Third time’s the charm

Just like in 2016 and 2020, Frans Melissen delivered an inaugural lecture earlier this month, upon his installation as Transversal Professor of Sustainability Transitions at BUas. 

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This third lecture was his most personal, in which he looked back with a critical eye at all he has done in the field of sustainability since 2003. In particular, he looked back at the other two professorships. What went well there, what went less well? And what did he learn from them?

In the summer of 2021, Frans and his better half Lotte were profoundly moved by a passage in a book by David Attenborough and from then on, Frans wanted to do things differently. 

And so he is now starting his third professorship.  A transversal professorship, to be precise. The word transversal comes from mathematics and literally means ‘across’ or ‘going across’. In other words, Frans and his colleagues within the professorship are going to support companies – across all disciplines - that want to do things differently in their transition to more sustainability, and encourage and help others to do the same. Their dream is that the sum of all these efforts will eventually lead to a fundamental change on the supply side of our socio-economic system, without shifting the blame and responsibilities onto consumers.

This makes Frans Melissen our ‘professor of hope’, as another BUas professor fittingly put it. 

Read the full text of the inaugural lecture here: