Slander, or when the end justifies the means

Sadly, these news are dedicated to a very unpleasant topic: ZERAP Germany e.V., the association running this website, was subject to repeat acts of libel during the past weeks. Numerous people received letters with unspeakable slander, however the alleged author in whose name the letters were sent was completely oblivious as to the whole matter. This means that two crimes were committed: libel or “defamation” as the lawyers say, and identity abuse, as an attempt was made to lay the blame for that crime on a third party. We consider this behaviour truly pathetic.

The context of the libel appears to be a conflict between our board and Gunter Pauli regarding the brand “Blue Economy”. In 2009, Mr. Haastert and Ms. Kuhlemann founded and established the Blue Economy together with Gunter Pauli. 2012 a dispute ensued when the trademark was supposed to be transferred to a foundation, establishing transparent rules regarding the rights to use the term “Blue Economy”. In the context of a mediation, Pauli agreed to this step in mid-2012, but shortly after wanted to know nothing more of it. Ever since, there has been a conflict – more details can be found in this magazine article (in German).

Over the past years, both Gunter Pauli as well as several of his contacts have used the occasion of this very concrete dispute to derive the right to disseminate slander, probably out of frustration since no solution seemed in sight. Each incident was brought before the courts and the plaintiffs won every case. Unfortunately, there appears to have been no insight that lies and insults cannot be a solution (apart from the fact that they are liable to prosecution). We expressly dissociate ourselves from such conduct; if that’s what Blue Economy stands for, then we don’t want anything to do with it!

In October, the decision was taken to stop the process of establishing a foundation for the protected trademark “Blue Economy” and to place the brand ‘open source’ with the sole condition that in turn, Gunter Pauli’s texts on the matter also become open source respectively copyleft. In doing so, we hope to deprive the conflict of its basis and bring the topic to a close. Since Pauli’s contacts appear not to have heard of this proposal, it is hereby made public.

Bild: Roger W unter creative commons Lizenz


Blue Ideas

Currently, allBlue Ideas presented on the Blue Economy website are being updated.
Many are now more than four years old and we want to show how much progress has been made in the meantime.

In addition to this, the pool of ideas and innovations that we publish about will grow.  We will be leaving the limitation of 100 and expand the pool continuously. This allows us to reflect the newest developments both in the markets as well as from the research side.

The first new example which we are presenting today is straw and the enormous potential in its broad range of possible uses and applications.
We hope to inspire our readers with valuable input for their own projects and undertakings.

If you have ideas or know of good examples which you believe the Blue Economy Foundation should present online, please do let us know!
We look forward to receiving your suggestions or hearing of your own experiences.




Straw – the next eco-innovative pacesetter

Straw – the next eco-innovative pacesetter

by Markus Haastert, Anne-Kathrin Kuhlemann

Background: Biomass and natural ecosystems

c101_straw_01 Straw – the next eco-innovative pacesetter Examples

The effort towards lessening the impact of negative human activities on the environment is yet to grow. The European Union stated that eco-innovation is not always about new materials, it can also be about finding new approaches to old materials. Imagine that straw, one of the most underutilized agricultural residues is assuming a leading role in the eco-invention of energy mix and building construction? This may be evidence that global greenhouse gas emission would be lessened to 80 percent by 2050 to thwart the risks associated with environmental degradation. The trending innovative and sustainable use of straw may just be the much-awaited environmentally solution.
The ecosystem produces plenty of natural biomass waste, such as forest, wood and agricultural products. Composting of natural biomass waste converts such wastes into valuable soil amendments, enhancing soil quality through a controlled process by stabilizing organic material.  Composting is highly beneficial in the farming industry, as it improves crop growth, destroying weed seeds, as well as plant and human pathogens. Agricultural straw residue is normally used for composting. Straw is a complex carbon made of cellulose, hemi-cellulose, and lignin; which are components that are resistant to decomposition. Such components are common in plants, providing them with stability and strength. When erosion or grading control permits are required as per local regulations, farmers tend to create 1 or 2 percentage of straw bay hales, as it helps reduce erosion (Brewer et al, 2013).
Currently, a vast amount of unused agricultural straw residues exists around the world. China, India, and the United States are ranked as the major producers of wheat and rice straw residues (Mantanis et al, 2000). China produces more than approximately 620 billion tons of straw a year, ranking as one of the most abundant straw producers in the world. China’s usage of straw for energetic purposes improves environmental protection and sustainable development in a continuous growing-economical nation (Zeng & Ma, 2005).
The production of straw is considered a risk to some farmers, as haulms may break during storms or strong winds. Shorter stem crops have been bred in order to assist with mechanized harvesting, significantly reducing wind damage. Long stem straws injured by hail usually break due to strong winds, or are simultaneously damaged by diseases (Paulsen, 1997). Therefore, farmers prefer crops with shorter stems, such as cereal crops, which are bred to grow shorter. Consequently, biomass production composed of long-stem straws is significantly reducing, affecting negatively the environmental benefits of its usage.
We all know straw, the agricultural by-product; the dry stalks of cereals we leave in the farm after the grain and chaff have been removed. This dry stalk makes up about half of the yield of cereals crops such as oats, rice, rye, barley, etc. These dry stalks are gathered and stored in a straw bale. It’s surprising to know that inasmuch as this residue is considered of less value, its uses are amazing, much more its unimaginable emerging innovative uses in the future energy mix and construction of houses.

