woensdag 28 september 2011


Read my articles on the website of NPRio+20

dinsdag 27 september 2011


In Amsterdam a new hotel cum shop cum restaurant will be opened on the 3rd of December. Hotel rooms will be dressed; not decorated. In the Stock restaurant breakfast will be served all day. And in the Options shop a great mix of fashion, fabrics, food items, toys, books, magazines, music and more will be on the shelves. Ina Matt are the interior architects, AMFI students have come up with the ideas for the rooms. At Inside Design an installation was made to introduce the atmosphere. The fabric used for cushions and specially woven in Tilburg's Textile Museum is gorgeous.I'm glad to be involved through Athenaeum Bookshop where I work as well; we will cooperate on the books and magazines. I'm looking forward to this place!

zaterdag 24 september 2011

Autumn Light

This is my balcony this morning. This light, it's stunning. So delicate, so intense. It made me think. The world is in turmoil, my good friend in Malawi, Chifumbi, had to go to the hospital yesterday with his youngest son who suffers from malaria, the planet is in a bad state, responsibility is enormous; this list can be endless. But still, there is this autumn light. We have to see its beauty. And be positive, inspired and courageous.

donderdag 15 september 2011

Message in a Bottle

Today a friend sent me this film. It's so good I want to show it. Out-of-the-bottle thinking!

dinsdag 13 september 2011


Next Monday I will join the NPRio+20 conference. NPRio+20 is the Dutch platform to prepare the UN conference for sustainable development in 2012. Aim is to get inspiration and knowledge from people in the field. Louise Fresco is chairwoman of the board. I'm looking forward to the conference on Monday. There is a website, but not very lively. there is also a linkedIn group with interesting discussions every now and then. The whole theme is rather broad, and, as I wrote on the website, there are more initiatives for a sustainable future such as the Millennium Goals. We have to integrate all those issues. If not we waste time and effort. Next Monday's theme will be 'towards a green economy'. Which priorities have to prevail? With a population on our planet of 6 billion and still growing that's an important question. For me keywords are FAIR | SUSTAINABLE | NEED | CONSCIOUS | FUN | RESPONSIBILITY | CREATIVE

maandag 12 september 2011

Peter Blom

The managing director of Triodos Bank said in an interview this weekend: "The real crisis today is not the current crisis in Europe or the debt crisis in the USA, the real crisis today is the lack of space we have on planet earth to fulfill our debts. Interests are low, but what can you lend if there is not enough to create value in the future? Economic value is the value of sufficient raw materials for production, enough food and enough water. We can no longer prevail 'more, more, more'; we have to face the reality. Therefore it is very important that sustainable development is encouraged. By companies as well as governments. It is the only way to move on." Long-term thinking, that's what it's all about. With a sense of responsibility for those who suffer most on our planet, for future generations and for ourselves.

dinsdag 6 september 2011


Good to read in the local Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool that collecting separated plastic from the rest of the household garbage is succesful! People are willing to make the effort to go to the orange bins and bring their plastics. It is also cost-effective. So a big hurray to this experiment and hopefully the decision by the local government in December will be to continue. Recycling plastic is very important. The issue of plastic packaging and bags is an ongoing struggle. Consumers are so used to the convenience of bags in every shop, retailers are so used to the advertising effects of people walking around with the shop name on a bag; it's horrific. See what's happening in our oceans! We need a huge change in thinking. Together we can do it, so: Be a hero, always bring your own bag!

maandag 5 september 2011


In Trouw this weekend I read an interesting article about Afropolitans: young, cosmopolitan people with African roots who are the messengers of a positive development of the African continent. Among them entrepreneurs, musicians, fashion people, scientists etcetera. They are rapidly changing the negative image of Africa that's mainstream. They feel connected, strong and they say things like: 'The investments our parents made pay off now; we have jobs and a voice.' Or: 'It's the era of Africa now; it's very relevant to be an African person'. It's a very positive spirit, and they are determined to change the future. They are aware of the brain drain that many countries in Africa have suffered -all development got stuck because talented people left- and some of them are thinking of moving to the country of their family's origin. Not many of them are interested in politics though, so the question of who takes the responsibility for a fair political leadership is still to be answered. I hope we will hear a lot from them in the near future! Read this blog by Minna Salami from Finland and Nigeria and Sweden and London.
(photo by Jean Pierre Jans)