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World Arctic Fund Holds Press Conference at Norwegian Embassy - North Pole Sailboat Expedition and Sustainability Panel

06-19-2018 02:39 PM CET | Energy & Environment

Press release from: World Arctic Fund

Press Conference Presenters including representatives from World Arctic Fund, VICE, Ruptly, Mindful and Verband Deutsche Startups

Press Conference Presenters including representatives from World Arctic Fund, VICE, Ruptly, Mindful and Verband Deutsche Startups

Berlin, Germany, 18 June 2018: On May 25th, on the 90th anniversary of the crash of the airship Italia, the World Arctic Fund held a press conference at the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin to inform about its 2018 North Pole Airship Italia Search Expedition as well as to bring together experts onto a panel to discuss the expedition related topics climate change, the environment and sustainability to increase awareness globally.

"People care but do they also change? Does somebody fly less, or not fly to Barcelona for the party weekend because they saw the image of the polar bear? Probably not." - Benjamin Ruth, VICE Media

Watch a video of the whole event here thanks to Ruptly:

See photos from the event on the World Arctic Fund Facebook page here:

The event began with a foreword and greetings from First Secretary Jens Christian Boysen, who welcomed guests on behalf of the Norwegian Embassy and Norwegian Ambassador. He said, "with the changes now taking place in the Arctic, conflict prevention, consensus and international cooperation are more important than ever."

This was followed by a greeting from the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Mueller: "the great and courageous research expeditions of the past made important discoveries that served as the basis for the research that followed. These journeys included the Arctic expedition of the airship Italia in 1928, from which scientists hoped to gain insight into the unanswered questions of their time. The tragic end of this journey 90 years ago has inspired the upcoming Airship Italia Search Expedition 2018, illustrating the intricate ties between the findings of the past, the present, and the future."

Moderator and World Arctic Fund Vice-President Teresina Moscatiello then introduced World Arctic Fund President and expedition commander, Simone Orlandini. 90 years after the crash of the airship Italia, Captain Simone Orlandini presented the 2018 Airship Italia Search Expedition (AISE), a sailboat expedition to the North Pole in August of this year which will search for the airship Italia remains and perform climate change and pollution research, setting four world records.

He said, "I am very glad to be here at the Norwegian Embassy and thanks to the Italian Embassy for being here. I think these two countries are very important for Arctic exploring, like when it was done for the first times in 1926 and 1928 with Roald Amunsen and Umberto Nobile. Now, we try to do something different, but in the same place."

This was followed by presentations of the 2017 Polar4 expedition by Captain Orlandini and Michael Geidel, who also presented the Arctic VR Experience as well as a video showcase of EMOTIV by Caitlin Arnould. 2018 AISE participant David Reeves was invited onstage to discuss his part in the expedition.
Thereafter, Teresina Moscatiello introduced the five experts of the panel:

Capt. Simone Orlandini, Commander of Airship Italia Search Expedition and World Arctic Fund President. Simone is an Italian explorer, politician, director and film producer. He was formerly in the Italian carabinieri military and studied at the University of Bologna. He is an elected member of the Italian Comites in Berlin.

Karishma Daswani, Founder of Mindfuel. Karishma founded Mindfuel in 2015 where she is in charge of marketing, sales and business development. Originally from India, she completed her MBA at IE Business School in Madrid and her Master of Public Health at the Imperial College London.

Benjamin Ruth, CSO of VICE Media DACH. Benjamin founded VICE Media Germany in 2005 and serves as the Chief Strategy Officer. He is originally from Germany and has a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics as well as an MBA from IE Business School in Madrid.

Matt Tabaccos, Chief Commercial Officer of Ruptly. Matt is an award-winning multi-disciplinary media executive with over 12 years experience in cross media production and business development. At Ruptly Video News Agency, he leads the commercial strategy, helping the company become the go-to brand in news media, winning over 1200+ clients across the globe from the world’s biggest media networks to market leaders in online social platforms.

Dominik Ewald, M.Sc. Biotechnology, Bundesverband Deutsche Startups. Dominik is the co-founder of three startups, with two located in Berlin, one at TU Berlin (SCF) as well as one at the HTW Berlin (MF.) He represents the Bundesverband Deutscher Startups and is a member there of the AgTech.

The panel was moderated by Teresina Moscatiello, World Arctic Fund Vice-President. Teresina is a German-Italian director, actor and writer. She studied at the German Film and Television Academy (dffb) in Berlin and at the Sorbonne in Paris. She is an elected member of the Italian Comites in Berlin.

The panel discussed a variety of topics including the influence of money in media regarding coverage of climate change and the environment. Benjamin Ruth said, "What we did see and we think this is a good example is the plastic, we did see lots of initiatives of less plastic use so to us, our biggest importance as an EMEA company is not only make people aware but show them how can they change in their lifestyle, how they can contribute."

