India: The Land of Unity in Diversity and It’s Sustainable Approaches

Editor’s Note: This article was originally produced by Sunitha Anup,  a research scholar from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, India. To contact Sunitha directly e-mail :anup.sunitha@gmail.com.  

Picture by Pixabay

Picture by Pixabay

Issues concerning Earth’s sustainability indeed pose a challenge to every nation. Some of the alarming problems include: declining food security, natural disasters, pollution, population growth, and the degradation of biodiversity and of ecosystems. India has always been known as a land of diverse cultures, languages, landforms and religions. The existence of the land as a united territory [amid its diversity alludes to a] spirit of totality where differences are not looked down upon as a conflict; but are rather seen as a strength to enrich society. This spirit is reflected within India’s approach in combating climate change and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It can also be seen in its policy measures and development schemes. India was also ascertained as an important player within the recent COP21 Paris Agreement.

Picture by Pixabay

Picture by Pixabay

Over the years, the traditions and lifestyles of India have always followed an environmentally friendly [trajectory]. In fact, more than 70% of India’s population belongs to villages where the rural communities live very close to nature. However, increasing trends of socio-economic growth have added more foes to this peaceful co-existence. In order to reduce carbon footprints, India has been following low-carbon models in transportation and in development, and it has been promoting a pedagogical curriculum to educate local regulatory bodies. Moreover, India is a key player within the International Energy Agency, which enables fruitful works in clean energy, policy, and open markets. All of which, allows for better energy security. Some of the national initiatives in India that are working to ensure sustainable development include:

  • National Solar Mission
  • National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency
  • Mission on Sustainable Habitat
  • Water Mission
  • Mission for Sustainable Himalayan Eco-system
  • Mission for Sustainable Agriculture

Indeed, India has begun taking baby steps to achieve its sustainability goals. As a global family, research communities all over the world should work together and learn from each other by combining ancient traditional wisdom and modern research.

Picture by Pixabay

Picture by Pixabay

The Ecotarian Revolution: How to Make Your Home & Diet More Green

Editor’s Note: Thank you to Jennifer McGregor for writing this article. NESSE values your input and commends your effort in wanting to create a healthier planet!  

Photo courtesy of Unsplash by Brooke Lark

Photo courtesy of Unsplash by Brooke Lark

The world’s population has skyrocketed in the past 100 years, growing sevenfold since the 1800s. The population is estimated to grow by another 2 billion people within the next couple of decades adding pressure to the planet’s current population of 7 billion. While overpopulation is often cited as the single biggest threat to the planet, BBC estimates that the current growth trend is not entirely the issue. The real problem is how much each individual consumes.

The good news is that everyone can do their part to help heal the planet. Here are some ways one can bring more sustainable habits into their diet as well as into their home:

 

Making Eco-Friendly Dietary Choices

From vegetarian and vegan to Paleo or dairy-free, there are more diets to choose from these days than ever before. Which ones are best if you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint? As TIME points out, “Sustainable eating does not have to be hard, and it also does not have to be all-or-nothing.”

An alternative thinking to cutting out meat and dairy products altogether, the “ecotarian” diet has been gaining popularity in recent years. More than a lifestyle change than a traditional diet, ecotarianism involves making mindful food choices specifically designed to sustain the planet as well as your body.

How can you help? Start by trying to eat mostly plant-based, organic whole foods. Home sustainability expert, Laura Trotta, recommends reducing your meat intake as much as possible, even if you don’t go fully vegan or vegetarian.

Meanwhile, Harvard advises choosing local foods from sustainable farmers markets. You can also do your part to reduce food waste by eating smaller meals and switching to reusable grocery bags (which also help the planet by reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans).

 

Creating a “Green” House

Many homeowners currently are challenged with the task of reducing their home’s energy usage. Luckily, there are many ways you can make your home more green – and they don’t have to break the bank.

For instance, you could downsize your wardrobe and switch to eco-friendly clothing. Try to find environmentally conscious brands, such as those that create clothing from plastic water bottles and other recycled materials.

Can’t afford to switch to solar power yet? You could start by switching out your traditional light bulbs with LEDs or CFL bulbs. These fairly inexpensive bulbs use less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs, and they will also save you money on your electric bill. There is really no reason not to make the switch!

Although global warming is upon us, there’s still much you can do to help the environment. When it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, we can all do our part. Every little bit helps when it comes to going green.

