COP28 Artnovation: LASG, Solution 17 join forces with New York University, Coca-cola on climate actions

By Moses Adeniyi

Efforts by Lagos State Government (LASG) and the Creative Youth Community Development Initiative – Solution 17, to build actions around climate solutions, have further extended in partnership with the New York University Abu Dhabi, and the Nigeria Bottling Company, stretching the support base.

NewsDirect had reported that the PremiumTrust Bank had keyed into partnership with the idea.

The partnership would inform the launch of Artnovation – “Tech Meets ART For Climate Change”, a project which commenced on August 12 receiving 12 Innovative Housemates on Friday, September 8, 2023, “to Hack For the Climate towards COP28.”

The Artnovation Housemates of Innovators, Technologists, Artists, Entrepreneurs, Poets, Communicators and Storytellers are expected to cocreate 17 climate solutions, 17 Art for Climate, and generate massive awareness at a global scale.

As the world counts down to the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), the Innovators are harnessing their collective expertise at the Innovation Hub to develop 17 innovative climate solutions, each of which will be transformed into thought-provoking Artworks on 17 Canvases to promote and spur climate awareness worldwide.

The projects that tackle climate change issues using the lens of the COP28 cross-cutting themes (Technology and Innovations, Inclusion, Frontline Communities and Finance) aim to foster collaboration between government, private sector, academics, international organisations, youth groups and artists.

The first set of the artworks was created during a live painting marathon held on Wednesday September 13, 2023, at the Johnson Jakande Tinubu (JJT) Park, at Alausa Ikeja, the Lagos State capital.

The event saw the conversion of the 17 climate startups and social enterprises birthed at the hub into awe-inspiring Art for Climate Change.

While nine of the paintings were created live at JJT Park in Lagos, the remaining pieces will be created at the New York University in Abu Dhabi by October 2023.

“The final exhibition in the United Arab Emirates will feature 17 paintings (representing 17 Sustainable Development Goals) which depict COP28 Thematic Areas,” the Chief Executive Officer of CYCDI-Solution17, Foluke Michael disclosed on Wednesday.

She stated that the creative minds behind the transformative artworks graduated from the School of Literature Nobel Prize Winner, Prof. Wole Soyinka (Arts Professor of Theater, NYU Abu Dhabi) via The Vision of the Child (VoTC) between 2012 and 2019.

“They joined the VoTC Programme between the ages of 8 and 12 years. The project was founded in 2011 in partnership with the Lagos State Government to amplify the voice of Children and Youth whilst driving change by creating solutions to community problems, including climate change.

“The Tech team joined Solution17 for Climate Action in their respective universities between 2018 and 2023”, VoTC and Solution17 nurture, train, and empower young children with creative and leadership skills, fostering networking and the development of various projects for nation-building.

“The Artnovators led by the Directors of Solution17 are Anjola Olanrewaju, Victory Ashaka, Michael Tobi, and Oluchi Nwaokorie (Artists) and Haoma Worgwu, Samuel Oyefusi, Peace Bello, Grace James, Fisayo Adeyemi and Princess Marinay (Technologists and Communicators),” Foluke added.

“Some of the notable startups already emerging from the hub include Ecoventures by Green Marketplace, which houses innovative ventures such as GreenQuest by AgroHusk Wares Limited, Chemotronix by Chemotronic Limited, Greena by Alttene Ventures Limited, ClmAStartup by Artovation, and other creative enterprises committed to social impact and profit,” she added.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, PremiumTrust Bank, Mr. Emmanuel Efe Emefienim (CON), reaffirmed the bank’s unwavering commitment to supporting the Green Startups and Climate Art towards COP28 and beyond.

“Renowned for its dedication to sustainability and environmental responsibility, the bank is excited to host the innovation hub and contribute to the climate change dialogue through the influential medium of Art and entrepreneurship development,” he said.

The live painting event garnered the attendance of Lagos State Government officials and key Artnovation partners from PremiumTrust Bank and Nigeria Bottling Company.

Speaking, Climate Communications Specialist, Princess Marinay said the idea appealed to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu, receiving his full support.

She said the choice of JJT park as the premise for the exercise around the governor’s office, speaks to the essence of the support enjoyed from the Governor.

She said the art adventure is targeted at local and global solutions to push forth projects to break climate barriers in local scope and the world at large.

She said the creative efforts are meant to depict creative solutions to global problems, particularly as they relate to issues on climate.

Speaking, Vice President, Innovation at Solution17, Fisayo Adeyemi, said the concept is about buiding ideas around the world of creative art to generate and promote intelligence powered businesses focused on the same vision of climate consciousness, including smart agriculture and talent sourcing, among others, bearing relevance to green economy.

He mentioned the projects are to translate creative ideas into bankable projects to raise startups contributing to the local economy.

Lagos Youth Ambassador, Amb. Victory Ashaka, said the projects in view were rich in focus for social and environmental impact fusing art with creative innovations.

Mentioning “art is a means to communicate emotions, raise awareness to solve global problems on climate crises”, Ashaka, who is a climate artist, said artists will be telling stimulating stories to raise awareness to stimulate actions on climate.

“Creative art work is a means to an end, we have viable solutions we want to depict to the world,” he said.

According to Foluke Michael, nine of the intended solutions would be completed in Lagos, mentioning the “journey would be incomplete without special mention of Lagos.”

She mentioned that having learnt under Noble Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, the artists will deploy the right school of thought to profer the creative solutions needed.

Mentioning that the dialogue would be completed in Abu Dhabi having signed up with the New York University, Abu Dhabi, with support from 24 other Universities to co-join to create awareness, she said the “world can have desired solutions if the youths are empowered.”

She said with thought provoking ideas, the projects in view aims at creating businesses to empower more youths, disclosing the bigger plan seeks to incubate ideas, which according to her, would by 2030 have birth thousands of start-ups in Nigeria, with massive opportunities.

Recall NewsDirect had reported how the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Gaji Omobolaji, recently launched the “Art for Climate Change” Project.

He disclosed that artists from Lagos would collaborate with Tech Innovators, Experts in relevant fields, students from New York University, Abu Dhabi and the Universities Climate Network United Arab Emirates (UAE), to co-create innovative solutions to problems around key thematic areas relevant to COP28, which will be depicted in ART.

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