On the evening of Tuesday the 25th of February, 5 students of the ICP Master of Science in Sustainable Development organised an interactive lecture night about having your own sustainable lifestyle. They invited three speakers with three different backgrounds and therefore very different aspects of sustainability came to light with each speaker. The event attracted a large audience, of which most were students from very distinct backgrounds, but all with the same goal: gain new information on sustainability as a whole and how to improve their own lifestyle. The evening started with a brief introduction from Anne Desreveaux about sustainability and how these speakers are connected with this subject.
The first guest was the entrepreneur Pieterjan Verhaeghen. He is the CEO and co-founder of Bolt, a green energy company. This company wants to tackle the issue of green certificates in the energy sector. Most of the common energy distributors in Belgium give their customers the opportunity to have a so-called green energy contracts which guarantees them that they have green energy. However, these green energy contracts are often with green energy certificates bought in Iceland or Scandinavia. Almost all of their energy production is renewable and therefore these certificates are useless to them, but other companies can buy these certificates and sell this green energy in other countries. Therefore, the customers do not really have green energy but energy from non-renewable sources even though they have a green energy contract. Bolt wants to make the green energy contracts more transparent by providing customers the option to buy directly from green energy producers. Therefore, the consumers know who is providing their energy and can be certain that it is from renewable sources in Belgium. At first sight this topic looks quite far away for students as they mostly don’t deal with energy contracts. However, I found it interesting to know that some companies want to get rid of the loopholes in the system that often is misused by companies.
The second speaker was Soraya Candido, a biologist who is currently work as a lobbyist for “Bond Beter Leefmilieu” and who is also a researcher for the Antwerp Management school. She pointed out the importance of nature and biodiversity and why it is underestimated. According to Soraya, companies could play an important role in the transition towards a sustainable future. The first important step that needs to be taken is the transition to a circular economy whereby waste is recycled to new products. Honest communication about their efforts for sustainability is another important aspect that companies should keep in mind so consumers can take a conscious decision of what they buy. It was fascinating to see how relevant the theories that we see in the Master in Sustainable Development like the circular economy. Moreover, I realised how diverse the job opportunities are for my master.
Finally, it was time for Britt Buseyne to take the stage. She is an experience expert on living sustainable and sharing her journey to live more sustainable in a blog and via Instagram. The audience got to know what the most impactful changes they could do in their everyday life, for example how leaving beef has a much bigger impact than using a reusable bag when you go to the supermarket. This was one of the speakers I was looking forward to because she would talk about what we could do our self. This lecture helped me to distinguish between more between the important and less important actions that could be done in our personal life.
As the short summary suggest this was a very interesting evening that merged different aspects of a sustainable life. It was useful to hear what companies are doing to be more sustainable and how you can distinguish the companies really care about it and ones who only want to rise their profit. Even though not everything that was discussed was as relevant for student, it stayed intriguing and let you think further. However, thanks to Britt there were some tips that students could do in their everyday life which already makes quite a difference. After these lectures it was time for a cold drink at the reception and discus a bit further about sustainability with the other attendees.
By : Dea Hasna Isadora
The UN 2030 agenda with 17 SGDs is a roadmap to a peaceful and prosperous world, and Europe is leading in the effort of achieving the goals. Therefore it is important to discuss the challenges and the strategies that Europe has to deliver the SDGs in 2030.
“You cannot be pro-environment on Monday and against raising fuel costs on Tuesday” I remember Emmanuel Macron disdainfully saying during one of his speeches in December, in the full eye of the ‘yellow jackets’ storm. However, that is exactly what we should be doing, as it is all part of the same battle. The battle for article 23 of the Belgian constitution; “Everybody has the right to live a dignified life”. Mobilizations and strikes are organised around the country and even world to do just that, fight for an integral and structural reformation where the strongest shoulders will have to carry the biggest burden. Because, as Dirk Holemans wrote (DM, 26/11): “Climate policy will either be social and just, or it won’t.”
Silent Land: The Fight for Fair Food, is a documentary film set in Cambodia directed by Jan van den Berg. His films often concern human rights, diverse cultures and the struggles faced with regard to society and the environment. In this film he attempts to illustrate the much needed discussion on how we will be able to feed the world with the ever growing human population. For four years he followed the life of a local woman Moon, and her efforts to secure and set up successful small-scale organic farming. In the same time he also followed how ‘His Excellency’ Mong Reththy, a wealthy businessman in the area, envisions his way of achieving efficient large scale agricultural production.
Story map with the aim to raise awareness about the oil palm expansion over tropical forests, especially in Peru.
By Korneel van Dooren
Succes story: the town of Eeklo
Eeklo is dubbed the Flemish capital of wind energy. The town has the highest windturbine density of Flanders, 1 turbine for every 800 citizens. This makes the town completely self-reliant in terms of energy, while greatly reducing its carbon footprint. The recipe for succes is their participative approach. Local citizens were involved from the start. By buying a piece of the turbine, inhabitants established a relationship with the installation. It is their wind turbine they see from the kitchen window. As a result the impressive endavour have been realised without any legal complaints.
By Titus Kipruto
When you think about climate change, what comes to your mind? Global warming, sea level rise, storms, hurricanes, adaptation, and mitigation are all terms often used in climate change discussions but gender isn’t that common and yet it is one of the oldest, inescapable forms of inequalities in the world. Most gender debates are prominent in discussions on inequalities in access to resources and poverty but are yet to feature persuasively in climate-related discussions. According to the UNFCCC’s team1, gender action climate change affects everyone but unfortunately, not equally. Climate change aggravates existing inequalities in society because when women are poorly placed to access education and decent employment, they are less likely to get the knowledge, information, and support that could help them deal with climate change impacts. Women and are also the most affected when they have to move as a result of climate- related disasters.
Internships / Master Theses
Non ergo erunt homines deliciis diffluentes audiendi, si quando de amicitia, quam nec usu nec ratione habent cognitam, disputabunt. Nam quis est, pro deorum fidem atque hominum! qui velit, ut neque diligat quemquam nec ipse ab ullo diligatur, circumfluere omnibus copiis atque in omnium rerum abundantia vivere? Haec enim est tyrannorum vita nimirum, in qua nulla fides, nulla caritas, nulla stabilis benevolentiae potest esse fiducia, omnia semper suspecta atque sollicita, nullus locus amicitiae.
Alii summum decus in carruchis solito altioribus et ambitioso vestium cultu ponentes sudant sub ponderibus lacernarum, quas in collis insertas cingulis ipsis adnectunt nimia subtegminum tenuitate perflabiles, expandentes eas crebris agitationibus maximeque sinistra, ut longiores fimbriae tunicaeque perspicue luceant varietate liciorum effigiatae in species animalium multiformes.
Vita est illis semper in fuga uxoresque mercenariae conductae ad tempus ex pacto atque, ut sit species matrimonii, dotis nomine futura coniunx hastam et tabernaculum offert marito, post statum diem si id elegerit discessura, et incredibile est quo ardore apud eos in venerem uterque solvitur sexus.