Star speakers and performers edutained on the environment
With a strong focus on social cohesion and environmental advocacy, Sri Lanka’s pioneering Integrated Marketing Communications Agency now rebranded as NGage Strategic Alliance (formerly known as Bates Strategic Alliance) launched its NGage Goodvocacy arm, with a public edutainment event on environmental awareness titled ‘Festival for Our Planet’. It was co-hosted with and at The Good Market with the Environmental Foundation Limited as a partner.
NGage Founder and Leader Nimal Gunewardena shows how to create PR Buzz
Spurred by the worldwide ‘Climate Strike’ children’s campaign that took place on 15 March, the aim of the festival was to align with this seminal happening and educate and mobilise enthused citizens for climate and environmental justice.
The event unfolded with the lighting of an eco-green-tree-lamp by Founder and Leader Nimal Gunewardena with other experts, speakers, performers and celebrities present.
12 speakers ranging from high profile consultants, environmental activists, UN SDG advocates, and motivational speakers covered topics ranging from global warming and climate change to action to halt environmental degradation through pollution of oceans, water and air, protecting our forests, advocating sustainable consumption and switching from fossil fuels to renewables, and driving other climate-smart initiatives.
Environmental architect Sunela Jayewardene spoke on improving the quality of sustainable life in cities. “Even if green legislation does not happen as fast as we would like, we as consumers can make conscious decisions by implementing eco-practices in our everyday practice.”
Also voicing his stance on how to empower and mobilise youth on environmental activism, Global Unites Founder Prashan de Visser intoned: “Our children deserve something better – a thriving and environment is a vision worth having.”
In addition to the varied talks on the educative speaker platform, environmental videos and movies were shown on a giant screen, and an art installation by Dillai Joseph and Charith De Silva featured Sanni masks creatively refashioned to show environmental destruction.
“Our overindulgence in plastics, mindless deforestation, overcrowding by endless construction in cities, overuse of pesticides, improper waste management and an increasingly large carbon footprint per person are the demons possessing us today,” said the creators.
A Kids Play Shop was a popular art space allowing young attendees the opportunity to express their ideas and creativity in favour of the environment.
An exhibit of 20 creative posters conceptualised by NGage’s content curators and Design Team was on show. This is now available as a travelling exhibit for schools and any organisations that want to educate their audiences and stakeholders. Narrations in Sinhala and Tamil are also available.
An evening concert featuring rock artiste Chitral Somapala majored on ‘songs for the planet’ including ‘Wilpattuwe’, co-written with NGage’s Creative Director Chinthana Dharmadasa. Other performers were Nirmali and Harsha Markalanda and Thilan Wijesinghe. “The way for brands to engage with their audiences is changing dramatically from the broadcast advertising mode into creative edutainment-based PR events and video-laced digital campaigns. Brands have to seriously rethink and innovate its products and packaging and refashion its messaging from hard-sell to a ‘Higher Purpose’ approach,” said Nimal Gunewardena. “That’s the philosophy that NGage Strategic Alliance will drive as a new-genre, relaunched agency.”