A report by Teddy Tops

Age of Wonderland
Jan 29, 2018 · 4 min read

What gives you energy?

This daily talk in People’s Pavilion starts differently: with an exercise. October may have shown its sunny side yesterday, today is classic Dutch Design Autumn. So Catherine Enane, who had her Day of Learning yesterday, starts with an energizer: in a circle, we’re rubbing our hands together, putting the warm hands on our cold cheeks — eyes closed, and warming the people next to us. We start with our personal energy: to keep ourself and each other warm.

We stay in a circle: Arne Hendriks (curator AoW, Netherlands), Christine Wagner (Hivos, Germany), Bennie Meek (urban designer, Netherlands), Catherine Enane (performer, Kenya), Ephraim Whingiri (entrepreneur, Zimbabwe), Marnix van Holland (Hivos, Netherlands) and all the people that joined the talk out of interest. We come together to talk about a different subject each day — Energy this time — with the people who will have their Day of Learning that day.

“The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.”

Bennie Meek starts of by talking about wanting to turn the negative energy we have (mostly) online into positive offline energy; “We actually have a word for negative weed in dutch: onkruid. I think that says it all. I want to turn that into something positive: how can we úse this unwanted weed, how can the city benefit? I gather round all kinds of people and talk about this urban subject until we’ve found a positive outcome. It’s organizing the city by thinking differently.” Ephrem Whingiri thinks differently too, and tells us a bit about his Day of Learning in which he will share his story on how he uses earthworms to make a difference. Earthworms according to him are an answer to a lot of our problems both in the city and in rural areas: they make compost out of waste, they neutralize (sewage) water and can be used in medicine, just to name a few examples of the positive energy earthworms can bring.

Passion and vision

Marnix Holland zooms in and talks about personal energy: the energy that makes you get up in the morning, the passion that keeps us going and makes us ambitious about all kinds of stuff. The energy from within. Arne Hendriks adds that this is also what we want to create with these Days of Learning: sparks between people that start a motion with people from all over the world. Joining us also today is Maurijn de Heus (explorer, Enexis/Enpulse) who worked with Ahad Katera, one off the former Age of Wonderland fellows, in one of the earlier Days of Learning. Am working for an energy network company, hiding literally underground for years, like earthworms. Now we are opening up, working towards sustainability, talking to people. “By asking questions together enlarged our vision as a company. Actually this is has become my vision as well, asking questions on the way is the greatest energy I receive.”

“Prejudice, assumptions and expectations shape the image we have about persons or event. We need to collect the right information to really connect.”

Catherine Enane says that asking questions really worked for her in her Day of Learning yesterday. It brought tears to her eyes to see how people tend to connect when you share information. She was extra grateful. Something we have a Day of Learning about later today by Branly López. Passerby’s join in and tell what energy means to them personally, how they use it and what they think of all the meetings to come. One of the audience members says “Energy to me is a force to keep yourself relevant. This talk is a confirmation of that.”

Earthworms: The Unheralded Soldiers of Mankind

They eat waste, kill pathogens, convert organic solids to rich fertilizer, double their biomass every 60 to 90 days, neutralize water, they’re usable for human medicine, good for your blood pressure ánd divert waste from landfills. They are already used to reuse water in sewers. Also they are pink, slippery and slimy. Yes, we are talking about earthworms. Ephrem Wingwiri teaches us in his Day Of Learning that all we have to do is listen to earthworms, and we’ll be able to change the world. They make you look at your waste from a different perspective. They’re good for humans, the environment and the economy. Earthworms: your new spirit animal.


This Day of Learning was part of Age of Wonderland’s Daily Talks.
At the core of World Design Event, People’s Pavilion at Eindhoven’s Strijp-S, Age of Wonderland hosted a daily talk show. Each day focused on a specific topic: Activism, Energy, Ecology, Learning by doing, Sense of self, Community, Intimacy, Empathy and Empowerment.

visit www.ageofwonderland.nl to find out more about this program.

100 DAYS OF LEARNING

A journey from knowledge to wisdom — turning lessons into action

Age of Wonderland

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100 DAYS OF LEARNING

A journey from knowledge to wisdom — turning lessons into action

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