Every day, more than 50,000 students converge on the Utrecht Science Park in the Netherlands, a huge cluster of over 80 companies and numerous research centres. It is one of the most competitive regions in Europe, similar to Silicon Valley or Paris-Saclay. The campus’s environmental impact is in the spotlight in the month of June.
N.A! Fund Executive Director Christopher Crimes was in Amsterdam in early June to start preparing our 2018 programme.
He visited Mediamatic, a multidisciplinary cultural institution dedicated to art and innovation since it was founded in 1983. It has always focused on new technologies and today uses sustainable development principles to support a circular economy.
At our “Bloom Again” Academy, some twenty young Mediterranean artists and their teachers joined the N.A! Fund team in Elefsina from 22nd to 27th May. The goal was to solidly anchor culture within the city through friendly interaction and shared experiences with local residents.
“Global warming indicators all red” exclaimed the headline in the environment section of Le Monde’s May 10th edition. “Hopes of keeping temperature rises below the all-important 2° C are fading fast”, the evening paper continued.
Elefsina has been named European Capital of Culture for 2021. Many were surprised by the choice of this industrial city west of Athens. While its ancient glory is undeniable, unfettered industrial development has transformed Elefsina’s landscape and today, its Greek statues stand against a backdrop of abandoned factories and chimneys.
“We got offered these five days, as a precious time in our independent paths, to think, meet a whole bunch of new people, discover a new city and eventually fall in love…I easily fall in love, with people, with places, with beautiful minds, and these few days were plenty of them.
“The link between my work (playground : picture above) and something I’ve found in Basel would be one of the flowerbeds we’ve seen in one street (picture below). What I liked about it is that it was natural, raw, wild form in the city instead of being overdesigned, sleek and trimmed.
“Basel has an inspiring alternative side: a quite big and well-working urban agriculture network, an alternative currency (the Netzbon), while 23% voted YES for the basic income. The whole experience reminded me of my utopian dreams of a world where work and money are disassociated, money has no storage value (like the netzbon) and it is just a means-to-an-end and people do work which they find meaningful.