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 September 28.

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 during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. The second stage or final event will be held in Lille/Roubaix on November 18, 19 and 20 and will be round off with the Erasmus-Descartes Conference on November 20 at 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 this industry in the region.

Complying 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 specialized in applied research, chemical recycling, biobased 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 activity.

The conference will consist of four round tables and several keynote speakers and will be structured by the use of 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
  • Rethink & Reduce
  • Reduce & Reuse
  • Reuse & Recycle

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 the organisation provides.
  • 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 this at the end

During the preparation stage in Eindhoven you are asked to explore the topic from different 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. From October 23 until November 18, between the two stages, a weekly zoom meeting with the coaches will be scheduled to keep working on the different projects.

We specifically target the following profiles:

  • Fashion / design
  • Behavioral 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 in Eindhoven (NL) and November 18, 19, 20 in Lille/Roubaix (F)

For whom: BA/MA/PhD students from the before mentioned domains of study and young professionals aged between 18 and 30 years old are eligible to apply for this event. International students are encouraged to apply as long as they speak or at least understand either Dutch or French.

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

Costs:  The organizers will cover the costs of transportation (travel between France and the Netherlands + public transport on-site), accommodation (one night in a hotel in Eindhoven for non-Eindhoven residents + 2 nights in a hotel in Lille for non-Lille residents) and meals (lunch and dinner in Eindhoven and Lille). The participants must bear the costs for any other expenses themselves.

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.

*Under the current health guidelines, it is difficult to foresee if any physical event uniting both French and Dutch participants can take place in October and November. In line with national and university guidelines, the nature of both stages remains subject to modification due to the evolution of the pandemic.


                                                                                                                                   Preliminary programme

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