MILAN, April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Bank and Alcantara, the Italian producer of high-end material for car interiors and the fashion industry, recently sponsored a series of panel discussions to focus attention on issues related to climate change and sustainability.
Entitled "Alcantara Dialogues - Connect4Climate: Re-think, Re-Design, Re-new," the program was co-hosted by the World Bank's Connect4Climate (C4C) initiative and Alcantara, a 100 percent carbon-neutral company.
The discussion series featured leaders from the worlds of design, architecture, fashion, global advocacy, entertainment, and the arts and took place at the Temporary Museum for New Design during Milan Design Week (April 9-14).
Panelists included: Corrado Clini, Italian Minister of the Environment; Cyril Muller, World Bank vice president for External Affairs; film producer Donald Ranvaud;Franca Sozzani, Vogue Italia editor-in-chief; Betty Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; and Kenny Young, Grammy Award-winning songwriter and founder of Artists Project Earth (APE).
The high-level discussions were moderated by Joseph Grima, editor of Domus; Eliza Anyangwe, senior content coordinator for the Guardian; Zoe Fox, content coordinator from Mashable, and MTV-host Izzy Lawrence.
The high-profile dialogues took place in a pavilion designed by internationally-renowned architect Giulio Cappellini using Alcantara materials to create an innovative sensory experience. The space also featured a C4C exhibition of climate stories and images from around the world.
The Alcantara-World Bank program was designed to stimulate conversations by thought-leaders from a wide variety of disciplines to create greater understanding for how sustainable design and business practices can impact social behavior to mitigate climate change.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim pointed out that "to deliver bold solutions on climate change, we need to listen to and engage broader and more diverse audiences."
Andrea Boragno, Alcantara's CEO and chairman, added that, "We view sustainability as an opportunity, not a cost. Given our shared objectives and values, partnering with the World Bank's Connect4Climate was a natural step for Alcantara - not only because of our long-standing commitment to carbon neutrality, but also because of our desire to provide a platform for meaningful dialogues which will spur people to re-think, re-design, and re-new."
Following is a selection of quotes from program panelists:
Architect Giulio Cappellini -- "On one hand, it is important to create really beautiful products, but on the other hand we must also try to give people a better way of life, and help to make a positive impact on the places where we live. In this way, design and architecture can really make people dream for a better future."
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Betty Williams -- "Anyone involved in the work for peace and justice must be involved in the work for Mother Earth. It is all of our responsibility to challenge governments to take action against climate change."
Vogue Italia Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani -- "What we see on the runway is not that important - what is important is what is before, from a social and an environmental point of view."
Designer Marcel Wanders -- "There is nothing that grows old more fast than the new, and so we have to start understanding that we should not look for the new – we should look for the real, for the important, for the things that really are connected to us already from the past to bring us to the future."
Julie Allen, Viacom's creative director for Social Responsibility -- "We need to make people realize that small changes, when they all come together, can make a big difference. We have seen a shift in how young people think and they are becoming more socially responsible. For MTV, warm is the new cool."
Songwriter Kenny Young -- "Art is used to inspire. Musicians are artists who can communicate with a wide public and reach millions through their music to spur audiences to think locally and act globally to build low-carbon communities."
Italy's Minister of the Environment Dr. Corrado Clini -- "With an impressive coalition of partners, Connect4Climate amplifies local voices, enables policymakers to listen and learn from local innovations, and is helping to bring together environmentally-engaged citizens from all corners of the globe."
The Connect4Climate (C4C) initiative is a global partnership dedicated to climate change communication, supported by the World Bank, the Italian Ministry of Environment and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in collaboration with more than 150 global knowledge partners. With over half a million followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels, C4C is building an ever-growing community of individuals and organizations around the world committed to climate change action.
Based on its unique, patented technology, Alcantara today is the choice of leading companies in the automotive, marine, fashion, home interior and consumer electronics industries. A registered trademark of Alcantara S.p.A., it has been certified as "carbon neutral," adding to its appeal for companies and consumers with a strong interest in the environment.
Alcantara S.p.A. is headquartered in Milan with research and production facilities in Nera Montoro, Umbria.