Transforming Forests : 2-day conference in conjunction with the professorial inaugurations of Maria Tengö and Georg Winkel

What role do forests globally play in sustainability transformations - and what does it mean for the Dutch forests?

Conference and interactive sessions at Wageningen University Campus – 16th and 17th November 2023 on the occasion of the inaugural addresses of Prof. Dr. Georg Winkel (Chairholder Forest and Nature Conservation Policy) and Prof. Dr. Maria Tengö (NatuurCollege Chair Human-Nature Relationships in the Anthropocene).

Organised by Forest and Nature Conservation Policy

Thu 16 November 2023 09:00 until Fri 17 November 2023 17:00

Venue Omnia, building number 105
Hoge Steeg 2
6708 PH Wageningen
+31 (0) 317 - 484500

We invite scientists and professionals, designers and artists, policymakers and civil initiatives to take part in the exchange about different visions on forest landscape futures globally and locally, and about the best options for their role in transformative change. Our aim is to enable researchers and practitioners to intensively exchange thoughts about new inspirational concepts and practical opportunities in our search for solutions to the multifaceted crises we are facing today.

Main objectives:

  • Explore different visions on forest landscapes futures globally and connect them to the debates on transformative change/sustainability transitions (Day 1)
  • Discuss consequences for The Netherlands – for Dutch forests/nature as well as for the Dutch position in forest/nature policy (Day 2)
  • Professorial inaugural lectures by Maria Tengö and Georg Winkel (Day 1 mid-afternoon)

Who can attend:

  • Forest and nature interested citizens, from academics to experts/stakeholders, (thesis) students and everyone interested


Download detailed programme and flyer here.

The first day (Thursday 16 November) will focus on cutting edge scientific insights in the possibilities and trade-offs of sustainability transformations relating to forests and forestry from an international perspective. A number of renowned researchers will present their inputs for the debate, culminating in the inaugural addresses of Georg Winkel and Maria Tengö.

Day 2 Workshops

On the second day (Friday 17 November), we will focus on the topical issues in the societal debate about transformational changes in forests in The Netherlands. Inspired by the insights resulting from the first day. Short introductions will lead us to a range of topics under three themes:

  • Baselines – what types of nature or agriculture correspond with forests in The Netherlands? Is there any space left for the forest? As a socio-ecological system, what do forests need in order to function properly?
  • Imagination – what do we need from the forest? Can forests respond? How do we imagine us as people of the forest?
  • Stewardship – how does what we know and have always known affect how we co-exist with forests? And what does that mean for the future development of forests?

In several interactive sessions, we will exchange experiences, methods and future visions based on local practice, and formulate solutions to be recorded for a publication about the conference.


  • The livestream will appear at in a tab called EVENTS. Make sure you are logged out, click on the tab EVENTS, and click on the recording you would like to watch. Note that livestreams will only appear in the tab once the streaming session has begun. Before and after a streamed session the livestream will not appear in the tab.
  • Day 1, 16 November: 09:00-12:00 and 12:50-15:00
  • Inaugurations,16 November 15:55-17:00
  • Day 2, 17 November: 08:55-10:10 and 14:00-17:10
  • How to watch a livestream

This conference is being organised by Forest & Nature Conservation Policy Chair Group of Wageningen University and NatuurCollege, with financial support from the Province of Utrecht and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.