In the midst of the recent booming attention for climate change, Osiris, a TU Delft student association, held a workshop, in which it asked its members to consider whether there was still a need for such an association now that sustainability is a mainstream issue.

And if so, whether a proposed alliance with the student council, AAG, would be beneficial.

Climate change is hot. Miraculously, all of sudden it seems that everywhere and everyone is concerned with climate change and sustainable development. Extreme weather records are being broken continuously and ‘Algoreism' is slowly becoming something like a new religion, promoted by its prophet Al Gore.Even the hardest of hearing politicians, who for many years were deaf to environmental groups' dire warnings, are now saying that climate change is a very serious challenge and that something must be done about it immediately. A salient illustration of the latter is a letter that Tony Blair and Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende sent last year to the European Council of Ministers, in which they stated that the council "must act quickly" on climate change.It seems that today the wider world has finally caught up with Osiris, which was founded in 2002, when sustainable development was a still very much a minority issue. This situation triggered Osiris to reconsider in particular its activities and in general the necessity for it to exist. Inviting its members to discuss this issue in a workshop setting, it asked this question in an e-newsletter: "Have we after five years made ourselves redundant or is there still a lot that needs to be done?"At the workshop, not only interested students participated in the discussions, but also members of the student council AAG; members of LHUMP, which is a network of students that try to foster sustainable development at universities and polytechnics; and representatives of Students 4 Sustainability, and of the Movendi foundation. The latter two associations focus respectively on how TU Delft engineers can contribute to sustainability in Africa and how the living circumstances of physically disabled people around the globe can be improved.BrainstormGertjan de Werk, co-founder and former chairperson of the Osiris association, invited the participants to brainstorm about which activities can contribute to sustainable development and if Osiris would be the most appropriate organization to take a leading role in carrying out these activities.According to De Werk, this was the primary aim of organizing the workshop: "We wanted to see whether anybody is interested in Osiris continuing its activities, and if so, in which ways." Participants were also asked to give their opinion on a possible alliance between Osiris and the sustainability commission of AAG.The workshop participants were unanimously in favor of Osiris continuing its activities, while indicating that Osiris's prime role should be that of a central point of exchange of information and knowledge on sustainable development.Lenneke Kuijer, internationalization coordinator at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, highlighted the fact that international students need more information about sustainability. According to Kuijer, many students, especially students from less developed countries, have a "natural focus" towards sustainability, while others are inspired by the faculty's reputation on sustainability."This triggers questions from a wide variety of students," Kuijer says. "Students inquire about the possibilities of integrating sustainability into their study program or they ask where they can find more information and about what possibilities exist."Such information on these issues however is currently "scattered and limited," Kuijer says. By serving as a central point of information exchange, Osiris can make this kind of information much more readily available to students. Kuijer adds: "Osiris can play a role in giving these students for example information on the TIDO program, organizing lectures and providing a network that enables them to meet students with the same interests."Alliance A possible alliance between Osiris and the sustainability commission of AAG is likely to deliver a win-win situation for both parties. Via AAG, Osiris can directly influence university policies. And AAG can benefit from Osiris's vast network, which not only consists of individuals but also links to similar associations.The AAG sustainability commission, which was established a few months ago, has been very successful in attracting a large number of student members who are ready to deliver tangible results in making the TU a more sustainable place. They will do this by straightforward measures, such as switching off computers and lights when they are not being used, but also for example by exploring, together with university staff members, how waste reduction and recycling can be implemented more efficiently at TU Delft.The majority of the workshop's participants did favor an alliance between Osiris and AAG for the above-stated reasons, although the issue of the consequences of an alliance with a political association was raised.De Werk says pragmatically: "If AAG is willing to turn their activities toward more sustainability and we can create a more sustainable university by influencing policy when cooperating with AAG, why not do it? As long as our goal is reached, we will collaborate."Lisanne Dölle, chairwoman of the AAG sustainability commission, said that given the fact that both organizations pursue essentially the same goals, it would be a waste of resources for them not to collaborate: "It’s much more sensible to bundle our powers in order to accomplish more."

