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Stefaan De Wildeman knows better than anyone how disastrous the impact of the present generation of fossil-based plastics is on the environment. As former Senior Scientist Biobased Building Blocks at DSM and current group leader New Biobased Building Blocks at the University of Maastricht, he tries to bring about a social change in which the world will be based on innovations towards sustainable products and habits.

“I am a life-long creator, combining bio-chemistry and plastics engineering with passion to garantee a better world to come”, Stefaan explains. “If it is needed to make more clear how clean and green plastics can be, let me sing some love-songs about plastics…”

There’s one important message he wants to make clear to his audience: “There are a lot of eye-openers about our plastics industry and our plastics habits. Once you understand how unsustainable we are behaving, you’ll get energy for change in no-time. Once you get this energy, I’ll show you how you can contribute to the change. Once we all change, we’ll create the hyper-social level that is our only way to survive. I want create awareness in the audience, co-ownership of the solution and happiness by finding the talents that contribute to the change in each of us.”

“Could it be that we are beaten by some capitalistic effects?”, Stefaan asks himself. “What is not costly, is not worth thinking about. What you can afford, you should buy. Once you bought it, go buy more. Buy till you bought more than your neighbour. Buy till the rest dies. But if the Homo sapiens take its responsibility of the planet again – without being asked, then let’s rise above the consciousness and instinctive reactions of a two-year old child, only fulfilling short-term desires.”

That’s exactly the reason why, if he could have a superpower, Stefaan says he would sing the whole world to sleep for a while. “In their sleep I would dive with them into a real-life picture of a sustainable world – Homo sapiens controlling the responsibility they seem to take – again, without being asked – of our beautiful planet. I would show them the kind of paradise we could actually have, without compromising our own children.”

Ninih Vang