Environmental responsibility and sustainable development are more important than ever in the world today, as sustainability leaders of International School Hilversum (Kriti, Yasmine, and Saanvi), it is our job to take a step towards sustainability for a greener future. Our recent trip to Luxembourg for the Sustainability Leadership Conference was an incredible chance to engage in innovative methods, new ideas, and collaborative initiatives aimed at creating an eco-friendly community. This trip was more than just attending a conference, it was about seeing first-hand incredible progress a country/community can make towards sustainability.Our arrival in Luxembourg was welcomed because the city balances the elegant architecture with natural beauty. Luxembourg is also known as the "Green Heart of Europe," this demonstrates how a country can achieve a balance between economic progress and environmental responsibility, such as the system of sustainable public transportation.

What was the programme?

Link to the event programme:

The Leadership and Sustainability Summit was a conference taking place in the International School of Luxembourg where people from different schools, companies and groups got together to engage what true sustainability is and how to tackle it over the years. Many experts attended the conference to tell us their experiences regarding raising awareness for climate change through journalism, to educate people further on regenerative economics and to incorporate sustainable technologies within their companies. It was inspirational so see adults tackle the issues we worry about in all sorts of fields and through this we got a further understanding of the world changing around us. We met with people from 17 different countries all over the world. Some students attended from countries like Scotland, Germany, and Luxembourg to see how their schools are engaging with the topic of sustainability. We were delighted to hear that many were inspired by our growing committee of around a hundred people through our debriefing on the last day.

The conference was organised by an inspirational duo, Andrew Watson and Phil Keech. Alongside them were a worldwide organisation that also played a big part in the event to make it happen, that was the Sus-Ed group. The summit had a particular format where we were introduced to the summit through the presentation of Richard Calland, a professor for Sustainability & Leadership at the University of Cambridge. This presentation consisted of ideas which we’d consider radical as it was a method looking for swift improvement in ways where we’d have to completely change our regular style of living. Later on, we were organised into groups where members of Sus-Ed and passionate students of the International School of Luxembourg led us to have multiple deep group discussions with one another about multiple things. This included discussing what we think of our dream place we call home to be, who we think we are, where we think we are, what global issues are we worried about and what we think we can do about it. The last day (also the day of World Earth Day) consisted of wrapping up our discussions and ideas to create a method to move further towards sustainability in a realistic way. This was concluded collectively by student representatives of each school.

Personal Favourite Moments


This conference personally has taught me many new things and has made me more mindful of my surroundings and ways I can be more eco- friendly and take sustainability as a serious topic. This experience has also taught me that if we collaborate and communicate with each other we can find a solution to any problem, no matter how big it is. What I also appreciate is that there was no age limit, and young voices were also listened to.


Furthermore, When we visited ISL (International School Luxembourg), we were greeted with a warm welcome. Additionally, we also had the opportunity to be a part of engaging meetings regarding the crucial climate problems we face today, such as climate change.

Consequently, we also came up with possible solutions to the problems we discussed initially such as increasing the vegetarian options in the cafeteria, and the idea of incorporating a community vegetable

garden. Personally, my favourite moments from the conference were when I interacted with other students/teachers/experts from other schools, who all shared their opinions on sustainability and the climate issues that are arising in our world today. Some experts also shared some solutions that

can be incorporated into our everyday lives such as an app monitoring our daily activity with the amount of water, plastic, and food wastage done, solutions such as these help to increase mindfulness of how we use our resources and ways we can be more sustainable. All of this inspired me to take sustainability more seriously in everyday life.


This conference is probably the one that I enjoyed most. I met so many kinds of people of different countries, companies and
professions. It was incredibly inspiring to see that many people engage in the issue I have been working on for my entire time
here at ISH. I met people of all professions from book authors to journalists to corporate directors. Because of their various
professions, each of them has a different perspective as to how climate change and global warming should be tackled which was really insightful to see. We got a several of ideas by hearing about their ideas and professions - which are listed below- that we stated in a group plenary at the end of the conference. This had to be my most memorable part of the event itself. At this plenary, representatives of schools came along to express what they could do at their school to take a step closer to sustainability.


After, I was invited to speak about my inspiration and hurdles in moving towards sustainability which to put in better words did definitely put me on the spot but I was honoured to. Honoured to share my experience with many others in front of a big audience. This for sure has to my favourite moment in any conference.


This conference wasn’t like any of the others I have been to, and it very pleasantly surprised me. It was incredible to be around so many young people actively thinking about solutions on a wider scale within the community. I became way more aware of how important the issue of sustainability is, and how much of a reality it is becoming for this world. We had many presentations from professionals which I really enjoyed, as they used graphs and brought up important points that I had not previously considered. When we split up into our individual committee groups, we were surrounded by people working in all different businesses, teachers from schools all around the world, aspiring students striving to take action, and people specifically working in sustainability. Because of this, the discussions were even more interesting as I got to hear from so many different perspectives, and we were able to challenge eachothers ideas effectively (attached are some pictures of brainstorms and mindmaps that resulted during the discussions). Overall, the conference inspired me a great deal, as it really focused on the fact that youth has such a big impact, and our ideas were properly listened to and heard.


What we got inspired by and the action that we plan to take.

The environment that we were in whilst attending the conference allowed us to think about a variety of ideas to implement that we would have never thought of being possible before this conference. The conference really emphasised and highlighted the power that the youth have, to make a difference, so with this we became more ambitious with our ideas. Regarding the sustainability committee at the school, we are aiming to change our approach. We plan to instigate things such as a clear mission statement, policies/guidelines which can help guide us through our different actions, and specific roles, and achieve more collaboration with proper companies (some of which we met at the conference and already agreed to working together!). We want to re-introduce the teacher workshops and we are working on trying to include more plant based food in the cafeteria. We also want to introduce nature-based learning, by having more trips into nature. We would also like to create a community garden. Here we would grow vegetables and lettuce and work together to grow the garden. These vegetables would be used in the cafeteria. This branches off of our idea to connect more with nature.

The last idea that we came up with was to host panels at ISH for local organisations and residents. We realised that being able to have a place to communicate with people of all ages and work backgrounds about sustainability issues in Hilversum, can lead to even greater action being taken. We realise a lot of the ideas sound ambitious, and most of them might take a while to be able to execute, but one thing the conference made us realise is that with the proper plan and mindset, we can make these ambitious ideas become a reality. The need for greater action to be taken is even more prevalent, and we want to do this by creating more community engagement, being immersed in nature, and realising that our age does in no way, shape, or form hinder us from taking action and big steps towards the goal of sustainability.

In conclusion, our trip to Luxembourg was an unforgettable one that expanded our awareness of sustainability and reinforced our devotion to sustainability. The insights gathered during the Sustainability Leadership Conference, along with personal observations of Luxembourg being an example of an eco-friendly city, provided us with an abundance of information and motivation. This trip increased our value of global collaboration and different methods we can incorporate in solving today's serious environmental concerns. As we returned home from the trip, we were better prepared than ever to put the tactics and ideas we learned into action, to set a good example and to create positive change in our community and school. Luxembourg's example has demonstrated that a sustainable future can be a reality if we all together put an effort to help achieve it.


Written by: Ms. van Lemmen, Kriti, Yasmine and Saanvi