The Blue Economy: 10 years – 100 innovations – 100 million jobs

On the 3rd and 4th of February of 2014, Servicecenter 4Hospitality will be hosting FXE: Food Executive Europe, a congress for European executives working in the hospitality industry. Together with Toine Manders, European Parliament member of the year, they’re looking to delve into the topic of foodwaste.

FXE is going to be all about thinking out of the box, outside of the playing field, doing something new in Maastricht, creating awareness on foodwaste and what we’re collectively doing to this world, in an economic and commercial way. There’s no better way to illustrate this, than by the hand of Gunter Pauli, author of Blue Economy, of which he has sold over 1.000.000 copies worldwide. In this book, he says we can generate 100.000.000 jobs in the upcoming 10 years, by utilising a total of 100 innovative nature-inspired technologies!

One example concerns the rain-forests in South-America. Is it possible to make money off of the rain-forests, while sustainably providing basic human needs? Gunter Pauli believes it’s possible to raise the value of the rainforest soil from $10 per acre to a whoppin’ $1000 per acre by simply re-using its own natural resources.

Another example comes with the African desert beetle. While the desert is of course on the most dry surroundings known to mankind, there’s a tiny of dew in the morning that the desert beetle manages to catch on his wings (which nature designed specifically that way, for that sole purpose) to use during the day. If we manage to recreate this inventiveness of nature, this will allow us to foster an ecological system in which we can grow entire forests! After 250 years of worthless desert soil, we can now turn this soil into something very valuable.

I really believe in the Blue Economy. During the TEFAF last month, I ran into Gertjan Meeuws of PlantLab, a Dutch company that spent the last 30 years working on new, innovative ways of growing plants and other fauna: the next generation of growing, they call it. Gertjan explained to me that plants only grow from two small parts of the sunlight: the ultraviolet light and the red light. The rest of the sunshine isn’t necessary at all! So PlantLab built a basement loaded with only ultraviolet and red light and they got amazing results: supertomatoes, more vitamins, more minerals, one tenth of the water you would normally require to water the plants and most importantly, no pesticides needed! This is the kind of thinking we need in this world.

I’m incredibly excited about the upcoming Food Executive Europe and I’ll make sure to keep you up to date on everything FXE!