Pathways to Change: Academic Engagement on Sustainability

SEE & S4S Lunch


In a world where the effects of climate change are increasingly evident, many academics feel a pressing urgency to act. As an academic, you might wonder about your role in this global challenge. How can you make a significant impact? What avenues are available for effective outreach or scientific activism? To explore these critical questions, the Sustainability Education and Engagement (SEE) and Science for Sustainability (S4S) communities, part of the Pathways to Sustainability strategic theme, warmly invite you to the network and lunch meeting on April 4th, 2024, from 12:00 to 13:30. This meeting is organized in collaboration with museum and observatory Sonnenborgh.

Our lunch meeting aims to share successful approaches in outreach on the topic of climate change and discuss the role of academics in the societal debate. What are the roles of academics, the university and cultural organisations (like Sonnenborgh) in navigating the complex interplay of policy, society, and science? Additionally, this event is an opportunity to strengthen the partnership between Sonnenborgh and UU.

Details of the full program will be updated below. If you are keen to join us in this engaging and meaningful discussion, please register using the form below. Lunch will be provided!


11:45      Doors open

12:00      Pitches: 

                  -   Sonnenborgh's new initiative KlimaatlabGiovanni Stijnen
Giovanni Stijnen, the director of Sonnenborgh Observatory in Utrecht, will discuss the conceptual foundations behind the museum's initiative to establish a Climate Lab (Klimaatlab). He will delve into Sonnenborgh's goal of fundamentally transforming science communication related to climate change. The approach involves shifting away from a conventional, intellectually-focused knowledge transfer aimed at a broad audience. Instead, the Climate Lab’s focus will be on adopting a more emotional approach centered around the awe-inspiring wonders of the cosmos and the world.
                  -   U-TalentDirk Jan Boerwinkel
Dirk Jan Boerwinkel, the director of U-Talent, will discuss the pivotal role that university scholars can play in secondary education within the Utrecht region through the U-Talent network. He will explore the potential benefits of collaboration between universities and secondary schools, emphasizing the mutual advantages. Additionally, he will present the prospect for existing research projects to engage in partnerships with secondary schools, providing a substantial opportunity to enhance the societal impact of these projects.
                  -   Tipping Point AheadBjinse Dankert
Tipping Point Ahead develops teaching materials about climate change intended for Dutch high-school education. In cooperation with climate scientists and teachers, we create educational clips about state-of-the-art climate science, develop teaching materials, ranging from extensive teaching modules to concise assignments, and organize annual workshops with workshops and presentations about the latest insights on climate change. Tipping Point Ahead is part of the climate research programme NESSC.

12:30      Q&A
13:00      Lunch and networking

The afternoon will be moderated by Erik van Sebille

Start date and time
End date and time
Sonnenborgh, Zonnenburg 2, 3512 NL Utrecht
Entrance fee
More information
Register for the event using this form.