How do young people view social issues such as mental wellbeing, poverty and sustainability? And what steps are they taking in their daily lives to make the world a better place? In Rebels With a Cause, the new eight-part podcast series from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the urban engaged university is giving the leaders of tomorrow a platform to talk about the changes they believe are needed to build a sustainable future for the next generations. They are helped by VUB scientists who share their academic knowledge and provide possible solutions. The initiative is part of the VUB project The World Needs You.

For VUB, the podcast is a way to demonstrate how scientific research contributes to solutions for societal challenges. At the same time, the series encourages young people to take control of their future by becoming involved and engaged in the social debate.

The host is Brussels-based Rosanne Coetsier, known as Rosie. In each episode, she engages with young people and with VUB professors and scientists who talk about how they contribute to a better world.

The first three episodes are already available online, with the next five to ​ follow later this year and in 2023. The episodes are partly in Dutch, partly in English. You can listen via YouTubeSpotify and Apple Podcasts.

  • Breathe in, breathe out: Kriticos on mental health – A conversation with artist Kriticos and VUB scientist Imke Baetens on the importance of mental wellbeing. Discover >
  • To consume or not to consume? Laura From The Desert on sustainability – A conversation with influencer Laura From The Desert and VUB professor Eveline Peeters on the journey to a more sustainable life. Discover >
  • The power of sports in the fight against poverty: how Abdullah Sediqi became a refugee athlete – A conversation with Abdullah Sediqi on how his career as an Olympic taekwondo athlete began when he fled his home country of Afghanistan. Professor Marc Theeboom explains the positive effects sport can have in the fight against poverty. Discover >
  • The connecting power of art in an urban context (to follow)
  • Gender (in)equality (to follow)
  • Cultural diplomacy (to follow)
  • The importance of decolonialisation (to follow)
  • Inclusion in education (to follow)

Rebels With a Cause is not the first time VUB has launched a podcast series. In April this year, it launched Scientists With a Cause, which focused on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and featured scientists talking about their research, their vision and the solutions they are pursuing for a sustainable future.

For society, by society

As an urban engaged university, VUB is committed to helping build a sustainable future through research, education and socially relevant projects. In doing so, it is guided by the SDGs, which guide our planet and its inhabitants towards sustainability and away from poverty and climate change. 

Through various initiatives under the banner The World Needs You, VUB is giving shape to that social commitment. It defines six areas of action: People, Peace, Prosperity, Planet, Partnership and Poincaré. The P of Poincaré refers to the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives the principle of free research, and from which its scientists pursue their sustainability goals. Various ​ initiatives are brought together around each P, started and built on by and for our students, researchers and staff.

Rebels With a Cause is one of the initiatives of The World Needs You.

The new podcast series "Rebels with a cause" is one of the initiatives of "The World Needs You.

VUB-podcast: Rebel with a cause