If sustainability was looking for a people, it found it at the Green & Blue Festival. For two days at the Teatro Parenti in Milan, environmentalists and companies, mayors and ministers, scientists and visionaries met. We discovered that there is a network of families that organizes itself every day to reach the goal of zero waste; and we met explorers pedaling in Siberia or rowing China’s rivers just to tell about the effects of climate change. We listened to the best projects done on paper in schools by seventeen-year-olds who already present themselves as CEOs of startups who might one day make things better; and we admired the projects already made by our best architects to have sustainable cities. But above all we have understood that sustainability is not a sector, a niche, but a new way of living and looking at the world. Something that crosses every aspect of our life to also get to fashion, food, football, art.
Always on the same side
by Riccardo Luna
Minister Enrico Giovannini, who has long been a standard-bearer of sustainability, cited a study published with other scientists a few years ago: “Say goodbye to capitalism, welcome to the republic of wellbeing”, say goodbye to capitalism, welcome republic of wellbeing. He said, in 2015, one thing that today is evident to most people: capitalism, the idea of a development without limits, which does not take into account the effects on the planet and on people, no longer makes sense. The gross domestic product, which still governs the current world economic system, is a reductive and misleading index of well-being and happiness. Not only because it covers enormous social injustices, but because if we continue like this, it will soon be too late to save the world. Carlo Ratti, who presented a formidable project to heat the city of Helsinki by eliminating CO2 emissions, started with a book that collects the interventions of the inventor Buckminster Fuller: Utopia or oblivion, the meaning of which is, if we do not try to do something really ambitious, we risk extinction.
Green & Blue Festival: Soldini, Petrini, Francesca Michielin and Elisa for the grand finale
curated by Paola Rosa Adragna
Yet at the Festival there was a contagious air of optimism. Of anger mixed with optimism, as the singer Erica Mou said that every year on May 1st she goes to sing in Taranto to remember the environmental disasters created by a wrong industry.
But the optimism is there. We need to change everything and the good news is we can. As the latest report from the IPCC, the intergovernmental group on climate change, said, the news is no longer that we are late, the news is that there are technologies to catch up. It has become convenient to do so. And therefore a duty. Being a sustainable company is not just a nice to have, a medal to be displayed in press releases to do greenwashing, but a requirement to stay in a market where consumers are starting to choose also based on who they have chosen to change. Companies, as we saw at the festival, are waking up. In this sense, perhaps the most emblematic story is that of a historic Italian steel mill that is about to reach carbon neutrality, first in the world. Who would have thought that one day we would have sustainable steel? Utopia can be realized. Buckminster Fuller basically said it 60 years ago.
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