Melanie and Cyril are two French actors that, together with a team of four people, decided to tell us a different story about the human race. Their documentary Tomorrow, sets out to showcase alternative and creative examples of people trying to change the future of humanity and the environment. The output of their investigation in ten different countries is Tomorrow, a documentary with a clear message of hope based on solutions to the ecological, economical and social crises that our world is going through.
During their journey, Melanie and Cyril met pioneers who are re-inventing agriculture, economy, energy, democracy and education in the most creative and knowledgeable ways. Their journey started in Detroit, a previous world-class industrial powerhouse, where local farmers are designing a new identity of the city by creating a semi-autonomous in what food production is concerned. The importance of local producers is later discussed by a local farmer in a province, in France, where he claims that they produce almost 70% of the world’s food. The team is then flying to the UK, to a small town called Totnes where a group of locals have created a new currency consisting of their own Pound notes that supports only local economy. In this city, even the mayor has asked to be paid in local pounds, in an attempt to show the potential of such flourishing local system.
The story unfolds with Cyril interviewing Morten Kabell, the person in charge of planning the environmental urban development in Copenhagen, Denmark. Morten is explaining how Denmark has invested 1 billion euros in wind turbines and achieved to function with 60% of renewable energy while planning on reaching 100% renewable energy target by 2050. When it comes to democracy, Chennai’s mayor in India has managed to ensure that each citizen of this small town can audit and participate to the Gram Sabha (Constitution of India) when decisions are made and implemented in the local community. In the last chapter, Tomorrow takes us to Finland where we meet primary teachers and witness how this country is creating an alternative education system. Teachers in Finland are required to study child psychology, so that they can understand the child’s ability to learn and evolve. The Classroom is not a strict environment, children can move around, and interact with each other. Children can also follow courses like cooking and sewing that prepare them for the real life later on.
TALK & ACT
At the end of Tomorrow’s journey, É p’ra amanhã team, represented by Teresa Carvalheira and Francesco Rocca, came on stage where they shared their own journey inspired by the French documentary. Teresa and Francesco joined forces with four other like-minded people to create their own episodes along the same theme but with a focus on sustainable Portuguese initiatives. The event continued with several local initiatives joining us to form a showcase, including Agrofloresta da Bela Flor, Caravana Agroecológica, Zero ONG, Coopérnico, GoParity, ZeroWaste Lab and our own Green Team @CCU (Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown).
Agrofloresta da Bela Flor is an open space project inspired by Ernst Gotsch, currently running in the greater Lisbon area, in Campolide, where people can grow their own vegetables. The initiative runs with volunteers across all ages and vegetables are free to be picked and eaten by anyone from the neighbourhood, whether or not they have contributed to the growing process, feeding both the community and the community’s spirit. Volunteers and the general public can even receive training. For those of you interested, the next one will be happening on the 22nd and 23rd of February, where participants will be introduced to the principles of agroforestry.
GoParity is an impact investing start-up that aims to make the world a better place through wise investment choices. They have invested 1.5 million euros in 2019 alone, on projects related to sustainable goals. At the moment they have around 5.000 investors and everyone can join this initiative by investing as little as 20 euros.
Zero ONG is a sustainable development-focussed organization with around 1.000 members in Portugal. Together with their members, they operate in five pillars including zero fossil fuels, zero pollution, zero waste of resources, zero deconstruction of ecosystems and biodiversity and zero social and economic inequality.
Coopérnico is an energy cooperative aiming to involve citizens and businesses in creating a new energy paradigm – renewable and decentralized – for the benefit of society and the environment. They promote collective investment in renewable energy projects and share the benefits among investors, society and the planet.
Caravana Agroecológica is an initiative from a team of researchers based at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. Their studies on spider mites attacking tomato plants was the source of inspiration that made this group come to life since it was the starting point of discussions with local farmers. Their research sparked some discussion with local producers, and Caravana Agroecológica aims to promote that dialogue between diverse stakeholders, including producers, consumers, NGOs, schools and government agencies, so that they can propose measures to support public investment in Agroecology.
ZeroWaste Lab is a group of locals that have been working on several interesting projects in the greater Lisbon area. One of their projects was focused in Penha de França, where they painted local bins so they could be more easily noticed by smokers to throw their cigarette buds in. They also host educational projects with schools as well as being in contact with the municipality to organize solutions for people to better deal with their waste.
Finally, our very own Green Team @CCU is a group of students and researchers working at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown (CCU) and together they have been designing and implementing measures to reduce the impact that research and medical activities have on energy, resources and waste, not only by increasing awareness but also by finding alternative sustainable solutions.