BioBeo Festival

BioBeo brings education closer to the bioeconomy!

On March 15, the BioBeo bioeconomy festival took place on the Brussels campus of Odisee University of Applied Sciences. The festival aims to bring bioeconomy closer to education and was created with the support of the European Commission. As a satellite event of the EU Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival, it was a vibrant day full of fascinating workshops, interesting lectures, live music, comedy and animation.

Various workshops and lectures took place at the bioeconomy festival. Secondary school students learned, among other things, how to grow mushrooms on coffee grounds or were immersed in the beauty of forests through an art installation, in collaboration with the organisations as PermaFungi and BOS+ respectively.

Gaëlle Le Bouler, a Research Programme Manager at the European Research Executive Agency at the European Commission, was also present at the festival. 

The BioBeo festival marks an innovative step in bioeconomy education. Bart Hempen, BioBeo project coordinator for Odisee University of Applied Sciences, emphasizes: “The aim of this project and festival is to bring the bioeconomy closer to education and thus involve young people in sustainable initiatives.” Horizon Europe” – which finances BioBeo – helps to develop and implement European partnerships.

“What struck me most about the BioBeo festival was the incredible enthusiasm of the children as they embraced the concept of bioeconomy. Witnessing their genuine curiosity and engagement was truly inspiring. The learning journey from the schools in Ireland participating in the BioBeo Primary Education Programme was exceptional, with each session fostering a deeper understanding of sustainability and environmental stewardship. One moment that particularly moved me was when the children sang the BioBeo song. Their voices filled the air with hope and passion, giving me shivers as I witnessed their heartfelt commitment to building a better, more sustainable future.

What made the festival truly remarkable was the vibrant and inclusive atmosphere, where children and adults alike came together to co-learn, share ideas, and have fun in creative ways. There was a palpable sense of excitement and joy as everyone explored the various activities and exhibits.”


The BioBeo festival – Putting ethical, environmental values first!

Many festivals are carried out around the world using identifying t-shirts for both facilitators and attendees. Unfortunately, beyond the festivals, these fast fashion t-shirts are rarely worn again. In line with our BioBeo mission, we wanted to ensure that the BioBeo festival on 15th March 2024 in Brussels did not add to the collection of excessive fast fashion sitting in people’s wardrobes around Europe. The Horizon Europe funded project BioBeo is dedicated to promoting the principles of a bioeconomy across European communities. Therefore, the inclusion of fast fashion would contradict this mission and was not considered as an option. Pass on fast fashion, opt for compassion!

Led by Maynooth University, it was decided to advertise the BioBeo festival as a ‘circular sustainable fashion festival’ whereby the participants and facilitators would be invited to wear old clothes, clothes purchased in their local charity shops, or clothes made specifically using sustainable materials. Dr Máire Nic an Bhaird and Dr Laoise Ní Chléirigh were tasked with interviewing attendees regarding their sartorial choices and they were posted on the BioBeo Instagram page to draw attention to this novel and innovative idea.

We hope that this will encourage others who are hosting events, whether corporate or educational or something else, that it is time for us all to stop, take a moment and ask – are the disposable t-shirts or otherwise really the smartest option? The cost alone is excessive, but most importantly, the footprint is no longer acceptable. Think circular, think sustainable, think vintage, think CREATIVELY!

Inspiring young and old: We can make a difference!

Klees Komp presented his book “The Rainmaker” at the BioBeo Festival. His inspiring story demonstrated that everyone, young or old, big or small, can have an impact and that we are all part of the system. Together we can make a difference and counteract the dangers of climate change. His story was received with enthusiasm, but not only the audience was inspired: 

“Today I was part of the Bio Beo Festival with my Brussels college colleagues from Odisee; a festival dedicated to engagement and activating bio-awareness among students and students. What a great initiative! The room was packed full of Belgian students from primary schools and high schools, with college students and with teachers. I lack words to express how grateful I am for all my wonderful, beautiful, sweet, courageous Belgian friends who Giving shape to our bioeconomy. Southern neighbors you treat me to one every time warm bath and strengthens my belief that we are with can build a meaningful movement together that make a difference.”
-Kees Klomp

“Resource – Don’t Go!” at the BioBeo Festival!

There were several booths at the BioBeo Festival, one of which was presented by Sabiha Gökçen Zwack, a researcher from the Bioeconomy Office at the University of Hohenheim. In this booth, the Resource – Don’t Go game was introduced and the dedicated work of the eTwinning teachers and students from five different schools in four different countries was presented:

Greece: Athens College Elementary School and 2nd Experimental Junior High School of Rhodes
Türkiye: Şehit Abdullah Tayyip Olçok Anadolu İmam Hatip High School
– Romania: Liceul de Turism si Alimentatie ‘Dumitru Motoc’ Galati
– Sweden: Gränbyskolan Uppsala

The visitors of the booth not only learned more about the concept of bioeconomy and activities in the eTwinning project but also had a chance to actually play the Resource-Don’t Go game with the card set prepared based on the content provided by several EU-funded projects!

10:00 – 11:00

Welcome to 
the BioBeo 

Bitesize talk on “Existential Economics” by Prof Kees Klomp 
(Rotterdam UAS) Panel discussion on “What are you doing for the Bioeconomy?”
moderated by EU Bioeconomy Youth Ambassadors (EBYA)

11:00 – 11:30 BioBeo Awards: video link with Primary Schools in Ireland to celebrate the work pupils 
have done for the bioeconomy through working with BioBeo educational materials. 
Live performance of the BioBeo song.
11:30 – 13:30

BioBeo Food 
Corner: have a healthy break from a food selection highlighting the importance 
of local and sustainable food production. 

BioBeo Bioeconomy Brussels Trail and Quiz: walk around the campus guided by the BioBeo 
app highlighting bioeconomy initiatives in Brussels while participating in a 

BioBeo Bioeconomy Fair: visit the booth expo and meet bio-based innovations, products
 and technologies (open throughout the festival).

BioBeo Movie Corner: watch the BioBeo animations and other films related to the bioeconomy

BioBeo Escape room: visit an art installation highlighting the beauty and the importance
 of forests.

BioEComedy – live standup comedy about the bioeconomy (13:00 – 13:30)

13:40 – 14:40 Bioeconomy 
in Action (session 1): attend an interactive Workshop around a BioBeo theme 
(food loop, forestry, interconnectedness, life below water and outdoor education) 
and learn about bio-based activities.
14:50 – 15:50 Bioeconomy 
in Action (session 2): attend an interactive Workshop around a BioBeo theme 
(food loop, forestry, interconnectedness, life below water and outdoor education) 
and learn about bio-based activities.

15:50 – 16:30

Youth forum on Bioeconomy: policy ideas from BioBeo schools and EU Bioeconomy Youth Ambassadors (EBYA)

Closing remarks by BioBeo team