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Open House – Launch of the Book ‘Land of Hope’ and `Ecotarian’ application
Open House – Launch of the Book ‘Land of Hope’ and `Ecotarian’ application

Tue, Jun 18


Lisbon Room (floor -1)

Open House – Launch of the Book ‘Land of Hope’ and `Ecotarian’ application

Save the date and mark your calendars for 18 June at the VUB Campus, as we celebrate the birth of this transformative narrative.

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Time & location

Jun 18, 2024, 3:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Lisbon Room (floor -1), Bd de la Plaine 5, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium


Dear all,

Join us for a journey into the Land of Hope!

The House of Sustainable Transitions (HOST) is very excited to invite you to the first Open House gathering of the HOST community. Delve with us into a realm where the triumph over our current polycrisis is not just a dream but a vivid reality comprising of concrete solutions that accelerate the sustainable transition. Experts, change makers with sustainable solutions and new narratives from the next generation all united in one book, the Land of Hope, brought together by Cathy Macharis.

One of these concrete solutions is the Ecotarian app which will also be launched during this Open House event. This application helps customers investigate the impact of recipes and restaurants and allows you to find more sustainable alternatives.

To end the evening we want to organise 7 roundtable discussions corresponding to the 7 chapters in the book and followed by 

Save the date and mark your calendars for 18 June at the VUB Campus, as we celebrate the birth of this transformative narrative.

Hope to welcome you all in the Land of Hope!

The HOST team


  • 15h00 - 15h15  Welcome
  • 15h15 - 15h35  Presentation Book ‘Land of Hope’ by Cathy Macharis
  • 15h35 - 15h55  Presentation book Chapter 'Fueling the Paradox' by Julien Blondeau
  • 15h55 - 16h05  Presentation Ecotarian app by Lise Vermeersch
  • 16h05 - 16h20  Student Charlotte Vanhandenhove presenting the dream of ‘Land of Hope’
  • 16h20 - 16h50  Break
  • 16h50 - 18h20  7 parallel roundtables facilitated by the authors of the 7 chapters
  • 18h20 - …          Drinks and music


The House of Sustainable Transitions (HOST), recently established by Prof. Cathy Macharis, unites a wide range of disciplines and sectors and demonstrates that sustainability is best achieved through intersectional and interdisciplinary collaboration. To tackle complex societal challenges, we can rely on expertise from more than 200 researchers and 44 professors from 19 different research groups within the VUB working on the sustainable transition in 5 different topics (energy, mobility, economy, food and construction). The collaborative and interdisciplinary approach within HOST ensures a more comprehensive understanding of these relationships and their dynamics and ultimately more systemic solutions that accelerate the transition to a sustainable society.

Every 3 months, HOST opens its doors to the whole ecosystem during a so-called Open House event, bringing VUB researchers and our external partners together to inspire each other, form a community and identify opportunities to collaborate in accelerating the sustainable transition.

In a world characterized by the undeniable reality of climate change, biodiversity loss, and increasing inequality, there is an urgent need for a transition to a sustainable system. In the Land of Hope, a book compiled by Prof. Cathy Macharis, various experts of the House of Sustainable Transitions indicate where the current system is reaching its limits, but more importantly, where the avenues for solutions lie explained in 7 different chapters:

  • 'Rethinking mobility in the 21st Century' by Imre Keserü, Cathy Macharis and Angelo Meueleman
  • 'Fueling the Paradox - The inexorable rise of fossil dependency and the Jevons dilemma' by Julien Blonadeau, Maria Luisa Lode and Hannes Laget
  • 'Reviving our planet by transforming the food system' by Franky Bossuyt, Rik Verschueren and Lise Vermeersch
  • 'Sustainable building - Brick by brick to a circular construction economy' by Waldo Galle, Niels De Temmerman Ken Spranghers and Michael Lefeber
  • 'Economics: the elephant in the room' by Cathy Macharis and Jan Merckx
  • 'System change, not climate change' by Louise Knops and Ben Eersels
  • 'Education as a highway to sustainability?' by Tom Kuppens and Koen Meirlaen

This is a book of hope and longing for a better world; a book for everyone, showing that we can bring about change. Now is indeed the time to dream about how our world could be and to take steps to get there.

The Ecotarian application is a concrete tool that helps people to understand the impact of their diet on themselves and the planet and that will enable people to reduce this impact to their own abilities, by bringing together individuals, industry and knowledge centers. The developing team is being led by Lise Vermeersch, a HOST member who is hosting  the Food room.

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