Conference 2024

When: Wednesday 24 April 2024, 12.00 – 17.00. Drinks afterwards
Where: TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht
For who? Researchers, students, teachers, staff and other interested parties.

Navigating Transitions

How can science and education contribute to navigating societal transitions during challenging times? In times of increasing socio-economic and environmental challenges, interdisciplinary research and education can play a pivotal role in finding solutions to these complex issues.

The host of our conference is Hester den Ruijter. Hester is a Professor of Cardiovascular disease in women at the University Medical Center in Utrecht. Her aim is to translate knowledge from experimental research to the patient.

Keynote speaker: Roman Krznaric

Roman Krznaric is a social philosopher who writes about the power of ideas to create change. His latest book is the international bestseller The Good Ancestor: How to Think Long Term in a Short-Term World. Particularly known for his work on empathy and long-term thinking, his writings have been widely influential amongst political and ecological campaigners, education reformers, social entrepreneurs and designers. 

Roman Krznaric will introduce an altering mindset based on the concept of the ‘Good Ancestor’, that encourages forward-thinking actions. His philosophy prompts us to contribute to a sustainable and inclusive future through collaborative efforts across diverse fields of knowledge.


The conference kicks off with a plenary session, followed by three individual tracks. We invite you to tailor your experience choosing one of the following tracks upon registration.

Track 1: Digital Innovations for a Circular Society

The Institute for a Circular Society (i4CS) emphasizes the complexity of transitioning to a circular society and highlights the value of digital tools, including digital twinning and augmented reality, in facilitating this shift. In this track, we will explore how these tools can be utilized in designing circular solutions for sectors, such as hospitals or regional food systems, addressing issues of data origin, accessibility, and potential divides between users and non-users.

More information on this track.

Track 2: Empowering Healthier Communities Through Collaboration

The Institute for Preventive Health (i4PH) track addresses health challenges in the Netherlands, featuring inspiring speakers and two workshops on ‘Nurturing healthy lifestyles’ and ‘Future frontiers in health’, involving AI innovations and Living Technologies.

More information on this track.

Track 3: Competencies for Transitions

Transitions are messy. Embracing the uncertain and sometimes chaotic nature of transitions, we discover the importance of developing new skills and competencies. In this track, the Centre for Unusual Collaborations and our Education Programme invites you  on an experiential journey. Let’s explore together how to learn, enhance, and apply future competencies in our daily work.

More information on this track.

Poster exhibition

After the plenary closing, please join us for drinks and the poster exhibition to learn more about diverse research projects, showcasing the innovative collaborations shaping the future. Engage with interdisciplinary excellence and be part of the dialogue that drives progress.

Full programme and registration

> Full programme
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