Friday October 8, the third NAG Young Talent Network took place at Inholland University of Applied Sciences, the host of the meeting. First, introductions were given by Lotte de Koning (representative Young Talent Network and Innovation Lead at Vanderlande) and Antoine Gerritse (Head of Aeronautical & Precision Engineering Inholland Delft). Then the meeting focussed on the theme of sustainable aviation, and on the question which action the network members together could take.
In this second part, Han van Kleef (Associate Professor at Inholland, in innovation for sustainable development) presented the following proposition to structure the discussion:
“It is no problem that environmental NGO’s and people living around airports do not partake in the national roundtable and platform on sustainable aviation. The sector has enough knowledge to develop sustainable solutions.”
The large majority of the network members disagreed with the proposition, and a small group agreed or was neutral. When asked, people said to disagree for example because: experiential knowledge of inhabitants is important to include; participation increases mutual understanding, and better understanding of innovations; and broad societal support is needed to create an effective transition towards sustainable aviation. Others indicated that the government should include the views of NGOs in other ways, and guarantee a fair policy development process. And that participation is not so useful if parties are not knowledgeable.
Participants also brought forward the view that their organisations could be more open about their goals, policies and efforts in the field of sustainable aviation. It was said that the sector seemed too closed for too long, and that this had contributed to hostile societal reactions and mutual distrust.
At the end of the discussion, there was broad agreement that it would be useful to try to set up a meeting between the NAG Young Talent Network and environmental NGO’s. With the goal to get to know each other better (create trust) and see if some kind of cooperation could be established in a practical project. Han van Kleef and Antoine Gerritse offered to host such a meeting again and help it organise with the NAG Young Talent Network.
In the last part of the network meeting drinks were offered, and students from Sipke Wynia (the student association of Aeronautical & Precision Engineering) showed people around the R&D-facilities. Around 18.30 hrs. the last round of drinks was announced. We look back at a very lively meeting, where content and pleasure were combined and we could finally meet in person again.