After participating in the Fridays for Future march with Greta Thunberg, I was excited to go on my next GREEN WINDOW excursion last Thursday. My mission: attend the first ever event of the NEOGREEN HOUR. This series of events was launched by the GREENTECH FESTIVAL (May 23rd – 25th, Berlin Tempelhof Airport) with the vision of creating an informal, inspiring space for people from different corners of the sustainability scene.
HELLO H2O –
OUR FIRST „NEOGREEN HOUR”
OUR FIRST „NEOGREEN HOUR”
After participating in the Fridays for Future march with Greta Thunberg, I was excited to go on my next GREEN WINDOW excursion last Thursday. My mission: attend the first ever event of the NEOGREEN HOUR. This series of events was launched by the GREENTECH FESTIVAL (May 23rd – 25th, Berlin Tempelhof Airport) with the vision of creating an informal, inspiring space for people from different corners of the sustainability scene. This framework space makes a mutual exchange possible through discussions, lectures and discussions. I wason site as part of the social media team of GREEN WINDOW and was curious to see how this concept would be implemented. Since there was going to be food & drinks, it was a win win situation either way, if you ask me.
The evening program of the first NEOGREEN HOUR featured lectures by three experts from different fields on the resource of water, a moderated panel talk and a water inspired musical performance. I wasn’t sure what to imagine for the latter, but as I said there would be food & drinks, so I was pretty optimistic overall. Thanks to the partnership with Norway and the support of the agency ‘Innovation Norway,’ the NEOGREEN HOUR took place in the Nordic Embassies, which sounded very important and exciting. Since the weather forecast looked promising (27 degrees! Who needs Bali?), the event took place on the terrace, forcing people to mingle and making spontaneous dipping out a little more difficult. Those who couldn’t dip out in any case, were the speakers of the evening, two of whom travelled from Norway to be there. Øyvind Stenberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Aquasolis AS, and Jessica Cao, Legal Counsel of Empower. Completing the water power trio: the German, Thomas Hartwig, founder and CEO of Leogant.
WATER HERE, WATER THERE, WATER EVERYWHERE
By 6 pm the terrace gradually filled up and shortly after 7, after one or two cold drinks, the show started. Sara and Pia from the GREENTECH FESTIVAL team and actress and GREEN WINDOW Ambassador Lea Marlen Woitack delivered a lively introduction and then the lectures began. All three speakers smoothly lead the audience of almost 50 through their water project presentations.
Øyvind Stenberg – Co-Founder & CEO of Aquasolis
„We are not afraid of competition. We need more people preventing water wars.“
Vision: Clean water for all by 2030
Problem: 663,000,000 people live without clean water
Mission: Implementation of a specifically developed water recovery system
Jessica Cao – Legal Counsel of Empower
„Only six months in the game, we were invited to speak at the very first OECD Blockchain conference. Which shows the lack of solutions but also the will to change.“
Founded: 2018, and already making big waves in the start-up scene
Mission: Combat plastic waste and poverty at the same time by using a specially developed digital plastic waste debit system (Blockchain technology)
Thomas Hartwig – Gründer & CEO of Leogant
„Everything we do is trying to do the best. Staying sustainable. That’s what social business is about in my opinion.“
Vision: to promote awareness of water as a basic building block of a healthy life
Mission: Development and distribution of water filter systems to reproduce water’s source quality.
PANEL DISCUSSION WITH POINTS OF FRICTION
The subsequent panel discussion with the three speakers and Lea Woitack proceeded to answer some interesting research questions from the audience. My personal highlight was a water knowledge battle between Aquasolis CEO Øyvind and an influencer. To be honest, at one point I couldn’t quite keep up, but it sounded important and professional and right and seemed to end quite amicably and harmoniously. Besides, discussions like these underline the purpose of such an event and an exchange without points of friction would also be boring.
The panel talk ended with the announcement that the buffet was now open and I felt torn between feeling sad that the panel was over and feeling the joyful prospect of (you guessed it) food & drinks. And, let me tell you, the food provided by catering from the Norwegian restaurant ‘Munch’s Hus’ did not disappoint. A colourful buffet full of vegetarian delicacies was laid out before us and the lively exchanges on sustainability weren’t affected by the buffet, but rather extended. After all, the way to the heart of sustainability is through the stomach. Or something like that.
BERLIN ELECTRONIC MUSIC MEETS WHALE SINGING
After this cosy gathering on the terrace, the evening was rounded off by the water music performance. Which was…interesting! The artists Vida Vojić and Zen Xen (Benedikt Ellebrecht) from the Berlin record label No Disk, made the entire foyer of the embassy tremble with their underwater sounds. Whale singing meets mermaids meets electro meets aquatic sounds meets… Berlin. Though some the sounds are a tad unpleasant and slightly out of balance, they were strangely calming and quite meditative. This could also have been due to my echoing tiredness and blissful food coma thanks to that delicious buffet, but who knows. Either way, the performance was definitely a special finale to the successful opening of the first NEOGREEN HOUR. For me this evening was the perfect warm up for the GREENTECH FESTIVAL. It showed me once more how cool it is to be part of this movement and now I’m already looking forward to seeing how we will continue to push this positive change forward in the future, especially at the GREENTECH FESTIVAL at the end of May. And as the official festival motto states, it seems the most fitting to say, let’s continue to #celebratechange!