A look back at our anniversary event

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To celebrate Witteveen+Bos’s 75 years of existence, on Thursday 4 November 2021 a digital anniversary event was held with ‘Climate and Biodiversity: the Art of Change’ as its topic. The event was not only about technical expertise, but also about inspiring through our work, our ambitions, and music. It turned out to be a wonderful digital event with our colleagues and partners.

We kicked off the afternoon by celebrating 75 years of Witteveen+Bos. In the studio, we spoke with current and former managing directors Wouter Bijman and Harry Webers about working on social challenges and the DNA of Witteveen+Bos. A liveable world for the current and future generations is the dream.

Ecologist and nature conservationist Willem Ferwerda (Commonland) took us through his ‘4 Returns’ philosophy, in which landscape and biodiversity conservation are central. With Jacolien Eijer (NLingenieurs), Maarten Neelis (Rijkswaterstaat) and Marcel Klinge (Witteveen+Bos), we then discussed how governments and companies can apply this approach in practical terms. Marcel Klinge: ‘It was a great conversation, taking in different experiences and perspectives, and it again showed that a common ambition and effective collaboration are the keys to success.’

We closed the event with the current Witteveen+Bos Board of Directors. Wouter Bijman, Eveline Buter and Stephan van der Biezen provided a glimpse into the future and discussed how biodiversity and the climate are being integrated into Witteveen+Bos’s operations.

During the event, each guest could choose from five workshops.

Workshop: Stand up and turn the tide!

Currently, more than 40 per cent of the earth’s surface is made up of deserts, and this area is increasing dramatically. Daniël Dusseljee introduced two new innovations which enable the ‘greening’ of desert areas and, ultimately, can even cool down the earth. For more information, contact Daniël via email or by calling +971 4 554 78 97.

Workshop: The nature-enhancing city

Within a few years, half the world’s population will be living in cities. But cities are not only an important biotope for humans; they are also a hotspot for flora and fauna. In this workshop, Harro Wieringa discussed the important ecological aspects of cities, as well as how to promote them and their importance for a city’s inhabitants. For more information, contact Harro via email or by calling +31 (0)6 19 27 97 91.

Workshop: Biodiversity in rural areas

In the Netherlands, biodiversity in rural areas is rapidly declining. Natural areas are becoming barren and animal and plant species are disappearing at an alarming pace. During this workshop, Jacqueline Bulsink talked about the system change that needs to take place, the need to give soil and water a prominent place, and possible pathways for collaborative solutions which produce climate -robust rural areas, that feature rich and varied natural aspects. For more information, contact Jacqueline via email or by calling +31 (0)6 50 90 93 63.

Workshop: Biodiversity in procurements

How do you include biodiversity in your tenders? Gerard Buunk provided the answer in this workshop: biodiversity can be included in all phases of the construction process. The workshop also provided practical ideas for including biodiversity in tenders and contracts. These include the early use of market knowledge, innovations in the field of biodiversity, new forms of collaboration with the market, and programmatic tendering. For more information, contact Gerard via e-mail or by calling +31 (0)6 10 32 25 37.

Workshop: Encouraging biodiversity with creativity and art

Art and technology have a lot in common, even though at first glance they might appear to be polar opposites. Inspiration, creativity, problem-solving skills and multidisciplinary collaboration are important elements elements both in art and in our engineering and consultancy work. Artists offer us a different take on the world and its challenges. In4Art showed us how sustainability can benefit from creativity.