After a few years of always intense dialog and exchanges, since we met the 21st of August, 2017 at a memorable dinner at the Grand Hotel Saltsjöbaden, a Swedish Grande Dame of continental glamour, on invitation of Mr. Mohammed Zaman of Royal Falcon Fleet, designed by Roland Heiler and his team at Porsche Design, I was very glad to accept Aaron Olivera’s invitation to join the distinguished short list of advisors of his Earth300 enterprise.
Earth300 is a global, environmental, multidisciplinary initiative where audacity meets science, say the headline of the company’s website. Aaron is a visionary entrepreneur whose lean start up mindset combined meets ambitions in the scale of a multinational corporation. By making science sexy, he might manage to transform research into entertainment, investments into tomorrow’s environment, and his own personal dreams into vessels for planetary sustainable goals.
Earth300 is a venture with a vision, that is to build the most iconic object of this Century, or the Eiffel Tower of the 2000’s, as Aaron defined the current design of “his” boat. I use the adjective “his” because Aaron must be fully credited for creating from scratch and pursuing with relentless determination and total passion his goal, that is to have such icon sail the seas to envision and invent scientific solutions to save the seas.
By now, after its launch in Aaron’s home base Singapore, Earth300 has been featured in editorial coverage and news launch on any major channel, magazine, and newspaper internationally. The media launch in itself is a best practice of public relations, superior storytelling, and media exposure with relatively limited content but with the strength of a story that is worth reading. I am looking forward to share this superb case history with my students at the various other academic institutes where I am honoured to lecture and research, in the next academic year.
Back in 2017 when we met, Aaron had no rendering, sketch, or team to deliver his dream, whereas -fast forward to 2021, in full Covid-19 swing- he intrinsically motivated some among the finest in design, technology, and science. From Forbes to GQ, from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung to La Repubblica, in Spring 2021 the world took notice of Aaron’s ideas, insights, and vision. Now, the next challenge lies in fundraising. specifying, and prototyping this uniquely inspiring object, that Aaron ambitiously set to be ready in 2025.
As advisor, I will bring on board of Earth300 my past experiences at ItalDesign Giugiaro, at Philips Design as director, and my constructivist expertise in the Social Sciences and Humanities as consolidated at Tilburg University. As based on my dialog with Aaron, I will make available my critical soundboard, Design Thinking and futures visioning by storytelling and fiction, that this very blog and my Medium articles, among scientific publications and books, aim to convey.
There is no job description for creating a landmark, or -as in this case- an icon at sea, and in this sense. Aaron’s team is of course excellently staffed with talents including Ivan Salas Jefferson, Chief Design Officer; John Merrifield, Chief Creative Officer; Prita. S. Leenheer Matur, CMO; Viktor Zykov, Director of Research, Cissy Chen, Creative Director; Jane Koh, HR & Finances; and A rch. Giulio Ceppi, serving as Head of Systems Design. However, before and beyond dream teams, I believe that inspirational ideas are first and foremost co-created and constructed in open dialogs, in the free flow of informal chats during lunches or dinners, and in the everlasting arguments that typically are the salt of the earth in long-term friendships with a true alignment of spirits.
Do we need another new boat? No, I don’t think so. There are many boats, perhaps too many. Do we need a New Gold Dream, as Simple Minds used to sing at the start of the 1980’s decade and since then, celebrate in their live performances all over the world? Absolutely. We do need dreams. Because dreams embodied in objects, make the world wake up, connect, and change. This Spring 2021, with the surprise of many but those who know him, Aaron’s voice and story were heard, and heard was he. Now, it is construction time again for Earth300, as the time of making is ahead. To be there from the start, makes the journey even more worthwhile enjoying.
(Copyright all images: Earth300, 2021).
Originally published at https://www.marcobevolo.com on May 18, 2021.