Argentina! HolaHola Argentina!
Exploration Exploration reportreport The Netherlands - Argentina The Netherlands - Argentina October - January October 2015 -2015 January 2016 2016
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Table of content 0 Summary 1 Introduction 1a Background 1b Research approach & overviewmapping of projects/organisations visited 1c Reading guide 2 Results 2a Framework of the investigation: from challenges to needs and opportunities 2b An integrated perspective sustainable challenges in Argentina 2c Thematic review of needs and opportunities for bilateral collaboration / international exchange 2d Needs of Argentinean actors 2e Opportunities for the Dutch creative industry 3 Conclusions and next steps 3a Main conclusions 3b Bilateral collaboration 3c Next steps
4 Organization and Team
A Goood Foundation 路 Hola Argentina!
In the period of November 2015 until January 2016, A Goood Foundation executed the international exploration called Hola Argentina, with the aim of establishing a sustainable collaboration between makers, creatives and organisations specialised in sustainable (rural & urban) development from Argentina and The Netherlands. The ambition is to operate in a Latin American framework in the future. This exploration project was one of the 10 selected projects supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL in 2015.
to recognise the relevant knowledge fields of both countries and potential partners and funders for the collaboration.
In the form of a ‘road-research’, we spoke with over twenty organisations and thirty-five experts working on sustainability in different sectors such as Government, NGO’s, Universities, designers, creative entrepreneur and CSR departments of large private companies. In this way, we were able to gather a clear understanding of local environmental challenges, we identified the main needs of the different The focus of the exploration was to execute expert actors to tackle these challenges and the opportunimeetings with potential partners in Argentina with ties for the Dutch Creative Industry. the goal of identify the most promising form of collaboration that would add value to the sustainable de- Thematically, we focused our research on the four velopment of both countries. Besides, the aim was large environmental challenges related to climate
Garín, Province of Buenos Aires, Plug-in Social project area. A typical peri-urban situation: an informal settlement (left) next to a closed neighbourhood, without any interaction between them. A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
change that scientist Carlos Reboratti describes for Argentina and the Latin American context. These are: solid waste, water man-agement (rivers pollution, flooding), agriculture causing pollution, biodiversity loss, and public awareness. We added energy as a fifth theme, as it was a recurring theme in our initial conversations with Argentinean parties. We studied the Dutch Approach to these challenges (the current approach and experimental cross-overs) to use it as a framework for our interviews and in our research to find parallels and opportunities.
• Realise (more) inspirational integrated practices are searching for funding possibilities. In the next and concrete projects in the local context of urban phase the aim of the project will be to apply for funand rural communities. ding for the first activities & pilots to reinforce the partnership, to become self-supporting, and to deThis involves the need of concrete examples that velop a business model and/or integrate the project show the general public (not only experts) the ad- in a public policy program to sustain in the long term. vantages of sustainable design and business practices. Besides there is a need of experimentation in We are also having talks with our Dutch partners acthe form of prototyping in a cross-over format. This tive in Brazil. It is the ambition to develop next steps is also related to the disconnection between theory together, so we can give this project a wider Latin and practice at an academic level, that many men- American scope. tioned. Successful pilots will provide the opportunity The exploration confirmed there is a common for upscaling. ground that presents unique opportunities for future collaboration. There is a mutual interest in sharing We identified as well important considerations and knowledge and together developing site-specific conditions desired on international cooperation by solutions using a systemic approach that can be local parties. For example, that collaboration sets adapted and applied on a larger scale. Among all of out on an equal base and pursues mutual benefits. the potential partners, knowledge transfer, in all its In that sense, our emphatic approach, asking them forms, was one of the leading motivators. There is a about their challenges and needs and discussing shared need for spreading the philosophy of a more how we can find solutions together, was very welsustainable life and a systemic approach. come. Summarising we see three main needs to fulfil, to The exploration resulted in the identification of the tackle the environmental challenges: main co-development partners for the next phase, the type of projects for the follow-up, as well as the • Stimulate an integrated approach and cross-overs study of the possible financial sources to apply for (innovative cross sectoral collaboration between de- start-funding. Moreover, the exploration has prosigners, gov-ernment, NGO’s, etc) There are oppor- ved that the establishment of a platform for bilatetunities for circular business development, systemic ral cooperation and as part of it a school of design design & Blue economy concepts, that can give a practices, is a wish of all parties. boost to local economies. In the coming months the project ideas and pos• Raise public awareness and education regarding sibilities for the Dutch creative industry will have a sustainability and integrated approaches to achieve follow-up. We are exchanging ideas with the main citizen participation and entrepreneurship. partners in Argentina and in The Netherlands, and A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
This report contains the results of an exploration project concerning the establishment of a structural bilateral cooperation between Argentinian and Dutch sustainability specialists and organisations executed by A Goood Foundation in the period November 2015 to January 2016. The project was financially supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL.
1a Background The main motivator to start the exploration was our feeling that cooperation between the creative industries of the Netherlands and Latin American countries would result in meaningful cross-fertilisation
effects. For this exploratory research, the scope has been limited to focusing on Argentina. The Dutch creative industry has several internationally highly valued characteristics like the so called ‘Dutch Approach’: the way Dutch governments, knowledge institutions, the business sector and designers/the creative industry work in close cooperation on spatial planning and environmental issues, as well as an innovative approach to sustainability in all its forms. The Argentinian environment offers a rich social life and many bottom-up private initiatives, as well as a (new) government that is faced with severe social and environmental issues in the country which need to be resolved. From this starting point, was
Informal settlement in Garin, province of Buenos Aires A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
with local actors
with local actors
ange platfo h c rm ex education sharing knowledge & experience
initiating local projects
DUTCH CONTEX T A Goood Foundation 路 Hola Argentina!
initiating local projects
N TI N I A N
T N O C
the thought, there should be good opportunities for synergy when executing bilateral projects.
lists and organisations. The icon projects would be presented during this expert meeting.
