Scientists and entrepreneurs are asking political steps for the Sustainable Transition

A major international Sustainability Congress was held at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam from 24-26 February. Part of this was an open colloquium in which scientists and innovative entrepreneurs discussed what is needed for a smooth transition to a sustainable Netherlands.

03/08/2021 | 2:15 PM

A major international Sustainability Congress was held at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam from 24-26 February. Part of this was an open colloquium in which scientists and innovative entrepreneurs discussed what is needed for a smooth transition to a sustainable Netherlands.

Together they argue for politics for bringing in the future instead of protecting the old system, which no longer works. Removing obstacles and involving the wishes of Dutch citizens will work if the discussion is conducted with society. Renewal of the economy can then go hand in hand with sustainable jobs, nature restoration, increased (digital) security and more confidence in politics.

Prof. Derk Loorbach of Transitie-Instituut DRIFT argued for pushing aside the wrong government rules that discourage sustainable activities and often favor unsustainable activities. Sam de Muijnck, from the economic research institute Our New Economy, argued for a critical look at our economic system, which now maintains the old instead of bringing in the successful future. Citizens feel that their desires are subordinate to those of unwieldy governments and powerful companies.Eva Rovers of Extinction Rebellion asked to give the citizens the confidence that if they are really allowed to participate, e.g. in ‘Burgerberaden’ (citizen assemblees(, and that they will therefore handle it responsibly.

All contributions result in practical recommendations for politicians to make the transition to a sustainable country now. The contributions are classified according to the 10 transition paths of the TransitieMotor and linked to the Sustainable Development Goals. With the clear practical recommendations, they form the manual for the new cabinet to convert 'De Wissel' (Change) in the Netherlands in 2021 to a sustainable and socially just society, with the necessary and desired transitions in areas such as energy, food and security. The full text of the colloquium document, the Guide to the Future (in Dutch), can be found here.

The results of the colloquium were presented to Ivy de Bruijn, campaign leader Sustainable Coalition Agreement of SDG Netherlands, who will hand over the Guide to the Future with the agreement to the ‘formateur’ after the elections.

The colloquium was organized by the Amsterdam Sustainability Institute of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, together with Our New Economy, Erasmus University - DRIFT, SDG Netherlands, the TransitieMotor, Het Groene Brein and Springtij.

In an open public session, three speakers from science presented the emergency situation and the opportunities from a Dutch perspective. In seven pitches, innovators, entrepreneurs and experts gave examples of circular business models and upscaling processes to a systemic change. You can still review all contributions.

Full list of speakers
  - Derk Loorbach (Erasmus University / DRIFT), - Sam de Muijnck (Our New Economy), - Francine Mestrum (universities of Antwerp, Ghent), - Jurgen van der Heijden (NLZorgtVoorElkaar), - Eva Rovers (XR and Bureau Burgerberaad), - Alfred Kleinknecht (TUDelft), - Werner Schouten (Young Climate Movement) - Marieke Wiersma (Grunneger Power), - Anouk Creusen (75inq), - Socrates Schouten (Waag), - Hilde Engels (De Fruitmotor), - Pieter Ploeg (Commonland), - Marcel Nollen (VU Amsterdam) and -Ivy de Bruijn (SDG Netherlands)