Meet the team
Willemijn is 24 years old and has been working as a researcher at the Knowledge Platform since September this year. She was born and raised in Groningen. ''A real Groninger.'' She studied at the RUG and completed the bachelor's degree in Human Geography & Planning and the master's degree in Social Planning. These studies were especially interesting because you see everything you learn reflected in your environment. Willemijn learned a lot about Groningen. Among other things during the fieldwork in the province. Fieldwork also led to trips to Iceland, Philadelphia, New York and Belgrade. “The outside world is our laboratory” was a much used phrase during her studies. Willemijn does a lot of sports in her spare time. She has been playing hockey almost all her life. She directs her team from her central position at the back. She is fanatical, but also thinks the social aspect is very important. Besides sports, she likes to buy groceries at the market and then cook for friends.
Willemijn talks enthusiastically about her work. She is mainly concerned with the new knowledge overview of the Knowledge Platform. This will provide an updated overview of the state of knowledge about the social consequences of gas extraction. What has happened in this area in the past two years? Willemijn throws herself into all new research and developments. Furthermore, as a new addition, she has invited various experts to reflect on the situation in Groningen in essays. Based on their own discipline, these researchers provide a vision on the questions: What do we want for the future? How should we proceed? Willemijn: ''Of course the future is uncertain, but I find it interesting to think about it and read about it.'' Willemijn likes that there is still so much for her to learn about the case. She extensively delves into the developments and events to date and which authorities are involved and what they do. In addition to reading a lot, she finds it important to attend meetings in the area and she loves to write. She likes to look at things from a spatial perspective and hopes to make connections and bring all insights together in a clear way.
Contribute to a better future
Working in a team has real added value for her because you can spar with each other and discuss how to approach things. She is enthusiastic about making knowledge available and wants to ensure that knowledge does not only remain in scientific circles. It is valuable that this happens at the Knowledge Platform. "I hope to contribute to a better future."
Purpose of the knowledge overview
The knowledge overview is intended to bundle knowledge and to clarify results. Willemijn mentions drawing lessons from Groningen for other mining projects and the energy transition as another important goal. 'Learning from this situation can be difficult, but it is important to think about it.' She herself indicates that she may still be a bit naive: 'but things can really be done differently and better'.
Connected to Groningen
Willemijn has no link with the gas extraction file from her private life, but feels very connected to Groningen. She finds it strange that she had so little to do with gas extraction, while it all happens in her own province. How is it possible that there is so much ignorance? Now that she works at the Knowledge Platform, this will of course change. Willemijn finds sustainability and the energy transition very interesting. She realizes more and more how this relates to the situation in Groningen. Previously, she often missed the link between research and practice. ‘There is so much research being done, but something has to be done with it.’ She wants to utilize knowledge at the Knowledge Platform.
What's on Willemijn's bucket list? A tour through America is definitely number 1. The west coast and the inland, along the National Parks. Preferably a part on a motorcycle. But she is and remains a true Groningen native. Her bucket list also includes: a house next to the Groningen canals or at the Noorderplantsoen. "Dream big."