The exploration had the following two main objectives:
In the preparation phase, we had the opportunity to expand the number of specialists and organizations to be consulted. Instead of having one expert meeting at one moment and at one fixed location, we re-designed the approach and organised fifteen expert meetings of a smaller scale in fifteen different locations. The idea behind this was to involve more actors from different sectors in our research. Including government and private companies as well as designers and NGO’s gave us a richer and wider overview of the context. In this way we took advantage of the already reserved extra time in December to visit potential clients after the initial three day expert meeting. Finally, we spoke with thirty-five Argentinian experts in the period from the 30th of November till the 29th of December. This approach gave us a much wider perspective of the opportunities for bilateral cooperation.
1. Development of a strategy and approach for the most promising form of bilateral cooperation with local partners, contributing to the sustainable development in both countries 2. Identify 1] the most promising fields of expertise in both countries which can contribute to the other, and 2] the potential clients and funders. Formulated sub objectives have been: • Establishment of a bilateral core team to develop the international cooperation and the future projects. • Formulate a joined vision to compose a thorough project plan to present to potential clients and funders. Furthermore, several research questions had been formulated. The answers to those questions can be found in more detail in the next chapters and in a short overview in the appendices.
1b The research approach
We used the Delphi method, in which conducted expert meetings lead to introductions to other relevant partners in the networks of the participants. This brought us to a wide range of actors in the Argentinian field of sustainability, such as initiators of bottom-up initiatives, project leaders in private and public organisations, and (potential) principals of financers. An overview of the organisations and specialists consulted, including the main results of those meetings, is added in the appendix.
The proposed research approach consisted of a preliminary research identifying icon projects in both countries and a three days during expert meeting in Buenos Aires with a small group of invited speciaA Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
ILDES IR architects & Wulcon
Plug in Social
Carlos Levinton CEP/UBA
Club de Roma Cap. ARG
Pampa Orgànica MAPO
UNSAM Grupo Techint INTA
Reserva lago de lugano
A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
2a Framework of the investigation : from challenges to needs and opportunities We believe that any sustainable opportunities for the Dutch creative sector in Argentina can only arise on the basis of mutual respect, shared interests and shared goals. To frame and direct our investigation of such opportunities we started out with a thematic overview of Dutch approaches to the major environmental challenges in Argentina, looking specifically at the role of Dutch creatives in these approaches. In the Netherlands, we identified an emerging creative niche of multidisciplinary collaborations using an integrated, site specific approach. We took this niche as a frame of reference, looking for similar initiatives in Argentina. With them, discussed the sustainable challenges they encounter and their needs in their endeavors to address these challenges. Furthermore, we discussed the role A Goood Foundation and A Goood Foundation 路 Hola Argentina!
Dutch creatives in general could play in fulfilling these needs as well as creating new opportunities that would be of mutual interest. In this way we established a common ground for further collaboration.
Investigation of Dutch approaches Based on the themes that the Argentinian publicist and environmental scientist Carlos Reboratti has put forward as the major, interconnected environmental challenges in Argentina (and Latin-America as a whole) we investigated the Dutch approaches to these challenges. These challenges can be summed up as: handling waste, water pollution, agriculture causing pollution and biodiversity loss, and public awareness. As we found energy was a recurring issue in the initial contacts with Argentinian initiatives we included this as a fifth theme. In describing the Dutch approaches of handling these challenges we distinguished the following aspects:
a) the current approach b) innovations within the sector c) and experimental projects by interdisciplinary collaborations by designers and makers
The role of the creative sector: An emerging creative niche The overview of Dutch approaches provided a frame of reference for our meetings with different stakeholders in Argentina and underlined the point of departure for this project: the special role small-scale multidisciplinary collaborations including designers, makers and other actors play in trying out new ideas, that if proven to be successful, can be adapted by larger and more conventional players. This group of experimental, interdisciplinary collaborations are part of an emerging Dutch creative niche; offering a playground for innovative integral solutions that can inspire innovations within the sectors involved in handling and processing waste and wastewater, food production and energy. In that way they are instrumental in raising awareness and changing the sector and the way society as a whole deals with these themes.
An integrated approach The environmental challenges are approached by society and government with separate strategies, policies and solutions. However, the small-scale multidisciplinary collectives we, in line with the design principles of A Goood Foundation, aim to support and connect tend to take a more integrated approach. A good example can be found in wastewater treatment. In the traditional approach, large amounts of water from all sources are gathered and treated in a separate facility. A small-scale integrated approach such as the one taken in De Ceuvel (Amsterdam) views water treatment as part of a broader system of flows that tries to combine decentralized (i.e. at the A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
De Ceuvel, urban experiment: circular economy, phytoremediation, decentralized water and energy systems in the city of Amsterdam, in cross-sectoral collaboration. Photo: De Ceuvel
One of the urban farming initiatives in the city of Rotterdam. Photo: Uit je eigen stad.
source) treatment and reuse of all sorts of waste with decentralized energy and food production.
on a larger scale. Learning from other local perspectives both will put sharper focus on local qualities and inspire new ideas by giving access to a larger knowledge base.
Common ground A similar creative niche but with different locally generated knowledge exists in Argentina, offering a common ground on which to build an exchange that can benefit both the Dutch creative industry and its Argentinean counterpart. Our talks with Argentinean designers, makers, and representatives of (governmental) institutes, companies and NGO’s confirmed there is a mutual interest in sharing experiences and together develop site-specific solutions that can be adapted and applied
In the following paragraphs we will ‘map’ this common ground by describing potential ‘fields of operation’, in which Argentinean and Dutch creatives and students can work together on integrated solutions. From our interviews with different Argentinean initiatives an integrated perspective on Argentinean challenges emerged defined by the dynamic relationships between city and countryside. However the reality in which these initiatives operate is defined by policies and business interests that still reflect a sectoral or thematic approach. Therefore first the
integrated perspective from a complementary urban and rural viewpoint is described in paragraph 2b. Paragraph 2c then looks at opportunities according to various environmental themes. These correspond roughly with the challenges defined by Reboratti we started our investigation with.
