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The Green Shift Festival: a successful first edition



Press release

The first edition of the Green Shift Festival was a great success, welcoming nearly 300 spectators to the Promenade du Larvotto in Monaco over four evenings from 7 to 10 June 2023.

In partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco, the Carmignac Foundation, Imagine 2050, Time for the Ocean, Agir pour le Vivant and the Académie monégasque de la mer, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation's event won over the public with its convivial atmosphere, its committed and inspiring discussions, and the diversity of its speakers' profiles, linked by their commitment to a new approach to our world today and in the future. The challenge of creating a vision of ecology that is both positive and desirable seems to have been met; in any case, this is the wish shared by the change makers invited to this first edition.

Olivier Wenden, Vice-President and CEO of the Prince HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, opened the Green Shift Festival by highlighting its purpose: "To awaken, motivate and galvanise (...) but also to open up broader perspectives and inspire those who want to build new ecological horizons to take action". He added: "I hope that this first edition will feed into our individual and collective commitments. It is time for us to build a different kind of society, one that is not against but at the heart of the living world".


(Re)thinking tomorrow

 The inaugural evening, on Wednesday 7 June, opened with a performance of an acoustic track by Cyril Dion and Sébastien Hoog, from Les Résistances poétiques. This performance set the tone for the discussion between the guests, led by journalist Sarah Doraghi: what "new ecological narratives" do we aspire to in a context of upheaval in our societies and, more broadly, in our world faced with the climate emergency and natural disasters, and what is their power to bring about change on an individual and collective scale? The voices of activism, through the words of Cyril Dion, film director, writer, poet and environmental activist, and Magali Payen, expert in citizen mobilisation, founder of the On est Prêt movement, President of Imagine 2050 and co-founder of Newtopia, met those of the arts, through the words of Charles Carmignac, Managing Director of the Carmignac Foundation, and Olivier Covo, founder and director of Mangroove Music, artistic producer and musician. The power of collective narratives and shared emotion was presented as one of the keys to making our future more desirable, despite the certain challenges that lie ahead. Imagination was described as a powerful tool for encouraging a change in mentalities towards a new way of living together, while respecting planetary limits and social justice. Following on from these exchanges, the evening ended to the hypnotic melody of Cyril Dion's lyrics, evoking the vices of our consumer society and the ecological disaster it causes, whilst never losing sight of the beauty of the world and the power of the ideal to unite and mobilise.


Creation, art & ecology

To mark World Ocean Day, the second evening began with the premiere of the documentary SEA ART, about artist Jérémy Gobé. Directed by Maud Baignères and co-produced by Time for the Ocean and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the film gives an insight into the artist's work. Jérémy Gobé uses ancient skills that he adapts, projects and transforms, using his imagination to suggest solutions to contemporary problems. His "Coral Artefact" programme, for example, launched in 2017, is a project that links art, science, industry and education to save coral reefs.
In the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, the panelists discussed the themes of emotion and wonder as levers for commitment. In a different way to Jérémy Gobé, Monegasque free-diver Pierre Frolla works to highlight the beauty of the ocean and inspire people to protect it. Olivier Ibañez, Director of Communications and Development at the Fondation Carmignac, and Marion Semblat, President of the association Time for the Ocean, as cultural players, are tackling environmental issues through contemporary art and the vision of artists, to help create an inspiring language in tune with today's world.


A committed generation

Designed to be fun and interactive, the Friday evening event brought together a number of committed young people aged between 18 and 30: Victor Auburtin, spokesperson for the On Est Prêt movement, Féris Barkat, slammer, chronicler and climate influencer, Mathieu Ciulla, film-maker, Flora Ghebali, entrepreneur, author and lecturer, and Paolo Luka-Noé, actor and video-maker. Moderated by Yasmina Auburtin, new narratives consultant, and in partnership with Imagine 2050, the round table drew on the diversity of the participants to demonstrate that there are as many paths to commitment as there are personalities, and that everyone, according to their own sensibilities, can contribute to positive change. Campaigning for the respect of our planet, the young guests, with their varied backgrounds and experiences, shared their hopes and their struggle to take action for the world of tomorrow. Their diversity was further enhanced by the evening's original format, mixing genres and disciplines - with references to pop culture, slam poetry and the world of social networks - to offer new forms of mediation and highly emotional discourse.


Poetics of the living

In association with the Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco and Agir pour le Vivant, the closing evening featured a fascinating conversation between writer Wilfried N'Sondé, Jacques Tassin, a researcher in plant ecology, naturalist and writer, and Ernst Zürcher, a forestry engineer. A timeless moment, introduced by a live reading of an extract from Héliosphéra, fille des abysses, d'amour et de plancton (Heliosphere, daughter of the abysses, of love and plankton) by its author, Wilfried N'Sondé. Cradled by the ups and downs of sailing and nourished by the knowledge of scientists during his residency on board the legendary schooner Tara, Wilfried N'Sondé depicts tiny heroes who dare extravagant symbiotic fusions and demonstrate that the most different beings can find a way to get along. The round table, chaired by Raphael Zagury-Orly, philosopher and founding member of the Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco, explored the links between ecological thinking and literary aesthetics, with the aim of proposing a new model of thinking that reconnects us with the living world. Revealing the secrets of nature and their invisible languages, in the abysses as in the forests, the speakers advocated a new possible dialogue.


Parallel events

For students: in collaboration with the Department of National Education, Youth and Sport, 150 students from the Principality's Seconde and Première classes were able to discover the documentary film Animal by Cyril Dion at the cinema.

For professionals: in collaboration with Monaco's Department of Cultural Affairs and Imagine 2050, 20 people from Monaco's cultural and environmental institutions were given the opportunity to reflect on their ideas, with a design fiction workshop entitled "Culture in Monaco in 2040".

For the public: a collaborative activity called "Ocean Flag", supported by the United Nations Ocean Decade, was offered to the public at the Green Shift Festival to mark World Ocean Day. Participants were invited to write or draw on pieces of recycled fabric to create an ocean flag made up of their commitments to the Ocean, which fashion designer and activist Runa Ray will be exhibiting at major international events such as COP28 to raise awareness of the need to preserve the ocean.

©Philippe Fitte / FPA2
©EdWrightImages / FPA2

Click here to read more about the festival