Back to Friday, 9 October 2015. Strawberry Earth Academy showtime. Amsterdam Roest is packed and we kicked off with Daan Roosegaarde, designer, innovator and… cook? Yep, Roosegaarde compared designing with cooking. “It’s a taste in your mouth, you've got to find the ingredients and make it sharable.” In this process, “you’ll face the three ungrateful faces of innovation. First people tell you your project isn’t possible. Next, they’ll say it’s not allowed and finally they will ask you why you didn’t come up with it earlier.” Yep, dear Strawberry Earth Academy fellows. Be prepared.
Next up, our fellows presented their projects to Roosegaarde and the audience, followed by our ambassador Thekla Reuten revealing the winner of the Strawberry Earth Academy grant (helloooo Studio Eric Klarenbeek), which you can all read here. Klarenbeeks concept will receive a budget of €15.000 to further develop the idea.
In the meantime, people were trying on coats that used to be blankets, showering in confetti over at ASN Bank (where you could get karma points and try how comfortable a truly green bank/couch feels.) Also, folks were designing notebooks from discarded leather, dying tees with flowers, sipping organic cocktails and getting drunk consciously and eating crickets on a stick.
Afterwards, it was time to see host Andrea van Pol releasing her inner catwalk model and interviewing True Cost director Andrew Morgan and founder of People Tree Safia Minney. Both are pretty much legends so to say, and they kept the audience busy filling their notebooks with quotes as “Don’t buy anything new, buy secondhand and vintage. But if you want to buy anything new, buy organic cotton and fair trade clothing” (Minney) and “we play ‘kick the can’ with responsibility, but the point is: we all have responsibility.” (Morgan). With People Tree, Minney has proved her Fair Trade model works, setting an example for the industry: “if we can do it, large companies can do it too.” And what can we, the ordinary people with ordinary lives, do? Morgan: “First we have to wake up. Acknowledge we’re responsible. Next, we have to collectively find a way to use that power to change the rules. Last but not least, we have to look for examples like Safia that do it better.”
After waking up the next day, we responsibly biked to 'Amsterdam Roest' again to collectively shop a-okay fashion and design and to find examples like Maxim Hartman and Tim den Besten, people that give a toss about nature.
Yep, these guys are golden. After inviting all teams on stage, ‘De Grote Natuur Quiz’ was ON. “Are there more trees or people in Amsterdam?” “How many insects does a bat catch per year?” and “How many piggies never see daylight?” City ecologists Anneke Blokker and Geert Timmermans were present to give us all the right answers and to even show us a bat and crayfish in real life. Move over, Freek Vonk, the Strawberry Earth Fair has wildlife too! Twenty challenging questions later, we found out the baristas of coffee bar Berry have the most knowledge about nature (we’re proud to share of roof with you guys), followed by the folks from Ilovebeeing (#2) and the Youth Food Movement (#3). Congrats Berry and enjoy the city safari.
More info about all that creeps and hops around town, came to us in the form of ‘Haring in het IJ’, a documentary film by Martin Melchers and Merel Westrik which we showed later that evening.
We ended the Strawberry Earth Fair in Cafe Roest, with a surprise act from Tourist LeMC. The same night, Mette (founder, director of Strawberry Earth, beast on stage) even climbed the stage together with Simone Weimans (NOS Journaal) to blast some beats. It all became clear to us. The Strawberry Earth Fair is the number one event to release the beast you have within.