Our Year of Hope Vol. 8 - Blue KmC² Living Labs Network

May 06, 2024

For the year of 2024, the team here at Fifty Shades Greener have decided to focus our energy and efforts into spotlighting small, community driven sustainability projects from anywhere in the world that are operating on a grass roots level.

The world of sustainability itself can often be perceived as a minefield. From the enormity of the climate crisis, CSRD regulations and measuring carbon emissions, the efforts being made on the field by individuals or groups can often get overshadowed.

However, we always say at FSG, that small actions do count, especially when being carried out by many. This blog series will endeavor to highlight those people or communities who are driving REAL action.

We hope their stories inspire you, and more importantly that they spark hope.

Our eighth story features Pedro Fernández professor at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid in the Department of Hydraulic, Energy and Environmental Studies.

Pedro is the founder of Blue KmC² Living Labs Network, a project which aims to shape a new paradigm for sustainable human community design.  

This Living Labs Network operates as a global network of living laboratories. In simple words, the initiative aims to establish sustainable communities in small land areas (one-square-kilometre area) around the world.

This means that multiple locations will transform into sustainable circular economy hubs, where circular economy ideas are put into practice. They use these small land areas as a showcase for generating new knowledge and innovative solutions. The solutions involve initiatives such as implementing renewable energy sources, minimising waste generation and improving water efficiency.

💡 Could you explain the idea behind your project?

When we talk about circularity, it's like realising that in nature, nothing goes to waste. However, in our current economic system, we produce a lot of things that we don't want or need. I firmly believe that we should transition from a mindset centred around necessity to one focused on aspiration to construct a brighter future.

I’ve included the concept “blue” in the name of the project because it symbolises water, which is essential for life and sustainability. Additionally, during my career, I focused on water-related topics like the ocean and freshwater, and I want to make water a central element of the project.

💡 What is the main goal of the project?

Our goal is to create a world that's more beautiful and sustainable, which requires tapping into creativity. This creativity can lead to new businesses, innovative ways of living, and overall improvements in quality of life. These initiatives not only create value but also serve as examples for others, regardless of where they are.

These circular kilometres aren't isolated; they're part of a broader interconnected system. The partnership involves governments, educational institutions, NGOs, entrepreneurs, and private organisations.

This year, in 2024, we've been approved as an action for the Sustainable Development Goals. It's not just a stamp of approval; it also entails following specific guidelines. We plan to document our progress, not just for ourselves, but also to meet the requirements set forth.

💡 Can you elaborate on one or more of the projects?

We're involved in a project in Asunción's La neighbourhood, Paraguay. It's an area with significant challenges like waste accumulation and flooding, but also with a lot of potential due to its geographic location.

Our involvement began with academic research to understand the problems and propose solutions related to water, energy, and waste management. We aim to create a sustainable ecosystem in the neighbourhood.

Our approach is modest due to limited resources, but we're committed to long-term progress. We're documenting our efforts to ensure accountability and consistency in our work.



💡 What are the challenged you have encountered if any?

The real challenge is that the project is indeed endless, but it's also a source of motivation. I firmly believe the whole world should give value to the project because people can and will perceive the area where they live improves.

💡 What gives you hope?

In general, I find hope in the simple beauty of the world, like the light of day and the wonders of nature. Despite the overwhelming negativity in the news, I can't help but feel optimistic. It's baffling how certain individuals, who seem to lack empathy, have risen to power. However, I firmly believe that these individuals are in the minority, and the goodness in humanity will prevail.

I'm hopeful because I see the potential for positive change.

It's no longer about social status; it's about what we're capable of achieving and experiencing. Let's prioritise knowledge and personal growth over material wealth. By embracing this mindset and nurturing our connection with nature, we can create a healthier and more fulfilling life for ourselves and future generations.


FSG is collaborating with this initiative by delivering one of the diplomas of their educational course. Delivered by the academic network of Blue KmC² Living Labs, this program is designed to equip students and professionals with the knowledge and skills to make a positive impact in the evolving landscape of sustainable development.

Enroll in the Advanced Blue and Circular Economy Expert Program and become a catalyst for change. Join a global community committed to driving sustainable practices, circular innovation, and creating a lasting impact on our planet.

Thank you Pedro and the team at Blue KmC² Living Labs Network for your time and insight. We wish you the absolute best with your efforts and thank you for leading the way in positive change.

For more thoughts and insights into the world of sustainability from the FSG Team, sign up to our blog HERE

And if you want to learn more about sustainability for your personal life or for your workplace/ career please book a discovery call with one of our experts HERE 

Thank you for reading today.

The FSG Team. 💚



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