 

NESSE News: NESSE at ISGC 2017

The 2017 International Symposium on Green Chemistry (ISGC-2017) took place in May in La Rochelle, France. Following the trend of previous years, about 700 attendees gathered to discuss the most recent advancements on sustainable science across a variety of topics, including catalytic systems, biomass conversion, environmental impact, and biotechnology.    La Rochelle-1 

Prof. Roger Sheldon kick-started the four-day event with a plenary lecture that perfectly summarized the purpose of ISGC 2017. His talk, “Engineering a Sustainable Future with Green Chemistry and Catalysis”, exposed the need of shifting from a culture of fossil fuels to one that embraces renewable biomass. He elaborated on the use of green metrics, such as the E-factor and atom economy, for the evaluation and improvement of industrial processes.NESSE session pic 1-1

The NESSE team was present at ISGC-2017 to spread the word about our mission and recent efforts to connect scientists with a passion for sustainability. During the conference, we had the chance to talk to early-career professionals in our exhibition stand about the resources and opportunities that NESSE has to offer.NESSE exhibition area stand

Among NESSE’s activities at ISGC, we carried out a satellite session on career development. “Thriving careers and sustainability” was a panel discussion that brought together three guest speakers to converse about their vision about new professionals seeking to apply their knowledge in sustainable science into an academic or industrial career path. Dr. Edith Lecomte-Norrant discussed the opportunities for emerging scientists in the pharmaceutical industry through outreach programs that allow for a close collaboration between PhD students and the innovation department she leads. She emphasized the need to constantly innovate oneself in a market where companies constantly change and require new skill sets. Prof. Peter Wasserscheid shared his insight on the peer-review and grant writing processes for academic professionals, and how academia overlaps with entrepreneurial activities. On the topic of the value of a postdoctoral research, Prof. Luque shared his views on how this experience brought him closer to green chemistry, and how working abroad helps both by expanding the scope of your research and by improving your transferable skills along the way.NESSE session panelists-1INCREASE Industrial session-1

As part of the program, the International Consortium on Eco-conception and renewable resources (INCREASE) brought together a special session on the commitment of industry to sustainable chemistry. Representatives of several European industries discussed current efforts involving green innovation and answered questions from the audience. A particular point was made about industry not only having and active role within their own processes, but also the responsibility of carrying this objective throughout the supply chain.

NESSE session pic 2-1As usual, we had the opportunity to socialize throughout the week during the exhibition, at our NESSE social, and at the gala dinner held as part of the event. The historic town center of La Rochelle overlooking the ocean offered the perfect venue for us to meet new people and expand our knowledge on the latest advancements on green chemistry. We look forward to coming back to la Rochelle for ISGC-2019!

NESSE News: Congratulations to the Newly Elected Directors

Congratulations to our new Board members who were elected by NESSE members. They will formally start their roles on the 1st September joining four continuing Board members – Alex, Natalie, Luciana, Tabitha.

Felipe Cicaroni Fernandes  Director of Membership Activities 2017-2019

Felipe Cicaroni Fernandes
Director of Membership Activities 2017-2019

Tammy Puryicky Director of Marketing and Communications 2017-2019

Tammy Puryicky
Director of Marketing and Communications 2017-2019

Is interdisciplinary research career-suicide? Share your experience

ID research social media photoMulti-, inter- and transdisciplinary research are increasingly seen as vital in a world of complex, interconnected global challenges. Funders are beginning to support early-career researchers to conduct this work through doctoral training centres and projects with a focus on research at the intersections between disciplines.

Yet, these types of research have been called “career suicide” for young academics and a British Academy report suggested that early-career researchers should first “cultivate their academic home” as a base to conduct interdisciplinary research.

We want to understand early-career researchers own experiences and perspectives of MIT-disciplinary (multi-, inter-, or trans-disciplinary*) research as part of a larger study into the culture of science. Please help us by completing this 15 minute survey.

The survey asks you about:

  1. Your past and current experiences of MIT-disciplinary research;
  2. The motivations, challenges and rewards that you associate with MIT-disciplinary research;
  3. The level of support or hindrance that you receive in any MIT-disciplinary research that you undertake
  4. Your suggestions as to how support for future MIT-disciplinary research should be approached, particularly in relation to early-career researchers.