2b An integrated perspective of sustainable challenges in Argentina In our talks with NGOs, government organisations, companies and independent professionals a number of recurrent and interrelated challenges and opportunities were mentioned, which paint a comprehensive picture of the way these challenges are linked together and influence each other. In response to this two fields of operation for designers and other creatives can be defined. These fields of operation focus on the urban and the rural, and are complementary parts of the integrated perspective. Each is shortly described, with an outline of the actors we met that are involved in this field in Argentina; relevant Dutch knowledge domains; parallels and differences with the Dutch context; and a first indication of opportunities for the Dutch creative sector.
are strategies involving Urban Metabolism, Flexible City planning and Social design. There are parallels between the plans and strategies for refurbishment of slum areas near the cities in Argentina, and strategies for sustainable and socially inclusive refurbishment of Dutch cities, such as ‘Spontane stad’ and ‘Flexibele Stad’, as well as bottom-up placemaking projects (citizen initiated initiatives to reinvigorate and use vacant or abandoned space in the city) such as De Ceuvel, Uit Je Eigen Stad and the metabolist approach behind such projects. In Argentina the social problems are more acute, however. Differences in income are much greater, resulting in more distinct social inequality. Areas are more segregated according to class and slum areas are no-go areas for outsiders. Access to basic necessities such as drinking water, sanitation, electricity and fresh food is not self-evident. This asks for a sensiti-
ve approach, involving local inhabitants and supporting local entrepreneurship. Such an approach is also being developed in the Netherlands, albeit in response to the demands of quite a different group of citizens, known as the ‘mondige burger’ (responsible, assertive citizen). Comparing these approaches and the way they are adapted to and fitted in different local site-specific conditions can offer interesting new insights, that can benefit both. The Dutch knowledge of sustainable technologies and – more importantly – an integrated approach to appropriately applying them, can offer valuable and useful insights to further develop the sustainable strategies and approaches Argentinian makers and designers are developing. And possibly it can help them to cross-over from application in slum areas to ‘the other side of the fence’; into the walled middle and upper class neighbourhoods.
Sustainable urbanisation of slum areas. Both on grass roots level and in governmental institutions action is undertaken to improve slum areas by sustainably refurbishing houses and public space. Solid waste management, sanitation, access to drinking water and fresh food, sustainable production of energy; all these challenges, along with several social issues, come together in the slums. But a sustainable integrated approach to these challenges is not just of interest to slum areas, but for the urban development in Argentina in general. Involved parties we visited are Amartya, FOVISEE, Plugin Social, PAU, and CMD. Relevant Dutch approaches A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
Students build a sun-powered sanitation module with the neighbours during one day hands-on workshop. Plug-in Social project. Photo: Plug-in Social
Pesticides free zones by law in peri-urban areas of main cities mean an opportunity for organic agriculture & recreation areas. Demand for organic production (intern and extern) over-exceeds the current supply. Local farmers are in need of training and smart technologies for organic agriculture. Huertera at Programa de Agricultura Urbana (PAU), Rosario.
Re-ruralization This field of operation encompasses all the efforts and initiatives aiming to improve conditions and possibilities for building up a livelihood in the countryside or stimulate rural economy in peri-urban areas. It is a response to the migration of people from rural to urban areas and the influence it has on both city and countryside. People from rural areas move to the cities in search of jobs, that industrial agriculture has eliminated in the countryside. There they end up in slums, separated from the social structures and natural resources of the countryside. Improving slums is one side of the coin but another is reversing the course of migration feeding the slums by providing better living and working conditions in the countryside and by creating economical opportunities for its population, an A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
explicit aim of Amartya’s Quinta Essential project. Also it responds to the threat current agricultural methods pose to the fertility, biodiversity and liveability of the countryside. Involved parties we visited are Amartya, PAU, and MAPO/Pampa Organica. Relevant Dutch approaches in this field are strategies involving Urban and peri-urban agriculture, Multifunctional Agriculture, Revitalisation of the countryside, and Social design. Parallels can be discerned between the initiatives active in this area and the Dutch approaches to revitalisation of the countryside, movements towards a sustainable and equitable food system and the urban and peri-urban agriculture movement in the Netherlands. Both the pampas around Buenos Aires and the western part of the Netherlands are rich delta landscapes. Agriculture is
a big export product in both countries and in both countries this puts a pressure on the liveability of the countryside. With the migration to the Randstad (the urban agglomeration in the Dutch delta comprising the four biggest cities in the Netherlands) peripheral regions such as Zeeland, Limburg and Friesland suffer shrinkage in population and jobs especially outside of the cities. The vast scale of the Argentinian landscape is incomparable, though, to the dense urbanised Dutch landscape. Another major difference is that the use of pesticides and GMO crops is much more widespread and less controlled in Argentina than in the Netherlands. A counter movement is growing, however, involving a diversity of initiatives, from grassroots organisations to large scale organic producers. Also at government level there is an increased concern over uncontrolled pesticide use and ecological degradation. In different coalitions these parties look for alternative solutions to growing food and maintaining a healthy and vibrant rural community. Examples can be found in the use of appropriate technology such as mechanisation, in sustainable forms of agriculture that provide healthy jobs for locals as well as a benefiting the environment and in ways of fairly processing and selling agricultural products. Rethinking and reorganising local rural communities and the sustainable development of peri-urban zones are processes that could strongly benefit from the Dutch approach. Another interesting development is a law that recently has come into force in Argentina, allowing cities to declare a pesticide free zone around their city limits. Many cities have installed such a zone where it is forbidden to use pesticides, varying in width from a 300-1000 meters. In this zone farmers can’t fall back on the methods they are used to, but they don’t have access to alternatives. Initiatives, such as PAU and Pampa Organica see these zones as possible frontiers for sustainable agro-ecological food production. Demand for organic production locally and internationally exceeds current supply. Conservation and development of rural crafts and practices - linked to
this agro-ecological approach - could be a driver for economically vital rural communities. Other opportunities lie in the co-development of alternative, smart solutions for mechanisation, logistics, monitoring, et cetera.
