The latest issue of GG Magazine is now available. Explore this season’s edition of your global guide dedicated to one of our most essential elements.
This season’s edition of GG is known as “The Water Issue” – introducing us to several impressive individuals who have dedicated themselves to saving the oceans and providing clean drinking water, both more urgent necessities than ever.
You’ll meet former footballer Benjamin Adrion, who has already provided three million people access to clean drinking water through his organization Viva con Agua and is now launching several new projects in South Africa. Be amazed by the tireless dedication of the 85-year-old marine biologist Sylvia Earle, who has been fighting to preserve the ocean for decades. And finally, join us as we visit the luxury resort The Nautilus in the Maldives and set sail aboard the state-of-the-art ketch known as Rox Star. And as usual in every issue, you can look forward to industry news from Engel & Völkers CEO, Sven Odia.
Viva con Agua
Fighting for a purpose with a positive mindset – that was the idea of Benjamin Adrion when he created his nonprofit organization Viva con Agua 15 years ago. Ever since the former professional soccer player has helped over 3.6 million people gain access to clean drinking water. Now the father of two embarks on the next, more international chapter — Villa Viva located in South Africa.
“Nearly 600 million people still don’t have access to clean drinking water. That’s what keeps me going.”BENJAMIN ADRION
Benjamin Adrion was just 25 years old when he made the life-changing decision to retire from professional soccer. The wake-up call came in the form of a trip to Cuba and the realization that there is a global need for access to clean drinking water. Fifteen years of the feel-good attitude and his team spirit is still very much alive and helping his organization Viva con Agua become a global movement that counts 15,000 active volunteers in countries like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Uganda. With the opening of the Villa Viva in Cape Town, the social entrepreneur is now venturing into an international future.
Click here to read more about Adrion’s mission.
Sylvia Earle is the guardian angel of the oceans. The famous marine scientist has dedicated her life to their protection and, at 85 years old, is going stronger than ever. Her message: “The time is now! Because our survival depends on it.”
She’s as skilled an oceanographer as she is a compelling storyteller, and she packs her message in soundbites that stick in the mind with slogans like: “No water, no life. No blue, no green,” and, even more succinctly: “No ocean, no us.”
“Treat the ocean as if your life depends on it, because it does.”SYLVIA EARLE
Her unadorned truths helped the oceans in 2006, when the American marine scientist, easily the most famous oceanographer of her generation, found herself sitting next to then U.S. President George W. Bush and seized the opportunity. Bush, who really hadn’t struck many people as being particularly interested in environmental protection, listened to her and created what was then the world’s largest marine conservation area off the coast of Hawaii. The designated area was 140,000 square miles and in 2009, during his last days in office, he expanded it by 150-percent. Seven years later, his successor Barack Obama quadrupled the size of the protected area.
In 2009, Sylvia Earle held a widely acclaimed TED Talk, in which she warned that the next decade would determine the fate of the next 10,000 years. She won the annual TED Prize and she used the prize money to start working with a global coalition of over 200 partners to designate Hope Spots – marine protected zones that are scientifically identified as critical to the health of the ocean and its inhabitants. When Earle held her TED talk, only one percent of the ocean was protected. That figure is now six percent. With the help of her Hope Spots, the ocean savior hopes to raise that to 30-percent by 2030.
Click here to read more about Earles efforts.
Two-thirds of our planet is covered by water. The growing challenges of limited land and an ever-growing population are inspiring these forward-thinking architects to think about life on the water and develop floating hotels, golf courses, theaters, student accommodation, and even entire cities.
“I don’t see myself as an architect, but rather as a doctor for cities – and water is my medicine.”KOEN OLTHUIS, WATERSTUDIO
The reason Dutch architect Koen Olthuis has become a pioneer of aquatic architecture is all to do with water. “Half of the Netherlands is actually below sea level. We’ve wrested our country from the waves, and all our urban planning is shaped by this struggle with water.” At some point, the architect thought: “Why don’t we stop fighting it and look at bodies of water as new development sites.”
Being the grandson of an architect on his father’s side and the grandson of a shipbuilder on his mother’s side, he drew on both traditions and concluded: a floating building is better than a static one. Since founding the Waterstudio architecture firm in 2003, he and his team have constructed just shy of 300 floating houses and office buildings, most of them in the Netherlands.
Click here to read more about Olthuis and other architects like him.
Plastic pollution represents a growing threat with more than five million tons of plastics – fishing nets, PET bottles, shopping bags, straws, toys, coffee cups, fuel containers, beer crates, and disposable plates ending up in the oceans every year. It may even be eight or 13 million tons, depending on whether you look at the estimates by the WWF, the Alfred Wegener Institute, or the UN. No one really knows for sure the damage that is being done. Experts are warning that in 30 years’ time there will be more microplastics floating in our oceans than fish. Now, these artists are taking action.
Click here to read more about their creations and efforts.
Join Michaela Cordes, Editor-in-chief of GG Magazine, on a luxurious trip to the Maldives. Named after the submarine in Jules Verne’s novels, this private island on the Indian Ocean spoils its guests with bespoke luxury amenities and attractions. A dreamy destination – not just in times of a pandemic.
Click here to see more of The Nautilus and Cordes’ adventure in the Maldives.
For all of these articles and more, you can view the full issue below or click here. Enjoy your read.