the elections and the role of disruptive regime changes 2016 has brought us on the political climate, we collaborated with Otherwise and invited Felix Klos. Felix Klos (1992) is a historian, political scientist and author of the book Churchill on Europe. Moreover, he was part of the campaigning team of Hillary Clinton in Iowa for the last US elections.

Felix ruled out a Trump-like victory for the Dutch right and alt-right parties, because the Netherlands doesn’t have a two-party system. It is highly unlikely that one party will get an absolute majority in parliament. Which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t worry about the rise of right-wing extremism and the ongoing shift of the political spectrum toward the right.

Felix held a warm plea for the European Union and reminded us why Churchill, on whom he wrote a book, was a proponent of a more unified Europe. If we want Europe to remain both peaceful and relevant on the world stage, we have no choice other than to embrace the European project.

Felix explained that the rise of both the alternative-right and the alternative fact phenomenon in the US are only slowly moving to Europe. There is a strong difference between the harsh social and economic climate in the post-industrial South where mining jobs got replaced with abject poverty, and the situation in the Netherlands where there is a relatively strong safety net and a better public education system. While it is great that Europe seems to unite in making fun of president Trump, we do need to be aware of the option that his presidency might even become successful. If unregulated capitalism creates short-term profits, a war is declared or a terrorist strikes, his support might grow which would result in 4 more years of Trump. We need to do more than make fun of him if the West wants to avoid this from happening.

Just like in the US election coverage, not once has the political debate been about climate change and sustainability on national television. Green Office, RUW Foundation, Otherwise and the Resource felt that the issues related to the sustainable development were too important to ignore, so on the 7th of March we invited young people from CU, CDA, D66, GL, PvdD and VVD to share their plans. We specifically invited the youth organisations because they have signed Jan Terlouw’s manifest for a more sustainable world, and who better to tell the young Wageningen public their plans than young representatives?

The debate was very different from the polarised, soundbite-driven TV debates: On many points there was strong agreement across the political spectrum. The tone was respectful and instead of personal attacks we saw invitations to collaborate more!

The “what” questions resulted in a clear consensus: everyone wanted to have a safe and stable climate, a secure and healthy food system, a fair and balanced economy and a leadership role for the Netherlands in sustainable development. The ideological differences between the representatives only became clear when talking about the “how” question. Generally: the more to the left of the spectrum, the stronger the role of government and the further to the center-right, the stronger the role of free market capitalism in obtaining these objectives. The young representatives for all parties sounded more forward-thinking than their mother parties, making us positive about the future leaders and strengthening our belief that young people should have a stronger voice in the direction of the country. We hoped that our activities in March helped you in making a well-informed decision in the voting booth.

21 February: Sustainability Book club meeting

walden-poster

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”  ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Do you like to read books but need some motivational support? Join the sustainability book club and get more reading done! Every month we pick a sustainability-related book and read it, then we discuss what we thought of it and pick the book for next month. This is time we’ll discuss “Walden” by Thoreau. It’s totally ok to not have read the book for the first meeting. We recommend you to read the summary to get the general idea of this book.
You can recognise us by our black RUW blouses (and by the books). The first drink is on us, and don’t forget to bring your book-loving friends!

“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Vacancy: Green Active Network Coordinator

The  Green Active Network (GAN) is a platform which unites all organisations and persons working on or interested in sustainability in Wageningen. The platform is a flexible and ‘living’ thing. Everyone who feels like joining is welcome. Communication within the GAN goes through the fb-page, and/or mailing list. Furthermore, there is a shared Drive and Google Calendar and every three months, the green organisations see each other in the Meet&Mingle meetings.

ganThe Green Active Network Coordinator

In order to strengthen the movement, we are looking for someone who will facilitate collaboration and communication between the organisations within Green Active Network. The ultimate goal is to make sure that everyone in Wageningen who wants to get active knows what activities are there and what each organisation is doing. The GAN Coordinator has support from all organisations within the GAN Network but operates independently.

Tasks

The GAN Coordinator has five main tasks:

1. Visibility of the network and its organizations

Making sure that everyone interested in sustainability knows where to go. This includes the spreading the poster with all Green Active organisations and ensuring the presence and visibility of the network during the AID and other events. The coordinator has also freedom to organize other outreach activities.

2. Vision of the GAN Network

Facilitating development of the vision of the GAN Network. It should include answers to following questions: What do we stand for? What do the organisations have in common? What is our long time vision.?

3. Coordination

Making sure that events organized by Green Active organizations are aligned. It could be for instance achieved by promoting the use of the Green Calendar, increasing collaboration by organizing Meet & Mingle meetings  and other network events (e.g. brainstorming).

4. Internal communication

Keeping the GAN Google Drive and the contact list up to date and  keeping an eye on the fb-page.

5. Knowledge aggregation and transfer

Making sure that information is not lost after one year but transferred successfully. It includes documentation of own activities and important information.

We are looking for:

  • Someone who has a drive to connect and strengthen a local and diverse movement
  • An interest in sustainability in Wageningen in all its forms
  • Availability until September or December 2017
  • Someone who is a true facilitator and connector
  • Is available for 8 hours a week (or 4 when the position is shared)

What we can offer:

  • Insights in the Wageningen green scene
  • Possibility to meet inspiring, green-minded people and work together with multiple actors (such as Green Active organisations, students and the different University departments)
  • Amazing opportunities for gaining professional working experience and personal development
  • Building and being part of a sustainability network
  • Developing and showing leadership, initiative and creativity

Application procedure

Please send your cv with a one-page motivation letter and cv at GANWageningen@gmail.com before 14/12/2016.

The new GAN coordinator will be elected on Thursday evening 19/01/2017 in Orion, so keep this day free. If you cannot attend this day, there is the possibility to send in a movie where you present yourself.

The position starts immediately after the election event.