The Summit was organized by the Humboldt University in cooperation with rootAbility. RootAbility is an organization is an supporting organization for all the Green Offices and wants to set the bar higher in terms of what is considered possible in sustainability in higher education. The summit was moment of reflection and visioning. This to learn together with other Green Ofices, develop friendships, make mistakes and get inspired and energized.
"On Thursday 16 October 2014 I went early in the morning by train to Berlin and got there around 17.00h in the university building of the Humboldt-Universität . We started with an introduction. More than 20 organisations from the UK, France, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands were represented. Every day we started with an energizer to learn the names and to get energized. The further program of this day was based on mindset. This by a presentation from rootAbility about The Green Office Movement looking back an looking ahead. Maastricht was 4 years ago the first Green Office embedded in an university. The Green Office Groningen started this year. To learn from each other motivations, an Experience Interview was organized. ‘Why do we do what we do ?’ After these fruitful sessions we had a nice dinner prepared by local people.
The next dat we started with a presentation gearing up the potential of the Green Office as the University’s Corporate Responsibility Department. In this presentation some practical lessons from business world and beyond were give. Main lessons were that sustainability is for a Green Office a process of co-creation a not only with a scientific view. The Double Perspective is a form of transformation of the university and the environment together. This excludes for the Green Office isolation and includes multi stakeholders. A workshop about launching a student-led sustainability unit was the perfect way to learn how to develop as an organization. In the practical part of the workshop we were trained how to develop our own vison, mission and how to set up activities in a time-line for the Green Office. After a great lunch we generated in a project ideation an overview about great student-led and staff- supported sustainability projects. The day ended with a Sustainability symposium in the main building of the Humboldt-Universität in Unter the Linden. Here I presented the poster of the Green Office Groningen to people from the university and students from the symposium. After this long day full of inspiration we went to the best falafel restaurant of Berlin (Babel) in Prenzlauer Berg.
In the weekend from 18 and 19 October the focus was to make some last steps in the learning process of the summit. The first subject we learned about was Sustainability assessment at universities. Also a workshop about creating of editing a sustainabilityreport was very informative and useful. In the concluding part of this summit we created in groups an overview about what we have learned. Also some input was given for creating a working group for European co-operation on a higher aggregation level.’’ After this Summit I had a lot new ideas, inspiration and new energy to work with. The upcoming months we have to prove as a team that the Green Office Groningen is an essential part of the university and a Green Office for infinity!
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