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Ecopolis goes on! Join us for a full day of talks, debates, performances, and documentaries around this year’s theme “Again(st) Nature.”

About Ecopolis: 

Anno 2020. Nature is on fire, from Australia to the Ardennes. Forests are felled, no more insects on the windshield, concrete everywhere, a million species are in danger of extinction. A virus turns the world upside down. The exploitation of nature is threatening our existence. Vulnerable groups here and in the South are facing even harder times.

How much longer do we saw off the very branch that supports us? Or do we change course?

Ecopolis 2020 puts the finger on the pulse and looks ahead. What are the post-corona challenges? How do we feel part of nature again? How do we restore the balance? How does this support a vigorous climate and nature policy? Which transitions are necessary ― urban, agricultural, etc. ― for a society that respects people and nature? And gives everyone prospect of a good life.

Ecopolis 2020 is moving online, follow the event at home via livestream.

Due to the recent increase of coronavirus infections, we have had to take a difficult decision. This year’s edition will have no live audience, and will move entirely online. We will build a cosy studio on the Kaaitheater stage and stream the lectures and conversations directly to your living room, with opportunities for online interaction.


  • Jan Rotmans, Urgenda
  • Warda El-Kaddouri, De Groene Amsterdammer
  • Yousra Benfquih, University of Antwerp
  • Hans Van Dyck, UCLouvain
  • Tom Bauler, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Hendrik Schoukens, Ghent University
  • Anuna De Wever, climate activist
  • Eva Meijer, Wageningen University
  • Myriam Dumortier, Ghent University

And many more names to be announced!


11:00 – 12:30 | Corona lessons for a resilient society

The corona crisis has taught us that you cannot just cut down forests or deal carelessly with animals endlessly. Outsourcing all production to low-wage countries is also no longer an option. How do we build resilient societies that are ecologically and socially durable?

A panel discussion with Myriam Dumortier (bio engineer and senior researcher at INBO), Koen Vannmechelen (contemporary conceptual artist), Jan Rotmans (transition thinker) and Christine Van Acker (writer).

12:30 – 14:00 | Meet the animal

For centuries we have been intrigued by animals and have used them in our stories. Who does not know Reynard the Fox? Only recently have we learned how small the differences between humans and animals are. What does an understanding relationship with animals with recognition of their own abilities mean?

A conversation that explores new paths with: Eva Meijer (writer, philosopher and artist), Hans Van Dyck (professor Behavioral Biology), Hendrik Schoukens (environmental lawyer), Lisa Tostado (Heinrich Böllstiftung, which recently released the Insect Atlas).

14:00 – 15:30 | Transition to a fair agro-ecology

Agricultural soils are eroding, biodiversity is declining alarmingly. Fortunately, we see new agro-ecological farmers emerge. Through short-chain they restore contact with consumers while also taking care of the surrounding nature. The challenge is to make these innovative practices the new normal.

A conversation with Yousra Benfquih (lawyer, poet and columnist), Louis De Jaeger (landscape architect) and others.

15:30 – 17:00 | Cities full of nature and the barren countryside

It is at odds with what we think: the city is full of nature and agricultural areas are increasingly turning into deserts. But there is work to be done everywhere. For example, green space in the city is unevenly distributed and there is a need for a different vision of open space with reinforced village centers.

With Paul Demets (poet), Els Vervloesem (transition architect) and Tom Bauler (ecological economist).

17:00 – 18:00 | Final debate

The starting point is the question posed by the French thinker Bruno Latour: Where can we land? How can we “ground ourselves” and take care of our living environment, while being open to the world?

With Warda El-Kaddouri (researcher and journalist), Anuna De Wever (climate activist), Olivier de Schutter (UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights) and Dirk Holemans (coordinator of Oikos – Think tank for socio-ecological change).


Labiomista, Genk

In 2019 artist Koen Vanmechelen launched LABIOMISTA, an evolving work of art situated on the foundations of a former zoo in Genk (BE).

Vanmechelen is one of the most versatile thinkers of these times. He works at the confluence of art, science, philosophy and community. LABIOMISTA is the embodiment of his artistic and philosophical vision. It is based on the belief in art as a driver of mutual understanding and as a guide in the search for answers to the major challenges of the 21st century, the relationship between nature and culture and in particular the development of sustainable communities.

The 24-hectare park is a permanent and evolving work of art, a garden of order and chaos, an arena of culture and nature. It invites, challenges and inspires. It is a hotbed for a wealth of new ideas, creations, projects and collaborations; and a meeting place for all the species of this world.

Exclusively, the Ecopolis conversation is hosted in the artist private studio. Seats are limited. With your Ecopolis ticket you also have free access to the park.



10:00 – 19:00 | Labiomista visit (cancelled)

LABIOMISTA is open from 10:00 to 19:00. Visitors can visit the park prior to or following the talks and should count 2 hours.

12:30 – 14:00 | Ecopolis Brussels livestream

Meet the animal

14:00 – 16:00 | Talks & debates

  • Introduction to Ecopolis: Again(st) Nature
  • Introduction to LABIOMISTA, by Koen Vanmechelen
  • Are we necessary? The position of the human animal. Panel discussion with Koen Vanmechelen, Ignace Schops, Glenn Deliège and Lara Klaassen, moderated by Peter Dupont


Translab K at CC ‘t Schaliken, Herentals

13:30 – 15:30 | Softening with an eye for biodiversity

Building on their experiments on ‘softening with an eye for biodiversity’, VormingPlus invites Stijn Neuteleers (environmental philosopher), Tim Vekemans (architect) and Liesl Vanautgaerden (program director for spatial development at the Department of Environment of the Flemish Government).

15:30 – 18:00 | Ecopolis Brussels livestream

15:30 – 17:00   Cities full of nature and the barren countryside

17:00 – 18:00   Final debate



Ecopolis goes on! Of course, we take into account the current circumstances and corona measures.

Ecopolis 2020 is moving online

Facebook event >> https://bit.ly/34E2VY0




– 10€ all day

– 5€ half-day (11h-14h or 14h-18h)

– 5€ livestream




10€ all day, including visit to Labiomista and exclusive access to the studio

Tickets are available here.



Free but registration required.

Register via wannes@translabk.be.


How to find us?


Sunday 18 October 2020, 11:00 – 18:00
Kaaitheater, Sainctelettesquare 20, 1000 Brussels
Labiomista, Marcel Habetslaan 50, 3600 Genk
Translab K ― CC ‘t Schaliken, Grote Markt 35, 2200 Herentals
ON FOOT. At 15 min. walking distance from Brussel-Noordstation.
BIKE. Bike parking in front of the venue; Villo-station at Square Saincetlette (across the canal).
METRO. Stop at Ijzer/Yser (lines 2 and 6)
TRAM. Line 51.
BUS. Line 47 (MIVB) or lines 129, 190, 212, 213, 214, 230, 231, 232, 233, 235, 240, 241, 242, 243, 246, 250, 251, 260 and 355.

This event has been organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of Oikos and with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation. The European Parliament is not responsible for the content of this event.

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