Resource-conserving mobility, sustainable consumption and a lifestyle with future viability: these topics have been the focus of discussion since long before the "Fridays for Future" demonstrations. The Greentech Festival was initiated to advance the change to more sustainable behaviour and to make sure that it is implemented in real life. It is a more broad-based successor to the GreenTec Awards, which were established in 2008 and have now been merged with Britain's Green Awards. The original idea of the initiators, Marco Voigt and Sven Krüger, has been retained: to create a fitting public platform for innovative projects that advance the causes of environmental protection and resource conservation. Six months ago they joined forces with Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg to create the concept for a more wide-ranging festival that is open to all areas of technology, places a stronger focus on creative minds and aims to attract an even more international audience for sustainable developments.
The British superstars Bastille opened the festival weekend on the site of the former Tempelhof Airport with a Telekom Street Gig on 23 May. "Celebrate Change" was the slogan for the varied programme that went on until 25 May and aimed to arouse a new and positive attitude to change and greater enthusiasm for green technologies. The Greentech Exhibition presented innovations from all kinds of different areas: from an e-car to a motorbike from the 3D printer, from a drone to a flying taxi, from a cargo bike to a modular boat. However the exhibition not only focused on mobility. There were also exhibits from the fields of energy, research and science along with the latest food trends, sustainable lifestyle products and achievements by environment activists, artists and celebrities. Tens of thousands of visitors came to admire the sustainable ideas at the largest exhibition of this kind held to date. While all this was going on, the Green Leaders Conference welcomed top-drawer entrepreneurs and radical thinkers alongside Crown Prince Haakon – representing Norway, the partner country at this year's event – Violeta Bulc, the EU Transport Commissioner, and the Swedish scientist on global sustainability and Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Dr. Johan Rockström.
The most impressive projects – on the grounds of their topical, promising and surprising nature – were presented with Green Awards during a gala event. For example Ferguson Marine received the award for "Innovation of the Year", and Paul Polman was presented with the "Lifetime Achievement Award".
One partner of the Greentech Festival is "Formula E", which staged this year's "Berlin E-Prix" on the festival site. Nico Rosberg, who supports sustainable projects in the field of mobility and who received last year's "Entrepreneur of the Year" GreenTec Award, is an investor in Formula E. In addition to watching the race, attendees also had the opportunity to experience the cars of the future at close hand.
As it had done at previous award ceremonies, Neumann&Müller Veranstaltungstechnik supported the Greentech Festival as a sponsor. "We are passionately committed to this event and full of conviction, because we believe it is important that these ideas and projects reach a wide audience. Besides our commitment, we also want to demonstrate that well-attended events can be realised in a sustainable manner with the appropriate lighting, audio and video equipment," said N&M managing director Alex Ostermaier. "We use spotlights with energy-saving LED technology, even on the green carpet, where high-quality Fresnel lenses have to create ideal lighting conditions for photography. We also use the latest generation of modern, high-resolution LED video walls for impressive and high-contrast videos as well as advanced loudspeaker technology for efficient sound." N&M technicians demonstrated once again that energy efficiency can still be increased even further by the clever use of sophisticated equipment. To N&M, sustainability also means recruiting the crew from a local pool of employees.
In addition to these activities, the company has also been involved in evaluating the submissions as a member of the jury since 2015. The interdisciplinary committee judges the ideas in terms of their contribution to preserving the environment, their level of innovation and, above all, in terms of their viability.
Photos: Stefan Kraul and Getty Images for Greentech Festival