Commenting on how to instigate change through media coverage, Matt Tabaccos highlighted the importance of stories that connect emotionally to the audience. “There is very good, engaging content out there”, he said, “but there needs to be a market with a sustainable business model.” He added that state and commercial media have the responsibility to make the topic top of their agendas or at least have a segment for it.

They panel also discussed sustainability in business. Karishma Daswani explained why many of her customers choose organic, saying, "I think a lot of them perceive it more as it is better for me, that is the predominant reason, and secondary it is the environment."

Dominik Ewald sees an increase in startups with sustainable focuses, saying, "Many startups right now are thinking about what they can do for climate change or which kind of system or products they have. I think we have a younger generation that says OK we cannot wait until the politicians find answers for us, we need to look to have our own products." - Dominik Ewald

Guests enjoyed refreshing organic food and wine from local providers at the reception after the press conference with thanks to Fabbrica Del Gusto and Das Schwarze Glas. Event sponsors included EMOTIV, Wodka Gorbatschow, Bundesverband Deutsche Startups and Rebis Film. The event was organized by Caitlin Arnould.

Tanya von Barnau Sythoff, a Dutch artist living in Berlin personally showcased two sustainable paintings, both canvasses (oil on linen) 1.35 x 2.00m, entitled "Il giardino sopra il letto."

The Arctic VR stand and Polar4 expedition talk was presented by MiriquidiStudios´ CEO Michael Geidel, an award-winning film and interactive producer, researcher, keynote speaker with over 15 years of experience in the media industry. The Arctic VR Experience was selected to be part of the VR Germany Hub at mipTV 2018, and was invited by WorldBank´s Film4Climate to present at the Festival de Cannes Marché du Film Doc Corner.


The airship Italia was an Arctic expedition from 1928 led by General Umberto Nobile that ended in tragedy when it crashed after travelling to the North Pole. The wreckage of balloon and final resting place of many members of the crew have never been found, and there has been no systematic search for their remains since 1928! Back at the time of the crash, it led to the first ever international search expedition. 

The Four World Records to be Set:
First systematic search for the airship Italia using sonar since 1928
First mind-controlled boat steered in the world
First sailboat navigated up to 82 degrees latitude
First 360 degree mapping over 82 degrees latitude
Key Quotes from the Press Conference:

"Once we arrive around 80 degrees latitude at the last part of Svalbard, we cannot use GPS or a plotter anymore because it will not work, nor can we use a map or chart of the area because it does not exist, and lastly we cannot use a compass because the magnetic North is not in the North but rather in Greenland. We can only use the sextant, like one-hundred years ago and we must calculate the position with latitude and longitude using the sun, because there are no stars in the Arctic. For six months there is only daylight and then for six months there is only night." - Simone Orlandini

"For the first time in the world there was a rescue mission where nine countries came together to help to search for the crew of the airship Italia and more than 20 people died, like Amundsen, he died in the fog, he went into an airplane and was never seen again. In the end, after 48 days, it was the Krasin, an icebreaker from Russia that saved the crew in the red tent. But the very important part of that was the invention of the radio. Marconi, William Marconi donated a radio and with this radio they sent this SOS to the world and thanks to the radio amateurs, they caught the SOS and started the rescue mission. This was the first time wireless radio was used in this kind of situation." - Simone Orlandini

"There are scientists saying that by 2050, if we don't stop polluting and introducing plastic into the oceans as we do it right now, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. And we eat that fish that probably contains some plastic too." - Michael Geidel

"VICE Impact is our company wide global initiative to provide a platform for discussion, advocacy about sustainability issues, about gender issues, about LGBTQ issues. We are in a fortunate position because we speak to people everyday so we are in a position to engage editorially, to write about issues that matter and we have the freedom that not all articles that we produce have to be the most viral and the most clicked on out there." - Benjamin Ruth

"I feel it is more on the basis of change of mindset, education in newsrooms as well, specialists that need to be present to produce that content, but there has to be a market for it. People care obviously when its a media company to make money." - Matt Tabaccos

"We try to source from small shareholder farmers that focus on farming and polycultures rather than monocultures and this is important because when we talk about nutrients and the soil as well as when we talk about diseases, having a diverse crops in the same area helps with that. So we are not using as many chemicals and these chemicals are not going into our groundwater and becoming airborne. Lastly we are focusing on organic food, for us and for the planet." - Karishma Daswani

"The partnership between the World Arctic Fund and EMOTIV on this expedition is all about pushing existing and emerging technologies to its limits and inspiring further innovation. On the boat itself during the expedition, Captain Orlandini will train with the headsets so that they learn to recognise his mental signals and transmit them to the boat steering system, effectively becoming the first person in the world to steer a boat using only the power of the mind." - Caitlin Arnould on behalf of EMOTIV

The World Arctic Fund is a NGO organization established in Berlin by international media, science and environmental experts that aims to protect the Arctic. President and Captain Simone Orlandini leads Arctic research expeditions including the 2018 Airship Italia Search Expedition.

World Arctic Fund,
Veteranenstraße 24, 10119 Berlin

Simone Orlandini
+49 30 38103019

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