Hansa Freehavens

An infinite changing horizon…


Leaving the age of massive industries, mass culture and total consumption behind - seeking sustainability and stability in resilience and in organic dynamics - revaluating the importance of knowledge and arts - inspired by the internet and its new social structures of collaboration, sharing, trade and open information, changing the cultural geography of the globe drastically - with the nations of Europe opening their borders in reunion and local populations seeking a new international context we dream of flourishing cities, opening up their havens again - with its people opening up their minds - to encounter a new era of exploration and innovation. In our imagination we plant a flower, a spot of light as a beacon of the spirit, to mark an area in the city where arts, crafts and science are joined together in an environment of inspiration. This place must be a cradle of invention and discovery, a port - or better; a portal - to the mind, to the city and to the world. As citizens of Groningen we took the Hanseatic League as a conceptual starting point, seeking collaboration in fellow Hansa Cities, to grow an international network of urban centres of arts, crafts, science and trade: the new Hansa Freehavens. .

Point of departure

to create a North European intercity network of free havens; a chain of think-and-do playgrounds for open source ingenuity, creativity and invention.

to enhance the independent development of innovative concepts in collaboration and confrontation with unexpected bright minds; R&D in public.

“re-inventing” industries in the context of 21st century Europe with it’s open borders and open sources, seeking knowledge, creativity and sustainability.

Organizing bright minds bottom up, to claim an open industrial area in several city centers in Northern Europe where an independent network of “enspironments” (inspiring environments) will be designed and build to harbor a babbling bazaar of ideas. Designing and building these free havens is putting the innovative power of the participants to the test in practice.

Spin off:
The main challenge is to mobilize brainpower to the benefit of all. All participants will be invited to bring in their expertise and/or materials and spent some time working on the concept of the free haven, some in a specific project and others in a workshop or general brainstorm. We aim for instant spin off by bringing an international variety of creative and innovative experts together in action; an inspiration network for all.

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