The extraction of metals, minerals, oil and gas touches upon almost all of the major themes of the North-South problem, such as pollution, climate change, water scarcity, deforestation, conflicts, corruption, labour conditions, international (enforced) law, deregulation, debt burden and democratisation. The global challenge to deal with scarcity of non-renewable resources is huge and a more sustainable resource policy is essential. With the brand new project ‘Generation Transition’, CATAPA, Putumayo, Act4Change, Mediaraven and LNE Ecocampus want to take on this challenge, with the support of the Flemish Government.
Generation Transition starts from the recognition that the generation of young adults who will be active professionals until 2050, are the actors who will have to enable a transition towards a sustainable economy. The aim of Generation Transition is therefore to use Higher Education to educate young adults for entrepreneurship, so that they learn to take steps to transform the way society produces and consumes resources. These youngsters are stimulated through a variety of educational tools to participate in or initiate opportunities for training, with the focus on solutions, stimulating entrepreneurial and leadership qualities and the positive story of ‘good practice’. We develop and evaluate four pilot projects:
1) guest lectures or extra-curricular info activities
2) entrepreneurial projects
3) multidisciplinary thesis- and doctoral research projects
4) (South) internships
Ultimately, we want to ensure that students of all disciplines can later generate their impact as citizens, in business, government, civil society or politics. The results of these projects will be presented in a seminar and symposium in 2016 and 2017. By September 2015, a first syllabus will be presented that can be used by teachers and professors in Higher Education in Flanders.
During Generation Transition, we will also unlock our expertise and make it accessible for anyone interested. This will be achieved by the launch of a new website, planned for the end of January 2015, and engaging short education movies. An Expert Database will offer an overview of experts and guest lecturers that can offer workshops and lectures on specific themes related to resource extraction and sustainable development.
Generation Transition started on the 1st of September 2014 and wants to take on the challenge for a sustainable resources policy, excluding pollution, conflicts and socio-cultural impacts, with a lot of courage for the coming three years, until 31st August 2017. Are you interested and do you want to join one of the four pilot projects? Keep an eye on the website and Facebook page for further updates.