Posts tagged with "France"

Zapata illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Zapata × Team Europe

ZAPATA AND TEAM EUROPE JOIN FORCES TO BRING NEW WAYS OF MOBILITY

Zapata Racing is developing into a provider of individual mobility: technology holding Team Europe, led by Lukasz Gadowski, is supporting the company of French entrepreneur and innovator Franky Zapata. Together, they are striving to develop innovative products and position them successfully on the global mobility market.

Zapata Racing is a worldwide leader in developing and manufacturing hydro-flight and jet-powered flight technologies and products. Franky Zapata – “the Flying Man” – has once crossed the English Channel on his flyboard. With its 2016 invention Flyboard Air, Zapata revolutionized the industry and turned a leisure activity into a new extreme sport. The technological breakthrough JetRacer will shape the future of individual mobility. It will be capable of reaching airborne speeds up to 300 km/h and will be able to carry up to 200 kg.

“I consider Franky Zapata a genius engineer and value his humbleness and kindness and culture of delivery and winning”, says Lukasz Gadowski, CEO of Team Europe. “Together, we aim to make Zapata Racing a global leader. From France, we want to inspire the U.S. and the rest of the world. It’s not what you see today at Zapata – it’s the roadmap that is so exciting.”

Franky Zapata, founder and CEO of Zapata Racing: “Lukasz Gadowski is very experienced in building successful businesses. What started to be a leisure activity for extreme sport fans turned into a professional sport and together with Team Europe, we will now go one step further: we will shape the future of mobility.”

About Team Europe

Team Europe is a global technology holding company with the mission to deliver a better future via technology. Its main areas of interest are “Digital & Platforms”, “Mobility & MAaaS” (Micro Aviation as a Service) and “clean abundant energy”.

Team Europe has been building or actively supporting startups for more than 15 years – including the e-commerce company Spreadshirt, the delivery service company Delivery Hero, the solar company Enpal, the mobility provider Miles, the micro mobility company Bird, as well as Volocopter and Archer, two global leaders in the field of Urban Air Mobility (UAM).

Website Team Europe

The history of Zapata Racing

After 17 years of career as a Jetski and test pilot, Franky Zapata created the ZAPATA RACING brand in 2008. From design to production and development, Franky has invented his own stand-up jet skis and his ZAPATA RACING brand “Made in France” stand-up VNMs. 17 World Champion titles have been won with his brand. Franky Zapata turned himself to the challenges of innovation and differentiation to ensure the future of his company.

With the release of the first Flyboard waterboard and the public’s enthusiasm, success and worldwide marketing were limited only by the quantity produced. As soon as it was launched on the market, Flyboard became a real sport, with the organisation of the first Flyboard World Cup in 2012 in Qatar; until 2018 different countries followed.

After more than a dozen patents filed and the resounding success of the hydro-propelled machines, Franky Zapata is turning to a new major challenge by realising his dream: to create a redundant flying machine, extremely compact. He decided to name it FLYBOARD AIR.

In 2016, he became famous by achieving the Guinness World Record for the distance covered by hoverboard. Since then, Franky Zapata and his Flyboard Air have travelled all over the world participating in shows such as F1, Moto GP, FIA WEC and Red Bull Air Race.

In 2019, he took part in the 14th of July Parade by giving an aerial demonstration in front of the French President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and several other heads of states.

Franky decided to take up the crazy challenge of crossing the English Channel in homage to aviation pioneer Louis Blériot, who, 110 years earlier, had accomplished the same feat. This prowess was the subject of a documentary produced by Etoile Noire called “Flying”. After a first failure on 25th, July 2019, Franky Zapata did not give up. Thanks to the commitment of its entire team, he rebuilt his machine in a week. In August, the 4th, he made his crossing Channel in 22 minutes.

Surrounded by engineers and supported by a solid Research and Design office, the company Z-AIR continues its ascension by designing and developing new products, with the aim of changing the mobility of the future.

Among several of his confidential projects, one attracts attention, the JetRacer flying machine. This invention is expected to carry out the first official tests before Summer 2021.

Website Zapata Racing

Usher illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Rémy Martin × Usher

Rémy Martin and Usher team up to celebrate two cultures of excellence:

Music and Cognac

“Team Up For Excellence ‐ The Film” Imagined in collaboration with FRED & FARID New York Brings to Life the History of Harmony Between these Cultural Entities Through a Musical Journey

Rémy Martin announces a collaborative new campaign with multi‐Grammy award winning musical artist, Usher to celebrate the harmonious blending of two cultures of timeless excellence: Music and Cognac. “Team Up For Excellence – The Film” highlights the cultural connection between Cognac and American music since 1917 in France, and how the two have been synonymous ever since.

In the Film imagined in collaboration with FRED &FARID New York, Usher narrates a story spanning the decades from the 1920’s to present day, which pays tribute to the multi‐cultural connections, celebrated styles and rhythms of the past. From Blues to Hip‐Hop, Swing Dancing to Break‐Dancing; Usher and Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal travel through decades in France and the US, to honor these cultural figures; both rooted in a shared philosophy of aiming for the stars.

