Festival for the Earth: Art and Science for a Sustainable Future

From November 16th to 18th the Ca' Foscari University of Venice will host the first edition of the Festival for the Earth. Within the framework of the Festival for the Earth international guests from the academic and public realm will spend three days discussing and reflecting on achievable models for a responsible-living on Earth. The aim of the Festival is to propose to broader audiences possibilities of transformations, reflections and alternative modalities to reframe environmental issues. In fact, knowledge access and information flow are highly important as actual environmental emergencies urge a radical change of perspective and practices.

The Festival for the Earth has an highly avant-garde character that lays in its being an art-based project for social transformation: the inventor and curator of the Festival for the Earth, Maria Rebecca Ballestra, is an artist who aims to instigate creativeness directed at positive transformation processes in science, humanities, economy, ecology and art.

Over the three days of the Festival influential and awarded scholars, researchers, creative minds and environmental activists will present and discuss their researches and results, innovative ideas and approaches in raising awareness for preserving the diversity of our planet and improve our fragile co-living on it.

Opening the festival will be the Pulitzer prize winner Kenneth Weiss, who will explore the current state of oceans and the innovations that promise to help us use them to nurture a world population, that is growing exponentially, without altering the ecosystem.

In the afternoon, the Korean businessman Justin Jin (CEO of Axia Materials) will discuss the experience of his company in housing construction using new composite materials that allow for rapid installation, without cement, zero emissions and thick insulation, opening up new prospects for the construction industry in developing countries, where climate extremes and scarce economic possibility make having a house an impossible dream. Their patents have already been used for the "camps" of the US military in Kuwait and they are now proceeding to build housing projects using the same materials. Hans Peter Egler (CEO, Global Infrastructure Basel) will also speak of how the construction of more sustainable infrastructure represents a great opportunity for everyone.

On Thursday the seminar of the Kenyan activist and winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize Ykal Ang'elei.

Opportunities related to the world of water will also be explored by Sabina Airoldi (Tethys Research Institute), Fiona McDonald (Indiana University) and Carlo Barbante, professor at Ca’ Foscari, director of IDPA-CNR and Italian promoter for the Ice Memory project, for the creation of an ice archive in Antartica.

The convention will also discuss biospheres and urban forests, with the help of Judy Ling Wong (honorary president of the Black Environment Network), Telmo Pievani (University of Padua) and many others.

A constituent part of the Festival for the Earth will be the artistic residency on the Certosa Island (November 8th to 18th), stressing the island’s interesting history and natural significance within the particular environmental and socio-economic context of the Northern Venice lagoon. Here internationally-renowned guest artists will be working with a focus on environmental issues based on trans-disciplinary researches. The artists Alan Sonfist (USA), Marina Velez (UK) and Giuseppe La Spada (IT) will start an artistic operation which will be showcased in Venice later on.

The artist residence program is curated by Clive Adams and Maria Rebecca Ballestra. The artists will participate to a debate on the Certosa Island on Friday November 18, at 15.00, followed by a presentation of the Plant for the Planet's activities.

The Festival for the Earth is organized by MbR Art and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Thanks to its innovative approach the Festival for the Earth has obtained the support of the United States Mission to Italy and of the Honorary Consulate of the Principality of Monaco in Venice. Partners of the Festival for the Earth are Vento di Venezia Ltd., Il Giornale delle Fondazioni and Art for the Planet.

For a detailed program of the Festival for the Earth and speakers bio: