Kathrin is the project manager of the Flower of Life, an eco-dome based on sacred geometry which will be the largest energy matrix in the world; bringing together humanitarian and environmental organizations in Bali.
How was The Flower of Life born?
This project was started by two people; Mario Hintermayer, an Austrian entrepreneur and philanthropist, and Ronny Tome, his business partner. Ronny has been living here in Bali for decades and Mario has been a regular visitor for many years. With increasing numbers of tourists they observed how their beloved island was getting more and more challenged – insufficient infrastructure, waste management problems, increasing inequalities, etc.
While their original plan was to build a healing resort, they changed plans and decided to set up a social project instead – using their strength of sales and joining forces with those that already do amazing work in helping Bali preserve its beauty and magic. These organizations could benefit greatly if an umbrella foundation were to be created to bring the yayasan together in communication and commitment; bringing worldwide awareness to the efforts already being made here. They recognized how Bali is a microcosm that mirrors the problems that the world faces at large. Islands feel the effects of humanity’s actions immediately and Bali has been growing so exponentially the problems are everywhere. Having said this there is also the potential here to address these issues and serve as an example for the rest of the world. Bali is leading the way on so many levels – it could be an environmentally and socially conscious destination and with the support and vision of a strong community, it can be.
Describe your energy-generating dome to us.
The Flower of Life, known as a powerful symbol that has been found through all cultures and ages, will be a solar power generating eco-dome which the Garden of Life, a 13 hectare tropical park in Tabanan, will inhabit. The largest structure of its kind, it will be a powerful energy matrix, symbolizing a unified and green vision for Bali’s future. A place for reflection and events – tourists, expats and locals may all come to experience the real essence of Bali’s original beauty and the culture which created this island we all love so much.
The Flower of Life will stand as a legacy for social impact by generating an abundant income stream for a number of local charities; it will inspire and support local Balinese to create and maintain their unique culture. The entire park will be based on the principles of sacred geometry: the flower of life is a geometrical shape based on the golden ratio and the Fibonacci series. The flower is based on this mathematical code of life, which is seen in all life down to the atomic level. We chose it because it is not associated with any particular religion or faith – it serves well as a reminder for the interconnectedness and sacredness of all life.
All revenues that will be made from this park – entrance fees, local product sales, events, etc. – are intended to support social and environmental programmes here in Bali.
What are the organizations you are working with now?
Currently we are working with and for Yayasan Bumi Sehat, Solemen, Karang Lestari Foundation, Bye Bye Plastic Bags, Muntigunung Social Development Project and the Coconut Knowledge Center. These organizations represent many areas such as women’s health, community health and development, social and environmental issues and ways to bring back and maintain a strong economic and cultural base in the local communities while creating an awareness of the problems facing them and the solutions which are possible for growth and restoration. Bali is already a centre for innovation and new ideas which affect the world and can be an example to other areas in the world to follow.
Tell me how you got to be a part of this project?
I was born and raised in Germany. I have an academic background in non-profit and healthcare management and was in charge of a development aid programme in Sri Lanka for six years. As I have worked for Mario before, he asked me to help the foundation to kick-start this amazing project. As I have experienced the difficulties and challenges of charity work especially in terms of lacking resources and lacking communication and synergies between organizations, I do care deeply about creating a sustainable project that will inspire and support cooperation and local ownership.
How are the Balinese involved?
The Garden of Life Foundation is Bali-based and the entire board of directors is Balinese. This project is for the Balinese and about the Balinese. We are simply starting a process which they will hopefully continue for many generations. The current board is made up of influential and engaged Balinese who want to see a change and support the goals of the foundation. Awareness comes first – not only in Bali, but everywhere. Highlighting the challenges and offering solutions through cooperation and togetherness is the way. In fact, the Flower of Life monument could be called the cover story for a much larger purpose – which is about preserving this island’s beauty and culture and balancing social inequalities. From the beginning, we involve Balinese in this process – we work with local agencies, charities and community leaders. We consult with them and involve them. We understand the danger in imposing pre-defined solutions and listen therefore closely to the locals in this process.
How can people help or get involved?
People can be a part of the change they want to see. The Flower of Life will be composed of 429,822 hexagons that will be engraved with the names and birth details of each person who donated. By contributing your energy to this monument, we will create the biggest crowdfunded energy field on Earth – in a double sense.
The hexagons will be covered with energy generating interlayers that will produce solar energy that can be partially re-fed into the energy grid of Tabanan.
We invite everybody to help us build the Flower of Life – every donation counts. In return we will plant trees in your name, you will get little presents and, of course, your name will become a permanent component in the structure of the eco-dome.
Our first fundraising events will take place in May. We are in need of volunteers, so it is not just in funding that one may contribute. Come by and work with us! We need people who are adept at social media, event organization and sales.
Can you tell us about your transparency measures for this project?
All of the monies received will be accepted in a Singapore bank with complete transparency; you will be able to see exactly where your contribution is allocated. We remain small, sourcing out when able to, so we keep our administrative costs extremely low.
Even now, during our first fundraising phase for the monument, we will actually give 20 percent of all donations directly to the charities that we support. We want to work with the Balinese to bring back the knowledge that they already had. Some answers lie in recognizing the wisdom of our ancestors, and applying it in a way that enhances the new sustainable technologies available to heal and restore our Earth and our spirit as humanity!