#61 One, two, three
With the SDG action days of last week, celebrating the sixth anniversary of the global agenda, we almost wrapped up Festival 2030. Thanks. Yes. Thanks.
I had hoped to reflect a bit more during the festival. A good 92% of the program was in Dutch, so not the most accessible for many of you. Also, it was in Leiden, and the best bits demanded a physical presence. Not easy, still.
I don’t intend on making this a braggadocio update. I do not aim at claiming any sort of victory. We hosted or organized some 500 events, met some five-figure number people, and had our share of learning moments. I learned — well, that’s for later. What I mean to say is that if you try to catalyze a movement, you can’t really claim victory until after the fact, and the fact is a world where we all live well and within our means. There you go.
Instead, let me share three moments from last week.
One. Together with Het Klimaatmuseum, we did a climate makers project. 500 kids created ideas for local climate solutions. I wrote about that before. Then, three artists translated these ideas into works of art/prototypes. The results were impressive; hardly any light between the ideas of the children and the works of art. Excellent.
Then, on Wednesday, we auctioned these works of art. Not for money, but commitments to make the ideas happen. And happen they will.
The auction was one of these late-phase-COVID events. With 24 hours to go, the jurying school kids were quarantined, the online sound was uhmmmm less than ideal, and strict limits on the number of attendants ensured endless guest list updates. Also, the format of an auction with commitments took some getting used to, especially as the rushed-in jurors were strict. Rightfully strict. Supremely strict.
Yet, yet. Yet all three works found a home better than we could ever have imagined. Three ideas of three children are now three projects for three consortiums for the year to come. Seeds have blossomed. Amazing.
Two. Yesterday I spoke for four hours about many of the themes central in our week. Excellent guests, fantastic debates, lot of fun. For an international audience, skim through to the :45 mark of every hour for amazing music (a band and a singer-songwriter) en for the :25ish mark of the third hour for a heartbreaking poem by Nessrin Almosrani.
Nessrin arrived in the Netherlands as a refugee from Syria in 2015. A few years later, her Dutch was sufficient to convey some of the most intricate emotions in poetry. Thank you, Nessrin, for joining us and sharing your story.
Three. The team. “We.” I’ve worked in and with countless teams over the years, led more than a few through exceptional events. But I’ve never had a team like this, felt a responsibility like the one I felt over the past weeks, and been more amazed by the extent to which my team over-delivered.
Tiny things tell their story. Tom discovering the artist in himself and taking full ownership over the workshop at climate makers. Maja singing like a star during our talkshow. Josta starring in a major theatre production during the festival and connecting it to our programming. The others had their own stories. Of course. It was an honor to work with and for all of them.
I’m not sure about the role I want to play in shaping the future — more on that, no doubt, in a future episode. I don’t know if this role is behind the scenes or on stage, leading or facilitating, creative or strategic. And I know less now than I knew a month ago.
I’ve neglected you, my dear reader. If you’re a paid subscriber, your funds have gone to support an arts-based educational program last month, about which I’ll tell you more, promised! If you’re new here: we’re soon back to irregular updates as usual. If you’ve been okay with it all, thanks for your flexibility.
I look forward to our meeting again!
Until then, take care,