Visit by Herman Wijffels is great finale of Transition Masterclass

News 9 April 2015
Herman Wijffels

“Your job for the coming years is to practice the most effective use of production in open spaces, through an integrated approach. It's not only about maximising profits, it's about doing things from a human and environmental perspective.”

Between December 2014 and February 2015, students of all HAS study programmes were put to the challenge on the subject of transition in the Transition Masterclass that consisted of seven themed sessions. On 7 April 2015, the Masterclass had a surprise encore in store for its students: Herman Wijffels visited HAS University of Applied Sciences where he discussed the subject of transition with the students. Lecturers and students who did not participate in the Masterclass were also welcome to attend.

We live on a breaking point in time
“We live on a breaking point in time”, said Wijffels in his introductory speech. “The way we have learned to work, study and organise in the last 100 years has served its purpose, but now we need to develop further, we need to change. In the next round, we need to do better than in the last. We have ended up in a situation that is unique: we no longer really fit on this planet. We demand more from our ecosystems than ever before, much more than our earth can provide. This is no longer tenable. We need to do two things. Firstly, we need to enhance the earth's carrying capacity, start a countermovement. Secondly, we need to learn how to live without further damaging the earth."

Responsible use of the source = good quality
Wijffels then focused specifically on the students. “Your job for the coming years is to practice the most effective use of production in open spaces, through an integrated approach. It's not only about maximising profits, it's about doing things from a human and environmental perspective.” He closed his speech with a meaningful sentence: “You can only deliver great quality if you use the source responsibly.” Next, he took plenty of time to further talk to students about the subject, which resulted in a lively discussion. A grand finale of the Masterclass!

About Herman Wijffels
Wijffels is a well-known Dutch economist who held prominent positions, including Chairman of Rabobank Nederland, Chairman of the Social Economic Council and Dutch representative of the World Bank. Currently he is Co-chair of Worldconnectors and Professor of Sustainability and Social Change at the University of Utrecht.