News - August 25, 2015

Wageningen students at Youth Summit Canberra

Koen Guiking

Three Wageningen students are in Canberra, Australia, to take part in the Global Youth Summit. They are discussing the world food problem with 97 other youth from around the globe.

It is quite special that three students from Wageningen University are taking part in the Youth Ag-Summit. Initially, every country could send one youth delegate to the summit. Because some countries did not sent anyone, the Netherlands was allowed to select three youths. Based on their essays, Wageningen students Lucia Luijben en Chris Verweij were selected, along with a student from Amsterdam. The third Wageningen delegate in Canberra is Camilla Ponte. She is one of the two representatives of her home country Italy.

The five day programme is sponsored by Bayer Crop Science. That doesn’t mean that only students in favour of high-tech solutions to increase the food production were selected to travel to Australia. All three Wageningen students have a healthily critical attitude to the sponsor of the event.

It is very interesting that youngsters with very different backgrounds are discussing the world food issue, says Lucia. ‘In Wageningen it goes without saying that we think about feeding the growing world population, but that student from Amsterdam studies IT. I wonder how he or how students from other countries and studies perceive the problem and what solutions they come up with.’

Camilla is very excited to be able to discuss the challenging regarding food production and consumption with 99 peers, scientists, representatives from the industry and policymakers. ‘It is really a lot to take in: I am afraid I won’t get much sleep in the next five days. I hope to bring home from this experience and take steps to turn inspiration into concrete actions, which will in turn inspire other people to do the same.’