Please share widely! Post on twitter or facebook: Early-career researchers – whats your experience of #interdisciplinary research? http://bit.ly/2qZrY1C #ECRchat #PhDchat @greenscientists

 

*For the purposes of this survey, we define multidisciplinary as people from different disciplines working together; interdisciplinary as integrating knowledge and methods from different disciplines at the outset of a project; and transdisciplinary as involving researchers from different disciplines and other stakeholders variously in the design, execution and implementation of research.

NESSE News: Living Smaller, Living Greener – GreenSTEMS Social Symposium Recap

Editor’s Notes: We are so proud at NESSE of the great events championed by our NESSE groups! Here’s a blog post taken from GreenSTEMS after their recent social symposium. 

One Planet Week was full of interesting events to attend, all supporting a better world and a better life. GreenSTEMS could not be left out of this inspiring week! Our Living Smaller, Living Greener symposium was a success and we had great feedback. If you enjoyed this afternoon and want a bit more information, or if you couldn’t attend, keep reading for a summary of the talks.

Matthew Redding educates the audience about Passivhaus and sustainable architecture.

Matthew Redding educates the audience about Passivhaus and sustainable architecture.

The afternoon started with Jonathan Avery from Tiny House Scotland giving us an introduction to the concept of the tiny houses movement and its spread across the world. Tiny houses are not just gorgeous, they are also movable, greener and more affordable than normal houses.  Jonathan gave us a tour of his own tiny house, Nest House, and mesmerized all of us; after all, the best things in life come in small packages. If you want to learn more about this new housing concept and admire truly stunning photos of minimalist homes, check out Jonathan’s website at https://tinyhousescotland.co.uk/.

Our second speaker, Matthew Redding, opened our eyes to a unsettling truth: it’s not just our housing that needs to change, it’s our lifestyle.  Matthew walked us through the ways we can achieve sustainability with architecture and introduced us to the concept of Passivhaus, a set of architectural guidelines for building or retrofitting low-impact buildings. Then, we learned about LILAC, a low impact living affordable community. The LILAC project is an inspiring community in west Leeds, just a short train trip away, so don’t miss the chance to learn more about it and visit it. Check http://www.lilac.coop/ for more information, or explore this map of UK Passivhaus buildings to see if there’s one near you: www.peterwarm.co.uk/resources/passivhaus-uk-map/.

The afternoon moved on from architecture to community-based change with a talk given by Sue Bird and James Newton from YorSpace. YorSpace is a group of York friends and neighbours who are working to provide low-cost, sustainable, cooperatively-owned housing, with a cohousing concept similar to LILAC. We were all inspired by the sense of community and equality of this wonderful project, and excited to hear about their future success. If you want to be a part of YorSpace or learn more, just go to http://yorspace.org/.

Our next speaker, John “Compost” Cossham, shared with us the secrets of low carbon impact living. He has an impressive (and enviable) low carbon footprint; such a great achievement might have you thinking that you cannot do the same…Calm down! Making small changes in your daily life can make a lot of difference. Some of those simple ideas are: turn off electronics before go to sleep, and use a lid when cooking. Cycle or walk to work instead of using the car. Recycle as much as you can and compost your organic waste. Care about where your electricity is coming from, getting energy from reliable companies is a good step forward. As John said, “it is all about reducing the bad and increasing the good”. Check his blog for more information http://lowcarbonlifestyle.blogspot.co.uk/.

The next talk, by Ian Clare from North Yorkshire Rotters, was dedicated to another issue: food waste. It was shocking to hear that on average, we each throw away six meals per week! Students in particular waste a lot of food… However, this can be avoided by simple changes. Go to the market more often if you can, or plan two weeks of meals before shopping if you can’t. Another important thing is to keep track of the expiry dates. Make a list of what you have in the fridge and the use by date, it is not much work and will save you a lot of money too. In a pinch, you can freeze food up to 24 hours before it expires to make it last indefinitely! Finding ways to use leftovers is another important step, you can find great ideas at https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/.

