Opening of the Academic Year

Wageningen UR annually celebrates the Opening of the Academic Year in style. At this public event, on 5 September, renowned speakers address current issues concerning food, health and the environment.

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Rethinking Innovation

Economic transformation and environmental management have emerged as global grand challenges. One way to address the challenges is to harness the world’s abundant scientific and technological knowledge to meet specific needs such as sustainably feeding the rising number of megacities. Opposition to and lack of new technologies may hamper such efforts.

The fear of technological innovation is not new. In his new book, Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies, Prof. Calestous Juma from Harvard University catalogues 600 years of societal anxiety over innovation. At the opening of the Wageningen Academic Year he will analyse the sources of such concerns. He will outline lessons for contemporary technological controversies. In addition, Nico J. Claassens, Thomas J. Venus and Tjidde Tempels, scientists at Wageningen UR, will reflect on the keynote.

We cordially invite you to join the celebration of the Opening of the Academic Year, and hope to welcome you on the 5th of September.


14.30 Registration and welcoming reception
15.30 Programme Rethinking Innovation
Prof. dr ir. Louise O. Fresco, President Wageningen UR
Dr. Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard Kennedy School
Reflection by 3 Wageningen UR scientists
Closing remarks
17.00 Reception

Location: Orion, Bronland 1, 6708 WH Wageningen


Online registration for the Opening of the Academic Year is now closed. If you still wish to participate, you will be able to register at the event itself between 14.00 and 15.00 hrs.

If you are a professor wishing to register and take part in the academic procession, please send an email to Leontine Stemerdink.

Should you have any questions, please send an email message to