Dutch approaches are strategies involving Integrated Water Management and Urban Metabolism. Though this kind of water pollution is mostly a thing of the past in the Netherlands, it does have a heritage of polluted soils and river beds. And flood management is a continuing challenge living under sea level. The Netherlands have developed strategies for integrated water management that bridge the gap between water treatment and water quality management and have developed solutions that combine safety, ecological quality and landscape-architectonic beauty. Involving citizens in decision making and the conception of integrated solutions offers opportunities for established integrated Dutch approaches, such as Integrated Water Managment and the ‘Dutch Approach’ to planning. In these approaches housing and other urban functions are planned and designed as an integral part of the watershed, citizens are engaged in this complex process of transition to a safe and clean river delta. Within the focus of this investigation (on the emergent creative niche of interdisciplinary collaborations by designers and makers) we see opportunities for experimental, cross-disciplinary decentralised approaches combining Integrated Water Management and Urban Metabolism, complementing the large scale centralised engineering approach the Netherlands are known for. Big players like Waternet (the Amsterdam water company) are involved in small scale experiments for this reason. In Argentina this approach could be applied in complex assignments where floods, water pollution and provision of basic needs in urban areas have to be managed integrally.
2c Thematic review of needs and opportunities for bilateral collaboration. International exchange The two fields of operations described in the previous paragraph need an integrated, holistic perspective design and planning of city and countryside. In practice challenges are often addressed from specific themes linked to sectoral interests and policies, as this is the way society (still) is organized. In this paragraph some of these themes and the way they can become a driver for a more integral approach are discussed. Agriculture has been extensively discussed in the previous chapter as part of re-ruralisation and is therefore not further described.
Water management Water pollution as well as floods are a problem in Argentina both in rural and urban areas, albeit for different but related causes. To properly address water-related problems an integrated, site-specific approach both locally and regionally, is needed. In case of water pollution it is not just about treatment but about addressing the pollution and its sources as well as the underlying causes. The same can be said of flooding as it involves the whole watershed of a river, from the small springs and streams that gather water in the mountains, to the delta where it meets the sea. As water is both an essential human need as well as a carrier of resources (from solid waste particles to nutrients), and even a potential source of energy, it connects all current sustainability challenges. Because water is such an all-pervading issue it can be a strong driver for urban planning and design. Relevant A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
Waste management · Materials flows
Biodigester systems in Plug-in social project, Garin, Pcia de Buenos Aires.
The management of ‘solid waste’ is one of the most prominent challenges Argentina faces. A change in thinking from waste disposal to management of material flows is needed. The Zero Waste Act (Ley de Basura Cero)
launched in 2006 aimed for a gradual reduction of 25% by 2010, 50% by 2012, and 75% for 2017. Ten years after the passage of the Zero Waste Act, the Government continues to send most of the trash to landfills (only 15% of reduction has been achieved until 2014). However there have been many developments since 2007, when members of our foundation team organised the symposium and workshop Reciclan1 in Buenos Aires about the reuse of waste materials. Recycling activities and innovation in this area have become more present everywhere. There are interesting projects emerging from the creative industry, NGO’s, individual politicians and the local, regional and national governments. Website platforms from the creative industry like Donde Reciclo, Coneccion-Reciclado and Reciclario inform where and how to recycle, and match supply and demand of industrial discarded materials. Reusing materials is not
seen as an alternative method, but has much presence in the work of designers. In contrast to the situation in 2007, now productive entrepreneurs can be found that sell high design quality products made out of industrial waste. The local government of Buenos Aires started a large campaign about separation of ‘recyclable materials’ to reduce the waste that goes to landfills. The people from APRA (Agencia de Protection Ambiental de la Ciudad) informed us about the different initiatives they undertake, like the program Producción mas limpia, where local business of the city are stimulated and coached to achieved environmental goals. The CMD (Centro Metropolitano de Diseño), one of our main partners for the continuation of the collaboration, organises innovation workshops where makers from different disciplines look for applications of industrial waste from the district. We see opportunities to accelerate these actions by learning
Centro Verde One of the 8 new ‘Centros Verdes’ in Buenos Aires City, where recyclable materials separated by citizens, are classified. Photo: Agencia de Proteccion Ambiental (APRA). A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
Coffee waste for mushroom production in Rotterdam. Business opportunities in the waste sector and generation of green jobs.
from examples from both contexts. Relevant approaches are Blue Economy, Cradle2Cradle, Circle Economy, and Urban Metabolism. There are many parallels with the Netherlands, albeit in a very different context. The challenge in the Netherlands, lies in separating waste streams to be reused, implementing the principles of a circular (or blue) economy in the industrial manufacturing and handling of waste. Therefore the focus is not just on reduction of the so called ‘rest waste’ (waste going to incineration ovens or landfills), but generating new businesses from using waste materials as resources. In recent years, the government invested in many platforms and programs around cradle2cradle, circle economy and related themes, but was recently challenged to step up its efforts by a landmark court ruling expected to cause ripples around the world. This ruling results from a case started by Dutch non-profit organisation Urgenda, ordering the Dutch government to cut its emissions by at least 25% within five years. This is also related to the other themes like energy. The recent rising of environmental awareness in this sector benefits the Dutch creative industry. Some interesting concepts, developed by designers are now adopted by the sector. Superuse studios, who developed The Oogstkaart (Harvest Map, a digital database of discarded materials and their locations) 10 years ago, started a collaboration last year with one of the largest recycling companies worldwide. The bilateral exchange of these experiences could encourage similar collaborations between (disruptor) creatives and large companies in Latin America as well. Other Dutch projects, like Bluecity010, provide advanced examples of future pathways, because they focus on changing the perception of waste as input for new business (local production industries), and thus bring other perspective to understanding waste resulting in new forms of production and business models.
With consideration of the different context of each country, there is a common challenge (at different development levels) of increasing public awareness to achieve participation in this important environmental theme. We believe that showing the business opportunities that a circular (or blue) economy brings will accelerate this process.
On another scale, APRA (Agencia de Protección ambiental de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires works together with the Ministry of Education, Universities and NGO’s in formalising ‘green jobs’. They started with jobs in the area of renewable energies, installers of solar panels and collectors. The following topics will be biomass, renewable energy management, also related to energy; and organic gardens (urban farming).
