Dare to think big
After two years – the event was cancelled in 2020 and last year it was held digitally – we were once again able to hold our Ctgb client contact day at a physical location. It was very enjoyable to see and speak to all our external contacts from very different walks of life! The programme was well-organised and varied, and our Board chairman Johan de Leeuw was able to announce his departure in a lovely way.
The keynote speaker, Cees Leeuwis from WUR, had a message that really got us thinking. He showed us that the transition to sustainability means that we must dare to think even bigger, outside our existing frameworks. And that to achieve true system innovation and make the transition to sustainability, all parties that feel mutually dependent and that are actually dependent on each other must act together. We must dare to put pressure on the existing system – in which we also have a role – and develop new narratives. And of course we must continue to ensure safety. According to Leeuwis, the path to sustainability is diverse, varied, committed and creative. It is not reactive, but creative, whereby all parties with their conflicting interests act together as a coalition and generate the pressure needed to achieve innovation of the entire system.
This means that we have to think bigger. Many ‘outside the box’ solutions are already being developed within our existing frameworks, and we have already achieved a lot with smart solutions – such as the differentiated assessment of biocidal products under transitional legislation – and with our growing expertise on micro-organisms. We have also responded to innovations such as strip cultivation or precision application, but we can go much further by looking for creative solutions outside our familiar box, separate from all existing frameworks and outside European regulations. I do not rule out that we will have to go down that path together (at the European level, of course) in order to establish a completely different system in the future. More than enough food for thought... Daring to think big can also help us with the problem of turnaround times. We will keep you informed.
Secretary / Director of the Ctgb