Innovation: from food to carbon-negative buildings

You would marvel at the historic and immediate use of straw across the globe. We are used to using straw as animal feed— roughage component of diet to feed cattle or horses. It is used in basketry for making bee skeps and linen baskets and bedding for livestock or humans. Surprised? Straw-filled mattresses referred to as palliasse is still in use in many part of the word – not least due to the positive health effects the silica contained in many straws, e.g. from rye and rice, reportedly have. In fact, silica converted to silicon carbide (SiC) has dozens of industrial applications ranging from electronics to jewelry. Straw itself is used in areas such as erosion control in construction sites, hats production, and production of cucumber houses, cultivation of mushrooms, mulching materials, production of ropes and shoes especially in Korea’s Jipsin sandals, production of compostable food packaging materials and in paper-making.
Straw is now used to develop safe, energy-efficient and sustainable construction practices across the globe. The materials are locally available and could easily be used to produce comfortable, safe, affordable, durable, and aesthetic alternative to costly and environmentally-unfriendly alternatives. In People’s Republic of China for instance, straw-bales construction is currently in vogue to build houses and other public buildings using waste rice straw. As at 2005, over 600 houses have been completed and the benefits are amazing especially its eco-friendly benefits. It has significantly reduced coal consumption and CO2 emissions; lowers risks of respiratory disease and offer much resistance to earthquakes, etc.

c101_straw_02 Straw – the next eco-innovative pacesetter Examples

In Lithuania, the Ecococon’s straw panel is another clear example of successful straw potential in building industry. The panels are from straws tightly-packed into wooden frames which are used to build houses built on wooden bases and mounted on a waterproof layer; once built the houses would be plastered as traditional brickwork. The house can be long-lasting and not easily burnt, as report shows that it can be used for decades or centuries. The construction is low-intensity with no need for concrete or high-energy consuming equipments. In fact, at the end of the house’s lifespan, the company said it can be dismantled and the materials reused. This reduces environmental degradation associated with demolition of brick-built houses and thus promotes environmental health.
In the English city of Bradford, a whole business park is built with straw. The Inspire Bradford Business Park comprise two buildings which provide 2,800 square meters of shared facilities, workshops, offices including rooms and café. This park is believed to be Europe’s largest straw constructions. It’s built in accordance with sustainable principles having met the rating for energy efficiency of the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method.
The potentials of straw seem so remarkable that the European Union supports EUROCELL project with €1,611,096 through its Competitiveness and Innovation Programme. This project is geared towards researching the certification of straw panel building as a basis for market development and acceptance of the approach. It’s important to note that Modcell is a partner in this project. Modcell is one of the first products to make extensive carbon-negative building a commercial real existence. It employs the remarkable thermal insulation qualities of straw bale and hemp construction to form prefabricated panes. This aids construction of super-insulated, high-performance, low energy buildings with renewable, carbon sequestering, locally-sourced and sustainable building materials.

