Nieuws - 25 juni 2015

Blog: Oh no, I am a Yccie!

Hipsters are over, and a new category is coming down the pipe: the yuccie. This term stands for Young Urban Creative and I think they can be found all over Wageningen. OK, ‘Urban’ does not fit Wageningen that well. But how about Yccie?

When the term ‘hipster’ came out a few years ago, I recognized a few people around me who fitted the term, but it did not quite concern me. It did not actually concern society at large, until H&M and some other thousands of shops around the world made hipsters hip. But when I read about yuccies a few weeks ago, I thought: ‘Darn, this is me. This is us.’

Yuccies are young, well-educated people who, coming from a protected background, strive mainly for self-realization and personal profit through sustainability and health trends.

My friends and peers are the educated, creative, ambitious, ‘follow your dreams’-type  that travel through and do volunteer work in India. We graduate on The Dreadful Effects of Industrial Emissions, Mining, and e–waste, but want our tablets and smartphones to remain affordable so we can start our career and live the life we want. We do ‘quasi-save the world internships’ at the embassy in Jakarta or Dhaka and while we are there we drink embarrassingly expensive imported alcohol at weekends. We wear organic cotton socks, are flexi-vegan, hooked on social media and dizzy of petitions about everything that festers the contemporary disadvantaged and nature at large. We are the first generation that has been bombarded since birth with warnings of an imminent (50 years, 100 years, 20 years, NOW?) ecological disasters. And we decided: let’s make a living out of it. And make it pleasant, too. When I was in my Bachelor, ecological entrepreneurship (make sustainability sexy!) was in its infancy. Now it’s a lifestyle for many of us.

In Wageningen I saw the full-fledged consequences of this new way of thinking: capitalizing on our knowledge of natural and social issues to achieve self-realization. Often I hear people saying: ‘It’s Wageningen. Here everyone cares, everyone wants to save the world.’ But WUR students are also being thoroughly encouraged to ‘think strategically’ about what to do with their idealism. Hence, I think places like Wageningen UR are the epicentre of this (questionable?) yuccie lifestyle.

I wish everyone the best who is going to do a global environmental leadership workshops this summer, or who will start a social enterprise, devise apps to sell ecological services to the middle-class urban crowd or sells local, vegan, ethnic-flavoured, organic food in a restaurant on wheels. Have an awesome one!