We asked Bart Krull, the person responsible for laying the groundwork for the launch of SustainaLab, what they do exactly, what they can help students and employees with, and what their ambitions are for the future.
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is a broad-based university where various disciplines conduct research into sustainability, ranging from technological solutions to behavioural sciences and from law to philosophy. SustainaLab is the key gateway giving external parties access to the UvA’s knowledge of sustainability, Krull explains. “For example, we link up government bodies, the business sector and citizen collectives with researchers, employees and students through events to facilitate knowledge exchange about sustainability. And this is truly a two-way knowledge transfer. Businesses are interested in the UvA’s knowledge, but they also have solutions that can be of great value to the UvA.
SustainaLab’s ultimate goal is to accelerate the transition to a sustainable society. This transition is an urgent necessity and something the UvA is helping to realise in various ways, including through SustainaLab.”
Collaboration with other campuses
Although Amsterdam Science Park is its home base, SustainaLab will work closely with REC Impact (Roeterseiland) and Humanities & Society (University Quarter). “The UvA’s strength lies in the breadth of its research projects and degree programmes. When collaborating with external parties in the field of sustainability, it is important to make full use of this breadth. So I can also envisage the SustainaLab ‘label’ co-organising events in places other than Amsterdam Science Park. For instance, REC Impact is currently in discussions with the municipality of Amsterdam about a joint Urban Impact Lab. I’m obviously very happy to contribute to all manner of sustainability-related activities on behalf of SustainaLab.”
Ambitions for the future
SustainaLab is in an exciting development phase and Krull has ambitious plans for the future. To be able to achieve its goals, SustainaLab will need to grow and bring together a larger number of people and parties: “It should ultimately become a place and ecosystem where external parties, researchers and students regularly meet, gain inspiration and make contacts. A good link with academics from other faculties is crucial to this. Finally, I would also like to organise more activities for and with students. For example, bringing students and companies together for internships and sustainability-related practical assignments.”
Academic year 2023-2024
SustainaLab wants to highlight two themes this academic year: “In collaboration with UvA academic Chris Slootweg and a number of businesses based in Matrix ONE, we want to start to address the theme of zero waste. I would like to involve parties from outside Amsterdam Science Park too. And the VPRO Tegenlicht meet-up in July about the negative consequences of AI has inspired me to further explore the sustainability aspects of deep tech, and to programme events about this issue. Although these are the two themes I would like to highlight this year, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any time left for programmes on other subjects.”
Take a look at the programme and attend a SustainaLab event! If you would like to organise something at SustainaLab yourself or have any tips or suggestions for Bart Krull, send him an email: email@example.com.