Potential: A source of energy
Most eco-aggressive development agencies across the world are currently employing straw as option in their possible future energy mix. In Germany, the findings of TLL (Thueringian regional institute for agriculture), the DBFZ (German biomass research centre) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) showed a promising result.
The findings of this experiment which employed a total of 30 million tons of cereals straw produced annually revealed that 8 and 13 million tons of straw could be used sustainably for energy or fuel production. This undoubtedly highlights the potential contribution of straw to renewable sources of energy. The finding further showed that this potential could give 1.7 to 2.8 million average households with electricity while providing 2.8 to 4.5 million households with heating.
This is a potential energy alternative and environmental remedy to unsustainable energy production. With the rising demand for electricity which is expected to rise to 2.7 times higher by 2025, straw may be the pacesetter in scaling up power supply that will meet world demand of electricity without compromising ecological health. This means that there is hope for production of over 90% of cleaner energy that must replace coal and natural gas plant. Does this seem a daunting task?
Straw has such numerous benefits, it seems we urgently need to reverse the current trend towards shorter haulms. The many researchers dedicated to developing different types of varieties resistant to winter hardiness, strong winds, hail and storms (Limagrain Cereal Seeds, 2010) are hopefully also focusing on strengthening haulms instead. For the production of wheat straws, new varieties of wheat are constantly created, undergoing testing by the National Variety Trials Project (NVT), and the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) in the United States (Shackley et al, 2014). The creation of long stem crops with stronger haulms and highly resistant to hardiness are necessary. When combined with traditional farming techniques such as hedge growing would allow for the continued production of plentiful straw.

c101_straw_03 Straw – the next eco-innovative pacesetter Examples

The innovative and environmental-friendly use of straw in boosting global energy mix and in cushioning the effect of harmful practices and environmental degradation associated with building construction is the new phase of eco-invention. The use of straw in all its forms is reliable, sustainable, portable, affordable, comfortable, abundant and flexible; thus, it offers a great alternative for the world’s clean energy demand.  Straw, it seems, is the leader in our future eco-inventions.


This text was scanned to ensure it contains no plagiarism using

CCcopy Straw – the next eco-innovative pacesetter Examples  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.



Brewer, L., Andrews, N., Sullivan, D., & Gehr, W. (June 2013). Agricultural composting and

water quality (EM 9053). Oregon State University Extension Service. Retrieved from

Paulsen, G. (May1997). Growth and development. Wheat production handbook. Kansas State

University Agricultural Experimental Station and Cooperative Extension Service. Retrieved from

Mantanis, G., Nakos, P., Berns, J., & Rigal, L. (2000). Turning agricultural straw residues into

value-added composite products: a new environmentally friendly technology. Retrieved


Shackley, B., Zaicou-Kunesch,C., Dhammu, H., Shankar, M., Amjad, M., Young, K. (2014). Wheat variety guide for WA. Grains Research & Development Corporation. Retrieved from:

Limagrain Cereal Seeds (2010). What we do. Breeders & development of varieties of wheat. Retrieved from:

Zeng, X. & Ma, Y. (2005). Utilization of straw in biomass energy in China. Thermal Energy

Research Institute, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, People’s Republic of China

doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2005.10.003

Hedgegrows, ditches and open drains are designated as landscape features for the purpose of the

single payment scheme. Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Ireland). Retrieved from:

Economics and funding SIG (June 2007). Valuing the benefits of biodiversity. Retrieved from:

Healthy Garden Workshop Series, maximizing your harvest. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved from:

Photos (Sources):


New Year’s Greetings 2015

An exciting year has come to an end for Blue Economy.

Thanks to all those that have helped make Blue Economy a community of success with no guru.

„We should not be a synonym for me“ and many people have asked for a clear definition of Blue Economy. Therefore, we are looking forward to the Blue Economy Foundation to pick up its work this year. Scientists and protagonists of sustainability will begin to develop and spread clear-cut criteria for Blue Economy according to transparent processes.

We wish every one of you a Happy New Year
and invite you all to contribute to this task.


And it has only just begun… !

This is the best way to describe the present situation of the Blue Economy.