“Music doesn’t need Cognac to exist, and Cognac doesn’t need Music to exist,” states Usher, “but what is beautiful is that they were meant to meet and when they did, they created cultural harmony.”

Teaming up with Usher and Rémy Martin, are globally recognized creatives including Raphael Saadiq, world‐renowned musical composer; Marci Rodgers, Academy‐Award winning costume stylist; Aakomon Jones, award winning dance choreographer; and director of the production; Jake Nava.

“I was really inspired by creating the historical music scenes in a way that felt true to the spirit of that moment, but also relevant and eye‐catching to a young contemporary audience,” states Jake Nava, “This dual priority informed my direction of all the music, dance and Usher’s performance.”

The heart and soul of cultural movements throughout history paved the way for future artists to innovate, while paying homage to their roots and the musical styles that came before them. The same respect for heritage is honored by Rémy Martin and Cellar Master, Baptiste Loiseau, who has inherited the savoir‐faire of the House from previous generations of cellar masters. Through this transmission of knowledge, Rémy Martin®1738 Accord Royal continues to encompass the spirit of celebrating depth of character and the excitement of indulging in moments of collective success.

“Rémy Martin has been at the center of celebration for centuries, and the celebratory nature of Music is synonymous with our history of honoring communities and culture,” said Amaury Vinclet, Global Executive Director of Rémy Martin “Acknowledging this collective success has been at the heart of Rémy Martin since 1724.”

Historically, Rémy Martin and Usher teamed up during his 2010 “OMG” world tour, where the Cognac brand was the official sponsor of after parties across the United States, Canada and Europe. Additionally, Usher co‐hosted the launch dinner for Producer Series with Jermaine Dupri in 2018.

“Team Up For Excellence – The Film is a monumental artistic achievement stemming from our collaboration and long‐standing relationship with our trusted creative global agency, FRED & FARID,” said Philippe Farnier, Chief Executive Officer for The House of Rémy Martin. “We celebrate this performance between our brand, creative agency and artist Usher. At Rémy Martin, we team up with those sharing our same quest for excellence, rooted in our values of people, terroir and time.”

For almost 300 years, the story of Rémy Martin has been one of family, partners and collective success. Teamwork has always been at the heart of the brand, passing the spirit of collaboration on to younger generations. The desire to team up with others in a quest for excellence has been a part of the Rémy Martin ethos since 1724, with the constant dedication to creating premium Cognac. To continually go further and aspire to achieve more is a reflection of the Centaur, Rémy Martin’s brand figurehead for 150 years. Following the launch in the United States, the short film will be screened and showcased globally.

CREDITS:

Brand: Rémy Martin

Title of ad: Team Up For Excellence ‐ The Film

Agency: FRED & FARID New York

Music: Raphael Saadiq

Costume stylist: Marci Rodgers

Dance choreographer: Aakomon Jones

Director: Jake Nava

ABOUT RÉMY MARTIN

Since 1724, Rémy Martin has produced premium spirits that consistently appeal to the world’s most discerning connoisseurs. A profound love of the land, a continuity of family ownership and   a passionate commitment to excellence has sustained Rémy Martin for nearly three centuries. As a result of its masterful production and generations of tradition in Cognac, Rémy Martin today produces Fine Champagne Cognacs, including Rémy Martin® XO, Rémy Martin® Tercet, Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal and Rémy Martin® V.S.O.P For additional information, visit the website.

ABOUT USHER

Challenging himself creatively, testing musical boundaries and being on the creative forefront of new and developing trends are characteristics that have defined Usher throughout his 20-year career. Usher has been ranked by the Recording Industry Assn. of America as one of the best‐selling artists in American music history, having sold over 65 million albums worldwide. He has won numerous awards including 8 Grammy Awards and was named the #1 Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade. Usher has attained nine Hot 100 #1 hits and 18 Hot 100 top‐10 singles. His career in TV and Film includes 2 seasons as a coach on NBC’s The Voice as well as starring roles in films such as “Hands of Stone” and “Burden”. 2021 continues to be a busy year for Usher with an upcoming new album release and the launch of his much-anticipated Las Vegas residency at Caeser’s Palace. In the past year Usher’s two singles “Don’t Waste My Time” and “Bad Habit” both hit #1 on the Billboard R&B Charts. He also released “I Cry”, a powerful and emotional song about the social and racial injustices of our time. Usher is currently in the studio recording his 9th studio album which will be released late 2021.

ABOUT FRED & FARID New York

FRED & FARID is a purpose-driven company producing meaningful ideas, grounding brands into culture. Based in New York, Paris, FRED & FARID New York’s culture is a peculiar mix of the French sense of craft and taste, the Chinese sense of tactic and digital, and the American sense of vision and strategy. The agency focuses on creative consulting, brand strategy, branding, content & social activation, and has produced 1800+ creative campaigns for 250+ brands in 33+ industries, winning 950+ awards and 25+ industry titles – including the AdAge Small Agency 2020 Gold Newcomer of the Year, and Best Integrated Campaign of the Year.

