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More than a hundred young people, from secondary and higher education as well as young employees from the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, gathered at the very first Young Talent Lab of essenscia vlaanderen at Technopolis in Mechelen. They entered into a dialogue with each other and with CEOs and managers from sector companies on themes they had chosen themselves: the climate challenge, innovations for more sustainability and jobs of the future.

At the Young Talent Lab, more than a hundred young people debated with CEOs and managers from the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors about themes that worry them. At discussion tables, they went into detail about how we should tackle climate challenge successfully, which innovations they definitely want to see realised in their lives and what they expect from their dream job.

According to the young people, innovation and technology are crucial to help solve the climate problem. But during the debates it became clear that it is an extremely complex problem that requires a global approach. Also, the sustainability aspect came to the fore very strongly. How do we ensure better recycling of plastics? How do we develop effective medicines for diseases such as cancer? And how do we ensure that no one suffers from hunger when there will soon be more than 10 billion of us? And all this without exceeding the capacity of our planet.

Through the Young Talent Lab, essenscia vlaanderen wants to offer young people between the ages of 17 and 30 from different fields of study and with different professions, a unique opportunity to think about what tomorrow’s world could and should look like in a fun and interactive way. The participants came from universities, colleges and secondary schools all over Flanders.