What does society need from us? 

The Annual Red&Blue Symposium

25 september 2023

On Friday the 8th of September, the second annual Red&Blue symposium was held at the headquarters of Waternet in Amsterdam. While having a stunning view on the river Amstel and all its users, the Red&Blue consortium, both researchers and societal partners, gathered for an exciting day full of cutting-edge lectures and workshops.  

The morning was dedicated to setting the scene and sharing knowledge. After Ellen van Bueren, the Red&Blue project lead, kicked off the day, Jeroen Aerts (VU Amsterdam) and Marco Hoogvliet (Deltares) discussed different types of risks, vulnerability and the abundance assessment-models and stress tests which complicate coherent policy making. Following on the presentations, a panel debate was organized, discussing actionability and the implications of climate science for decision-making. During this discussion, the need for a public and non-profit data-provider was clearly voiced. Perhaps the Red&Blue website could fill this gap?

The second half of the day was opened with a lecture by Paul Gerretsen (Deltametropolis Association) on the current state of spatial planning in the Netherlands in relation to climate governance. This gave the go-ahead to two rounds of workshops on different ‘Impact Tables’. During these workshops, different ‘focus-points’ of the Red&Blue program were discussed. This raised the debate on what the different Work Packages are working on, how the problem statements can be perceived from different perspectives and what parts are especially useful for the consortium partners. The day was closed with a plenary session and a ‘borrel’, where Winston Chow (Singapore Management University) made the following appeal: “No action is also action! Do not become paralyzed by all possibilities”.

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