Finally, we were introduced to two lovely initiatives at the university. York Edible Uni, as their secretary Apple Chew told us, aims to grow fresh, free vegetables for students and staff on university campus. They have built volunteer garden allotments on campus, and everyone is free to pick anything they find growing there. You can also come get your hands dirty at their weekly gardening sessions on Wednesdays. Have a look at  https://www.york.ac.uk/students/campus-city/sustainable-york/get-growing/edible-uni/  and find where the gardens are located and how to get involved. The university’s Green Impact team aims to reduce every department’s impact on the environment. It works through a set of tasks to be achieved annually and gives golden, silver, or bronze awards to the departments. Ask your department if you are already involved and find out more at https://www.york.ac.uk/about/sustainability/get-involved/greenimpact/

Thanks again to all of our speakers, and the sustainably-minded folks who came out to East Campus to learn, and contributed diverse viewpoints to the discussion. Hope to see you next time!

greenSTEMS committee members Anna and Tabitha (right) with Sue Bird, Matt Redding, and Jonathan Avery (left).

greenSTEMS committee members Anna and Tabitha (right) with Sue Bird, Matt Redding, and Jonathan Avery (left).

Content taken from https://gstems.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/living-smaller-living-greener-greenstems-social-symposium-recap/

 

NESSE News: NESSE’s Plans for the Year

Editor’s Note: Here’s NESSE’s founder and Executive Director, Jennie Dodson to share with us all of the exciting plans that NESSE has for the coming year.

This past year has been a rollercoaster for sustainable science and NESSE!

There was heady excitement and optimism with major international agreements on sustainable development and climate change, whilst NESSE has germinated from a small seed, has put down roots and is pushing through the soil to grow and flourish in the sunlight.

This coming year is one of going from big visions to real action. NESSE is uniquely placed to help achieve the vision of sustainable development – we are connecting scientists across disciplines around sustainability at the beginning of our careers. We are creating a new culture of doing science that is focused on positive outcomes for people and the planet using our collective skills and knowledge. We are engaging with society and demonstrating that an equitable, sustainable future is already being built.

So what have we got planned this year:

  • Our first major international workshop bringing together early-career researchers to discuss the role of Science for Sustainable Development will take place in London in December. We want this to be a template for other workshops around the world and we’re also partnering with international conferences. Would you like to run a whole workshop or host a NESSE booth or activity at a conference?
  • We are supporting new groups to grow at universities, in cities or in countries around the world. Do you want to bring together inspiring scientists across disciplines to discuss how we can solve the biggest challenges of our time? Then start a Sustainable Science Group.
  • We will be sharing more inspiration, from new research to career opportunities via our blogs, webinars and social media.
  • We are developing new ways to connect members around the world, from Randomised Coffee Trials to our soon-to-be launched new website.

This is only a small amount of what we want to achieve. We want to hear your ideas for other projects and activities we could be doing and support YOU to start your own projects.

On 1 November, from 6-7pm UTC for our first all members meeting to find out more about our plans and share your ideas. Sign-up via this link or read more about what we’ll be discussing at the meeting here.

NESSE News: Meet the Team

Editor’s note: This week, our Director of Marketing & Communications, Alex, writers to tell you more about the NESSE board, including all the stuff you never thought you would want to read about!

 

Executive Director: Dr Jennifer Dodson – London, UK

Executive Director: Natalie O’Neil – New York, USA

Director of Marketing & Communications: Alexandra Hicken – London, UK

Director of Membership Activities: Dr Norman Spencer – North Carolina, USApresentation2

Director of Research: Dr Cristiano Varrone – Denmark

Vice Director of Research: Daniel Pleissner – Germany

Director of Sustainable Science Groups: Chian Chan – Malaysia

Executive Board Support: Tabitha Petchey – York, UK

 

How did you get involved with NESSE?

  • JD: I set-up NESSE! Although it has evolved from the original vision and the excitement is seeing how new people who get involved develop their own creative ideas and activities.
  • NO: I joined NESSE’s mentorship program in March 2015 and was connected with some great sustainable scientists. I then took on the Marketing and Communications role for 2015-2016 and now I am transitioning to share the executive director duties with Jennifer Dodson.
  • AH: I previously worked with Jennie at the University of York and via some careful arm twisting, she persuaded me to apply for a board position.
  • NS: I learned about NESSE in mid-2014 from an online webinar from the American Chemical Society and registered as a member the same day. A while later, I received an email detailing upcoming events and available volunteer positions.
  • CV: I attended a Workshop on BioEconomy organized by NESSE in collaboration with the University of York, and I was highly impressed by the positive energy, the proactive attitude and the very international atmosphere.
  • DP: I saw the announcement for open board position and applied, now I’m in!  
  • CC: I think I was introduced to NESSE either by a friend or newsletter from the University of Newcastle, one of the newsletters was calling for volunteers to be Global Challenges Officer hence I got more actively involved.
  • TP: I helped Jennie with a NESSE-run event and she invited me to apply for the position.

