Wageningen Dialogue

Inner Sustainability Talks #2 - What is Sustainable Education?

Organised by Stichting Otherwise Wageningen

Tue 14 May 2019 19:30

Venue Forum, building number 102
Room C214

Sustainability is booming in the life world of citizens, in the world of business, of governance, of research, and indeed, of education. The question is whether this explosion of interest is a shallow hype or the beginning of a deep transition. There seems to be an enormous gap between rhetoric and reality, marinated in plenty of hypocrisy.

In this session on May 14, Prof. dr. Arjen Wals, M.Sc. Luuk Huijgen, and M.Sc. Maaike Boumans will share the stage with you to explore the role of higher education in fostering a mindful transition towards a more relational and caring world.

A key message is that mindful transitions require a transition of the mind and the capacity to disrupt normalized routines that make living unsustainable lives the default. If higher education fails to engage students and staff in this journey, then all we will become is more effective vandals of the Earth. So what does higher education that seeks to transgress dominating destructive structures, systems and routines, look like?

Arjen Wals is Professor Transformative Learning for Socio-Ecological Sustainability and also holds the UNESCO Chair of Social Learning and Sustainable Development. His teaching and research focus on designing learning processes and learning spaces that enable people to contribute meaningfully to sustainability. You can read more about him and his work here: https://transformativelearning.nl.

Luuk Huijgen is skill trainer at the WUR and currently writes his PhD proposal that will dive into the more existential dimension of sustainability, exploring what role our emotions (can) play in our connection to the environment and in how these influence what sustainability is to us.

Maaike Boumans is an expert at the Art of Hosting and works with Authentic Leadership in Action globally. She works as a facilitator in various countries and contexts and specialises in multi-cultural dialogue to assist community leaders in creating positive societal change. Her work is rooted in new ways of learning, organising and working together around issues that matter. She has founded Bright Future Lab (https://www.brightfuturelab.nl/), an innovative sustainability and leadership program for high school students, aimed to build their capacity to respond to our world's biggest challenges. She will visit us as well on Saturday June 1st to facilitate an Inner Sustainability Practice workshop as guest trainer (https://www.facebook.com/events/420887068723814/).

The evening will be moderated by Mali Boomkens, OtherWise coordinator and co-organiser of the iWEEK summer training, the latter which inspired OtherWise in the first place to organise this Inner Sustainability Talks series (read more about the summer training here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2150633775251593/).