Student Lisa Weller about the course Sustainability, Communication and Media

Lisa Weller volgde het duurzame vak Duurzaamheid, communicatie en media
Sustainability is the roadmap for our future
Lisa Weller

Lisa Weller is studying the master Communication Science. She is interested in the topic of sustainability and that's why she chose the course Sustainability, Communication and Media

Why are you interested in sustainability?

'Basically, because our future depends on it. If we carry on the way we are, we will reach the point where we can no longer save our planet. In the first instance, when I think of sustainability I think of protecting the environment: using water and energy sparingly, producing less waste and protecting animals and biodiversity. But sustainability is also about the wellbeing of people and doing business sustainably. Sustainability is the roadmap for our future. Whether you eat less meat or none at all, avoid taking a flight each year or cycle to work every day: every contribution counts.'

Was the theme of sustainability well represented on the Sustainability, Communication and Media course?

'I had actually expected that we would focus more on the current climate plans of the Netherlands, for example, or campaigns run by the government or even the European Union. What concrete campaigns and objectives are there at this moment in time or what (compulsory) sustainability-related guidelines are in place for companies? I missed this aspect a bit, but the course did highlight other interesting things, such as how sustainability is presented in the media. Another good thing was that we had a number of guest lectures from representatives of Enexis and Greenpeace. The presentation by Greenpeace in particular made it clear once again that you don’t necessarily have to protest on the motorway to do your bit for the climate. There are all kinds of ways to support these sorts of organisations and make a contribution in a way that is right for you.'

What new insights did you gain during the Sustainability, Communication and Media course?

'Above all you learn how sustainability is communicated in the media. To start with, the media mainly used the term ‘climate change’, and now they use ‘climate crisis’. This is a choice of words that calls for more action in the hope that everyone will change their behaviour. Besides the media, films and documentaries can also promote sustainable behaviour. If the viewer is able to identify with the actor, the message hits home sooner. This is something that filmmakers can capitalise on. It’s interesting, isn’t it? When the Netflix documentary Seaspiracy came out a lot of attention was focused on the fishing industry and the practices of businesses, and people became aware of the harm caused to the fish.'

You also had to do assignments during the course. In your case this even involved going to The Hague. Can you tell us more about it?

'Together with lecturers we went as a group to The Hague to have a look at a protest by Extinction Rebellion. Although we didn’t go onto the A12 ourselves, it had a real impact on me, during and after the protest. People were sitting there on the road, doing their bit for the future. For their future, for my future and for your future too. Honestly? It really hit home. It felt like the last throw of the dice: you cannot do more than protest. You get the sense that if we don’t all do something about it now, it will be too late. Fortunately, I don’t feel hopeless any more as the protests led to a motion being put forward in the House of Representatives to start phasing out fossil-fuel subsidies. Let’s hope that something will really come of this too.'

Would you recommend this course to other students?

'I would recommend this course if you are interested in what sustainability means, how it is communicated and how you can encourage sustainable behaviour. You learn a lot, listen to interesting guest lectures, work on various group assignments and visit a symposium with lecturers from other universities working in this field. You do need to like reading literature, though.'

Do you want to know more about the Sustainability, Communication and Media course?

Read here the testimonial of lecturer Marieke Fransen

Do you like to take the course Sustainability, Communication and Media or another sustainable course at Radboud University?

Sustainable Master's courses

Do you want to get actively involved in sustainability on campus?

Radboud Green Office