Climate change is hot. Miraculously, all of sudden it seems that everywhere and everyone is concerned with climate change and sustainable development. Extreme weather records are being broken continuously and ‘Algoreism' is slowly becoming something like a new religion, promoted by its prophet Al Gore.Even the hardest of hearing politicians, who for many years were deaf to environmental groups' dire warnings, are now saying that climate change is a very serious challenge and that something must be done about it immediately. A salient illustration of the latter is a letter that Tony Blair and Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende sent last year to the European Council of Ministers, in which they stated that the council "must act quickly" on climate change.It seems that today the wider world has finally caught up with Osiris, which was founded in 2002, when sustainable development was a still very much a minority issue. This situation triggered Osiris to reconsider in particular its activities and in general the necessity for it to exist. Inviting its members to discuss this issue in a workshop setting, it asked this question in an e-newsletter: "Have we after five years made ourselves redundant or is there still a lot that needs to be done?"At the workshop, not only interested students participated in the discussions, but also members of the student council AAG; members of LHUMP, which is a network of students that try to foster sustainable development at universities and polytechnics; and representatives of Students 4 Sustainability, and of the Movendi foundation. The latter two associations focus respectively on how TU Delft engineers can contribute to sustainability in Africa and how the living circumstances of physically disabled people around the globe can be improved.BrainstormGertjan de Werk, co-founder and former chairperson of the Osiris association, invited the participants to brainstorm about which activities can contribute to sustainable development and if Osiris would be the most appropriate organization to take a leading role in carrying out these activities.According to De Werk, this was the primary aim of organizing the workshop: "We wanted to see whether anybody is interested in Osiris continuing its activities, and if so, in which ways." Participants were also asked to give their opinion on a possible alliance between Osiris and the sustainability commission of AAG.The workshop participants were unanimously in favor of Osiris continuing its activities, while indicating that Osiris's prime role should be that of a central point of exchange of information and knowledge on sustainable development.Lenneke Kuijer, internationalization coordinator at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, highlighted the fact that international students need more information about sustainability. According to Kuijer, many students, especially students from less developed countries, have a "natural focus" towards sustainability, while others are inspired by the faculty's reputation on sustainability."This triggers questions from a wide variety of students," Kuijer says. "Students inquire about the possibilities of integrating sustainability into their study program or they ask where they can find more information and about what possibilities exist."Such information on these issues however is currently "scattered and limited," Kuijer says. By serving as a central point of information exchange, Osiris can make this kind of information much more readily available to students. Kuijer adds: "Osiris can play a role in giving these students for example information on the TIDO program, organizing lectures and providing a network that enables them to meet students with the same interests."Alliance A possible alliance between Osiris and the sustainability commission of AAG is likely to deliver a win-win situation for both parties. Via AAG, Osiris can directly influence university policies. And AAG can benefit from Osiris's vast network, which not only consists of individuals but also links to similar associations.The AAG sustainability commission, which was established a few months ago, has been very successful in attracting a large number of student members who are ready to deliver tangible results in making the TU a more sustainable place. They will do this by straightforward measures, such as switching off computers and lights when they are not being used, but also for example by exploring, together with university staff members, how waste reduction and recycling can be implemented more efficiently at TU Delft.The majority of the workshop's participants did favor an alliance between Osiris and AAG for the above-stated reasons, although the issue of the consequences of an alliance with a political association was raised.De Werk says pragmatically: "If AAG is willing to turn their activities toward more sustainability and we can create a more sustainable university by influencing policy when cooperating with AAG, why not do it? As long as our goal is reached, we will collaborate."Lisanne Dölle, chairwoman of the AAG sustainability commission, said that given the fact that both organizations pursue essentially the same goals, it would be a waste of resources for them not to collaborate: "It’s much more sensible to bundle our powers in order to accomplish more."