We see opportunities in the combination of knowledge and bilateral pilots to increase public awareness. Much work needs to be done but we believe the initiatives from the creative sector, accelerated by international collaboration, can provide solutions that eventually can be scaled up to effectively help achieve the goals set in the Zero Waste Act (Ley de basura Cero).
Argentinean initiatives like FOVISEE and Energizar support home owners to improve their homes in terms of energy use and comfort. Educating people to be energy consultants they create green jobs and they also offer education to schools. Their integrated socially sensitive approach can be an inspiration for implementing Dutch policy goals for the improvement of the energy efficiency of Dutch homes.
The Netherlands have one of the lowest percentages of renewable energy in Europe. Most of the Dutch energy (94 %) comes from gas and coal powered power plants. Although there is an ample supply of gas, prognoses for the future predict an increasing dependency on foreign resources. On and off the government has initiated programs to stimulate renewable energy. Growing trends are the use of solar panels by private individuals and the start of energy cooperatives. These cooperatives consist of citizens, that do not want to wait for the government or large energy companies, and collectively invest in – preferably local - generation of solar or wind energy, often in collaboration with local entrepreneurs and producers such as farmers.
The application of alternative energy systems is still in its infancy in Argentina. 87% of electricity generation in Argentina is derived from fossil fuels, and the country’s resources allow it to export gas and oil. The other 13 percent comes from nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, and biomass. Renewable do not represent a double-digit rate.2 The Chamber of Deputies of Argentina passed a new renewable energy law this year (2016). The new law establishes that in 2 years, 8% of electricity generation in the country must be renewable energy. Besides, the Ministry of Environment of the Nation announced the intention of reducing carbon emissions to 15 percent unconditionally by 2030 and up to 30 percent subject to international financing3 . Relevant Dutch approaches are strategies for decentralized energy production such as collective investment by citizens in energy production and development of smart grids. 2 http://www.revistaei.cl/2016/03/08/argentina-atrae-mas-inversion-solar-eolica-y-biomasa/# 3 http://energialimpiaparatodos.com/2016/01/13/11135/ A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
Open grey-water sewer in the streets of suburban area of Campana city. (FOVISEE project area)
These citizens initiatives and the way they are organised socially and technically could be an inspiration to Argentinean parties. Opportunities arise in exchange of models and supportive technologies (e.g. for monitoring) for citizen participation in energy production.
People Social challenges Underlying the environmental themes discussed so far, there are main social challenges. This is part of a complex social matrix, and we believe the solutions will not come from one sector, but from many sectors and organisations working together. We do believe that in any future intervention (or pilot) the social issues must be considered and addressed in the projects in order to achieve integrated solutions. The new government has the large ambition to eliminate poverty by 2020, with its plan ‘Pobreza Cero’ (Zero Poverty). Housing, Education, Employment and Agriculture are part of the themes considered in this strategy. This means an opportunity for integrated approaches and collaborations to find solutions closer to this complex social challenge, that not only affects Argentina but represents one of the largest global challenges.
Some social challenges mentioned in more than one interview are crime (more specifically drug trafficking conflicts involving youth, the (process of) relocation of people living in slums areas at the edge of the polluted areas, encouraging participation in the society, working morale and entrepreneurship of people dependent on public support, changing the food culture of the pampas and stimulating a healthier diet among the principal meat consumers whose identity is associated with this culture. A recurring element in the interviews and across themes and in all the sectors described above is the importance of awareness raising. In the interviews we had with the local organisations in Argentina, raising public awareness – both in general and more specifically the awareness towards waste (materials) separation - was presented as a very significant challenge. From our Latin American network we learned that these awareness issues - in many shapes and forms - are very present in other Latin American countries. They repre-
sent big challenges and opportunities to involve systemic design actions and social designers to consider these issues in local pilots that could be replicated. Socially, there are strong differences between the Netherlands and Argentina, as well as some interesting parallels. Even though growing inequality is a topic of debate in the Netherlands, these differences are much more extreme in Argentina. Poverty and related crime are more present, political polarization is much more pronounced and changes of government involve large reorganisations of public institutes and organizations. In the Dutch society however polarization is growing as well, over issues like immigration and integration, and the conservation of the welfare state. Loneliness, especially among the elderly, is a growing problem that seems linked to increased individualism. In both countries small scale initiatives find ways to involve and empower local communities around environmental issues, handing some of the influence on their environment back to the people. We see this as a positive thing. Exchange on different methods and experiences offers opportunities to develop new methods for stimulating citizenship and responsibility of people for their environment.
2d Needs of argentinean actors When asked which are the needs to tackle the challenges in general, start-ups and young NGO’s mention the need of growing vision, finding a suitable business model to accompany their development and more recognition and support from governmental institutions and CSR sector. More experienced NGO’s mentioned the need of upscaling, more funding for business development, more collaboration with local government and international cooperation to develop concrete site pilots. Programa de Agricultura Urbana de Rosario (PAU). Projectleider of huerta. Rescue of indigenous knowledge. A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
Needs of interviewed actors Growing vision, organisational & business strategy (more) Support from government & corporations Funding & investment Upscaling Physical & inspirational projects examples Hands-on help Image building (international) Partnership to develop concrete pilot projects Public awareness & education Knowledge (transfer) of: - Systemic design & sustainability (CE) - Social design - Entrepreneurship - Technical (art & kraft, lows-tech, high-tech) skills Younger initiatives (disruptors) NGO’s More experienced NGO’s & Creative Entrepreneurs Government institutions / universities
More practice, making, prototyping Exchange of knowledge of sustainable practices Cross-overs Conservation and development of technical tools (e.g. mechanical agriculture tools)
A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
Some young businesses and NGO’s are looking for investment for developing innovative apps, communication tools and technology like monitoring systems or sensors for renewable energy. The knowledge institutes are looking for inspiring examples and are open for innovation regarding new visions on sustainable development and themes from our specialities like Social Design, Circular Economy. The corporate sector and their social projects we visited are focused on education and are interested in exchange of international knowledge and best practices to inspire their students. The departments and organisations of the government we visited are looking for exchange of knowledge practices, international knowledge for concrete pilots, knowledge on circular economy and social architecture design for specific social challenges. Besides, there were some highlighted needs, that almost all parties mentioned, these are:
1.Need of more ‘practices’· Action · Concrete project examples There is a need for concrete pilots, inspirational examples that can show integrated approaches, inspiring people to participate, and rising awareness. Almost all organisations talked about the need of Action! They need functioning examples that show what solutions look and feel like, but also try-outs, experiments, space for practices for the young to learn by doing and making things. The people of PAU, that work in close relation with Universidad de Rosario, mentioned the large disconnection between theory and practice of university students. They are in need of more hands-on help instead of people that come to finish own academic papers, which is often the case at present. Another example is the overused term A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
Possible pilot location, 36 hectares developed by Buenos Aires city Government around Lago Lugano in Villa Soldati with the main goal of preserving the local ecosystems and promotion of environmental education. Suitable for sustainable experimentation. Photo: APRA
of design thinking, mentioned by CMD. It was quite hot the last years but quite abstract and not very productive nor giving concrete results in practice. There is much more need of design action.
