ULiège, Factory of Possibilities

Pierre Ozer: exploring the margins, dreaming tomorrow

And put sensitivity and emotion back at the heart of our lives

In Research Research

To meet Prof. Pierre Ozer, kingpin of Nourrir Liège and initiator of the first edition of the Rêve Général Festival, is to plunge into the world of a man passionate about transition issues and building a fair and sustainable world.

Read the full interview


Climatologist specializing in desertification processes, natural disaster management and strategies for adapting to climate change, Pierre Ozer teaches these subjects in five faculties at the University of Liège. " I'm convinced that transdisciplinarity is an essential key to meeting tomorrow's challenges. More and more of us are realizing that to give our research and teaching greater depth, we need to forge partnerships with other disciplines. This transdisciplinarity is also desired by today's young people, who are often driven by a genuine ecological conscience. "

Intellectual revolution

How can we bring together people from different backgrounds? How can we sow the seeds of change? These are the questions that drive Pierre Ozer. " We need to get away from the reality imposed on us and explore the margins. Through innovative teaching methods, the introduction of Nourrir Liège and the Rêve Général festival on campus, we are creating the conditions for other possibilities to emerge, for a cross-fertilization of viewpoints. And so that in 5, 10 or 20 years' time, young people will be able to open up other paths. The Rêve Général festival is a unique event that reconciles art, science and democracy through workshops, debates, shows, conferences, etc. It's a kind of "ZAD" (Zone À Défendre intellectuelle), deliberately ephemeral, but which could become structural. When everything collapses, we have no alternative but to dream of a desirable future. And one of the ways we can do this is to put sensibility and emotion back at the heart of our lives. One of the Festival's objectives is also to create opportunities for exchange by mixing audiences: creating links, allowing paths to cross, and bringing light to bear on these encounters "

Transition doesn't happen in a lab

" Arriving at research conclusions, publishing them in specialized journals, speaking about them at high-profile conferences - it's great. But the transition won't happen in a lab! We also need toensure that these findings reach the various levels of power and feed into public policy." Committed to the societal scene, Pierre Ozer has already published a series of cartes blanches in the press and is notably behind the Festival Nourrir Liège, which helped make Liège Europe's benchmark for food transition.

" I can't denounce things in my lectures if I don't put them into action in my everyday life," he confides, demonstrating his constant concern to combine theory and practice. "I've always been guided by encounters. I love talking to people from all walks of life. And when you're curious, by dint of talking to bakers, one day you end up putting your hands in the flour, and then you want to make this bread accessible to the poorest people. Following the same logic, after spending the first part of my life in the Parc de Cointe, I took a big step backwards and decided to settle in the Sainte Marguerite district. Here, I rub shoulders with over 100 different nationalities, cultures and religions. Settling in this precarious neighborhood was almost a political act, but I didn't realize it at the time."

Exploring other paths

How do young people dream about their future? How can we support them along this path? For Pierre Ozer, university is a place where we shape not only open and brilliant minds, but also the actors of tomorrow. " When I ask my 3rd-year students to create an ideal village, they don't just imagine soft mobility and shared gardens. They rethink the whole governance and propose totally new models based on exchange and access for all to fundamental rights: food, healthcare, education, the freedom to move around without constraint... They open up the fields of possibility, they explore other paths. It's truly inspiring and hopeful! It's no longer just a few seeds sown here and there. This new generation, aware of tomorrow's challenges, is already forming a veritable forest, with millions of rhizomes spreading out in all directions

Through his actions and teachings, Pierre Ozer inspires not only his students, but an entire community to push back the boundaries of imagination and action. " The University is anchoring itself in the 21st century, testing the waters, mixing disciplines and introducing the artistic community into the coursework. It's very important, because it allows us to dream and to project ourselves towards the creation of paths other than the ones we 're on," he concludes, inviting everyone to exchange and participate in the construction of a fairer and more sustainable future.



Also to be discovered

Nourrir Liège Festival and campuses 

General Dream Festival

ULiège in transition
The University of Liège is committed to the transition to a more sustainable world!

As a place where scientific knowledge is produced and transmitted, the University has a major role to play. It must not only support society's transition, but also consider its own transformation. The new rectoral team has placed the environmental and social transition at the heart of its program and made it a transversal and structuring element of its institutional strategic plan.




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