Call for applications Young Talents 2020 « Sustainable fashion, sustainable materials »

Are you a Bachelor/Master/PhD student or a young professional with innovative ideas about the fashion industry? Do you have change-making ideas about sustainable fashion within a context of Franco-Dutch and European cooperation?

If the answer to the above is yes, then apply for our Young Talent event « Sustainable fashion, sustainable materials » before October 5.

What is the Young Talent event?

The Young Talent event is part of the Erasmus Descartes Conference, which is organised by the Embassy of the Netherlands in France and the French Embassy in the Netherlands. Every year the topic of this bilateral conference hosting over 100 senior experts differs, since it is based on current developments and priorities in both countries. The Young Talent event offers ample networking opportunities. Click here FR / NL for an overview of the previous editions.

What does it involve?

The Young Talents play a vital role in animating and fuelling up the round table discussions during the conference. The event is divided into two stages, the first being the preparation stage, on October 22 and 23, takes place virtually with section remotely showcasing the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.

The second stage will be held virtually from Lille/Roubaix on November 19 and will round off with the Erasmus-Descartes Conference, split up in a cycle of four virtual morning sessions on November 20, November 27, December 4 and December 11 from the École nationale supérieure des arts et industries textiles (ENSAIT). ENSAIT is a leading research institute that is part of the rich textile ecosystem of the region Hauts-de-France and contributes to the re-establishment of the industry in the region.

Adhering to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, France and the Netherlands are committed to support the sustainable development of the fashion industry.

What connects us are the shared challenges to make the fashion industry more sustainable. We also have complementary expertise on ways to innovate, produce and use new materials. Together, we are natural partners to accelerate the transition to a sustainable fashion sector because:

  • France excels in fundamental research in textile and material development, mechanical recycling and is the largest fashion country in Europe.
  • The Netherlands is specialised in applied research, chemical recycling, bio-based materials, design thinking and has a strong collaborative approach.

The Erasmus Descartes Conference aims to stimulate the exchange of expertise and collaboration by bringing together Dutch and French stakeholders at different levels and from various sectors of experience.

The conference cycles will consist of four round tables as well as several keynote speakers and will be structured using the R-ladder of the circular economy.

The following 4 round tables will bring together entrepreneurs, designers, officials and other stakeholders to discuss challenges, solutions and best practices:

  • Refuse & Rethink (November 20)
  • Rethink & Reduce (November 27)
  • Reduce & Reuse (December 3)
  • Reuse & Recycle (December 11)

The Erasmus Descartes Conference will deliver a manifesto to express a common declaration for further cooperation in the sustainable fashion industry.

Alongside the senior experts (names will follow later), the Erasmus Descartes Conference gives the floor to the Young Talents. The following roles are envisioned for the 12 participants:

  • 4 participants will be asked to kick off each round table discussion with a short pitch introduced by a short video, provided by the organisation.
  • 4 participants will directly contribute to the discussions by co-hosting the round tables
  • 4 participants will collect feedback from the audience and shortly present it alongside their own insights from the session at the end of each stage of the conference.

As the parts and roles are not isolated, and have the potential to intersect, participants could be required to work together in parts.

During the preparation stage from Eindhoven you are tasked with exploring the topic from various perspectives. Two experts (Ingrid van der Wacht and Laetitia Forst), will coach you during the working sessions to help you get inspired within the context of the Dutch Design Week, acquire the indispensable knowledge and become familiar with the concept of the conference. In between both stages and specifically prior to one of the four chunks of the conference you will be participating in, a zoom meeting with the coaches will be scheduled to prepare your contribution.

We specifically target the following profiles:

  • Fashion / design
  • Behavioural sciences / philosophy / psychology
  • Green/circular economy, new business models, including ICT and logistics
  • Politics / journalism / media (not only fashion press)

Practical information:

Organisers: The Young Talent event is organised by the French-Dutch Network for research and higher education and Nuffic, which is the Dutch organisation for internationalization of education.

When: October 22, 23 virtually in Eindhoven (NL) and November 19, 20, 27 and December 3 and 11 virtually from Lille/Roubaix (F)

For whom:  BA/MA/PhD students from the aforementioned domains of study, and young professionals aged between 18 and 30 years old are eligible to apply for this event. International students are invited to apply as long as they speak or have at least a good conversational understanding of either Dutch or French, including speaking, listening and reading.

Language: The working sessions between Young Talents will be in English, but the Erasmus Descartes Conference will be in Dutch/French with simultaneous translations.

Costs: The online participation in the Young Talent event does not involve any initial expenses for the participants.

Participation: All 12 selected participants will attend both stages. Participation in the full programme is mandatory. Any unjustified failure (absenteeism, inappropriate behaviour) will lead to exclusion from further participation in the Young Talent event.

All Young Talents 2020 will be invited to an in-person meeting at the Residence of the Dutch Ambassador in Paris in May/June 2021. More details to follow.

*Under the current health guidelines, it is impossible to organise any physical event uniting both French and Dutch participants. In line with national and university guidelines, the nature of both stages remains subject to modification due to the ongoing evolution of the pandemic.


                                                                                                                                   Preliminary programme

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