We came, we saw, we conquered—now we recap the highlights from the year’s Conscious Festival in Singapore, which took place at South Beach last week. Were you there? Whether you were or you weren’t, take a look back through some of our favourite moments.
More than 4,000 people descended upon the Conscious Festival last weekend in Singapore and for that we are grateful. Not because you did us a favour, but because you chose to be a part of shaping a better future. Whether you engaged in activities, attended talks, or just tried an Impossible Burger for the first time, you are one #LittleGreenStep closer to changing the world. We want to thank you for being a part of our mission, and we hope you’ll join us next year (or in Hong Kong in six months). By the way, in case you missed the news, we’re officially headling to Europe in 2020. Details to follow. But for now, here is a rundown of the most favourite moments by the entire team at Green Is The New Black.
A film screening
Opening night was dedicated to the premiere of a ‘Naked Arctic Adventure’, a documentary by Green Is The New Black co-founders that chronicles their expedition to the Arctic earlier this year. Expect a full release of the documentary soon. The film was preceded by a short screening of ‘Poles Apart’, a stop-animation film that takes place in a harsh Arctic landscape, where a hungry and solitary polar bear has to decide if a naïve Canadian grizzly bear is her food or her friend.
The next-level workshops
This year’s Conscious Festival really took it to the next level all across the board; it’s always incredible to hear stories about people transforming, connecting deeper and having breakthroughs. But the workshops especially helped to crack the light. From people feeling transported at the opening ceremony through song and dance, to getting clarity on their direction in life, and understanding what #LittleGreenSteps they can take next helped continue to motivate us to stretch ourselves and do more every time.
A talk on the race to zero-carbon
Quentin Vaquette delivered a talk called ‘The Tree Story’ and really brought it home the idea that solutions to the climate crisis do exist, but that we are the last generation that can actually do something about it. We don’t need a new fandangled technology or science, he explained, but that the answer lies in natural solutions: we need to plant trees! His talk was inspirational and he made it clear there is still hope, but only if we act now.
The youth-driven mini-talks
Kicking off every Talk session was a mini-talk delivered by a speaker under the age of 18, which infused infectious energy into the room. But above all, it was beyond inspiring to hear about the projects that these magnanimous children are undertaking to save our home. Although we come from the same generation, it was blatantly apparent that our motivations and contributions are far from equal— these youth have truly gone above and beyond Mother Nature’s call. If our peers want a thriving planet for our own children to one-day call home, we must step up as boldly as these youth have.
The positive energy
If you left feeling like you were surrounded by positive energy, you’re not alone. Our reflections on the week left us feeling like so many people want to make a change and are willing to work towards it. The climate ‘fight’ can often feel very negative, but after spending a weekend immersed into the community of the Conscious Festival, which is full of likeminded people who are focused on solutions, you realise that people do care and the fight is worth it. We might not all agree on every little aspect, but there is the comfort of knowing we are all working towards the same goal. And that it is a movement full of hope and love.
The poetry by Underground SG
A mother was spotted crying next to her son, who was reading a poem that Underground SG created for her. The tears were good tears; she was happy and moved. The moment left GITNB co-founder also in tears because it’s precisely the feeling that she set out to create on day one: inspiring people to connect more with themselves, with others and with mother nature through emotion.
The wellness breaks
It’s always riveting to sit and listen to all the gifted speakers and panellists who talk us through their passions year after year, but sitting for so long can be tiring too. But like every problem, we find a solution and the answer to this were wellness breaks. Midway between each track, a few moments of movement and breathing were led by Nicole Yau and offered festivalgoers a break. They were always steps that can easily be applied in people’s day to day lives, especially those working long hours.
One of our team member’s ate five plates of Vato’s Impossible Chorizo Tacos. Need we say more? We will, anyway. From Mexican inspired dished to middle eastern plates and of course burgers, concessions were proudly vegan and serving fare that had even the most hardcore carnivores drooling. For anyone curious about trying meat alternatives but isn’t ready to hit that 100% vegan restaurant you keep passing on your way to work but are too intimated to try, the Conscious Festival is a great place to ease your way into it, as proven but yet another team member, whose father left the festival and ordered tofu at dinner, leaving the entire family with mouths agape.
All the immersive and interactive games
We hope everyone had a chance to walk around the second floor and participate in all the enlightening activities that inspired learning. We were especially moved by a game that saw festivalgoers remove microplastics from the sand with chopsticks. We can’t think of a more real way to raise awareness surrounding the issue of microplastics in our oceans. Upon observing the activity, we further saw how shocked people were when discovered the microplastics came from a sample of sand collected at the beach (and not added on purpose). This year’s activities really proved that education through entertainment is a very powerful way to get the message across. Expect more next year.
An impromptu upcycled fashion show
Ultimately proving that sustainability is sexy, models paraded through the festival wearing dressed made entirely from upcycled materials like denim and plastic. Even their shoes were adorned with upcycled materials. The fashion show was organised by Raye Padit from The Fashion Pulpit and made a statement, not just through imaginative designs but also through slogans on signs that read ‘sustainability is US’.
The next Conscious Festival takes place in Hong Kong in 2020. And in case you missed it, we’re heading to Europe in late 2020 as well.