The Circuit x Plein Publiek project is a collaboration between De Kringwinkel Antwerp (Circuit) and Café Congé (Plein Publiek). The aim is to bring themes around sustainability and circularity in an attractive way to a target audience of 18 to 34 year olds.
We do not only focus on newer topics around re and upcycling, but deliberately keep our scope broad enough to also include more traditional initiatives around reuse, repair activities, lending and sharing. In order to approach sustainability in as many different ways as possible, we also want to highlight themes around food waste, ecological means of transport and conscious consumption.
The carriers for communicating our themes are a Facebook page on which we provide context for relevant sustainability content, an Instagrampage on which we stimulate critical thinking through visual stimuli and monthly physical events in our container village on the Plein Publiek site.
We also believe it is important to provide sufficient positive and sustainable alternatives to achieve sustainable behavioural change.
We organised group purchases for 14 sustainable products, with a total of 207 unique buyers signing up for one or more purchases.
During the corona crisis, we linked our reuse theme to the popular concept of staycation and organised a trip on second-hand bicycles in our own country. 10 strangers had a great adventure together and we showed that fun does not necessarily require new equipment.
We supported two young entrepreneurs in turning their dream project into reality: Botega - upcycled design glassware, drinking glasses made from recycled bottles.
Through the Reclaimed project, a collaboration with Edmire, we showed how an important fraction of Senseo coffee machines with missing parts can still be sold.
MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED
It is not easy to get people excited about a theme that is not yet fully established. And it is even more difficult to actively involve them in events where the emphasis is on information gathering rather than consumption.
The remote location of our pop-up container site where our events were organised was undeniably a disadvantage. After all, organic passage is absolutely necessary to create a gathering effect of interested parties.
In order to reach a sufficiently broad public, merely conveying a message about sustainability is not very successful. People are mainly looking for pleasure, meaning and connection. It is better to respond to these primary needs and to shape them in the most sustainable way possible.
Regularity and persistence are important when the hoped-for success is delayed. It is important that our target audience is clear about what they can expect and when from whom. Deviating from this can easily create problems, both internally and for visitors and participants.
2.000km cycling adventure
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
The continued existence of Circuit and Plein Publiek is assured. As of 1 May 2021, Circuit moves into the Palazzo Verde in Antwerp's Nieuw Zuid district. From there it will continue to pave the way for sustainable behavioural change by emphasising positive alternatives.
Plein Publiek will also get a new location, on the Blue Gate site. Stimulating conscious choices among young people through perception and experience is one of the most important spearheads.