Inspiring Talks

Browse through highlighted videos from our past Pathways to Sustainability conferences, below. You will find a range of key note speeches and talks, which we hope will inspire you on your sustainability journey! 

Read more about the past conference themes here.

Lewis Akenji

Keynote speech by Dr Lewis Akenji, managing director of the Hot or Cool Institute, a Berlin based public interest think tank at the 2023 conference.

Fatima Denton

Keynote speech by Dr Fatima Denton, director of the Institute for Natural Resources in Africa of the UN University, Ghana, at the 2023 conference.

Q&A with Lewis Akenji and Fatima Denton

Q&A with Lewis Akenji and Fatima Denton, with moderator Vanessa Timmer, at the 2023 conference.

Panel reflections

Panel reflections on the pathways to 2060 with Harriet Bulkeley, Eline Hutter, Beatrice de Graaf and moderated by Vanessa Timmer, at the 2023 conference.

Back in 2023: Q&A with panel 

Back in 2023: Q&A with invited panel experts, Maarten Hajer, Nynke Laverman and Sytze Pruiksma and moderated by Vanessa Timmer, from the 2023 conference.

Maarten Hajer

Making Change Happen, the theme of the 2021 conference, was introduced by Maarten Hajer, Scientific Director of Pathways to Sustainability.

Mariana Mazzucato

Economist Mariana Mazzucato joined us online from Rome for the 2021 conference, where she attended the G7 panel.

Valérie Masson-Delmotte

UU honorary doctor and IPCC co-chair Valérie Masson-Delmotte gave her perspective on Making Change Happen, at the 2021 conference.

Edgar Pieterse

Edgar Pieterse, founding director of the African Centre for Cities in Cape Town, shared some uncomfortable facts at 2021's conference.

Marjolijn van Heemstra

Writer and theatre maker Marjolijn van Heemstra took us on a night walk, about darkness and urgency, at the 2021 conference.

A Just Transition - No Time to Waste

Waste is one of the biggest challenges of this time. Ernst WorrellHeba Allah Khalil and Aàdesokan discuss at the 2021 conference.

Hans Bruyninckx 

What could Europe do to speed up the sustainability transition? Dr Hans Bruyninckx reports from the heart of European politics at the 2020 conference.

Daphina Misiedjan

Dr Daphina Misiedjan from the International Institute of Social Studies shares breakthroughs in sustainability transformation laws, at the 2020 conference.

Lot van Hooijdonk and Peter Pelzer

What does accelerating the sustainability transition look like? An interview with alderwoman Lot van Hooijdonk and Peter Pelzer at the 2020 conference.

Tim Lenton

Tim Lenton, Professor of Climate Change and Earth System Science at the University of Exeter, discusses tipping points, at the 2020 conference.

Sandra van der Hel and Tim Lenton

What is an appropriate way to communicate about climate change? A discussion with Sandra van der Hel and Tim Lenton, at the 2020 conference.

Peter Kuipers Munneke & Kadir van Lohuizen

Photojournalist Kadir van Lohuizen and national weatherman Dr Peter Kuipers Munneke discuss visualising the future of climate change.


Koen Frenken, Daphina Misiedjan & Petra de Jong

Koen Frenken, Daphina Misiedjan and Petra de Jong pitch their ideas on the potential sources of acceleration at the 2020 conference.


Marleen van Rijswick

Prof. Marleen van Rijswick discusses the ‘Skyscraper whale’ artwork of plastic waste, at the 2019 conference.


Henk Kummeling

Rector Magnificus Prof Henk Kummeling opened the 2019 conference, focusing on sustainability research and education at UU.


Maarten Hajer

Prof Maarten Hajer, introduces the 2019 conference and keynote speaker Prof Sheila Jasanoff from Harvard Kennedy School is introduced by Prof Johan Schot.


Sheila Jasanoff

Prof Sheila Jasanoff, from Harvard Kennedy School, calls for a new imaginary in the transition to sustainability at the 2019 conference.


Q&A with Sheila Jasanoff 

Q&A with Prof Sheila Jasanoff about her keynote lecture ‘Unmodern imaginaries: infrastructures for a sustainable world’, at the 2019 conference.

Jeroen Willemsen

Jeroen Willemsen, founder of the Green Protein Alliance, discussed ‘pathways to a more plant-based future’, followed by a reflection by Denise de Ridder, at the 2019 conference.


Diederik Samsom

In an optimistic speech, Diederik Samsom, based on his experience with sustainable energy, helped us to imagine a sustainable future at the 2019 conference.