Fife years after successfully starting the campaign, we can see a continuous dissemination of the concepts and principles of the Blue Economy. Who could have imagined that publishing a business case per week would have such an effect. Many have heard Blue Economy keynotes, and besides the numerous workshops that were held quite a few people have begun to reflect on their actions within the present economic system and gathered their courage to break new ground within entrepreneurship.

This is often compared to David and Goliath, to the struggle of the small versus the big. My opinion is that this reflects the courage of every single entrepreneur, to see his or her own business model as a whole, including all of its consequences from the value-added chain and the product’s life cycle – not merely the so-called “sustainable” core business between purchase and sale. If designed correctly, then a profitable business emerges, with multiple cash flows that can still be orientated without any compromise to nature. The good feeling of living a futurable way of life as well as the balance between economy, ecology and social responsibility make the concept so compelling, as well as competitive.

An openness towards developing new solutions tends to emerge in places where the need to change is most urgent. So it is no surprise that it was in the marginal zones where the ideas of the Blue Economy have been adopted at first. Small countries, regions or rural areas, all these are most affected by the fluxes in demographic and global tendencies. It is in these places that jobs are lost the fastest, accompanied by a loss of culture and identity. The Blue Economy provides inspiring examples of how innovations emerge in the most simple of circumstances in the developing world (such as with pulp to protein) or how the most remote areas of Europe have integrated inventions into their daily life – based on common-sense necessity.

Now the metropolises are slowly joining the movement. The continuous reports from the marginal zones have motivated and resulted in an increasing number of implementation of ideas from the Blue Economy in cities. In Germany, Berlin was the first in installing a clustered cascading system. From mushroom cultivation on coffee grounds to combined fish and vegetable productions in inner-city greenhouses, to research and development of new solar systems with European partners; here a network has emerged which implements the cascading system without compromise, always focused on creating products which are cheaper and better.

You are all invited to join the Blue Economy. Thousands of contacts are needed to generate a successful implementation, but every new company creates five to ten jobs on average. This is where the force to change emerges. No matter where you are; in London, Paris, Dublin, Oslo or Madrid: Start building up networks of success and help the Blue Economy to reach its objective of generating jobs. On this pathway you will become acquainted with many new ideas and innovations. Feel free to form alliances, but also check their quality. For this end, Blue Economy principles have been developed which you can look up at

The Blue Economy Foundation as umbrella organization and an independent network of experts have taken on the task of further developing these principles in 2015. This equates to a lot of work ahead of us in which we can use your support. Embrace the principles and utilise them, for they give you components for competitiveness and empower you to see the differences between true innovations and those which “just do a little less bad”. When adopting an innovation, set out for the real “game changers”; products which change the rules of the market and which allow you to create new business models.

The Blue Economy provides you with all of this. Don’t wait: act now!

Markus Haastert

Co-founder of the Blue Economy

Blue Economy

In the following months the 100 initial blue ideas which were first published by the Blue Economy since 2009 will be updated

After eight years of continuous research and the implementation of countless projects all over the world, it is now time to go back to the very start of the Blue Economy. In the following months the 100 initial ideas which were first published by the Blue Economy since 2009 will be updated. All the innovations have the same simple principle: imitate nature in its ability to produce no waste, no emissions and cascade everything in a closed system.

“It is our aim to share detailed information about the actual status of the projects which have been realized, based on the inputs of the Blue Economy. Some have failed, some have flourished, some are still fighting to leave the laboratory or prototype status – as in every entrepreneurial reality” says Markus Haastert, one of the initiators of the Blue Economy. In addition to this, Blue Economy will introduce several new innovations which have developed over the last few years. “For this we ask everyone to share his or her ideas with us. We are continuously looking for new ideas and projects and people who have made their own experiences with sustainable innovations” says Haastert.

Several projects have become reality since the first publication of the collection of ideas. Mushroom farming on coffee waste has become a global success story, and aquaponic-systems are being run in all possible scales. Foamglass has become a standard building material in just a few years, and bio-refineries convert waste into several valuable products. Many ideas have also entered the broad academic discourse. The research on heart-pacemakers without batteries has produced first promising results, and also the use of maggots for medicinal purposes is making big steps towards becoming a standard treatment for chronic wounds.

