The University in a Changing Climate

What is the future of the university in a post-fossil society? How could the university contribute to transformative change?

The unfolding ecological crisis and continued social injustices makes the need for a radical societal transformation increasingly clear. This transformation is not just technical, but requires deep shifts in current ways of living and thinking. Transformations can not be understood by one discipline, but requires interaction between the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The need for transformative change also implies an active engagement with actors beyond academia. The growing climate anxiety among students also calls for an entirely different approach to education.

In this one-year post-doc project commissioned by Pathways to Sustainability, Lisette van Beek explores inspiring examples of transformative research and education across other European universities. She aims to inspire scholars and teachers at the UU and beyond, and stimulate cross-university exchange.

The project includes the following steps:

  • Mapping inspiring examples of transformative climate research and education, to be published in a compendium.  
  • Visiting (Northern) European universities on a train journey to explore potential partners for Utrecht University and collect inspiring stories, published in a monthly blog
  • Organizing a two-day seminar at Utrecht University aimed at supporting interdisciplinary exchange and explore potential collaboration with other European universities