workshop: (education for a) Cosmopolitanism beyond Comfort Zones – 27 September 2019, New York

What kind of education do our children need to make them more resilient to all kinds of capitalist, conformist and fundamentalist manipulations of our co-existence and to enable them to become self-reflexive, open and tolerant cosmopolitans or ‘world citizens’ capable of living better with each other in our complex society?

What is ethical competence?

Join us for a dialogue on the meaning and value of cosmopolitanism and ethical competence on Friday 27 September 2019 from 9am to 5pm at the Sukyo center, 124 E 31st St, New York

Read more here



The New Humanism Project at the Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week, Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

We are invited to contribute to the Capacity-building Knowledge to Action Day on 19 August 2019. This event is part of the United Nations Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week, organised in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.


Even when there is a great variety of institutional arrangements for climate change mitigation and adaptation in every country, the continuous participation of local, national and regional stakeholders, including research institutions and universities is considered crucial to enhance climate action and ambition. The lack of engagement of and insufficient coordination among these relevant actors is a recurring issue in discussions on capacity-building within the UNFCCC process. It is necessary to find better ways to mobilize local and policy relevant knowledge to address climate change issues and to make informed decisions.

Universities and research institutions in developing countries, including the least developed countries, have a central role to play in in the preparation and implementation of NAPs and NDCs, however it will be important for them to think across boundaries such as geographic, disciplinary, and theme based, to close the gap between knowledge and action. While universities in developing countries are already building local capacities, promoting South-South and South-North knowledge sharing among universities and including relevant stakeholders involved in the design and implementation of NAPs and NDCs could yield great benefits.

(source: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat – Website: )

See the full introduction and programme here.

Stay tuned for a report about our own contribution.


Bringing spicy ideas to the Research Dialogue at the United Nations Climate Change conference, Bonn

We were invited to contribute to the Eleventh meeting of the Research Dialogue ‘Science for Transformation’ as part of the United Nations Climate Change conference in Bonn. We worked on theme 2 Transformative adaptation and climate resilient development and provided answers to two interesting questions:

What do you consider to be the priority topics or questions on which we need to develop further research to succeed in transformative adaptation and climate resilient development?

Our answer in short: caring for the development of ethical competence as an essential form of intellectual capacity building.

How can innovations in social sciences help achieve and manage the necessary social, economic and cultural changes?

Check the poster and the key talking points we presented. And feel free to send us your comments and thoughts.



The New Humanism Project at the United Nations Resilience Frontiers gathering in South Korea, 8 – 12 April 2019

We were invited to participate in a ‘disruptive brainstorming conference’ on the future of resilience, organised by the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Happy to be among (what they call) ‘100 visionary thinkers and thought leaders’ from international organizations and non-profit, private and academic/research entities, and looking forward to discuss  visions for our common future against the backdrop of resilience.

This gathering was the start of a two year inclusive work process in which the original group and other invitees will continue work on ‘a comprehensive approach to and a long-term outlook on’ building resilience to the adverse effects of climate change. In the words of the organisers, ‘… the Resilience Frontiers Initiative addresses how to maximize our resilience to climate change beyond 2030 by harnessing the potential of new technologies and emerging social trends towards sustainability, and mitigating new associated risks. It consists of a two-year collective intelligence process, which was kick-started by Resilience Frontiers 2019, a brainstorming conference hosted by the Korean Government from 8-12 April, 2019. It uses strategic foresight and deep-dives into the opportunities and challenges of disruptive technologies. It contributes to furthering the exploration of frontier issues launched by the United Nations Chief Executives Board for Coordination.‘. More info on the event is here.

Cover photo: Earth and satellites by ESA

(photo Gaston Meskens)

(photo Resilience Frontiers)

(photo Resilience Frontiers)

(photo Gaston Meskens)

(photo Gaston Meskens)

(photo Gaston Meskens)

(photo Gaston Meskens)

(photo Gaston Meskens)


Truant for climate

Inspired by the climate protests of young activist Greta Thunberg (Sweden), 3,000 young Belgian school pupils also skipped school today.

They gathered in Brussels with one clear message: “There is no planet B”. Their plan is to repeat this every Thursday until an appropriate response comes from Belgian politics.

We endorse this kind of subversive yet constructive actions and admire these young inspired activists.

Just Like Greta Thunberg, Gaston was present at the climate conference of Katowice. You can read his view (in Dutch) on the faltering of international climate change negotiations on the news site APACHE.