Eurovision Singer Destiny illustration by Heather Skovlund (Photo Credit: Carlton Agius) for 360 Magazine

2021 Eurovision Song Contest

Will there be a shock winner at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest?

The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most popular annual events that takes place across Europe. Over 180 million people tuned into the 2019 contest, which was won by the Netherlands. The final of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest final takes place on 22nd May in Rotterdam, where thirty-nine countries will take part in the live-streamed musical event.

The current favorites to win in 2021

There are a few acts that will be confident of winning the final, with the Eurovision song contest odds placing Malta as 4/1 favorite to win, who will be represented by their act, Destiny. They have never won the contest before but have finished in 2nd place on two occasions. Despite being the favorites, Malta will have to navigate a semi-final before they reach the main stage.

The second favorites to win are France, who are at 5/1 odds. Unlike the predicted winners, France has won the contest on five occasions, however, they haven’t won it since 1977.  Switzerland, Italy, and Bulgaria will also perhaps all fancy their chances of winning this year as well.

Will 2021 see a shock winner?

The United Kingdom hasn’t seen a Eurovision winner since 1997 – on that occasion, Katrina and the Waves won with the song “Love, Shine a Light.” The UK’s representation in 2021 will be James Newman, a singer-songwriter who has had a successful career in the industry – though many bookmakers believe that he is unlikely to win. 

Ireland is also seen as huge outsiders to win, but they are actually the most successful country in Eurovision’s history. They have won the competition on seven occasions, with the last success coming in 1996.

A previous shock winner

The 2011 edition was won by Azerbaijan, and it was seen as a huge shock at the time.  This was their first success in the competition, having only entered for the first time four years previously.

How many times has the host nation won Eurovision?

The host nation of the final has won Eurovision on seven occasions. The last time this occurred was in 1994 when the competition was won by Ireland. Looking back towards the upcoming contest, the Netherlands are, however, seen as huge outsiders to win.

A further brief history of Eurovision winners

The first edition of the contest was held in 1956. On that occasion, it was won by Switzerland. In 1969, four countries won the contest, which was the first and only time in which there were joint winners, all garnering the same score from international judges and the public vote. The United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, and France all came in first place that year.

A few years later, in 1974, ABBA won their contest, and the Swedish pop group would go on to become music icons. Their winning song “Waterloo” is still popular all over the world.

There are several other countries that are yet to taste success in Eurovision. This list includes Iceland, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Will the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest see a first-time winner?

The Beau-Rivage Palace image by Weill for use by 360 Magazine

THE BEAU-RIVAGE PALACE REOPENS

The iconic, Swiss countryside resort in Lausanne reopens for the second time following COVID-19 lockdowns.

Located on the banks of Lake Geneva at the foot of the Swiss Alps, the Beau-Rivage Palace announced it is reopening its doors today­­–just in time for spring.

As the property marks its 160th anniversary, the hotel has taken advantage of the temporary closure and is debuting several upgrades. The Beau-Rivage wing is undergoing a glorious renovation, and the new Cinq Mondes Spa boasts a fresh space and innovative wellness concepts.

With its ten acres of lakeside private gardens and five restaurants and bars, the Beau-Rivage Palace is committed to the highest level of cleanliness and hygiene measures throughout every touch point of the guest experience. This protocol guarantees the safety and well-being of guests and staff members, ensuring a successful summer for the Swiss destination hotel. The property is planning enhanced programming for the coming months, starting with a festive Easter weekend.

For more information on the Beau-Rivage Palace, visit their website.

ABOUT THE BEAU-RIVAGE PALACE:

The Beau-Rivage Palace is situated on ten acres of private gardens, adjacent to Lake Geneva with spectacular views of the Swiss Alps. The property’s two Michelin starred restaurant, Anne-Sophie Pic at the Beau-Rivage Palace, features France’s only female chef with three Michelin stars. Other amenities include two bars and terraces, two tennis courts and a special program for children.

Film illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Unforgettable Foreign Films

10 Foreign Films with the Most Unforgettable Love Stories

By Roberta Seret, PhD

I have two loves – literature and film. The most powerful love stories jump off the pages or off the screen, narrating different types of love turmoil, journeying through danger and obstacles to find love. The best love stories occur when love triumphs over evil. 

In the past twenty years, I have taught film through my NGO at the United Nations and at New York University. It is a love story that captures my students the most. Their 10 favorite love stories in foreign films deceit different ways of loving, but they all try to overcome these obstacles to find it. Although they may not always get their happy ending, it’s always worth the risk:

1.     JOJO RABBIT – (New Zealand) 2019, director Taika Waititi. During World War ll, ten-year-old Jojo is being brainwashed as a Hitler Youth. Strangely, his mother allows this, for it is her only way to protect him. We see how deeply a mother loves her son as she prepares him to be independent. Simultaneously, the director expresses his love for the future of children to do what’s right.

