Sailing for Impact is about to set sail!

Sailing for Impact is about to set sail!

Sailing for Impact is about to set sail!

Sailing for Impact stands for using a sailing vessel as a platform for a meaningful Master’s research trajectory. Seventeen highly motivated students from TUE, WUR and UU commit themselves, both individually and in teams, to creating more impactful and well-founded solutions to the larger questions of our time. The 8-week sailing expedition along the Atlantic and Baltic Sea coasts is dedicated to how we implement the Global Sustainable Development Goals in post-corona Europe. As crew members, the students are actively involved in the preparation of the expedition as part of the overall learning experience.

At the end of March 2021, the decision was made that, despite all the precautions, in the context of covid 19, the full expedition could not to take place this year. The good news, however, is that despite this setback, the crew stayed together. They continued to meet online every week to support each other in setting up and conducting their individual research projects.

Now that the restrictions are lifted, we are happy to set sail after all.  We embark on the 21st of June aboard the clipper Aldebaran and disembark a week later on the 27th of June. Of course we have had to adjust our ambitions. The trip allows us to finish the project we have been working on together since September in style.  By limiting ourselves to the Ijsselmeer and Wadden Sea, we comply with the corona guidelines of the Universities. On board, we implement a corona protocol in line with the regulations of the Dutch charter fleet.

We will visit the NIOZ on Texel and the Zeevaartschool in Enkhuizen. We will meet the Sea Ranger Service in Den Helder and, then, end the trip with a joint program with the Pampus Foundation and their business network united by the island’s ambition to become fully circular and off the grid. There, decision makers from the alliance partners will join us. The goal of this final meeting is to explore, together, the contours of upcoming Sailing for Impact expeditions with emphasis on the role that local partners can play in making an impact through our research. During the upcoming trip a number of academic supervisors from UU and WUR will join to work and sail with us for a day. The purpose of having supervisors join us for part of the journey is to be together so they, too, can explore what it means to be part of our Sailing for impact community of inquiry. All meetings this week are aimed at creating mutual value.

I have learned that a sailing ship is an effective and sustainable (!) vehicle to connect people, ideas and places. Learning in and from nature can be an important source of inspiration. The crew is highly dependent on each other and works together to sail the ship and to come to a larger overarching story about the sailing expedition as a catalyst for educational innovation. Three crew members will produce a documentary film about our common learning process.

We will report on our meetings and our learning during this week through blogs and vlogs. Follow us through online channels of the UU and the other alliance partners, as well as through our Sailing for Impact social media channels.

Peter Linde, Senior Lecturer and Licensed Sailor,