2. Need of conservation and development of technical knowledge and craftmanship. Organisations working in the field mention the need of technical knowledge. MAPO referred to tools and knowledge for organic produce that are now lost due to the industrialisation of the last years. These tools and knowledge have to be conserved and put in practice in order to realise the opportunities for agro-ecology in periurban areas. The initiatives working with people, like PAU and Plug-in Social, named a need for qualified
people that are able to ‘make things’, and education of technical skills. This is a need in many fields and working areas. In that sense the investments Grupo Techint makes in technical education are very relevant. It could be interesting to step out of the school’s classrooms providing opportunities for the (graduate) students to work in community environmental challenges.
3. More support & recognition of ‘creative/design initiatives’ and need of ‘Cross-overs’ We noticed the need of more recognition from other sectors for ‘disruptive’ projects: projects that change the rules, like Plug-in social, as well as more collaboration (cross-overs) between ‘creative initiatives’ and other sectors (Corporate sector, NGO’s, government, etc). In The
Netherlands creative (disruptive) bottom-up initiatives are receiving more recognition the last years. The process of recognition started earlier in NL. We believe an exchange with Dutch comparable initiatives could accelerate the process of recognition and stimulate cross-sectors.
4. Need of rising public awareness & Education All initiatives, in different ways, emphasized the need of working on rising public awareness and education on environmental issues to increase the level of participation and entrepreneurship within the population. The lack of awareness does cross all sectors and classes. Initiative La BioGuia, that reaches 11 million followers in their social media, making it the largest portal worldwide
regarding ‘green lifestyle’ and environmental awareness (Spanish spoken, there is no English referent), shows the upcoming market for green products and organic produce in Argentina and Latin America, within the middle and high class. Despite of this, there is still a dichotomy between online activities and reality.
2e Opportunities for the Dutch and Argentinean Creative Industry In the fields of operation described above we found there is an interest in Dutch knowledge and approaches to sustainability among the parties that are active in this fields in Argentina.
First of all ‘A Goood Foundation’ and the platform it is establishing can play a role as an independent connector and mediator between local initiatives, and other parties. The open, personal and interactive approach of our investigation was well received. We aim to be complementary to what is already happening in Argentina and we are looking for win-win situations from an integrated perspective, instead of competing for the same financial resources on the basis of our own preferences. Secondly, through the platform Dutch initiators, makers and designers that have started cross-disciplinary collaborative projects focusing on innovative, local, sustainable solutions can connect and share their knowledge and experience with Argentinian colleagues. Thirdly, by creating concrete projects where these initiators, designers and makers work together in a school or workshop setting with students and pupils, new products can be developed for the Argentinian context that can find a wider application in Argentina and Latin America as a whole. These products range from technological applications to service-oriented models. Fourthly, the school or workshop setting of the platform allows for developing for new ways of disseminating design thinking and integrated design approaches, which can be applied elsewhere.
Villa 31 One of the largest urban challenges that Buenos Aires City faces. An opportunity for integrated sustainable development & design technologies in the frame of Government’s goal ‘Pobreza Cero’. Photo: Emiliana Miguelez A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
3a Main conclusions The exploration has been productive and successful. We now have a clear understanding of the local environmental challenges and the needs of the local actors. Besides, we have found potential partners that share our design principles and are committed to work together toward realisation, finding the local medium and financial possibilities to make the cooperation a reality. At the time of this report writing, we are in the middle of a continuing process, exchanging ideas about joint projects with the partners that will be part of the continuation of this project. There is a common ground that represents an ideal scenario for future collaboration. Our talks confirmed there is a mutual interest in sharing knowledge and together develop site-specific solutions using a systemic approach that can be adapted and applied on a larger scale. Among
A Goood Foundation 路 Hola Argentina!
all partners knowledge transfer, in all its forms, was one of the leading motivators. There is a shared need for spreading the philosophy of a more sustainable life and systemic approach. In both countries, the Netherlands and Argentina, we identified common current needs to tackle the sustainable challenges taking into account the contexts, the added value of cooperation, the role of the designer, and the financial and organisational aspects. Resuming all we see three clear needs to be fulfilled: 1.Stimulate an integrated approach and cross overs 2.Raise public awareness and education 3.Realise (more) inspirational practices and concrete projects
Integrated approach / Cross-overs Most of the organisations and makers we spoke to agreed on the importance of working on integrated pilots, where the different themes come together and are considered as part of a larger ecosystem. For example, to find solutions closer to informal urban settlement challenges, it is necessary to understand the nature of the problem and its sources, like the lack of opportunities for people in rural areas who emigrates to make a life round the cities. This applies to other themes as well that are still being approached separately. Beside symptoms solving actions, like improving settling conditions, we need to approach the challenges on an integrated manner, working on structural solutions to reverse the challenges into opportunities. Because the integrated approach is not common sense yet, there is a need for tools and methodologies to put an integrated approach in practice. This represents an opportunity. A related theme is the need of more cross-overs between creative bottom-up initiatives and organisation like government or companies within their CSR programs. Initiatives like Plug-in social or the vegetable gardens of PAU in Rosario, deserve upscaling. A cross-over between privately held and public organisations with such initiatives can make a bigger positive foot print.
