EM has moved! Our editorial office can now be found in HB-108, between the Theil lecture hall and the Tinbergen Building canteen. To introduce our new location, we’re inviting everyone to pitch their story on Monday and Tuesday and we’ll immediately do a write-up based on the pitch.

“The word ‘laif’ in the name means ‘life’ in Papiamento,” explains Timothy. “Because just as in life, I hope we can learn from each other on this platform.” University of Laif  is a digital platform where people can share their stories on sustainability. Timothy also wants to build an online community, and he regularly appears at universities and universities of applied sciences to give informative presentations. “My question to the audience is usually: what would you do if you were the leader of this country? The answers always provide material for a productive discussion on sustainability.”

Everything is connected

Timothy is aware that there are numerous sustainability initiatives on campus. “But most of these initiatives have a very limited scope or target group,” he says. “I want to create more comprehensive awareness, not just about water or plastic, but about the big picture.” To achieve this, he applies the methods of systems thinking. This is an approach that attempts to maintain an overview of the overall picture. “For example, you want to do something to curb child labour in Uganda, but if the children have no work and the government doesn’t provide some kind of safety net or financial allowance, there’s actually a chance the children will end up in prostitution or criminal activities instead.”

So what does he think people really need to know? Timothy: “I can’t emphasise enough that sustainability isn’t some kind of hipster fad. It’s not some fashionable cause. Sustainability is a dire necessity and it’s a positive way to live.”