Text and photo Sarah Scheid
A great deal of knowledge from Wageningen scientists plays a role in political considerations sooner or later. During the Sustainable Development Diplomacy course (SSD), students learn to bring research to the attention of international diplomacy.
Resource spoke with two students about their first SSD-year: Anne-Tara Singh from France, an MSc student in International Development Studies with a specialisation in Politics and Governance of Development and Rickdy Vanduwin from Indonesia, an MSc student in Climate Studies with a specialisation in Climate, Society and Economics.
What is your motivation to follow this track?
‘This track is really in line with my previous job’, Rickdy says. He worked for over a year as a research officer after his Bachelor’s. ‘There, I did consultancy as well in the context of climate change adaptation.’ He thinks that getting involved in this field will be more beneficial in terms of career paths. So does Anne-Tara: ‘I wanted to learn more about sustainability, and I am very attracted to consultancy and diplomacy. The consultancy training we did before was to find out whether it suits me or not.’
What did you learn so far?
Rickdy: ‘In our specific project, the United Nations – the client – allows us to explore all the possibilities that can be applied through the sustainable development goals (SDG). Our task was to explore and apply SDG’s for developing countries regarding technological and economic progress. The main goal is to reduce global inequity.’
Anne-Tara: ‘You must be ready to take on a challenge and spend all your time on the project. I like that you can study a problem from different perspectives.’ All in all, both students think that they can further expand their network through the SDD track. ‘You have the network of your own study, but being in this track, you will get access to a broader alumni network, Rickdy concludes.
What is your goal with this track?
Rickdy: ‘My bachelor’s already prepared me with a set of skills in the natural sciences. I now want to broaden my knowledge in social science. I guess being surrounded by diverse cultures and different working ethics is very beneficial to achieving a new set of skills, especially diplomacy skills. Evetually I want to work on climate change policy for Indonesia.’
Anne-Tara: ‘I don’t know what I want to do excately, but I know that I want to work in politics, development and economics. This is still very general, but I like to bring my perspective to the table in an international organisation.’
‘You both follow the Honours Leadership Track as well, which is an optional part of SDD. Are you heading for leadership of a big NGO or other organisation?’
Rickdy: ‘It does not have to be about me being the leader. We try to figure out what type of leadership works and what does not and understand the personalities of well-known leaders You need to know what kind of leader you’re dealing with.’ Anne-Tara: ‘I want to understand better how regimes work in a regional and global context. I want to know when a certain person categorises as a leader while others do not.’