Public awareness and education Without the participation of citizens (and that includes all actors) there will be no change in the sustainable direction. This was another common ground agreement with the spoken organisations. The need of rising awareness, inspiring actors, engaging them in the process is something that has to be considered when designing projects or businesses. There are interesting and inspiring pracA Goood Foundation 路 Hola Argentina!
Inspiring investment in Education: Escuela Roberto Rocca in Campana. An opportunitie for creative and sustainable education. Photo: Escuela Roberto Rocca
tices and projects happening but there is a dichotomy between the rising of online awareness in Latin America (sharing and posting about sustainable lifestyle and projects on Facebook, within large communities: 11 millions of fans) and what happens in reality. Awareness and education are intimately linked. There is a need of new approaches toward education at all levels and the stimulation of systemic thinking and design starting from kindergarten until occupations and university grades. The promotion of a circular and blue economy concept, showing the revenue and economic advantages of these systems, could represent awareness and inspiration for the business sector, like it occurs in The Netherlands and other countries.
Inspirational practices and concrete project Related to the topic of increasing awareness is the need for inspirational practices and concrete projects. Whether it is the initiative of Amartya Quinta Esencia or the need for mechanical tools for small and medium scale
Inspiring investment in Education: Escuela Roberto Rocca in Campana. Photo: Escuela Roberto Rocca
organic agriculture of Pampa Organica, putting sustainability in practice, experiment, prototyping and scaling up is the design challenge. Therefore, people with technical skills and/or interest to learn how to put theory in practice are needed. There is a big need for technical design students and interns to proceed and grow the initiatives. As well to tackle bigger issues like the sanitation of the Riachuelo, APRA was looking for best practices and small pilot projects to discover the key to a sustainable manner of cleaning the river, offering multiple win-winwin situations for the local population, the businesses and the river itself. At the same time, based on our experience working in sustainable design and architecture, what represents an opportunity is the young graduates from both Argentinean and The Netherlands that are looking for spaces to practices their knowledge on sustainable design within its different disciplines (architecture, industrial design, etc.). There are not many places yet to practice this kind of design approaches. (See also new role of designers)
3b Bilateral collaboration For both the Netherlands and Argentina: The combination of both, the methodically and integrated Dutch approach and the flexible and fast Argentinean way, could be of great value for the results of the cooperation. The exchange of knowledge learning from other local perspectives both will put sharper focus on local qualities and inspire new ideas by giving access to a larger knowledge base. For Argentina (Latin America): • The international collaboration can help increasing the value and liability of local bottom-up initiatives, like it happened with the Tango in the beginning of the 20th century, that by being recognised in Paris made it more valuable and recognised in its own land. As in The Netherlands many bottom-up initiatives are being considered valuable laboratories for new solutions by large companies and government, we think an exchange around these examples can help rising the image of the creative industry or bottom-up initiatives toward more collaboration between sectors (cross-overs). • Certain technologies and knowledge from The Netherlands related to specific themes like water management, circular economy or integrated approaches, are interesting concepts to be adapted and considered in the Latin American context. For The Netherlands (Europe): • The opportunity of learning about development challenges in Latin America and the market that it opens.
A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
Collaborative Vision Brainstorm with Amartya Management Team at the Dutch Embassy in Buenos Aires.
Cooking up ideas for the presentation of Gunter Pauli in September 2016, with Amartya, Carlos Levinton and Club de Roma Capítulo Argentino.
• Learning the qualities of working and living in an always shifting society which forces to act with flexibility, fast action, continues adaptation of plans.
that came to finish ‘their work’ or ‘their papers’, and took time from them and without leaving any benefits.
• Experimenting and Learning by doing can be ‘faster’ than in The Netherlands because of the availability of pilot grounds and differences in legislation. • Certain successful social innovation strategies and the combination of social and low-technology systems developed in Argentina could be a great value for some social challenges in The Netherlands, like refurbishing socially deprived neighbourhoods (with social problems like loneliness among the elderly), or temporary housing e.g. for students or refugees .
Important considerations for a successful bilateral collaboration Starting a collaboration where both parts are equal and can benefit from each other is crucial. The fact that we came with questions like which are your challenges and needs and how we could help to tackle them together, was very welcome. Several organisations had bad experiences with the posture of external international parties,
The government workers we spoke with, as well as the people from PAU in Rosario, Amartya, Pampa Organica and others, all prefer a bottom-up approach supporting biodiversity reconstruction, with small scale pilots that can be replicated and upscaled, over an exclusive topdown large scale one-size-fits-all approach. The last important consideration is based in the financial structure of the bilateral corporation. All parties acknowledged that for a level playing field in the corporation as well the financial structure should come from both parts. Within Argentina funding possibilities are maybe not as widespread as in the Netherlands, but nonetheless all parties had external financial sources. Main objective however is to develop a sustainable business model, in which all gain.
Our role · New role of designers From A Goood Foundation we explore a new role of designers. We see our own role in this international collaboration as connector and mediator between local
initiatives, co-initiators of concrete projects and as coordinators and teachers of a practical learning environment that allows different groups and individuals to be part of the design processes. We try here to design the stage to accelerate the transition, helping local actors that are working in the field: emphatic, supportive, complementary and making use of what already exists. We facilitate, develop design tools and methodologies, and introduce ‘design’ in existing local practices. We will also involve other like-minded designers – both from Argentina and the Netherlands - and put them on stage as professionals with a very specific expertise. Through the school format we are developing we want to stimulate the new role of designers as facilitators of the process in the practice, coaching other designers to learn by doing this role.
