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Open lecture: Transition pathways in the Anthropocene 19 September 2023 18:00 - 19:30

In autumn 2023, following the instalment of the first Distinguished Fellow of the Anthropocene, Dr. Sjoerd J. Kluiving, a lecture series with expert speakers covering the Anthropocene is programmed.

During the lecture series 'What is the Anthropocene? - Exploring transdisciplinary collaboration for sustainable change', speakers and participants will discuss how interdisciplinary research can contribute to challenges of the planetary poly crisis that are part of what scientists are debating is the Anthropocene. Each lecture consists of two expert presentations which will be followed by discussion and is open to anyone at VU and beyond.

On 19 September, we will explore the transition pathways as outlined by Jan Rotmans:

What are the transition pathways that will take us out of those unsustainable trajectories (e.g. climate change) that are currently filling the (inter)national news media on a daily basis? Transitions in society may have longtime duration, such as the abandonment of smoking, while the current planetary urgencies require (much) faster progress along different pathways. 

Our two speakers will zoom into two of the transitions: Dr Mathieu Blondeel will talk about the geopolitics of the energy system transformation, approaching the energy transition from a twin geopolitics-security security angle, with room also for the highly politicised nature of energy transitions. Dr Kristiaan Kok will then continue with his talk about transition pathways towards sustainable and just food systems and mostly discuss, from a transition studies perspective, pathways in food systems. By building on some of his recent work, he will also include the inherently political nature of such pathways, and ways of governing innovation through transdisciplinary efforts.

In addition, transdisciplinary workshops on the road to the COP 28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, are organised, you can find them here. During these workshops, stories for the days of COP28 will be developed by connecting science, human health, art and activism; the Netherlands and United Arab Emirates; the Global North and Global South. 

All events and the Fellowship of the Anthropocene are coordinated by the Amsterdam Sustainability Institute, all events are free and open to anyone interested.


17.45 Walk-in

18.00 Welcome and introduction by Dr Sjoerd Kluiving

18.10 The geopolitics of energy system transformation by Dr Mathieu Blondeel

18.30 Q&A

18.40 Transition pathways towards sustainable and just food systems by Dr Kristiaan Kok

19.00 Q&A

19.10 Discussion

19.30 End

About Open lecture: Transition pathways in the Anthropocene

Starting date

  • 19 September 2023


  • 18:00 - 19:30


  • Main Building
  • 6A-00

Organised by

  • VU Distinguished Fellow of the Anthropocene and Amsterdam Sustainability Institute


  • English



Dr Kristiaan Kok
Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Integrated Environmental Policy Analysis at PBL

Kristiaan Kok is an Assistant Professor of Politics and Governance of Sustainability Transitions at the Athena Institute. His research focuses on the politics and governance of sustainability transitions. In particular, he is interested in how we can better understand, govern and support transdisciplinary transition experiments and inclusive (policy) innovation, especially in the context of (EU) agri-food systems. 
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Dr Mathieu Blondeel
Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Mathieu Blondeel is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Environmental Studies. His research focuses mainly on issues at the intersection of global energy and climate politics. He is primarily interested in the (geo)politics of energy system transformations and, as such, seeks to broaden our collective understanding of (geo)political drivers and barriers of this transformation, as well as outcomes.
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Dr Sjoerd Kluiving
Faculty of Humanities and Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit
VU Distinguished Fellow of the Anthropocene

Sjoerd Kluiving (1963) studied Physical Geography and Geology at the University of Amsterdam and University of Alabama (U.S.A). As a geologist and physical geographer involved in applying earth sciences to archeology in interdisciplinary research and teaching, with emphasis on the Anthropocene.
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