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BASF's Creator Space Tour Engaging Experts, Citizens Worldwide to Solve Global Issues

Chemical giant BASF is on a mission to connect people and ideas in six locations worldwide with the Creator Space™ tour, a yearlong event series aiming to address challenges in the areas of energy, food and water, and urban living. The first stop, in Mumbai, India, will take place from January 16-23 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum), with a focus on water sustainability.

The tour is part of BASF’s global co-creation program, Creator Space. Led by local, interdisciplinary, internal and external teams from areas such as architecture, art, design, science, government, technology and sustainability, each city stop in the Creator Space tour will explore a locally relevant topic. Following the first stop in Mumbai, the tour will visit Shanghai, New York, São Paulo, Barcelona and Ludwigshafen. Topics will range from sustainable consumption, to housing of the future, to intelligent solutions along the energy value chain.

“The 150-year history of BASF shows that chemistry is an enabler for new ideas and solutions. In our anniversary year more than ever, we are connecting people and ideas to make meaningful contributions to society in accordance with our corporate purpose: ‘We create chemistry for a sustainable future,’” said Sanjeev Gandhi, member of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF SE.

First stop: Water sustainability in Mumbai

Access to clean water is one of the most pressing issues in the rapidly growing metropolis of Mumbai. Almost a fifth of the world’s population lives in India, but the country has access to only 4 percent of the world’s fresh water resources. Is it possible to improve access to safe, affordable water through changes in technology, policy and behavior?

At the Creator Space tour stop in Mumbai, more than 250 water experts, business professionals, NGOs, academia and interested citizens with different perspectives and expertise will discuss solutions to this question and other important challenges. Ideas about how to improve water accessibility, water quality, and policy and behavior will be developed in customer innovation workshops with employees and the public.

Creator Space Mumbai also includes:

  • Creator Space Summit, a top-tier expert summit bringing together specialists in water technology, water policy, water quality and water consumption behavior for intensive collaboration on solutions for Mumbai’s water challenge
  • A collaborative project with Save the Children, using the Empathic Design methodology to tackle water issues
  • An awards ceremony for the “Wat(er) is the matter?” short film competition and an inter-school drawing competition
  • Public and employee jam sessions on better ways to manage organic waste and save water through composting, and responsible water consumption, respectively
  • An innovation workshop on industrial wastewater management with customers and additional stakeholders from industry and public administration
  • An R&D event designed to foster dialogue between young scientific talent and experienced researchers from academia and industry

In addition to the Creator Space tour, key elements of the Creator Space program include Creator Space online, and three Creator Space science symposia — in Ludwigshafen (smart energy), Chicago (food) and Shanghai (urban living).

BASF isn’t the only enterprising company turning to the public for fresh ideas and solutions to some of our most pressing social and ecological challenges: In the past year, Unilever — a big believer in crowdsourcing the next great idea — launched the Unilever Foundry, a platform that provides startups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and work on global projects, access mentoring from marketing professionals, and tap into funding through Unilever Ventures. The company also gleans ideas and provides capital for a variety of leading-edge solutions through competitions such as Launchpad and “The Next Big Thing” — both aimed at finding tech solutions — and its Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards, designed to inspire young people around the world to tackle environmental, social and health issues. Meanwhile, the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence developed the Climate CoLab — a global online community designed to pool intelligence through a series of contests, in which community members can propose ideas for new actions or entities that address climate change.

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