Impact story Douwe Brouwer

After the ‘Once Upon a Planet’ session on sustainability and the future of our planet, there was a daily discussion in the teachers’ room for weeks about the inspirement with Ruud. Lots of good examples were shared and together we are preparing for the next steps.

In the weeks, following the session with Ruud, sustainability was the conversation in every break. And in a pleasant way. Many employees told each other what they had come up with to do the right thing: Eating less/no meat, cycling to work more often, oat milk instead of diary, plastic-free shopping, no more throwing away food.

Visible too: during lunch many people take a container with food from yesterday and cardboard cups remain unused (own cups).

The conversations became a little less after a couple of months, but still the theme returns regularly. Also stories about how housemates react. In the Management Team it is still a regular agenda item to briefly exchange ideas.

I have heard of two initiatives by teachers, who conduct sustainability projects in their classes. Much more common is that individual students do their own research on a problem: waste separation, how plastic gets into the sea, etc. They reflect and present these investigations and findings in their classes.

With two students, I started looking for an artist, whom we would like to commission to create an interactive artwork at the front door, challenging all the entrants to share their good practices. Or to respond to someone else’s good practices.

At the corporate level, I was able to agree with the facilities department that they will write a policy plan on sustainability.

Ruud, you have stirred up a lot: the seriousness of the problems and especially; the pleasure to do something about it.

Douwe Brouwer, principle of Ithaka International School

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