Truth be told, we just had a little pot of money that needed spending. That pot of money came from a successful application to the University of Antwerp to enhance communication between universities.
Now, communication between universities, that’s my kind of thing, and we realized we had just the set-up at hand: the high density of microclimate research groups in Belgium and beyond. A quick invitation to our friends in Leuven, Ghent, Liège and Amiens (also basically Flanders, no?) immediately gave a positive response: we all agreed that it would be great to sit together for a few days and learn from each others successes, deep dives and mistakes.
To make things even more attractive, we lured in some big names from abroad, and soon we had a workshop programme buzzying with potential. This, combined with a perfect location and host lab (the ForNaLab at Ghent University, embedded in its own research forest, and the workshop was destined to be successful.
And I know, we had a fantastic microclimate conference only recently, but we felt there was room for something else: a smaller group of people, with more room to go in-depth on the tricky stuff. Especially the younger members of the labs could benefit from a bit more time to explain their work, their goals and dreams, and the things they struggle with. Together, we might have some answers that could propel their work forward.
So that’s how we got to spend two days in a forested environment outside of Ghent, and how I got another notebook full of great ideas and suggestions for the future.
But that’ll be news for another day – and another year most likely!