2.     HONEYLAND – (Republic of Northern Macedonia) 2019, directors Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary and Best Feature Film, this story recreates a Paradise Lost and its destruction by a greedy man. Love for beauty and nature, and the desire to recapture it, is represented by honey – becoming extinct – and man’s inhumanity to lose it.

3.     NEVER LOOK AWAY – (Germany) 2018, director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Based on the life of the famous painter, Gerhard Richter, the director recreates the artist’s search for Truth. It is only through love for Art that the artist can find peace. It is this tumultuous search that pushes him/her to create.

4.     CAPERNAUM – (Lebanon) 2018, director Nadine Labaki. Lost children, abandoned, hungry, and forced to go against their conscience, are victims of war-torn Lebanon and Syria. The director opens her heart by using her hand-held camera to capture how children suffer in their struggle to survive. It is through her love for these children that we understand and want to help. 

5.     FACES PLACES – (France) 2017, directors Agnes Varda and JR. At 89-years-old and one year before her death, famed filmmaker, Agnes Varda embarks on a road trip to show her appreciation to the people of France. As a token of her deep love, she offers them a new type of art – photos of themselves – while she is making a film of their acceptance. Photography mixes with cinematography, the moving image fuses with still art, to show the director’s love for people and give them Art. 

6.     LION – (India/ Australia) 2016, director Garth Davis. The true story of 5-year-old Saroo, who gets lost on a train in India and cannot communicate in a different dialect to return home. He is placed in an orphanage and adopted by a couple from Tasmania, Australia. Twenty-five years later, his obsession to find his biological mother is proof of his filial love.

7.     TONI ERDMANN – (Germany / Romania) 2016, director Maren Ade. A father loves his ambitious, modern daughter and wants to help her understand what happiness and love are. But the generational gap proves to be stronger than his quest. Despite his struggles and sacrifices, she answers when she sings Whitney Houston’s song, “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”

8.     PHOENIX – (Germany) 2014, director Christian Petzold. Nelly survives World War II because she is obsessed at Auschwitz to be loved again by the man she loves. She does return to him but disfigured, and he does not recognize her. Deceitfully, he schemes to help her survive the traumas of her past. But as she learns the truth, will her love forgive him?

9.     IDA – (Poland) 2013, director Pawel Pawlikowski. Ida embarks on a spiritual journey to choose between a life of love and family, or God and religion. As she voyages toward the answer, she learns about her history and what the material world can offer. But she keeps repeating, “And then?” She realizes it is love for God and the spirit that can offer her the truest love.

10.  CASABLANCA – (USA/ Morocco) 1942, director Michael Curtiz. This is the best love story of all. For those who will see this film for the first time, I am jealous. This is an American movie made in Morocco with an anti-Hollywood ending. It shows and answers what is true love? What we see on the screen is a love that hurts – for all of us. And yet, love must be experienced, and this film must be seen!

Roberta Seret, Ph.D., is the director of Advanced English and Film at the United Nations for the Hospitality Committee and Founder of the NGO at the United Nations, International Cinema Education. She is the author of the Transylvanian Trilogy, with Love Odyssey releasing March 23, 2021. Visit her website for more information.

Tech illustration by Sara Davidson for 360 Magazine

Tech Industry Billionaires

70% of the Top 10 Billionaires Generated Their Wealth from the Tech Industry.

Data researched by Trading platforms UK indicates that 70% of the top ten richest people amassed their wealth from the technology industry as of March 1, 2021. The top ten wealthiest individuals control a fortune of $1.14 trillion in total, with tech players accounting for $855.9 billion.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest person globally with a fortune of $181 billion, followed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk at $174 billion. Microsoft founder Bill Gates ranks third with a fortune of $135 billion.

The report explains some of the underlying factors leading to the tech sector’s dominance of the top ten rich list. According to the research report:

“The dominance of the rich list by the technology industry figures also points to the sector’s resilience in times of crisis. Technology rose to prominence due to its ability to offer solutions to help people cope with the coronavirus crisis. For instance, during the health crisis, most billionaires in the sector like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos amassed more wealth as more people leveraged on e-Commerce platforms amid the lockdown and stay at home measures.”

The U.S. and China together host 49% of the top 500 billionaires globally.

Additionally, the findings reveal that the United States has the highest number of billionaires globally at 156, while China ranks second at 86. The two countries, therefore, account for 49% of the top 500 billionaires globally.

Germany is third with 28 billionaires followed by Russia at 24. Hong Kong and France follow, with each having 17 billionaires. The United Kingdom and India each have 16 billionaires. Canada is ninth with 15 billionaires while Sweden is tenth with 11 billionaires.

The analysis also shows that the tech industry has the highest number of billionaires globally at 84. Industrial ranks second with 56 billionaires followed by diversified at 50 while the consumer has 43 billionaires. Finance has 37 billionaires, while entertainment has the least billionaires at 10.

