Let’s Gro, the festival about the future of Groningen, returns to the city for its tenth edition. From 4 to 6 November, people can join debates, movies, workshops, and music at the Forum (Nieuwe Markt 1, Groningen) and other locations in the Stad.
This edition’s theme is the gap. Organizers created a series of talks to discuss reducing the differences between income, opportunities, health and neighbourhoods in Groningen. The festival raises the debate not only within the city but also on its relationship with the countryside. The festival will also host discussions about the energy crisis, ways to build a greener Groningen with new construction projects and renovations in the city. The program features experiences and cases from other cities, offering Groningen inspirations and models to imitate.
“The gap is an important topic to our society in general, but for Groningen in particular,” Martijn Rotgers, Forum Project Manager said. Rotgers is concerned about the rising inequalities among people in the city: “In Groningen, one out of five children lives in poverty. Many factors influence this: the birthplace, your family’s social status, your neighbourhood.” For Rotgers, Let’s Gro offers a platform where these differences to can be discussed and, more importantly, potential solutions. might be suggested
“We target mainly Dutch people because we want to bring issues to people who established their lives in Groningen,” Rotgers continued, explaining that most internationals are students who live in Groningen temporarily. “We are interested in their ideas, though: in last year’s edition, we dedicated a panel to a discussion with the international community in Groningen,” he said. Rotgers invited non-Dutch speakers to join Let’s Gro anyway, as the festival also offers installations, music, and other initiatives besides conversations.
The program has a few events in English. On Friday, at 19:30, four speakers will talk about the relationship between the city and its surroundings. English journalist Sam Bright will explain how London erodes his country’s prosperity, raising a case for a comparison with the Dutch Randstad versus West conflict. On Saturday, at 19:30, the short movie A Pedestrian Film opens a discussion on the role of walking in the city’s mobility plan.
All Let’s Gro events are free. The festival program is available on the Forum website (in Dutch). The festival is organized in collaboration with the municipality of Groningen.