Pathways to Sustainability Conference 2020: Accelerating the Transformation

Pathways to Sustainability Conference 2019.

In the morning plenary, we journey together to explore how to accelerate the sustainability transformation. In the afternoon we interact in parallel Breakthrough Sessions. We close the conference with compelling speakers and with voting for the winner of the very first Pathways to Sustainability Award. 

Programme description

9:00 Registration and coffee

Moderator of the conference is Dr Vanessa Timmer (Utrecht University and One Earth).

9:30 A journey into accelerating the sustainability transformation: Breakthroughs in science and policy

In the morning plenary, Pathways to Sustainability Scientific Director Prof Maarten Hajer takes us on a journey of how to achieve acceleration in the age of the Anthropocene and what this means for our work. We continue our voyage with a keynote from Dr Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, who unpacks the challenge of greening Europe and the importance of transitions research for policy and practice.

As a next step in our journey, we are joined by Utrecht University Prof Petra de Jongh on the promise of next generation catalysis and energy conversion and storage, Utrecht University Prof Koen Frenken on mission-oriented innovation policy, and Dr Daphina Misiedjan from the International Institute of Social Studies on human rights and the environment. What do they consider to be promising breakthroughs, and what do you think?

11:15 Coffee break

11:45 A journey into accelerating the sustainability transformation: Breakthroughs in politics, science, and representation

How do we create breakthroughs in practice? Dr Peter Pelzer (Utrecht University) interviews Utrecht’s alderman for the environment Lot van Hooijdonk on the politics of achieving breakthroughs in the city of Utrecht.

Prof Tim Lenton (University of Exeter) speaks on tipping points in climate and biosphere function.

Sandra van der Hel (Utrecht University) addresses communicating climate change, followed by an interactive discussion with conference participants and Prof Tim Lenton and Sandra van der Hel.

12:45 Lunch

During lunch:

14:00 Breakthrough Sessions

In interactive Breakthrough Sessions, we discover how to reach ‘unreachable’ allies, advance sustainable deltas, protect crops, reshape Dutch industry, and achieve circularity including in urban infrastructure. You can choose one of the following five interactive parallel sessions:


Breakthrough Sessions reporting back

After us, the deluge

Utrecht University climate researcher and NOS weatherman Dr Peter Kuipers Munneke introduces our plenary speaker photojournalist Kadir van Lohuizen. Kadir shares how our visual landscape influences our understanding of the world and of the possibilities for transformation. He began his photographic and documentary work on rising sea levels in 2011, when many people still perceived the impact of sea-level rise as being far in the future. Van Lohuizen shares his motivation to reach a wider audience about climate change, to visualise underrepresented aspects, and to show the impacts in ways that demonstrate how climate change affects us today. He engaged scientists in verifying the evidence behind his photographs including Utrecht University scientists Dr Peter Kuipers Munneke, Prof Michiel van den Broeke, and Dr Kim Cohen.

Utrecht Young Academy

Utrecht Young Academy with UYA members Dr Sanli Faez, Dr Liesbeth van de Grift and Dr Erik van Sebille.

Pathways to Sustainability Award

We close the conference with voting for the winner of the very first Pathways to Sustainability Award.

17:15 Drinks