The annual conference EWUU Alliance with the theme ‘Navigating Transitions’ took place April 24 in TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht. Over 330 participants listened to inspiring speakers and attended interactive workshops on navigating social transitions through interdisciplinary education and research.

With a beautiful rendition of “Igaviku Tuules,” the Utrecht Student Choir and Orchestra (USKO) opened the annual conference EWUU Alliance. USKO’s performance illustrated the essence of interdisciplinarity and the essence of the alliance. “This music piece is composed by three different poets,” explained Margriet Schneider, Chair of the Executive Board UMC Utrecht. “Each poet contributed his own unique perspective, knowledge and skills. In much the same way, the conference symbolizes our wish to forge connections and foster understanding through interdisciplinary collaboration.”

Focus long-term consequences

Philosopher and keynote speaker Roman Krznaric took participants through the topic of “long-term thinking in a short-term world. Krznaric argued for a change in mindset that encourages forward-looking actions: less short-term thinking and more focus on long-term consequences. He used powerful examples to show how short-term thinking leads to existential threats and powerlessness in the economy, politics and social services. And how long-term thinking can contribute to navigating social transitions.

Interactive tracks and poster exhibition

The participants of the conference also visited one of three interactive tracks shaped by the alliance’s EWUU strategic programs and viewed an interactive exhibition on various innovative (research) projects.

Henk Kummeling, Rector Magnificus Utrecht University, closed the conference. He invited the EWUU audience to carry forward the spirit of long term thinking in this short term world and to embrace the challenge of interdisciplinary research and education to shape a better world not just for ourselves, but for generations to come. “By uniting our diverse talents and perspectives I hope we can forge innovative solutions to the complex challenges we are facing. Thank you for joining us today and we look forward to seeing the positive impact we can create together.”

Video: Impression of the conference

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