Through learning activities, projects, publications, media and an active international network, the NatureCollege Foundation makes a significant contribution to sculpting her mission. The NatureCollege Foundation is involved with the following summery of activities and projects. These are aimed at different age groups so as to reach a broad and diverse audience.
It is the ambition of the NatureCollege Foundation to focus on facilitating and connecting people to initiate new projects. The NatureCollege Foundation is flexible, and aligns herself with current developments in society.
The NatureCollege Symposium
In 2008, a symposium was organised that dealt with the inner side of sustainability. Offering lectures from prominent speakers, the symposium was attended by over two hundred people from the field of politics, corporate industry and science. The symposium was opened by the then minister Cramer from the Ministry of housing, regional planning and environment administration, after which internationally renowned speakers such as professor dr. Ervin Laszlo, professor dr. Richard Tarnas, professor ir. Klaas van Egmond and Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld explored this theme in further depth.
Round Table Meetings
Since mid 2008, the NatureCollege Foundation organises Round Table meetings with representatives from the corporate industry, civil society and scientific community. These meetings take place several times per year. The dialogue during these meetings are primarily aimed at those in society who feel a particular kinship with the concept of the inner side of sustainability, and to enable these people to share the tools required to spread the notion of sustainability amongst their own (work) environment.
Representatives of the NatureCollege Foundation are frequently approached by third parties to present lectures, which is another excellent opportunity to propagate the intentions of the foundation. Read more…
Facilitation in changing mindsets within organisations
The NatureCollege Foundation furthermore supports organisations in progressing toward developing awareness on the inner side of sustainability and facilitates in changing existing mindsets amongst co-workers. This support includes provision of internal lectures, stimulating internal Round Table meetings, publications for in-house journals etc.
Interchanges with policy makers
To support and stimulate policy making, interchanges between policymakers and politicians are also taking place. In January 2009, for example, a meeting was held with the NatureCollege Foundation board members and the permanent committee of the ministry of agriculture, nature and food quality. “It was extremely positive to experience that members of the permanent parliamentary committee were so open to the NatureCollege Foundation’s mission and vision”, said Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld. This visit invited a large amount of media attention, which further stressed the significance of the NatureCollege Foundation’s philosophy.
NatureWise: schoolchildren, nature and foresters in The Netherlands
In collaboration with the State Forestry Department and the University of Utrecht, the NatureCollege Foundation initiated the project NatureWise, which focuses on bringing children back into the outdoors, and to increase their awareness of the relationship between humans and nature. Heart, mind and hands-on participation are central to this theme. (www.natuurwijs.nl)
Children’s’ right to nature
The goal of this project is to develop the visionary idea that ‘every child is entitled to have contact with nature’, to extend this vision and to have the children’s right to nature incorporated in the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child. Read more..
In mid 2009, a television documentary featuring the work and vision of Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld and the NatureCollege Foundation was screened. Media publications also regularly appear in newspapers and magazines. Read more….
At international level, the NatureCollege Foundation strives towards an appendage between The Netherlands and international developments to revaluate the relationship between human beings and nature. Furthermore, a higher level of awareness can be achieved for the Foundation’s philosophy by offering a platform where the concept of “learning to relate to all life” can be made more visual on a global level.
The NatureCollege Foundation is a member of the IUCN, The World Conservation Union (www.IUCN.org), and has contributed to the World Parks Congress in Durban by facilitating a lecture presented by Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld, in which she proposed attention be drawn to the intrinsic value of the parks.
Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld was appointed 'honorary member' of the Club of Budapest in 2005.
Bergplaas Nature Reserve
The activities of the NatureCollege Foundation further extend to Bergplaas Nature Reserve in South Africa. For the past few years, the reserve has hosted the Annual Retreat and the Individual Retreat . The exceptional 'Spirit of the Wild Guide Training' course was implemented in 2007, targeting guides and leaders of national parks.
Bergplaas offers students and volunteers the opportunity of a Traineeship. To participate in the unspoilt nature of Bergplaas for a period of 4-6 weeks is a truly unforgettable experience.
For managing directors and leaders of companies and institutions, Bergplaas facilitates the Wilderness Trail since 2010. For more information about the activities at Bergplaas, please visit www.bergplaas.com
Board members of the NatureCollege Foundation are actively involved in the Basic Discovery Natureweek in Switzerland. www.basicdiscovery.org