REEDS NewsReels

Novel Experiments in Sustainable Education



The session was a round table chaired by Frances Harrison from REEDS. The round table had three guests from different organisations who have developped new methods and experiments in sustainability education.


The first guest was Mr. Jos Eussen, director RCE Rhine-Meuse/United Nation University. He asked the question "How to bring people and organisations together over the same goal of sustainable development?". For UNU, they wish to spread education in the community as an added value to reach a sustainable future. Dr. Jos described their unique way of gathering industry and science to teach and train the students in their university.


During his speech, Mr Eussen mentioned a very interesting and innovative method they created: OPEDUCA project. Their motto is “flight for knowledge”.


This project is now directly linked to the website of the RCE Rhine-Meuse as coordinating organisation, starting at the point where the vision and the building of alliances and development of policy pass into the practice of education. Mr Eussen emphasised that 70% of the education budget is usually wasted on schools and educational processes which fail to reach the young people. The entrepreneurial learning is the key to the future, with a focus on future themes like water, food, energy and building.


The entire educational system needs a thorough transformation ranging from school, students and also teachers. The new generation has a new life style and they like to share ideas via networks. They are inter-connected citizens and are more easily disconnected from the normal curriculum. Because of this reality, UNU tries to use active learning for student-oriented classes for 8-18 year olds. In order to enhance entrepreneurial skills, competences and values UNU aims at developing structured and structural learning connections with private industry. Furthermore, Mr Eussen described in detail the procedure for establishing a regional Centre of Expertise, its regulation organisation.


The second speaker was Francois Laveuge, who has recently created a RCE in Brittany and she explained more about the university where she is teaching as a voluntary teacher.


The third guest was Hélène Chepfer, from Climate KIC and she described their programme and showed a short movie about the experiences of students in the programme. She talked more about the innovative part of the Masters and Phd programmes and how they gathered different students from different parts of the world.


Questions from the audience followed:

Q1@Hélène Chepfer: After the project is finished, where are the participants going?

A1: Until now, Climate KIC has implemented almost 10 projects created by participants from different European countries. After their project, they separate. Some find a job. Some do an internship and some continue their studies. But no matter what they do, they keep in contact because when they did their project together, they spent a very pleasant time together and made good friendships which continue.


Q2@Hélène Chepfer: How many projects have already gone to the market?

A2: They are all working as experiments and it is too early to say the result now.


Q3@Mr Eussen:Could the new educational approach be spread to other countries like Nicaragua?

A3: Yes, of course. This innovative educational approach has already spread to some countries outside America. It can absolutely reach Nicaragua one day.


Q4@Dr. Jos: How will they raise money?

A4: Finance matters but it is less important than education. Our approach is good and attractive so some companies will find us first and donate for us. If we don’t have money to run it, we’ll ask for access to continue our project. There exists some companies who provide moderate food, accommodation for experts and regard them as back-up resource so for these kind of companies, they care for  real knowledge, the real innovative approach. They will absolutely love our project and invest in it.


REPORTING TEAM : Zoheir Haghighi,  Mingyan MENG

SESSION: Education Challenges and Experiments(Ⅱ):Education Network Initiatives

Date 19 October 2012Time: 14:00-15:30 

Place: Amphi Condorcet- Bât. D’Alembert- UVSQ


updated date