 

What do you do on an average day?

  • JD: My days are really varied. I run events, meet and discuss ideas with lots of interesting people across government, academia and NGOs or write briefing papers sharing what research to fund or how to fund it better.
  • NO: On MWF I teach chemistry lab and lectures at a small liberal arts school in upstate New York and on T/TH I am conducting research and writing to finish up my Ph.D. degree in Albany, NY.
  • AH: An average day consists of a couple of sweaty tube journeys, working in the lab and having lunch with my research group – which is obviously the best part of the day. I’m always excited to spend an hour or so with my colleagues chatting about recent events.
  • NS: I work full-time for Safe Alliance, a victim services agency that provides hope and healing in the form of advocacy, mental health counselling and legal assistance to over 12,000 survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking in the Metropolitan Charlotte area.
  • CV: I always start my day with a good cappuccino (would not be able to leave home without it) and am ready to bike to work only after that. I usually spend half of my day in the lab and half in the office, elaborating data, reading new articles, writing, etc.
  • DP: I stare at my laptop screen!
  • CC: Mapping out stakeholders for NESSE and Agridon; meeting clients and stakeholders and identifying funding opportunities for both organisations.
  • TP: Probably about 5 h in the lab and several more at my desk. Have lunch with lab-mates.

 

What is your dream career?

  • JD: I’m really lucky to be doing pretty much my dream career. I work to make sure we fund and use research for international development in the best way. I look at what research we need in the future, bring people together about how to support interdisciplinary research and look at how to get research into use.
  • NO: Working for an organization that promotes sustainable science and research in academia. Working with universities and abs to address their hazardous waste programs, energy consumption and how sustainability can be applied in the laboratory.
  • AH: I think my dream career might not actually be a career that is currently possible to pursue but to be able to use my passion for sustainability in order to directly improve people’s quality of life sums it up nicely.
  • NS: I am happy that my dream career is exactly what I do now: working in multiple professions and with multiple organisations. I could never feel truly happy and useful to society if I only ever worked in one profession.
  • CV: I would like to develop an independent research career.
  • DP: A permanent position in academia would be awesome!
  • CC: My dream career is to be able to be an independent consultant and having my own research group/company/entity with a track record of supporting career development of other professionals.
  • TP: It would be nice to do something to encourage sustainable living in the general public or to provide some alternative means of sustainable living that is accessible.

 

What is your favorite hobby?

  • JD: I love dancing…particularly forro, a Brazilian country-dance that I’m completely addicted to. If you haven’t heard of it check it out!
  • NO: My favorite hobby is snuggling my dog Tyson and taking hikes with him and my husband.
  • AH: My favourite hobby is travelling around the UK to watch my hometown football (soccer!) team. Sometimes it’s quite an enjoyable hobby, but most of the time it brings out the cynicism in me.
  • NS: Two of my most favourite hobbies are fashion and music. I enjoy developing a wardrobe possessive of all the essential contemporary and modern staples. I can (and have) easily passed an entire day traversing the many clothing and shoe shops. I play both trumpet and French horn; in addition, I currently sing for a few local groups in the Metro Charlotte area.hobbies
  • CV: There are many, starting from birdwatching and hiking, snorkeling, playing music, cooking…
  • DP: Writing scientific papers!
  • CC: My favourite hobbies include playing the piano, swimming, hiking, trekking, cycling, dancing, cooking, attending classical and dance concerts, racquet sports, reading New Scientists (occasionally National Geographic) and reading books.
  • TP: Hmm… possibly playing the piano, or attempting ill-advised DIY.

 

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

  • JD: Romantic period dramas. When the present world gets too much I retreat to Jane Austen.
  • NO: Watching terrible reality TV when I just need an escape from my own reality.
  • AH: My guilty pleasure is definitely anything I can collect – my current collections include magnetic bottle openers, used football match tickets and cute soft toys called tsum tsums (you never know when any of these things are going to come in handy!)
  • NS: I do not particularly have a guilty pleasure, but the closest to one would be wine. I enjoy tasting different wines, drinking them, collecting them and learning the properties of different wines. In particular, I have a fondness for Spanish wines due to my heritage.
  • CV: Not really. I don’t feel that guilty when doing what I like.
  • DP: Yes 😉 !
  • CC: Yes, listening to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance.
  • TP: Several – not limited to but including cake.

