It’s been another exciting year at LOHAUS and we’d like to share with you our picks for the top seven events and initiatives of the just-ended Year of the Horse. We also look ahead to the rest of 2015, which in the Chinese lunar calendar is the Year of the Goat. Speaking of which, check out our special 2015 Chinese New Year Tangram-edition logo featuring, naturally, a goat （And see our Year of the Horse logo and 2013 yearly review here). These initiatives are all important to us, so in no particular order, here they are, the top seven:
LOHAUS Inspirational Speakers Series
In 2014 we had a hugely successful run of events featuring inspirational coaches, corporate trainers, and people with an inspiring story to tell.These events followed an interactive format, about an hour each plus extensive Q&A and discussion time. Too numerous to describe them all here, the events are all on the LOHAUS meetup. We learned, for example, about the importance of dance and movement to creativity with husband and wife team Fionn and Cheri Wright; heard an authentic and uplifting talk on the trials and triumphs of the Suited Monk, Raf Adams, as he built his business and brand in China; and understood the importance of digestive health to mind and body in the amusingly titled Reframing Poo, with health and wellness practitioner Amena Lee Schlaikjer. There were so many more including Jeff Tan of REV, Kimberly Ashton from Sprout Lifestyles, futurist and media expert Gaurav Mishra, corporate trainers Jerel Bonner, Mario Cavolo, Miles Lafferty, Michael Adick, and Warwick John Fahy, and the whole series started with Brain Tam of Let’s Make Great who talked about the Future of Work. Here is a collection of photos from the events:
The Shanghai Forum @ LOHAUS
Our second major series of events is called the Shanghai Forum, and it technically started way back in 2012 but 2014 was its best year yet, hosting nearly two dozen events with many excellent speakers. Nearly every event was a full house with 30 – 50 people and we hosted book talks, economic briefings, industry sector reviews, and information for doing business in China including many cross-cultural seminars and China career development workshops.
In this case, there are definitely too many speakers to list individually but we thank them all for their contribution and thank our participants for making Shanghai Forum one of the best attended and largest meetups in Shanghai. Check out our site on Meetup, the Shanghai Forum, and join for full event listings last year and upcoming events this year!
Other Informative Events at LOHAUS
Each month, LOHAUS hosted a number of events on special topics ranging from organic food and healthy eating, to photography, design and more. We had a number of great events in the past year but one theme stands out for the number of events hosted and the huge number of people interested: 3D printing.
While the technology is still several years from being ubiquitous, we explored ideas with representatives of Shapeways China, a 3D materials researcher, and others who spoke about the future of 3D. In fact our own LOHAUS sustainable manufacturing initiative took the form of exploring and promoting the use of 3D printing for local production: By doing so, you save on costs of inventory and distribution, and in many cases can easily recycle items made from reusable plastic. By producing things on your own or with your local neighborhood 3D printer, you get instant delivery, with no overproduction and less waste on things like packaging. What could be better than getting what you want, when you need it, how you want it? That is the future promise of 3D printing.
LOHAUS Solar Shanghai Initiative
Each year we try to make an impact on urban sustainability with a major initiative. In 2013 it was our promotion of LED lighting for energy efficiency and home cost savings. In 2014, it was the Solar Shanghai Initiative. Around April 2014, LOHAUS became the first building in downtown Shanghai to have grid-connected solar panels installed on its rooftop. For a city of more than 20 million, this was surprising, but the official policy from China’s energy regulator went into effect only a short while earlier so we were basically first in line. Not only that, given that LOHAUS is housed in a 1930s era former residential structure, we also became the oldest building in the city, probably in all of China, to do so.
We did the project to make a point: China, with Shanghai as just one urban example, is suffering from poor air quality from a combination of coal-generated electricity, factory emissions, and roads crowded with automobiles. Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels provide one possible solution, generating clean power from the sun. Although China is the world’s largest producer of solar panels, it is not the world’s largest user of them, and it has been missing its national targets. China nationally has a very low rate of rooftop solar usage as well. Our goal, therefore, was to show individuals that they too could install a solar power system on their roof, even in an urban area, with a reasonable payback period of 5-7 years. We were overwhelmed with the response from the project. We had media visits from around China, including national broadcaster CCTV, national print agency Xinhua, and literally dozens of local newspapers and TV stations. Our installation was seen by millions. All of this, we believe, has gone a long way to increase awareness of the benefits of rooftop solar PV in China. We consider the initiative our biggest success so far. Here’s a video we made about the process of installing and launching our solar panel installation: (Alternate viewing on YouTube)
Photography and the Local Artist Initiative
Another major initiative at LOHAUS is the fostering of new local artists. In 2013, we featured painter Michelle Yuan, who is in 2014 quickly becoming a national-level artist with showings around China, and illustrator Ake, whose books and manga-style large illustrations are very popular. In 2014 we began working with Shen Yunyao, a young photographer with an interesting story to tell. Like many photographers of his generation, Shen was raised in an affluent urban environment that encourages materialism and lack of rural awareness. Unlike other youths, Shen goes out of his way to capture the changing China, traveling all the way to Tibet where he captures the contrast between China’s economic development and its traditional peoples such as the indigenous Zang.
At LOHAUS we hosted a series of speaking events for Shen to address the Shanghai community. Over three hundred attended what we called a Tibetan Creation Experience event, Heart of Tibet. During the day there were three rounds of discussion and presentation of his work, and a party afterwards. It was a great turnout and, we hope, will be a launching board for a promising career as a photojournalist and documentarian of China’s culture.