For further statistics and information, please visit this website.

A Weekend in West Touraine

With some of the most iconic appellations in the Loire Valley, West Touraine is home to a wide variety of wineries, foodie destinations and historical sites. Would-be travelers can scout out their next trips to the region for now and read up on the area’s diverse offerings.

Bourgueil

Within picturesque green hillsides, vineyards and houses built with tuffeau stones, the Bourgueil Vineyard is situated on the bed of the Loire River and has been producing wine for over 1,000 years. The vineyard itself spans 3,460 acres and visitors can Segway their way around the vineyards to witness the beautiful countryside and taste different wines at Château de Minière. La Cave de la Dive Bouteille gives visitors the chance to experience and learn about the region’s extensive thousand-year wine history. Guests can marvel at the galleries and old wine presses used centuries ago. For an even more in-depth look at wine in Bourgueil, Âme Wine, a Loire Valley Ambassador, can give private tours of the vineyards and wine caves while tasting local specialties.

A visit to the historic Château de Langeais is also recommended, as the castle was built at a unique junction between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Along with a rich program of events, including guided tours and medieval fashion shows, the château’s collection of medieval furniture and rich tapestries is also available for viewing in the castle’s many galleries.

Local country chef Vincent has a small restaurant located in the heart of the vineyards, with dishes incorporating freshly grown fruits and vegetables and a variety of poultry and meats raised by Vincent himself. Vincent’s son also helps him can some of the fresh produce and offers them to guests in the summertime with a gourmet picnic to go.

Chinon

The largest red wine appellation in the Loire Valley, Chinon has earned a reputation as one of the best places in France to enjoy red wine, but the region’s white and rosés, as well as its local artisanal foods, are growing in popularity as well. There are a variety of ways to experience Chinon wine, such as a visit to Domaine de Noiré. Guests can meet experienced winemakers and go on a variety of excursions, including a riverboat ride on the Loire River and a gastronomic excursion with Le Chapeau Rouge, whose inventive take on local, seasonal cuisine is a must-try for any foodie. The Cave de la Sybille offers a unique wine experience, as the author behind The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel, François Rebelais, was born in the region. Sculptures and projections bring François’s iconic pentalogy of novels to life in this wine cellar. For a different way to experience Chinon wine, the winery of Domain PB Couly offers an escape room where players are locked in Bertrand Couly’s wine cellar and have to find out the secrets behind his great wine through riddles, codes and puzzles.

For foodies who love truffles, Baron de la Truffein Ligré near Chinon is a truffle farm that operates on nearly 150 acres of land, using only organic farming practices. Production usually runs from mid-November to the end of February. The farm offers several types of experiences, such as a truffle and wine tasting and a foraging excursion.

Chinon also has an impressive history, as evident in the many notable people who have visited the Royal Fortress of Chinon, which includes Joan of Arc, King Charles VII of France, Richard the Lionheart and many more. Along with touring the surrounding grounds and the three châteaux that comprise the fortress, a variety of activities are available, including an escape room, wine tastings on Thursdays and the property’s HistoPad that allows guests to see exactly how the fortress used to be in the 12th, 14th and 15th centuries. For a chance to stay at these exquisite French castles, Château du Rivau welcomes guests both in the castle and in the former royal stables. A majestic medieval castle – where Joan of Arc fetched horses during the Hundred Years’ War – today welcomes visitors to its beautiful garden, complete with over 450 varieties of roses, resident peacocks, contemporary fairytale-inspired art sculptures and a new restaurant serving local specialties and produce right from the garden.

Azay-le-Rideau

Because of the region’s unique placement at the confluence of the Indre and Loire Rivers, wine has been produced in Azay-le-Rideau since ancient times with several cellars and vineyardproducing dry and semi-dry wines. Château de l’Aulée is also note-worthy for wine lovers. The estate’s cellars were built in 1856 by the Cordier family, a wine merchant family from Bordeaux. Champagne Deutz bought the domain in 1973, restored the property and soil, and replanted Chenin grapes on 91 acres. The grapes are used to make a variety of sparkling wines available for guests to try while taking a tour of the property. Other wineries to visit include Domaine Nicholas Paget, which is family-owned and has been producing wines over five generations, and le Sot de l’Ange, which is known for its artisanal organic wines.

Another local specialty of the region is poires tapées, a special method of preserving pears by drying them. Peasants learned this method after the Crusades; after Eleanor of Aquitaine ordered plum trees from Damascus to be planted in the Loire Valley, the confection became a staple of the region. Maison Hérin is known as one of the best local producers of poires tapées, which also offers visitors the opportunity to see how the delicacy is made. Maison Hérin also sells a wide variety of pear-related goodies including different types of confits, terrines, jams and more.

No visit to this appellation would be complete, however, without a visit to Château d’Azay-le-Rideau. Built on an island in the Indre River, this castle was ordered by King Francis I during the 16th century. The castle has been the site of a massive restoration project in the last century to ensure that the castle is structurally sound while keeping its iconic medieval architecture intact.

