Sustainable Innovation

Best wishes for 2018

This summer I visited with my daughters the movie ‘Earth- Our Planet, Our Home’ in the Colombus Earth Center in Kerkrade (The Netherlands). The movie offers a spectacular insight in the life of astronauts:

How are astronauts preparing for their time in space? How do they experience to live in space and view the Earth from above? And what are their reflections once returned at Earth?

Columbus Earth Center

Dutch astronaut André Kuipers shared his epiphany moment when he looked down at Earth from space. ‘You realise it is just one Earth that is suitable for us as human beings. Forget about Mars or the Moon: This is the only possible habitat in the whole universe. He continues “We have to rethink energy consumption, food production and cities to allow for 10 billion to live in dignity on this planet’.

To me it is clear: To redesign our energy and food systems, the built environment and more, we will need ‘all hands on deck’. All ‘métiers‘ are needed to make the new systems sustainable, socially just ánd desirable. It is up to all of us, as designers, urban planners, sociologists, economists, data-experts, marketeers, scientists, film makers, architects, accountants, politicians, biochemists, social workers and artists to co-create this new world we would love to live in. (-60% of the cities by 2030 are still to be build yet so we better design them prepared for the future).

Where to start? First: Become a very good designer, urban planner, sociologist, economist, or any other profession. But then: Question your current frameworks and theories: Are they suitable for future proof systems? If not: Find out who is already starting in your domain to (re)design frames, learn more, question and join forces.

A number of new initiatives have emerged in recent years that give some directions. Think about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. A call for action to improve the lives of many by 2030 in 17 goals. Another source of inspiration is Kate Raworths’ thinking on the ‘Doughnut Economy’. Raworth rewrites the rules of economy: Our current focus on GDP should be replaced by a focus on the global economy operating in the safe and just space in which everyone enjoys basic social standards and we stay within planetary boundaries. And don’t forget Sir Ellen McArthur who explains to everyone who wants all about the circular economy, as well as Delft University Associate Professor Conny Bakker who developed with her colleagues very le concrete guidelines for circular product design: ‘Products that last’ . Take also the Milano Mayor, Giuseppi Sala for example, who puts into practices that ‘cities can be the trigger for food system change, reduce emission, ensure social inclusion and consumer behaviour change’. Also to be followed is the ‘Food Reform for Sustainable and Health ‘FReSH’ coalition : 37+ businesses and scientists who are determined to identify necessary dietary switches for people and planet and come up with business solutions that suit future proof food systems. Many more examples are out there, just learn, experiment and share what works!

My daughters have not decided yet if they want to be an astronaut or architect (I would be very happy with all choices) but I hope they will continue to be curious and  see opportunities to make a better world for all – building on the new insights of many.

Have a happy and relaxed Christmas time with your family and friends – and a great new year. Be curious, be bold, be brave!

Eart Our Planet Our Home





Before the flood

To document the devastating effects of climate change, Leonardo DiCaprio travelled around the world and spoke to scientists, governmental and industry leaders.

DiCaprio & team analysed the melted ice layers on Groenland, witnessed burning forests in Indonesia and inspected the white-washed ocean coral riffs out of a submarine. The science is clear. The future unfortunately isn’t.

We need the world to urgently switch to renewable energy, energy efficient buildings, sustainable cities, clean transport, less waste, act upon the Sustainable Development Goals.

A sign of the times – 2016: More information:

You can watch the documentairy on You Tube:



Tribute to scientists of the world
June 29, 2015, 7:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,


The world faces important challenges.
Think about climate change, growing and ageing population and more.

We need the brightest minds and most perseverent people that are dedicated to find the best possible solutions for the problems we are facing.

Setbacks are inevitable. Many people are of the opinion that new ideas ‘won’t work’.

Fortunately many researchers do not give up
and continue their studies and experiments to make the world a better, healthy and sustainable world. Here is a tribute to all of them: