Say yes to Singapore: Catalysing change in Asia for sustainability

The city-state was chosen to host the final stop of Berlin-based GREENTECH FESTIVAL (GTF) in 2022, its first edition in Asia, as well as its subsequent two annual iterations. Marco Voigt, GTF’s co-founder, shares why the largest sustainability festival in Europe has even decided to set up a Singapore office too

Singer-songwriter and entrepreneur, JJ Lin (centre), joined GTF co-founder and former Formula One champion, Nico Rosberg (left) and head of conference, Dale Rickert (right), for a fireside chat during the conference opening ceremony
Singer-songwriter and entrepreneur, JJ Lin (centre), joined GTF co-founder and former Formula One world champion, Nico Rosberg (left) and head of conference, Dale Rickert (right), for a fireside chat during the conference opening ceremony

Brought to you by Singapore Tourism Board

The highlight of the inaugural GREENTECH FESTIVAL (GTF) Singapore late last year saw award-winning singer-songwriter and entrepreneur, JJ Lin, in an engaging fireside chat with GTF co-founder and former Formula One world champion, Nico Rosberg and head of conference, Dale Rickert for the conference opening ceremony.

Founded by Rosberg, Sven Krüger and Marco Voigt, the largest sustainability festival in Europe is a hotbed for innovation, inspiration, and ideas, and where green technologies are presented, discussed and awarded.

The final stop of the world tour in the city-state – also its first edition in Asia – welcomed more than 1,000 attendees.

Testimony to Singapore’s ability to marshal change in the region for sustainability, the city-state was chosen to host the trail-blazing two-day affair – a vote of confidence towards its aspirations to become one of the most sustainable MICE destinations in Asia-Pacific.

What’s more – Berlin-based GTF has also established a Singapore office and is set to stage its 2023 and 2024 editions in the city-state.

Held at the famed eco-friendly horticulture attraction, Gardens by the Bay, the sustainability-focused festival, themed Tear down, rethink, rebuild: creating a sustainable world, included a conference, exhibition, Green Awards ceremony and waterways clean-up activation.

The compelling line-up also featured C-level keynotes, panel discussions, start-up slams and bootcamps to further progressive green projects and solutions.

In the third instalment of the Say yes to Singapore series, Voigt, GTF’s co-founder, told TTGmice why the city-state remains the venue destination of choice for its future editions as it continues to open up conversations and collaborations to bring about sustainable transformation globally.

What are some of the highlights at your event in Singapore?
We are very proud of the outcome of our very first GREENTECH FESTIVAL (GTF) in Singapore. Successfully igniting important discussions and partnerships that will catalyse the creation of a more sustainable world, the launch event of GTF Singapore saw over 1,000 visitors and 300 Green Awards guests.

Being the last stop of this year’s GTF World Tour, the event was already a highlight in itself for the founders, team and festival’s partners. But what made it truly memorable was the participation and commitment of GTF’s partners, exhibitors, speakers, attendees and supporters.

We are very thankful for our community that proactively wants to contribute to our future and inspire technological innovations, forward-looking projects and green solutions.

As a platform that wants to promote cross-industry discussions and cooperation, we are extremely proud to see different industries come together to learn from each other and work together to make change happen.

From start-up companies to big players, from environmental activists to politicians, from researchers to CEOs – all stakeholders came together at the wonderful location at Gardens by the Bay to collaborate, discuss, rethink, find new ways and bring the immense potential of green technologies to life.

An absolute highlight was of course JJ Lin’s participation in the opening ceremony of our conference following the personal invitation from our co-founder Nico Rosberg where the singer-songwriter and entrepreneur spoke about how small changes in our personal life can truly make a difference.

At the exhibition, we had many eye-catching showcases that invited visitors to marvel, try out and discover the newest green technologies.

Among others, our founding partner Audi, presented their Urbansphere concept car – offering a radical vision for the future of urban travel, and our Berlin Innovation Green Award winner 2022, Imhotep.Industries, presented their Phantor, a giant atmospheric water generator that can supply water for locations with no groundwater or seawater.

Another partner, Lufthansa Group, demonstrated the fuel saving AeroSHARK technology for airplanes. The sharkskin technology, which was introduced by the Group and BASF, consists of adhesive bionic films that replicate the skin of sharks. The adaption for commercial aircraft enables significant fuel savings and emission reduction. The technology is currently in use at the Lufthansa Group Airlines of SWISS and Lufthansa Cargo.

What made GTF choose Singapore for the event, and why are these considerations important when selecting host destinations?
Our long-term ambition at GTF is to be able to bring amazing stories about green business transformation to a global audience.

Because we are committed to “glocalisation” when it comes to taking green messages to the world, we want to empower people to solve problems as a global community from the local.

That’s why we’re reaching out to international destinations with a diverse programme of high-profile speakers, innovative projects, inspiring personalities, and ideas covering all relevant topics related to sustainability and technology.

Singapore’s incredible sustainability efforts and ambitions have made the city of green possibilities the best destination for green technologies and sustainable business ideas in Asia.

The pillars of the whole-of-nation movement “Singapore Green Plan 2030“ not only strengthen Singapore’s commitments under the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement, they are also as diverse as GTF and touch almost every dimension of our lives.

For us as GTF, there was no other destination that was as suitable for our first edition across Asia. Incidentally, our conviction that Singapore is exactly the right destination is also reflected in the fact that we have now established a GTF Singapore office.

How would you describe your experience working with the event professionals in Singapore?
For us at GTF, there could not have been a more suitable destination for our first event in Asia than Singapore. But our location really blew us away and exceeded all our expectations.

With its underlying concept based on the principles of environmental sustainability, Gardens by the Bay was an absolute dream and the professionalism of our partners on location made the inaugural GTF Singapore edition run flawlessly.

They ensured smooth planning and successful staging of our festival. In my opinion, the whole GTF team and community felt absolutely welcomed in Singapore at any time.

We are confident in the ability of MICE professionals catalysing change (for sustainability), not only in Singapore, but also the entire Asia-Pacific region.

We have, now even more than before, a lot of trust in the MICE professionals in Singapore and cannot wait to bring GTF back to one of the global top spots and one of the most vibrant environments for the MICE industry!

How likely would you return to Singapore for future events?
This is not only very likely, but already certain!

Apart from the many reasons mentioned above why Singapore is a perfect destination for GTF, we have also attracted many partners with a keen interest to return to Singapore, as well as new exhibitors and new prospects through this edition.

With the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between GTF and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) during our press conference on November 17, 2022, we have a firm commitment for GTF to come back to Singapore for at least the next two years!

We are delighted to have STB at our side as an enabler and supporter for GTF Singapore.

All images to be credited to GTF.

Planning a sustainable business event in Singapore?

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