Ten European teams selected for the Helsinki Energy challenge

Ten European teams selected for Helsinki Energy Challenge

Ten teams have been selected for the final phase of the Helsinki Energy Challenge. The finalist teams highlight the international and interdisciplinary nature of the participants. They have a wide variety of proposals for how Helsinki can phase out the use of coal for heat production in the most sustainable way possible by 2029. Next, the competition is advancing into the co-creation phase.

In the 252 teams taking part in the Helsinki Energy Challenge, there were 1,528 experts and innovators from across the globe designing potential solutions to the challenge of decarbonising the heating of Helsinki.

The ten proposals selected to advance consist of a diverse set of solutions that have significant potential for further development in the coming phase. Many of the suggested solutions are also scalable to the needs of other cities. Included in the race are several wide-ranging comprehensive solutions, some of which find new ways to combine technologies that are already in use. There are also competition entries that include entirely new technologies. Among the solutions are new approaches to heat storage and transfer, waste heat utilization, energy consumption control and consumer activation. Included are also some non-technological innovations that enable the realisation of future sustainable solutions and the combination of centralised and decentralised solutions.

“I launched the Helsinki Energy Challenge to bring the world’s best talent together to consider solutions to Helsinki’s heating challenge. The competition has sparked conversation around the topic on a global scale. It has succeeded in combining wide-ranging international expertise and ambitious problem solving, and we are certain that this collision of different competences will generate new ways of thinking in the future as well. Our challenge competition has strong international support from different organizations and from several of my fellow Mayors, and we will be working together to make sure the solutions that are created are put to use as broadly as possible. Every city must do their part in the fight against global climate change,” says Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori.

The teams are interdisciplinary and international

The teams that have advanced to the final phase are each made up of 3–20 members and together include 85 experts from a diverse set of fields. The finalists include, and are primarily made up of combinations of, start-ups, large companies, research institutes and universities, as well as international consortia made up of various companies.

The finalist teams represent excellence and a credible combination of various expertise, making them capable of elevating their competing proposals to the next level in the final phase of the competition.

The finalist teams are all European. The selected teams represent organizations from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Austria and France. Most of the teams include experts and organizations from more than one country.

“When you consider that we received such a large number of proposals and that the competing teams included 1,528 experts from different backgrounds and countries around the world, it becomes clear that the competition includes a very wide range of different solutions. Evaluating these solutions has been more difficult than expected. However, the hard part is now behind us, and the competition is advancing to the next, even more interesting phase.Currently, the teams’ solutions are only provisional proposals, and each team will receive support and additional information to further develop their proposal in the co-creation phase. We are looking forward to seeing what the finalist teams’ final proposals will look like. They have some impressive and diverse expertise on display, so we are going in with high expectations,” says Project Director Laura Uuttu-Deschryvere.

The co-creation phase begins

The teams selected for the finals are invited to the co-creation phase, during which they will receive support for further development of their solution and additional information to enable them to tailor their idea to the context of Helsinki. At the centre of the co-creation phase is the boot camp in December.

An international panel of judges will evaluate the final competition proposals at the beginning of 2021, and the winner of the competition will be announced in March 2021. The proposals will be evaluated on the basis of their climate impact, impact on natural resources, cost impact, implementation schedule and feasibility, security of supply and capacity. The City of Helsinki has committed to openly sharing the lessons and results of the competition to allow other cities to use them in their own climate work.

Proposals submitted in the first phase of the competition included also a large variety of other ideas and concepts that did not reach the finals but which the City of Helsinki intends to highlight during the competition process too. The 252 submissions included ideas in which solving the challenge is “gamified”, new solutions for the utilization of different heat sources, new market and business models, heat storage solutions, decentralized heat production models, new technologies such as small modular reactors (SMR), and hydrogen based solutions.

Cities have a key role – the COVID-19 pandemic will not stop Helsinki’s climate work

Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time, and cities have a decisive role in mitigating it. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Helsinki keeps investing heavily in its climate work. The climate crisis has not been cancelled and the City of Helsinki is working its way towards a carbon neutral Helsinki by 2035. At the moment, more than half of Helsinki’s direct carbon dioxide emissions originate from heating the city. This is why finding a sustainable heating solution will have a critical impact on achieving the City’s carbon neutrality goal. Currently, more than half of Helsinki’s heating energy is produced with coal, the use of which will have to stop by 2029. Helsinki wants to find long-term sustainable solutions, which is why it does not want to replace the use of coal with biomass-fired production.

Helsinki wants to find long-term sustainable solutions to heat the city in the future and to act as a platform for new and innovative solutions that also other cities around the world can benefit from. For this purpose, it opened the international Helsinki Energy Challenge competition on 27 February 2020. The competition seeks solutions through which the city can be heated sustainably in the coming decades – without coal and with as little biomass as possible. The competition’s first prize is one million euros.

