Our 2018 programme saw 50 students from universities across The Netherlands come together at the GLL on the VU campus in Amsterdam’s Zuidas financial district to learn both from nature and from human experts.
Students were encouraged to connect with the natural world, and to discover the interconnectedness of its systems, all working together for the vitality and the sustainability of the whole.
Dr. Cor Zonneveld teaches biology & ecology at Bachelor & Masters level at Amsterdam University College, & asked students to think about how they view the natural world. Students learned how fungi are organisms of equal status to plants & animals & that they essential for life on earth. Did you know that lichens are a symbiosis of fungi & algae? Or that there is a “wood wide web” of interconnected organisms under our feet that are communicating & trading resources with each other?
Jamaica den Heijer from Biomimicry Nederland invited students to go into the GLL garden to observe nature’s patterns & design strategies. Students began to see the garden, which they had already spent a lot of time in, from a completely different perspective, as the design genius of the natural world was revealed to them.
We welcomed Marije van Gent from HvA to tell us about HvA’s experiments and research on ‘Psychology for a Sustainable City’. Assist Prof. Astrid van Teeffelen from the VU and Green Office VU challenged students to brainstorm sustainable solutions for food, clothing, electronics and energy.
Interactive workshops included growing plants for food, forest foraging & cooking, fermentation, plant-based cooking, urban composting, biomimicry, mycelium & growing oyster mushrooms at home.