Being in Texel has been a very nice experience, during which we had the opportunity not only to learn from our fellow students and professors, but also from the Texel people. Personally, I was impressed by the meetings we had with the local people from the island. People of different ages came to see the presentations of our ideas for the sustainable transition of Texel. In the first meeting, most of them were actually happy and convinced by our still fragmented and non-mature “story”. But one of them (“Angry Werner”) did not seem to be very happy about the plan, and he was (as I understood from one of my Dutch group mate's translation) reluctant in being positive even for hour final proposal. What I found interesting in this is that this man came not only once, but even twice to see our work and progresses. I assume he is very passionate about his island in which I assume he lives from many years now, but is that all?
We saw that some students from the group “Food & More” came to see its cattle farming and he seems very busy with his job. So why bother coming to listen to people talking about topics on sustainability? I am not referring only to Werner, but to the whole group of people that came to see the presentation. What I think is that all these people are interested in their island’s future, but they are especially interested in sustainability, as also most of them described themselves in front of the whole group. Even a “pessimistic” person such as Werner must have sensitivity on sustainable topics; otherwise he would not be there.
I eventually found myself thinking about all the people that knew about our presentations but did not come for reasons not related to their business, but for not believing or even knowing anything about sustainability. We know that the word “sustainability” is sometimes misunderstood, or even considered with skepticism.
My conclusions from this trip is that what is sustainability should be taught from the schools, just like math or any other subject. Because we need a change and to make it happen we need to start from our culture.
If we grow sensitivity towards sustainability starting from our children, a hypothetical future meeting at De Verzamel Post will show an incredible increasing on the number of participants.