Rolls-Royce Young Designer Competition

WINNERS REVEALED IN WORLDWIDE
ROLLS-ROYCE YOUNG DESIGNER COMPETITION

  • Rolls-Royce announces winners in its Young Designer Competition
  • Winners awarded in four categories, with further entries awarded Highly Commended
  • Selected by Rolls-Royce Design Team from more than 5,000 entries submitted online by children in over 80 countries during Covid-19 lockdown

Find out more >>

“We are delighted to announce the winners in our Young Designer Competition. The entries that stood out for us were those that showed a real depth of thought, effort and expression, and incorporated lots of different details. The winning entrants didn’t just draw ‘the nicest car’: they created amazing experiences that showed the freedom of their imagination, not hindered by physical, real-world constraints.”

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

“The number and diversity of the entries proves once again something we’ve always believed and lived by within Bespoke Design: that Inspiration is Everywhere. As adults, we’re often too quick to stop ourselves pursuing fantastical ideas. At Rolls-Royce, we encourage clients to be bold and creative, unfettered by conventional notions of what they think a car ‘should’ be like. This competition and the ideas generated reminds us of the incredible power of the question: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if…?’”

Gavin Hartley, Head of Bespoke Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is delighted to announce the global winners in its Young Designer Competition, which invited children around the world to design their dream Rolls-Royce of the future.

The four category winners, who hail from Japan, France, China and Hungary and range in age from six to 16, will each enjoy a chauffeur-driven journey with their best friend in a Rolls-Royce to school. The designs of the winners and three additional Highly Commended entrants have all been transformed into beautiful digitally-rendered illustrations by the Rolls-Royce Design Team, using the same software and processes as they would in a ‘real’ Rolls-Royce design project.

Devised to provide a creative outlet for children aged 16 and under, confined by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the competition attracted more than 5,000 entries from over 80 countries. With no rules or specified judging criteria to constrain them, children were able to let their imagination run free, creating designs of extraordinary richness, creativity and diversity. 

Faced with a truly formidable task, the judges selected overall winning designs in four categories – Technology, Environment, Fantasy and Fun – based on the most popular themes that emerged from the 5,000-plus entries. Three further entries that defied categorisation but caught the judges’ attention were Highly Commended; the panel also selected winning entries from the various regions around the world in which Rolls-Royce Motor Cars operates.

Launched in April as lockdown conditions were imposed across the globe, the competition proved an instant success; so much so, the original deadline for entries was extended. Asked only to design their ‘dream Rolls-Royce of the future’, children had complete creative freedom, allowing them to develop ideas of astonishing scope, complexity and vision far beyond the realms of automotive design.

Winning entries included designs inspired by (amongst other things) unicorns, turtles, space travel, the Egyptian pyramids, Pablo Picasso and bumble-bees. Many are capable of flying or travelling underwater; the designs also featured a host of clever devices and novel technologies to save labour, provide pleasure and entertainment and benefit humanity and the environment.

Reflecting on the competition, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “On behalf of myself and everyone at Rolls-Royce, I would like to thank every single Young Designer who entered the competition, and for all the thought, hard work and creativity that went into their designs. There is some amazing talent out there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of our entrants went on to work as car designers one day – perhaps even at Rolls-Royce.”

He concluded, “The most important thing I’ve learned from this competition is that whatever our circumstances, we have the power to create amazing things, because our imagination is always free to fly. I hope the children who took part will recognise this, too, and that it will be something positive they can take from their pandemic experience.”

Category winners:

Technology

Rolls-Royce Bluebird II by Chenyang, age 13, China

Environment

Rolls-Royce Capsule by Saya, age 6, Japan

Fantasy

Rolls-Royce Turtle Car by Florian, age 16, France

Fun

Rolls-Royce Glow by Léna, age 11, Hungary

Highly commended:

Rolls-Royce Bolt by Declan, age 10, United Kingdom

Rolls-Royce Prosperity by Tim, age 9, Germany

Rolls-Royce House of Esperanto by Alisa, age 6, Russia

About Rolls-Royce:
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BMW Group and is a completely separate company from Rolls-Royce plc, the manufacturer of aircraft engines and propulsion systems. Over 2,000 skilled men and women are employed at the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ head office and manufacturing plant at Goodwood, West Sussex, the only place in the world where the company’s super-luxury motor cars are hand-built.
Find out more >>

Spend a Weekend in the Cher Valley

Located in the heart of France’s Loire Valley region is the Cher Valley, which encompasses the area from Chenonceau to Valencay. For now, would-be travelers can scout out their next trips to the iconic chateaux of the area, which wouldn’t be complete without sampling the region’s signature wine and goat cheese.

