Nathalie Ummels

Nathalie Ummels (42) started as the new Coordinator of Mondiaal Maastricht on 16 May. She takes over the task from Jan Cornelissen. But who is Nathalie? Below she briefly introduces herself.

“I am originally from Maastricht and together with my American husband Atticus and our three children we live in my beautiful hometown. Before I started at Mondiaal Maastricht, I worked for Maastricht University for 15 years, first at the R&D department at FHML and later at the Center for European Studies (CES / SSC). Last year, with our family, we made a big roadtrip of 6 months through the United States where we camped a lot and stayed with friends and family. That journey showed me how beautiful our earth is and how important it is to ensure that the next generations can also enjoy it. When I returned, I started studying sustainability and education (Education for Sustainable Development at the Earth Charter Center and University for Peace in Costa Rica) and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The idea is that these goals will be achieved in 2030. This is called the Agenda 2030. Almost all countries in the world have committed themselves to this, including the Netherlands.

The goals seem very diverse initially, from banishing hunger and extreme poverty to tackling climate change and promoting clean energy, but there is a connection. Because the same underlying values contribute to the exploitation of nature and people. These are, as it were, symptoms of the same disease. In addition, the current environmental and climate problems are so serious that they pose a direct threat to human well-being, especially in vulnerable countries. It is therefore logical that Mondiaal Maastricht has taken the step to look at the world with a broad, sustainable view. We are not alone in this. Everywhere in Maastricht, companies, schools, institutes, the municipality are engaged in formulating sustainable policy and action based on the 17 SDG’s. These goals function as a kind of common language, which makes collaboration easier and more effective.

Mondiaal Maastricht is setting up a Maastricht SDG Platform in which local initiatives are brought together. We also aim to create more awareness in Maastricht about the SDG’s. This will keep me busy in the coming months. At the end of June I will be in Berlin for a special training with Al Gore: the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training. In addition, I will continue to coordinate the Shelter City program with Maastricht University, Amnesty International and the municipality and we are already slowly starting preparations for our El Dunya festival 2019. Through our website and social media I will keep you posted as much as possible. Please don’t hesitate to visit the office. We are open on Tuesday and Thursday from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm and on Wednesday from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm. On Monday and Friday we work by appointment. See you soon! “