It all began with coffee in the kitchen of a co-working space in Amsterdam, where Marte Visser, founder of the ‘Time is Now‘ foundation, and Steven Fockema Andreae, Head of Sales Western Europe at commercetools met. They were both working on their own projects and started sharing ideas with each other over friendly conversation. Marte was heavily involved in the structuring and buildup of the ‘Time is Now‘, which grabbed Steven’s attention from the get-go.

Steven Fockema Andreae, Head of Sales Western Europe commercetools

Steven, why do you believe in ‘Time is Now’? What prompted you to recommend the foundation as a support project to commercetools?
The thinking behind the foundation is to educate children from an early age in regard to environmental themes. We consider such ideas to be highly important for the future, creating a stronger consciousness around sustainability for the next generation. Marte supports her concept with passion, and she has built a great network. She is extremely skilled at sparking excitement in others, as well as bringing people together. However, advertising and fundraising are more complex matters. Hence, I have always given her advice during our discussions. Even though commercetools has opened its own office in Amsterdam, our relationship remains the same. The next logical step was naturally to support the foundation financially, as we are deeply impacted by the objectives of ‘Time is Now’.

How do you support the foundation on a day-to-day basis?
Steven: Aside from financial support, I advise Marte and her colleagues on promotion and sponsorship-related issues. We have, and remain, in close contact.

Marte Visser, Founder and Project Manager Time Is Now

Marte, the foundation has achieved a lot already and it has attracted big names in politics, science and economy. What are the next steps?
A group of students that discuss learning concepts in class already exists, but sustainability is meant to become a mandatory module within the school curriculum. The foundation is working towards the implementation of sustainability education by initiating intensive talks with decision makers in politics and education, as well as jump-starting important ‘civil’ movements in regard to young people and education. A recent example of this is the Youth For Climate movement in the Netherlands, founded by the ‘Time is Now’ student Tom Daman and his classmates.

To generate further support for sustainability education within society, Marte is planning a huge coup: There are talks with a state-owned TV channel for a television program that will be filmed in the high Arctic. The idea behind the show is to invite influential personalities, celebrities and change agents to visit the high Arctic and accompany climate scientists on their field trips. In doing so, they will see the devastation with their own eyes and continue to raise public awareness of it. The combination of incredible film footage, interesting personalities, renowned scientists, and adventure will be a guarantee for great television. It also has the capacity ‘to create a higher level of understanding about climate change within a much broader range of people in our society’. This will be an astronomical project, but we are excited to take it on and know that we can manage it with the right partners.

Learn more about the sustainability projects that commercetools supports here.