My name is Giacomo De Stefano. I deal with the protection of water, snow, and all what is related to them, and mostly then with sustainable economies.
I try and do it travelling slow and as clean as I can.
I grew in the Italian Alps, in the Mont Blanc area. Skiing, snowboarding, climbing and hiking where my passions, my life. Then I decided to know the seas and I dedicated my second part of life to seas and rivers and the way of building a durable and sustainable way of managing economies along the river banks and the coasts. It is a long project including many projects.
I, we try to think and act for better world, good, clean and fair.
All our projects are based on the concept of Gift Economy, working with nature and not against it, and of the Circular Economy principles.
With some friends from different part of this planet we founded a ONG called Be Water based in Kohl, Germany, and Venice, Italy. The Be Water association is founded to protect our waters, rivers and seas, our cultural and traditional heritage and knowledge, and to promote a ethical and sustainable way of living.
The most recent project is Man on the River: in 2010 have built with Roland Poltock and friends a small wooden boat in a model design factory, which is called Lago, then I created with the help of Eden Exit, a green advertising company, a good website.
Then, I left London, precisely from Henley-on-Thames and I rowed and sailed for 5401 km across Europe till Istanbul. Using only my arms and the wind.
During the journey I have met thousands of people who I have listened to and interviewed, telling about sustainable economies, and environmental disasters, great work, miracles, intelligent animals and extraordinary beauty along the rivers of this part of the world. Across 13 countries, 6 capitals, 346 locks, 18 suspended aqueducts, eight tunnels and 2000 bridges.
With a group of collaborators we made a good communication work that has led us to an international visibility beyond all expectations. On the web site manontheriver.com there are the full information about the trip.
The next project is coming soon...it will be part of that intangible yet very solid...and crazy workshop called Be Water.
The project Man on the snow
Man on the snow, Oslo to Nordkapp by fair means is a project to travel by ski in a sustainable way from Oslo to Nordkapp, across Norway, Sweden and Finland in the period from late January 2014 to May 2014, to film a documentary, the first of a serie, to research the possible ways of dealing positively with nature analyzing the increasing and long terms effect impact of the winter tourism.
I grew up in the Alps, where hundreds of ski resorts are nowadays working. I saw the pros and cons of the so called 'white gold business'. Its positive effects and its damages.
I want to see and talk to the people in Norway, Sweden and Finland, and film them in their approach to their white world. A skied trip of 3000 km touching famous ski resorts like Lillehammer and wild territories still inhabited by the last nomads of Europe: the Sami.
I will travel using ecoskis built with recycled wood, flax and ecoresins, locally built ski bindings, a special revolutionary device for rescue in the water beaver bean's derived organic plastic ski boots by Scarpa, and organic cotton and wool clothes.
I will built my self with the help of the Museo Maritimo de Barcelona, the boatbuilder Sebastià Vidal, a pulk-kayak built only with hemp fiber and recycled fishing nets, and still ecoresin, to carry my gears and provisions; I will sleep in a tent inspired by the Sami tipi a Lavvu, built with organic cotton and then donated to rescue operation camp, I will wear traditional clothes, built with natural materials and manifactured by companies working in a sustainable, respectful and clean way. Like Bergans for instance, as I checked on the market. I will also use where possible, a kite.
I will recharg my batteries using solar panels provided by FuturaSun.
I will also receive in the ISPO a very interesting wooden bike. You never know.. And I know for sure that I looove wood!
The project will be done in total freedom. We are a No Logo, No Sponsor ONG (Verhein). Only credits of parthers providing or selling us gears and equipment will be displayed on our web site. Any suppliers, to whom we never ask a donation or a gift, will receive e report of the effective results in using the gear along this 3000 km project, credits in the documentary and obviously in the interviews and reportage the gear will be seen. We simply like to support companies working in a positive way and following the Circular Economy principles.
I will present this trip in the Green Area at the ISPO 2014 Munich, 26-29th of January, then in Copenhagen Christiania, and in Goteborg, Sweden at the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden in January the 30th.
I am preparing an expedition for a documentary film, the firs of a serie, about the impact of winter tourism.
I will be 'one man band', very light and flexible, and the aim is to travel with no use of fossil fuel. Only skiing, kayaking on the same pulk*, a I will tow and using wind, woth the help of a kite.
*A pulk (from Finnish pulkka) is a Nordic short, low-slung small toboggan used in sport or for transport, pulled by a dog or a skier, or in Lapland pulled by reindeer (Source Wikipedia).
The skied project will start in the first week of february from Oslo, and will be fun also: I still have to learn snow kite and I will do it right there, in Norway. That will be of course part of the doc. Probably a very funny part!
We, in Be Water, only rely on our own voluntary an unpaid work, on our money and we try to help and promote companies which work in a local, sustainable and respectful way. We interview people, we film and the share what we see trying to give an impartial yet very personal point of view of the social and eviromental landscapes met along the way. It sounds a little bit crazy, almost masochistic but it is like that. And it works! Our projects already done can talk better than any words.
Snow is frozen water and since we depend on water our aim is to promote a sustainable and respectful approach towards the rivers, lakes, the sea and the water in its various manifestations.
By fair means we think, we do, we share.