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The 6 winners of the Creative Heroes Awards 2019

Last night, during a festive evening in a crowded Undercurrent in Amsterdam, the 6 Creative Heroes Awards were handed out.

The Creative Heroes Awards are annually handed out to the largest game changers in the Dutch creative industry. People who have a lasting positive impact on society. The awards look past disciplines and sectors, which is why they are dubbed the ‘Oscars of the Creative Industry’.

To become a Creative Hero, the degree of impact of the project is what counts. The jury, consisting of 17 creative professionals, looks at 6 different categories: from impact on a personal scale to impact on a global scale.

From 29 nominees (to find our who, click here), 6 winners were chosen in each of the 6 categories. At the end of the evening, from these 6 heroes, one superhero emerged.

1:1 Award
This award honours a hero for impact on a personal scale. The winner in this category is Ronald Carpentier of MindAffect. Along with his team, he developed the first Brain Computer Interface )BCI) which helps so-called locked-in patients, people who cannot communicate because of ALS or a stroke, to convey their wants and needs. The jury said, “A very special project. MindAffect allows people with the locked-in syndrome to communicate with the outside world.”

1:100 Award
Nominees in this category have had an economic or social impact on a small social scale. The winners are Pim van Baarsen and Luc van Hoeckel of Super Local. Their project helps set up local productions in non-developed economies, like in Malawi, where they set up a production chain for beds, operation tables and night stands for a hospital in local workshops. The jury comments: “Two smart designers look after hospitals in Malawi, where there is no production industry and no money to import expensive hospital beds from Europe or America. Their approach is deployed in other areas of the world as well.”

1:10.000 Award
To be selected in this category, a project has to have had an impact on a larger social scale. Shahar Livne is the winner in this category. The conceptual material designer aims to research and tackle world problems via the stories that are hidden in materials. According to the jury, “ Shahar is ambitious and motivated, and has an interesting approach by treating plastic as a resource rather than waste. She makes us think about the power of the planet that withstands the waste surplus and turns plastic into a new usable material.”

1:100.000 Award
This award honours the person with the most impact on an urban scale. This award was won by Simone Post. She has developed her own design approach that is characterised by in-dept research and a love for colour and material experiments. “She has a great impact,” the jury says, “in a short time, she has realised a lot in her collaboration with companies.”

1:1.000.000 Award
Who has the most impact on a national scale? Claudy Jongstra took his award home last night. She was honoured for her ecological perfume based on beeswax, but more importantly, the revenue model she developed for farmers to make this perfume to stimulate them to use part of their land for flowers. Jury: “Claudy has been researching natural colourants to dye her wool for 15 years. Now, she designs a larger functioning system in collaboration with designers, artists, architects and craftsmen from around the world. She shows that creativity and collaboration can bring back an abandoned farm and that scaling up can start the transition in agriculture.”

1: Award
Last, but certainly not least, is the award for impact on a global scale. The winner in this category is Lex Hoefsloot, co-founder of Lightyear. Just this week, they announced their solar car to the world (read more about this here). The jury says, “Five young founders, along with a team of eighty people, managed to launch the world’s first solar car. A huge task. The car is a technological masterpiece. You do not need to mine lithium, you do not need charging stations every ten metres, nor any underground infrastructure.”

Super Hero Award
While the above mentioned winners were decided upon by the jury, at the end of the evening, it was the audience’s turn to pick their favourite and crown them super hero. The audience decided upon Lex Hoefsloot of Lightyear.

Photos: Hanne Hansen
Drawings: Filip Heyninck