In a momentous event the UG’s Wubbo Ockels School for Energy & Climate officially kicked-off during the highly anticipated House of Connections Opening.
Wubbo Ockels, a pioneering Dutch astronaut and advocate for sustainability, dedicated his life to promoting a greener world. The official opening of the Wubbo Ockels School at the opening of the House of Connections stands as a testament to his vision. Both Cisca Wijmenga and Lorenzo Squintani, director of the Wubbo Ockels school referred to Wubbo’s three principles during the opening ceremony; 1) We are all astronauts of spaceship Earth, 2) Optimism about sustainability is a responsibility, and 3) A focus on sustainability is not less, but different and much more fun.
After the opening ceremony followed a Q&A with Patrick Verkooijen, CEO from the Global center on Adaptation, moderated by Marcel Koenis. Verkooijen spoke about the global financial ecosystems enabling climate adaptation and the opportunities for the UG in participating in the necessary change.
The centerpiece of the event focussed on the ambition of the Municipality of Groningen to become CO2 neutral by 2030. In an interactive session the "changing principles" needed to make real change around topics such as energy poverty and heat supply in the built environment were discussed. These change of principles were the outcome of several workshop sessions, the Wubbo Ockels School organized in collaboration with the Municipality of Groningen and knowledge institutes as Hanze University of Applied Science and EnTranCe in the past couple of months. The morning's substantive program was concluded by Bert Stuij, Member Expert Team Energy System 2050 and Manager Energy at RVO. He gave us insights into the ambition plan for a climate neutral Netherlands in 2050.
The event was closed by Illustrator Floris van Elteren and stand-up musician Bart Kiers. Using captivating visuals and illustrations, Van Elteren showcased the interconnectedness of various elements of the highlights of the event into a captivating illustration. Bart Kiers composed a musical summary in which he encapsulated the spirit of the Wubbo Ockels School at House of Connections. Through a symphony of lyrics and melodies, Kiers beautifully conveyed the summary of the day’s events. The musical performance left the audience with laughter and good spirits.
Photography by Chase Wang
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