3c Next steps In the coming months the project ideas and possibilities for the Dutch creative industry will have a follow-up. Already we are exchanging ideas with the selected potential partners we spoke to and searching for funding possibilities. In the next phase the aim of the project will be to apply for funding for the first activities & pilots to reinforce the partnership, to become self-supporting developing a business model and/or integrating the project in a public policy program to sustain in the long term. The graphic here next gives an overview of needs to respond and the selected ideas of activities that have been discussed with the Argentinean partners (see further Partners)
strategy / needs to respond • • • •
exchange of knowledge network expansion cross-overs stimulation consolidation of the collaboration
• exchange of knowledge >> • matching initiatives • increasing network
• • • • • • • • •
exchange of knowledge more practice / prototyping / increase public awareness concrete projects examples of integrated approach bringing systemic (social) design knowledge to the local initiatives rescue of technology hands-on help
• increase public awareness/education
Ideas of activities Yearly seminar & workshops La Ciudad Circular
Mapping (& matching) of initiatives
Exemplary (mirror) pilots projects in bilateral collaboration within the concept of ‘goood practices school
Making educational programs ‘new style’ for all educational levels in bilateral collaboration
A Goood Foundation will proceed with the establishment of the Dutch - Latin-American platform as well as the development of the design school of goood practices, A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
where professionals and students can learn about sustainability getting down to work. The planning, viability and feasibility of these activities are being studied. Activities are complementary and related. We think the establishment of such an international program can served as an umbrella and a goood foundation for knowledge exchange and doing business with The Netherlands in a creative and friendly atmosphere.
Possible pilot projects Speaking to so many parties, left us with a variety of potential pilot projects where the Dutch creatives can contribute. Most clear project possibilities have been found here: • Villa 31: Slum area close to the centre of Buenos Aires under highway which is a focus area of Agencia de Protecciòn Ambiental from the city government (APRA) and Universidad de Palermo (UP), which as project partners could provide financial and organisational support.
• Campana: In this area north of Buenos Aires FOVISEE is active and it is home to Grupo Techint which as a project partner could provide financial support in turn for learning opportunities for the Campana technical school. The approach of FOVISEE could be enhanced by involving initiatives like Plugin Social, thus forming a more integrated strategy. • Peri-urban zone of Buenos Aires: around Buenos Aires different initiatives are active such as MAPO, promoting organic produce, as well as a number of small urban farming projects and a research project on solid waste management run by the government agency INTA. • Peri-urban zones of Rosario: In Rosario there is a well-established urban farming project run by PAU comprising of several gardens with connection to organic producers in the area, that are part of Pampa Organica and an interest in extension of the project’s sustainable food production into the peri-urban zone around Rosario.
Galpon PAU Design challenge at PAU Rosario:In need of smart and theft proof greenhouse building systems. A Goood Foundation · Hola Argentina!
• Quinta Essentia in Coronel Vidal: This is a pilot project in progress by Amartya for sustainable rural living. The ambition is to scale up to the local community and local region and from there on nationwide. • Riachuelo: The Rio Matanza-Riachuelo is a tributary of the Rio de la Plata running along the south of Buenos Aires City. It is strongly polluted. To properly address this pollution the river and its banks have to be treated, and settlements along the riverbanks have to be re-allocated or redesigned. This challenge is high on the agenda of the Government at National, province and city level, which as a project partner could provide financial and organisational support. Initiatives as Plugin Social and FOVISEE could together with similar Dutch initiatives work on solutions and their implementation for this type of assignments. The local government organisation APRA proposes the specific location of the Ecologic Reserve Lago Lugano in Villa Soldati. And other possible location is Barracas district, where there are different little industries at the side of the Riachuelo and CMD is active.
Buenos Aires Metropolitan Design Center.
4 Organization and Team
This project is an initiative of A Goood Foundation, that aims to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable society. The foundation initiates and support projects in collaboration with other organizations (from public and private sectors) with the focus on increasing public awareness, transfer knowledge and generating sustainable practices for starters and professionals working on sustainable design. What characterizes A Goood Foundation is the use of tools and design methodologies to approach social, environmental and economic challenges on a creative and integrated way. The foundation, based in Amsterdam, has a multidisciplinary network of professionals and organizations with vast experience in the field of sustainability in different areas.
Paul de Graaf
More information: www.pauldegraaf.eu
Content and contact with actors and organizations in the Netherlands and Argentina (1970) Caro is a consultant, architect, designer and creative social entrepreneur, originally from Buenos Aires, with 18 years of experience in the field of design and sustainable development in Argentina and The Netherlands. In 2004 she established her practice in Amsterdam working as a consultant and leading innovative organisations that realised projects in the field of sustainable development, working with and for different social organizations, companies and municipalities. Caro is currently director of A Goood Foundation. More information: www.caroisern.com
Content and contact with actors and organizations in the Netherlands. (1972) Paul is an expert in the field of sustainable integration of urban agriculture and other multi-functional living systems in the city. As an architect and researcher he investigates possibilities for designing city and countryside as a sustainable socio-ecological system; reintroducing natural processes and ecological principles in the human habitat. He is co-founder of Edible Rotterdam and a number of other urban agriculture related initiatives, initiated the Rotterdam Forest Garden Network and is a member of the Rotterdam Metabolists.
General organization and research of international collaboration formats (1972) Remco is a consultant and project manager in the field of change management and performance improvement. Besides his work for A Goood Foundation, he works as a change manager for clients in the public and private sectors. Remco has lived in Argentina, speaks the language and knows the local customs. In this project, he assists the organization in general and with the development of the framework for sustainable bilateral cooperation between Argentine and Dutch organizations in particular. More information: https://nl.linkedin.com/ pub/remco-meijer/1/aa2/506
A Goood Foundation 路 Hola Argentina!
A Goood Foundation 路 Hola Argentina!
Colophon: 漏 a goood foundation, Amsterdam 2016 all rights reserved No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in automated files, or made public in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the owner Texts Caro Isern, Paul de Graaf, Remco Meijer Editting Martin Vos Graphic Design Carolina Giraldo Nohra Image credits Caro Isern and Paul de Graaf, except when is mentioned in photos. Hola Argentina project is made possible by the Creative Industries Fund NL and the kind support of The Dutch Embassy in Buenos Aires.
A Goood Foundation 路 Hola Argentina!
a goood foundation 2016
A Goood Foundation 路 Hola Argentina!
In the period of November 2015 until January 2016, A Goood Foundation executed the international exploration called Hola Argentina, with the...
Published on Mar 7, 2016
In the period of November 2015 until January 2016, A Goood Foundation executed the international exploration called Hola Argentina, with the...