LOHAUS Book Reuse and Sharing Salons
In 2014 we launched a series of events to provide a solution to a common problem: what to do with old books? Our answer: Host a monthly salon where people can donate old books for reuse by others and get free coffee and afternoon snacks! While it sounds hard to sustain such an activity, in fact we create a sustainable event by encouraging people to bring only books they love, and write a short comment card telling people why they would like others to read a certain book. We then resell these very marketable books, each with their own history, at a small price to cover the costs of the event. People are encouraged to bring three books each time, as long as they are quality books which the reader loves (no old university textbooks, please ) With partner Green Initiatives to help promote the event, and Cambio Coffee to provide premium quality coffee for attendees, it was a great success. In 2015 we welcome a new partner, the Book Room Cafe, which will provide delicious afternoon snacks and will be a future host to our monthly salon.
Seasonal parties and social gatherings
In 2014, we made a commitment to make more social connections and bring people from Shanghai’s diverse communities together. To that end, we hosted a number of themed holiday events, including Christmas and New Year parties, Valentine’s Day, Halloween Haunted Haus, Mid-Autumn Festival and others. More than just a party, at each event we tried to introduce cultural exchange and ideas with themed decorations, food, music and activities. Some were very popular with 70 or 80 attending, others were smaller and more intimate as people had left for holidays elsewhere. Without exception, each event was special to us and we believe that everyone enjoyed the festivities.
What’s up for 2015?
We’re planning to continue almost all of the initiatives above. The LOHAUS Inspirational Speakers Series will go on a short hiatus, but we will host more Shanghai Forum events (please join our meetup to be informed of the latest), more promotion of solar energy, and, the biggest news, the launch of the LOHAUS book. To be titled LOHAUS: A Lifestyle of Health and Urban Sustainability, the book will be available in March 2015 in both English and Chinese editions. Find out more about the English edition of the book here. (Click here to read a short outline of the book in Chinese).
If you use WeChat, you can also join our WeChat group to receive the latest events and other announcements directly to your phone. Just scan this from your WeChat application or add our Official Account ID LOHAUS 乐豪斯： We wish you all a prosperous Year of the Goat! Happy Chinese New Year!
Here’s a Chinese version of this post if you would like to know more of the details (note it is not a translation, but the headings and main ideas are similar): 乐豪斯2014年度回顾比我们走得快的永远是时间，一闭眼一睁眼，2014就悄悄地度过了。 2014对于我们乐豪斯是不平凡的一年，她见证了乐豪斯的快速成长。站在2014的尾巴上，让我们一起回顾一下乐豪斯一年来各式精彩活动。 这是回顾，更是展望。展望未来乐豪斯能给喜欢支持她的朋友们带来更多的惊喜！
- 中国好技能系列中国好技能系列是一个致力于提升在中国的你的工作效率的研讨会，它由两位经验丰富并且在中国多年的专家打造，它会告诉你如何了解自己和身边的事物。这些技能也常常在公司培训或者MBA课程中被反复提起。主讲人为Jason Inch和Jerel Bonner。 该系列讲座走的是实用路线，吸引到了一批特定的人群积极参加。通过具有丰富经验的讲者深入浅出的教授，凡是参加过的人们都能满载而归。明天，我们也会打造类似的系列，是大家在在职场、在交际圈游刃有余。
- 可持续项目之太阳能并网2014年4月23日，作为上海健康与可持续发展的创意中心，乐豪斯举行了其上海安装第一个市区并网太阳能发电系统项目的启动仪式。 这意味着乐豪斯成功并网了首户老式建筑上的太阳能发电系统。作为一家致力于健康与城市可持续发展的社会企业，乐豪斯再一次向人们展示了如何使用清能源，如何拥有一个更美好的城市生活！
- 心藏——沈云遥西藏摄影展8月2号，乐豪斯与为中国国家地理杂志供图的合作摄影师沈云遥携手，从他个人独特的视角带领大家走进西藏，从心探索以及体验西藏流传千年绝无仅有的以及青藏高原无限壮美的人文和自然景观。此次活动洋房里的每一层都给大家从视觉，听觉，触觉各种感观带来全方位的体验，使大家感受到真正的西藏，仿佛参与到了艺术再创作的过程。并且通过此展进行再思考，关于随心和追梦，获得启发。 此次活动吸引了超过百人前来参加，更有多家媒体进行了报道。该活动的成功举办也让更多人了解到了乐豪斯，了解到了千里之外西藏的风土人情。相信类似颇具人气的展览在2015年也会呈献给大家。
2015年乐豪斯的发展是什么呢? 我们计划将上述的乐豪斯发起活动继续下去。乐豪斯励志讲座系列将暂停一小段时间，但是我们会举办更多的上海论坛活动（请加入到我们的meetup获取最及时的活动资讯），我们会继续推广太阳能的使用，并且，最重要的是，我们将发布有关乐豪斯的书，书名就为乐豪斯：健康与城市可持续发展的生活方式，中英文版将同时于2015年3月发布。点击此处先睹为快，获取大纲预览。 如果你想更了解乐豪斯或想参加我们的活动，请看我们的meetup (http://www.meetup.com/ShanghaiForum) 或者加我们的威信： 2014马年未完，2015羊年待续。 祝大家新年快乐！恭喜发财！