 

Where’s the one place you would like to visit?

  • JD: Too many places. However, I’m trying to keep my air miles down, so the Scottish Isles would be top of my list currently.
  • NO: Anywhere I haven’t been before, I find traveling more about the adventure than about the destination.
  • AH: I’m conscious that recently my air miles have been a little on the excessive side, so like Jennie would also like to visit the Scottish Highlands – maybe we organise a NESSE retreat?
  • NS: I would desperately love to visit Iceland. I am in the midst of planning a trip to Iceland with a close friend of mine!
  • CV: Hawaii.
  • DP: I have a long list of places I would like to visit, too many but no time…!
  • CC: It would be the Arctic before all its’ ice sheets melt away into oblivion due to global warming.
  • TP: At the moment, I would love to visit Sweden.

destinations

Finally… What’s the main thing that you would like to achieve whilst working within NESSE?

  • JD: I want loads more people to feel connected to a community and feel that they can set-up something locally through inspiration from NESSE. This year I really want to make sure we get some funding so we can employ someone and ensure NESSE can grow. I am so excited about all the new energy and enthusiasm from the new Directors who have joined.
  • NO: My motivation for working with NESSE is to spread sustainable science to early career scientists and engineers that may not be exposed to it at their university or in their career field. To do this we need to achieve 501(c)(3) status and start applying for grants, this is my main objective over the next year.
  • AH: My main aim whilst working with NESSE is to make sure that the fantastic work achieved by NESSE members is communicated as effectively and as widely as possible.
  • NS: There are many things I would like to accomplish, but in particular, I really want to help curate an active, excited and tireless member body. In order to achieve this goal, I want to lay the framework for seamless electronic communication between members, a robust and developed jobs and opportunity board and developing a specialised team of committed and talented volunteers that will serve as our membership’s frontline.
  • CV: Increase our impact on the Sustainable Development Goals, together with our SDG-Team, and consolidate the NESSE webinar series.
  • DP: Getting a paper published showing that NESSE members can work together to solve a sustainable issue.
  • CC: NESSE being financially viable and self-sustaining non-profit organisation with a track record of spawning other financially viable and self-sustaining organisations.
  • TP: As I am in a supporting role, I most want to ensure that the goals of NESSE are met: in particular, that we reach out to as many people as possible.

NESSE News: Thank You Laura!

Editor’s Note: NESSE Executive Director Jennie writes to thank former Secretary and Director of Sustainable Science Groups, Laura Hoch, for her tremendous work over the past three years.

There are very few times in your life when you meet someone with an energy, spark and passion that touches everyone around them. Laura Hoch is one of those people – and it has been an absolute privilege and joy to work with her to develop NESSE over the past few years. After three years helping to shape NESSE from the initial idea, Laura is now moving on to exciting new opportunities. However she will always remain in NESSE’s heart, not just from the groups and ideas she has nurtured, but also in providing input to our Advisory Group.

Laura has been wonderful to work with, simply because her instant response to new ideas is ‘yes’! She is fascinated in what she can learn from everyone around her and instantly shares her joy and passion for the things she loves. Laura shaped our groups work, helping to share inspiration between sustainable science initiatives around the world, from the Green Chemistry Initiative which she co-founded several years ago at the University of Toronto, to the new groups she supported through her fantastic short course. In that time she has not only been an integral part of NESSE, but has also gained her doctorate, started a new job and moved town!

On a more personal note, she is great fun! We finalised NESSE’s launch event in Washington DC over coffee after we’d both just flown in, an hour before the event!! We’ve run around together madly organising events at the International Symposium on Green Chemistry and celebrated together with delicious crepes, French cider and cycling at sunset. We held our first NESSE Board retreat over-looking the sea in Rhode Island followed by wild camping and swimming in the forests of Vermont.

 

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And this is what is great about networks. You don’t just find people to work or share ideas with, you make friendships that will last a lifetime. You learn and take the best from the people you meet, and together you can create something amazing. If NESSE is a network of leaders who are even half as amazing as Laura, I know that it will have a huge and positive impact on the world. So thank you Laura for all your time and effort you have put into NESSE, for believing in it from the very beginning and for your positivity, energy and smile. We’ll miss you, but we’ll definitely see you around!