Chenonceau

One of the most famous chateaux in all of France as well as the world  Chateau de Chenonceau is unique not only due to it being an architectural marvel, but also thanks to its legacy as the “Chateau des Dames.” The chateau has always been owned by women, notably Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici, whose lasting touches and influences can be seen today. The exceptional gardens, named after both Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici, are today managed by American gardener Nicholas Tomlan, who takes inspiration from the ladies of the castle’s past. As of last year, the chateau unveiled a recreation of Catherine de Medici’s apothecary, where Nostradamus once prepared remedies for the queen. Visitors can also tour the chateau’s own on-site floral workshop, where leading craftsman Jean-Francois Boucher creates daily flower arrangements to decorate the chateau. An incredibly unique way to see the chateau is by taking a boat ride directly under the chateau’s iconic arches, along the Cher River, either by canoe or boat. Or, see the chateau by air via a hot air balloon ride or plane.

Wine tasting stops in the area include the Chateau de Nitray, just 20 minutes from the chateau, located in a 106-acre landscaped park. Registered as a national heritage site since 1947, this Renaissance architectural masterpiece houses 25 acres of vineyards dating back three centuries, labelled AOC Touraine. For now, would-be travelers can experience the chateau via a virtual visit here. Another stop is Chateau de Fontenay, an intimate chateau-hotel and vineyard, offering five rooms in the chateau, and three cottages located in the 42-acre park. Finally, at Caves Monmousseau, visitors can try sparkling wines that have been perfected for over 130 years, while experiencing a very unique art show. In the underground cellars, images are illuminated on the tunnel walls, telling the story of the chateaux of the Loire through a spectacular sound and light show.

Foodie destinations include the gastronomic restaurant at Auberge du Bon Laboureur in the village of Chenonceaux and Bistrot’quai, an open-air cafe located in a garden right by the water, open from May to September. Accommodations include the charming La Folie Saint-Julien B&B, featuring five guest rooms, a garden, and an indoor pool located in a barn; and the Chateau de Chissay, built in the 16th century as a royal residence under Charles VII and transformed into a hotel in 1986 with 27 guest rooms and five suites.

Bourr

Sites to see in the Bourr area of the Loire Valley include the Cave Champignonnie des Roches, which grows button, shitake and blue foot mushrooms; in fact, 40% of the world’s blue foot mushrooms come from this farm. In total, 100 tons of high-quality mushrooms are produced here, all of which are harvested by hand. Other explorations include the Troglo Degusto wine cellar, where visitors can pair wine tastings of AOC Touraine-Chenonceaux with a stroll underground in a historic troglodytic cave site. For more wine tastings, Domaine de la Chapinire vineyard offers an equestrian center, vineyard and accommodations. Today, the domaine is part of the “Terra Vitis” association, an environmental certification ensuring they use sustainable practices. For families, a must-visit is the ZooParc de Beauval, regarded as one of the best zoos in the world, which is home to over 35,000 animals. In 2020, they unveiled a massive new Equatorial Dome, featuring 200 species in a bioclimatic structure, including saimiris, red ibis, and Komodo dragons.

Selles-sur-Cher

Some of France’s best goat cheese can be found in Selles-sur-Cher, which is tangy and mild when young, becoming saltier and stronger when aged. Fromagerie HUCHET and Palais du Petit chevre in Chatillon-sur-Cher are top spots to find the cheese. Aside from tasting goat cheese, travelers should stop at Cha;teau de Selles-sur-Cher, a historic cha;teau and winery with Renaissance Pavillons, a medieval castle and a farm.

Valençay

Located just 20 minutes south of the Cher River is Valencay, known largely by name for its goat cheese and wine. The Valencay vineyards, which overlook the scenic Cher, have a long history, with the first written records dating back to 965. White Valencay is fresh and balanced, with a nose of citrus and flower; red Valencay is structured, fine and fresh on the palate; and rosé; Valencay is flexible and structured. Top wine tasting spots include Domaine Roy and Domaine Jourdain. A perfect pairing with Valencay wine, Valencay PDO goat cheese is made from whole, raw goat’s milk, characterized by a truncated pyramid shape and a bluish gray rind. A top spot for cheese tasting is Fromagerie Jacquin. Find more details on Valencay AOC here.

Aside from the wine and cheese pairings, travelers in the area should look to Domaine de Poulaines spanning 62 acres of woodlands including beautiful themed gardens and an arboretum (with more than 1,200 plants). Beautiful trees and boxwood surround a Renaissance mansion and a set of buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. The domaine also offer overnight stays in private guest houses in the heart of the gardens.

Another must-visit is the Chateau de Valencay, one of the 22 major sites of the Loire Valley, featuring both Renaissance and classic architecture, overlooking the Nahon Valley. The estate’s 13-acre grounds feature traditional and modern gardens, a deer park, and a two-mile path. The chateau hosts the Talleyrand Festival every two years (with the next festival taking place in 2021), showcasing ancient musical instruments.

Located less than ten minutes from the Chateau de Valencay, at the foot of the majestic ruins of a Renaissance castle in a charming flower-filled village, is Restaurant Auberge St Fiacre. The restaurant is located in an authentic 17th-century house, transformed into a restaurant in the early 1970s, the restaurant today offers a selection of top local cuisine.