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Workshops Sustainability Day

Enrich your knowledge about our nature, think about the future of the university or learn how to make your own zero-waste deodorant.

We invite you to participate in one or more interactive workshops during Sustainability Day on 10 October 2023. Select the workshops you would like to attend in the registration form to participate.


Read more information below about the content of the various workshops and the mini-lecture:

  • Workshop 1: What can you do for green? | Soesja van Wijgerden | 10:00 am - 11:30 am @ New University building

    In this workshop you will discover what you can do to green your environment. Soesja van Wijgerden, urban ecologist, will share her experience with the value and quality of green spaces. For inspiration, the example of the community garden VU campus is highlighted. Explore how you can bring the action in green!

  • Workshop 2: A discussion on academic activism in the climate crisis | dr. Koen Lemaire, dr. Anders Schinkel | 9:00 - 11:00 am @ New University building

    The workshop aims to discuss academia's role in addressing the planetary crisis. We start by clarifying the emission reduction challenges we face. We then examine academia's role on three levels: personal, institutional, and societal. The focus is on collective activism rather than individual solutions due to the collective nature of the climate crisis. The workshop empowers collective action and shares scientific activism examples from VU colleagues.

  • Workshop 3: The New University: A shared vision for change | dr. Willemine Willems, dr. Frank Kupper, Sem Barendse | 10:00 am - 12:00 pm @ Aurora, Main Building

    As a change agent, join in thinking about what the university of the future should look like. We'll map out current system structures, stakeholders, and issues, and explore the leadership required to structurally integrate dialogue, science communication, and public participation into science, while identifying stakeholders and issues.

    In this training module, we will co-create a shared vision of the future university, with a focus on its role within and towards society.

  • Workshop 4: Sustainable hacks for home: zero waste deodorant | Eva Asmus | 9:30 am - 10:30 am @ Green Office, Main Building, KC-18

    A product most people use everyday, yet few in a conscious, sustainable way: deodorant. Did you know that in less than 30 minutes you could make your own deodorant at home, with just a few ingredients? This deodorant is not only free of skin-irritating and air-polluting toxins, it is completely edible and can be made fully organic and vegan. No need to buy plastic-packaged, single-use deodorants anymore! By singing up for this workshop you will find out you can smell great (/better), and feel healthier and more caring for the environment with this simple DIY product. Bring your own used tin/plastic/glass can/bottle for the storage of the deodorant!
  • Workshop 5: Planetary health education - co-creation | Eva van der Heide, Gabrielle Cepella |  9:00 am - 10:30 am & 10.30 am - 12:00 pm @ New University Building

    Note: This workshop takes place at two different starting times, but the content will be the same.

    We believe that the solutions of tomorrow start with education today! Therefore, our goal is to integrate the planetary health perspective into existing education. In this way, every VU student will have knowledge about the planetary health approach, which could in the future lead to a societal, policy, and system change contributing to a more sustainable world. During our workshop we will, together, try to come up with a strategy how to implement the planetary health perspective into education of all faculties of VU.
  • Workshop 6: Spirituality and Sustainability: theory, practice, and reflection | Montserrat Koloffon, David Oldenhof, Jurijn Timon De Vos from Laudato Si' & Wenika Soebhag from Conscious Planet | 10:30 am - 12:00 pm @ University Library, Main Building

    What is the connection between spirituality and sustainability? What role does spiritual leadership play in pushing the sustainable agenda forward? The program will consist of three parts:
    1. Introduction: VU scientists and two guest speakers will provide insights into the intersection of sustainability and spirituality, combining theoretical background with real-life examples.
    2. Guided Exercise: we will do guided meditation session or prayer exercise focusing on our connection with nature.
    3. Group Reflection: we will engage in a collective discussion about the unique bridge between theory and practice, contemplating what science and research can further illuminate regarding the relationship between sustainability and spirituality.

  • Workshop 7: Climate: crisis, action and well-being | dr. Edina Do├ži | 10:30 am - 12:00 pm @ New University Building

    While the climate crisis intensifies, it's natural to want to turn away. In this workshop, we'll explore strategies to face reality without feeling overwhelmed. Instead of shying away, we'll confront the world as it is and learn ways to maintain resilience and well-being. We will explore how to engage with climate action that is not just sustainable but also personally meaningful and energizing. Let's find inspiration in our collective efforts to address this urgent challenge.

  • Mini-lecture by ASI: What is the state of the climate? |  dr. Jorien Vonk, prof. dr. Dim Coumou | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm @ Agora, Main Building

    What is the current state of the climate system and which impacts of climate change can we observe already today? Join us for an SDG Academy with Dr Jorien Vonk, expert on permafrost soils, and Prof Dim Coumou, whose research focuses on understanding how global warming affects extreme weather events. We will also launch the VU Climate Expertise Centre and therefore provide a free lunch afterwards.

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