As the published presentation of the innovations are now updated, the aim is to integrate the experiences entrepreneurs made during the implementation of the blue ideas, to share them with the Blue Economy community and of course the public at large. At the same time, however, the cases will receive a more scientific background. For this aim, the team around Markus Haastert, Anne-Kathrin Kuhlemann and Prof. Stephan Breidenbach has been speaking to numerous scientists and researchers which have been involved in implementing the ideas of the Blue Economy.

This comes at a time when the concept of the Blue Economy is more important than ever before. The latest IPCC report warns of catastrophic consequences if emissions and waste production are not drastically reduced. The Blue Economy offers simple solutions which can be easily implemented by everyone who is just willing to try. Many start-up companies have proven that this is not just a fantasy, but reality. The aim of Blue Economy is to provide input on how products can be made with zero waste production and as little emissions as possible while creating jobs and generating social as well as monetary profits – for society and for the entrepreneurs.

The community of the Blue Economy has already developed ideas which will change humanity’s future. In the next years, Blue Economy strives to continue to do so in close collaboration with its community, which is bigger than ever before.

Blue Economy Hosts Innovative Project Week on Sustainability

Blue Economy Hosts Innovative Project Week on Sustainability

New, transferable and interdisciplinary project week on the subject “Energy Self-Sufficient Classroom” at Lutheran School Berlin Center (ESBZ) 
1352120940 Blue Economy Hosts Innovative Project Week on Sustainability We Blue

As part of its Blue Economy® campaign, non-profit organization ZERAP implemented a new, transferable and interdisciplinary project week on the subject “Energy Self-Sufficient Classroom” at the Lutheran School Berlin Center (ESBZ) in September 2012.

Enthusiastically, 14-year-old student Lydia explains the functional principle of the self-built “sewage” system in her classroom. “It cleans wastewater by conveying it through hoses and buckets with different deposits and plants into an aquarium before it is pumped up into the system again.” This technology is only one of many which the students of the comprehensive and integrative class comprising grades 7 to 9 built by themselves during the project week. The development of these technologies contribute to create an energy self-sufficient classroom.

The idea for the project resulted from a one-year cooperation with the school to renew the science teaching. The aim was to create structures which enable the students to find their own ways of gaining knowledge, develop competences and unfold their individual abilities. This is achieved by working independently, leaving room for experimenting and establishing experience-relations as well as by application of the methods Learning by Teaching and Learning by Engagement , given the fact that in science, everything is connected. Additionally the project week made it possible for the students to experience learning as a pleasant, creative and inspiring process. Further goals of the interdisciplinary project week were to sensitize the pupils towards sustainability, inspire them about related professions, and make the children lose their dread of do-it-yourself-constructions. The interdisciplinary mixture of theory, experiments, lectures and practice also contributed to a better learning success.

On the first two days, the students worked through interdisciplinary study contents especially compiled for the project, including small experiments to consolidate the knowledge. They split into the four groups Water & Plants, Energy Conversion, Solar & Electricity and Climate Change. As the final step of the theoretical phase the students passed on the results of their learning to their classmates according to the Teaching Principle “Students Teach Students”.

On the third day, the practical phase began with lectures by professionals in order to inform the students about job profiles and to familiarize them with the addressed topics. Subsequently, the scholars started to build the constructions with partial guidance from the professionals. In particular the executions were supported voluntarily by solar expert Thomas Stodder of EB-Solarled as well as by physicist Moritz von Buttlar who invented the idea of an LED-lamp made of beverage cans.

Besides the wastewater treatment, the students also built an electric circuit based on 12 Volts including a battery, a charge controller and different connections. It is fed by solar modules on the school roof. Furthermore, the students constructed a 12-Volt room lighting with LED ceiling light and LED reading lights self-brazed of recycled beverage cans as well as a current generator tinkered out of an old bicycle and pieces from the scrap yard. They also insulated the decayed old windows of the building as far as possible with insulation foil and rubber seal, kindly sponsored by tesa, pointed out energy-saving deficits and developed specific actions for the classroom.

The project week was a pilot project. In the next steps, the concept will be revised by the students and made transferable to other classes and schools in order to give them the possibility to experience this innovative project week, just as Lydia and her classmates did.

(German titles)

Also visit us on facebook.

