Sustainability should be a lifestyle and should therefore become a standard part of primary school and university curricula. "After all, the youth of today will be responsible for making the decisions of tomorrow. If this happens with a sustainable mind-set, we can keep our oceans clean and our world liveable," says Dennis Dorpmans, who will deliver a speech on 17 May on the occasion of the Month of Education.
The organisation ESLOO (European Schools Love Our Ocean) wants to inspire pupils and students to fully commit themselves to sustainability. And not just by cleaning up the plastic in our oceans, like Boyan Slat. "That's a great initiative," says Dorpmans, "but he can't do it alone and the tap is still running. We need multiple projects in order to encourage people to get involved. We hope our initiative inspires people to turn off the tap and live so sustainably that cleaning up is no longer necessary. During the meeting on 17 May, we want to press upon students that they can make a real difference in creating a better living environment for us all; one in which sustainability is not the exception, but the rule. I believe this ambition is in line with the objectives set by WUR."
Dorpmans, co-founder of ESLOO, will explain why and how he developed this platform in his lecture. He will also go into how you can set yourself apart from other students. He hopes his lecture will shed new light on the themes of excellence and education.
"Excellence usually brings to mind good grades. But what makes a student 'good'? To us, it means stepping out of your comfort zone, getting involved in the world around you and being a voice for your discipline. You can keep up with your studies while committing yourself to other things as well, like sharing and applying your knowledge. I want to motivate students to do more than just study and party. In my opinion, the biggest motivator is doing something you love and sharing that passion with others. My advice: stand out from the crowd and don't give up until you've achieved something. Until you do, try and learn from your mistakes."
Network and debate
Dorpmans will also discuss the art of networking. "If you collaborate with people who have different talents, you can achieve more than you think."
He hopes his lecture, given in TED Talk format, will spark a debate between students and Dutch and European politicians about excellence and how to use it to make our planet more sustainable.
You can register for this event, which is organised by the Socrates Honours Society Wageningen, using the registration form or via the ESLOO Facebook page).