A look back before looking ahead

In the first six month of 2015 we were most of the time busy with fine-tuning the concept of Sustainica. It was (and is) important to define the exact niche market and also what kind of consumer groups we wanted to focus on. In July ’15 the Sustainable Lifestyle Initiative was finally established – the formal kick-off…

Till December ’15 we were primarily busy with finding collaborative partners, establishing a panel of experts, working with dedicated freelancers on the website and marketing matters and we did of course a lot of sales. Herewith an overview of the work we accomplished so far:

  • We already welcomed over 40 participating businesses & designers in the field of Sustainable lifestyle & Innovation
  • We closed partnerships with the NRW-Forum (curating art exhibition Planet B), City of Düsseldorf, UNEP 10YFP Consumer Information Programme, Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production gGmbH (CSCP) and UPS Deutschland
  • We brought together 4 multidisciplinary experts and a team of dedicated freelancers
    We have a partnership with Communication agency O3PR for marketing-and PR campaigns
  • We are partnering with Ecosign-Akademie für Gestaltung in Cologne, the German Federal Ecodesign Award in Berlin and Transnatural from Amsterdam
  • And we welcomed the first speakers for the Conference: Corsus | Corporate Sustainability, Ecosign-Akademie and Natrufied architecture

In 2016 we’re expecting to welcome many more businesses & designers to participate in the fair. We’re also planning to release an extra page on Sustainica dedicated to the conference. Beginning of February we begin with an intensive marketing-and PR campaign with Communication agency O3PR and parallel we start with the planning and positioning of the so far registered companies.

A lot is going on and more to come soon!

Creativity and activism

I recently read an interesting article from Ryan Schleeter (Greenpeace USA) titled “Art is essential to activism”. It describes the confrontation between Greenpeace, a tuna-fishing company based in Thailand and the use of creativity as weapon agains their egregious practices.

Art by Aaron Staples

The article deepens out that activism is not only a matter of (brutal) force but it can also entail more subtile approaches. Please read the original Blog post here.


Sustainica can also be seen as a form of activism as we simply taking action to effect social change. And especially the following paragraph is interesting as it strongly relates with the idea of Sustainica: “Art and activism are both built on exposing the truth. Art in particular has the ability to convey powerful messages across the linguistic and cultural barriers that so often divide us.”

Pointing a finger and telling people how they should behave is one approach. Another one is the use of creativity and culture as a transmitter of the message. During the development of Sustainica and the definition of our objectives – to inform and inspire consumers on sustainable living and consumption – we came to the idea to involve artists and designers in the concept as they allow us to connect with the visitors on a more emotional level. In terms of advocating changes I think it is crucial that the message gets through to the receiver and leave a (long) lasting impression. Emotions play an important role to achieve this.

With the creation of an appealing concept that involves commercial parties for the fair (businesses, startups, designers) combined with the aesthetic qualities of contemporary art, the next step was finding a suitable content partner. Continue reading.

On 30 Nov. this year the NRW-Forum organised the annual press conference and announced its program for the year 2016 and also what they have in mind with Planet B. This press release first appeared on the website of the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf (German).

1st Press Release of Sustainica

Today, on 30 November, the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf announced its program for the year 2016. Alain Bieber, the museum director, presented ten exciting exhibition formats including Sustainica.

“Also in 2016, the NRW-Forum Dusseldorf is a place for the highest artistic quality, experimentation and dialogue. It is critical and politically, glamorous and entertaining, virtual and futuristic. In solo and group exhibitions, retrospectives and new exhibition and event formats we show international artists and young experimental positions. We provide insight into the regional art scene, bring glitz and glamor into the house – and we will save the world.”

Press Release overview www.nrw-forum.de/presse/planet-b

I’m also very pleased that the Sustainable Lifestyle Initiative established a partnership with PR and marketing agency O3PR with offices in Düsseldorf and Sofia (Bulgaria) and more than 10 years of experience. A dedicated team of PR- and marketing experts are helping us out in putting together a media plan, establishing contacts and taking care of weekly-/monthly (online) campaigns.

The 1st Press Release is written and coordinated by O3PR in both English and German language:

Sustainica Press Release_20151130 | Sustainica Pressemitteilung_20151130

For press and media enquiries please contact PR agency O3PR
Ms. Linda Azar
Mobil: +49(0)176 3780 9744
E-mail: azar@o3bg.com

Design direction part 1: the logo

The current Sustainica logo is made by art director (and good friend) Daniel from Stuttgart. The goal was to incorporate different elements into one single logo.

First it was about the use of the logo on the project website, various other online applications and the use of colours, backgrounds, scalability and so on. But also how to deal with the logo related to different project elements like the fair, Open stage conference and so on.

Logo development
Logo development

We found a way to combine three main elements in one embracing symbol which are the brand name Sustainica, a triangle that stands for three pillars of sustainability of sustainability and the overarching project theme The art of sustainability.

During the course of the project we have to make our thoughts how to use different logo themes to distinguish different project elements from each other – to be continued.


Partnership with the NRW-Forum & City of Düsseldorf

Great! On June 1 and Nov. 8 2015 we established two important partnerships with the NRW-Forum museum and the City of Düsseldorf – the department for Economic Development . A small but definitely an important step to build on.

NRW-Forum by night_©Endermann
The NRW-Forum museum by night and in the distance Tonhalle Düsseldorf – the concert hall. Image by Endermann

It’s very exciting to receive positive feedback from the organisations with whom you’d like to work. Both parties agreed to support the Sustainable Lifestyle Initiative in the development of Sustainica 2016.

It helps us with collective (and creative) problem solving, capacity building (actions that boost our ability and effectiveness to deliver greater help to the community), the exchange of knowledge and of course networking.

And now – let’s roll!

Fair, conference & art exhibition

Sustainica 2016 is the first project organised by the Sustainable Lifestyle Initiative. It comprehends an international consumer fair, conference & art exhibition for sustainable lifestyle and innovation.

From June 2 to June 5 2016Sustainica showcases innovative solutions for sustainable living at the NRW-Forum museum in Düsseldorf and is also host of the conference. Over four days, this high-level conference will provide a forum for candid discussion in an effort to widen the sustainability dialogue.

Sustainica Logo LArt exhibition Planet B, curated by the NRW-Forum, runs parallel with Sustainica from 2 June till 21 August. It deals with the profound changes of our planet – it searches for an alternative Plan B.

Communication, inspiration and the exchange of information takes place on various levels of consciousness. Our vision: to inspire consumers about a more sustainable and just society.

The brand Sustainica comes from the word sustainability and is a fictitious name. The logo includes the overarching theme of the project Sustainica & Planet B formulated in one sentence “The art of sustainability”. The logo also includes a triangle – the three pillars of sustainability – the basis of the concept.

Have a look at the project website www.sustainica.org and for questions drop us a line.