UPRISE - The Growth of Blue Economy®

UPRISE – The Growth of Blue Economy®

The first week of September saw Blue Economy Solutions GmbH launch its newest UPRISE project in Germany. 
1347639888 UPRISE - The Growth of Blue Economy® We Blue

Blue Economy in the Consulting World

In other countries, Blue Economy Solutions is working through a network of partner organisations. During the Blue Economy Summit 2013, a training for professionals will be offered to create and strengthen the joint platform for collaboration. If you would like to participate, write to and we will send you further details as they become available.

Over the past two and a half years, Blue Economy® has published 99 cases of how business can be structured differently: creating more with what is locally available, generating multiple cash flows that ultimately lead to solutions which are not only “better” (environmentally as well as qualitatively) but also “cheaper” (i.e. can out-compete conventional products).

Each case offered insights into a specific area, industry or challenge and how “blue” approaches make a difference and offer a new perspective of numerous opportunities. Through systemic design, solutions emerge in unexpected and surprising industries, cascading resources from one business to the other.

Several large consultancies around the globe have recognized the need to rethink their standard model of downsizing and cost reduction. The more obvious benefits of using less resources and generating new products out of “waste” have lead to the publication of a report on the “circular economy” by McKinsey on behalf of the Ellen McArthur Foundation. It outlines the changes in consumption (towards usage) already visible today, shows how minimized material footprints and longevity benefit companies, and how inputs can be cascaded through industries before returning them to the natural ecosystem. Several case studies prove how even large corporates are beginning to move along this path – albeit in small steps.

On a governmental level, Germany took a first step in the right direction when in October 2011, the “circular flow economy law” was published, focusing waste management on the ideal of full-cycles, reusing every in- and output as a resource. Some great examples such as a closed landfill turned power station (wind, PV and biogas) lead the way. The benefits of this legislation for the waste disposal industry alone are significant: the consultancy Roland Berger published a study on September 9, 2012 estimating growth of 9 billion EUR by 2025 for Germany in this area alone. Imagine the possibilities!

Newest Projects in Germany

To enable Blue Economy® examples to scale up, find imitators in other countries and continents but also to spark blue business models in companies, experts with a profound comprehension of blue principles and experience in establishing similar companies are needed. Blue Economy Solutions GmbH was established in spring of 2011 with precisely this focus. We act as coaches and gold diggers: listen first, expose the opportunities that become apparent, jointly develop solutions and then support implementation – always ensuring full ownership of the projects by the clients. We call this process UPRISE: Utilizing Potential, Realizing Innovations, Stimulating Entrepreneurship.

Most recently in September 2012, Blue Economy Solutions kicked-off an UPRISE process in a small village an hour to the west of Hamburg. The 1,400 inhabitants undertook an intense village renewal process in 2010 and 2011 which reaffirmed their commitment to self-engage and take action to find solutions. Blue Economy® is now providing the projects and ideas on how to use the impressive resources and heritage that is locally available, combined with the striking entrepreneurial spirit, to create an economic stimulus and turn Oberndorf into a role model in Germany. Interestingly, it was a group of private villagers who hired Blue Economy Solutions, since the local government is working under tight budget restraints.

The first results will become tangible by the end of the year, some of the possibilities identified have already found teams eager to hit the ground running. Crucial for the success of all projects is the joint vision of where Oberndorf wants to stand in one or two decades. This includes securing the buy-in and support of all stakeholder groups, even or especially in such a small community. To date, teachers, farmers, mechanics, gardeners, politicians, employers, estate owners and energy providers have all declared their keen interest in the project, while scientists and experts from the Blue Economy® network are looking forward to giving their input to business plans and to guiding and coaching the teams during the early stages of implementation.

Growing the Blue Consulting Network

To spread Blue Economy® thinking and consulting services, we have begun partnering with like-minded companies in several countries. Currently, talks about a collaboration are ongoing with firms in Italy, France and the Netherlands. Our partners intend to market UPRISE projects as a part of their service portfolio using the brand Blue Economy®, supporting the name to spread and awareness of ‘blue’ possibilities among companies and political leaders to increase.

