International alumni (former PhD students) of TU Bergakademie Freiberg discussed online with current students, doctoral candidates and professors about the implementation of the European Green Deal and the resulting requirements for teaching and studying at the university.

All participants agreed that climate change is one of the greatest challenges mankind is facing. On the occasion of the centennial of the granting of the independent right to award doctorates at TU Bergakademie Freiberg, alumni, students and staff were discussing the contribution that research can make to solve the urgent questions of the future. The virtual Freiberg Future Forum served as an interactive discussion space. The central question: How can the various disciplines contribute to implementing the necessary technological and social change so that Europe will actually become climate neutral by 2050?

In the morning, keynote speakers highlighted three aspects of climate change and the necessary social changes: The Amazon fires in Brazil, the impact of weather change on the wetlands in Sudan and the invisible cash flows in the mining industry. The speakers, Dr. Anida Yupari (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Switzerland), Prof. Dr. Veraldo Liesenberg (Universidade do Estado de Santa Katharina Lages, Brazil) and Prof. Dr. Khalid Kheiralla (Al Neelain University Khartoum, Sudan), all hold doctorates from TU Bergakademie Freiberg.

Dirk Peters von Rosenstiel was also speaking as an alumnus of TU Bergakademie Freiberg. He currently works as a National Expert at the European Commission in the Directorate-General for Energy. He explained the contents and objectives of the so-called EU Green Deal. In an interview with Dr. Kristina Wopat, he was giving an insight into his current work at the European Commission on the implementation of the roadmap for a sustainable EU economy.

Based on the fields of action of the European Green Deal, the PhD students debated the challenges of the future with students, postgraduates, alumni and professors. Among others, they dealt with the topics of sustainable mobility, sustainable agriculture or biodiversity and mining. In addition, economists will present innovative technologies for small and medium-sized enterprises, tools for digitisation and control mechanisms through sustainability reporting.

At the end of the event, the participants clarified what the new research fields in the context of the Green Deal mean for the education of students and doctoral students in the future.