The official launch of this blue consulting network will take place at the Blue Economy Summit 2013 and include a training for professionals. The Summit presents an ideal opportunity to interact with many of the innovators and learn from the projects already implemented. We believe in the power of collaboration and in creating beneficial settings for all involved. This network can be a platform for Blue Economy® to grow significantly in reach and relevance, changing attitudes and how business is done – for the better of all our planet’s inhabitants.

Join us in walking this path!


Publication and dissemination of this text, including translations, require prior written consent. Please contact . All rights reserved.
© Blue Economy Solutions GmbH

Click here to download the complete report as pdf.

Schermafbeelding 2014-10-20 om 14.51.58

Education for a Sustainable Development within Blue Economy

In Berlin a cooperation with the Blue Economy has resulted in a transferable instruction concept for the area of sciences. 
1339760539 Education for a Sustainable Development within Blue Economy We Blue

In Germany only 16 percent of all teachers feel that they are “well” or “very well” qualified to teach natural sciences education. According to Prof. Dr. Jörg Ramseger (professor of educational sciences and director of the department of educational investigation at the FU Berlin) the children’s motivation for research, from primary education onwards, is not promoted ambitiously enough by educational officers. “Education starts with curiosity”, says Prof. Peter Bieri. From the early years onwards, children should be motivated in the sciences, because later on, they will mostly lose this interest.

At the Evangelische Gesamtschule Berlin Zentrum (Integrated Evangelical School of Berlin Centre, esbz), a cooperation with the Blue Economy has resulted in a transferable instruction concept for the area of sciences.

The esbz was founded as a reform school with a radical change in learning concepts. As an autonomous school it aims to set an example regarding viable developments. The school is committed in a special way to the ambitions of AGENDA 21, hence it is also called “AGENDA-School”.

The motivation of the team surrounding Mandy Voggenauer, sciences teacher at the school, is based on active and cooperative learning, as well as creative and critical thinking. The teachers take over the role of a moderator within the learning process, encouraging the children to answer questions, to elaborate on a result and to reach solutions independently.

Now, after a one-year-long pilot period, the first results capable of being replicated are available and can be transferred to other schools.

As a first step, the students elaborate on new perspectives based on some fables by Gunter Pauli, in order to learn how everything is interconnected in science. These fables promote systemic thinking and emotional intelligence, the understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of others. Thus, they recognize and respect differences, manage their emotions more effectively and interact respectfully with others. These are crucial aptitudes in the children’s lives, enabling them to cultivate a harmonious relationship with themselves, others and their environment.

Different practical projects are carried out, based on the fables. The production of fertilizers and soil from food waste, plant cultivation, energy generation, flying objects and many more, enabling the students to experience in practice the knowledge acquired in theory.

This open structure quickly provoked a series of socio-political questions: Where does our food come from today? Why are the Earth´s resources used in such an inefficient way? What can each of us do to make some changes at grassroots level? In this way the students better understand and absorb the subjects and their backgrounds, bearing in mind that “education is what is left behind when we forget what we have learned”. (Edward Frederick Lindley Wood).

At the first Parent Campus, the students gave an impressive display of what it means to present their own knowledge and opinions, becoming involved in scientific discussion with their parents.

At the same time, the basic curriculum must not be neglected. “I always care about integrating the curricular subjects into the projects in order to not provide less for the children, but rather give it a finishing touch”, says Mandy Voggenauer.

Now the project at the esbz will enter the next level. During the summer a whole week will be devoted to connecting the philosophy of the Blue Economy and sciences to the elementary school curriculum.

In theory and practical experience, the students will again be taught the sensibility of sustainability, as well as becoming acquainted with different professional fields.

The project week “Autonomous Classroom” is a transferable and multi-disciplinary instructional concept which aims to motivate the students beyond the framework of the regular lessons with its interdisciplinary approach. A systemic subject will be the base to become better aquainted with the details of some other subjects such as German, English, mathematics, sciences and social science.

Markus Haastert, president of ZERI Germany and Blue Economy, has become a committed partner of the esbz. In this way, the school could become a pioneer where “an educational module for the next generation will be developed from this economically, ecologically and socially visionary concept”, affirms Margret Rasfeld, director of the esbz.

Click here to download the complete report as pdf.