Hear from Carla Cammilla Hjort, Co-founder and Vision Director of SPACE10

Carla Cammilla Hjort is a one-time professional of many roles. Dancer, DJ, international music producer, meditation teacher and body therapist, and even the founder of Trailerpark Festival and the global creative community ArtRebels.

Space10 and Tomorrow's Meatball

However, it’s her role as co-founder and vision director of SPACE10 that brought her to Auckland recently for the Spark Future of the Future event. SPACE10 is a Copenhagen-based experimental design lab that works with IKEA to create a more sustainable way of life. We chatted to her about “the journey of figuring out who we are as individuals" and how Carla believes that journey gets us "to a place in life where you feel that you are aligned with your inner most passions and beliefs". It's from there that we can do the kind of that "matters to the world".

One great project was Tomorrow’s Meatball. Space10 created a sculpture of artificial meat, algae, bugs and 3D printing. This project was Tomorrow's Meatball and it was designed to start a conversation about sustainable ways to meet the food demands of a growing population. Tomorrow's Meatball went down well with everyone except IKEA, who knew nothing of the project until they started reading about it in the news.

What did Carla and company learn from that experience?

“I learned that you can use storytelling as an activistic tool - and that it can be much smarter to ask for forgiveness than permission. It actually created a situation because the media exposure was so big and so positive. It was full positive. And all the comments on all the articles were just so positive that IKEA saw that people actually really want us to move in a more sustainable direction when it comes to food. And it really did speed things up internally at IKEA foods.”

The marriage of passion and dreams

Given the obvious differences in approach, how did the relationship between SPACE10 and IKEA come to be?

“It came because of the phone call from the CEO, he said he wanted to sign us up to IKEA. That just sparked in me this feeling really, that this was the moment where I had to dream really big, that this phone call was something special. So I went about it like this: what is my own personal ultimate dream? If I had all the money in the world, what would I actually do to make the world better and how would I do it? That was my starting point. [...] But then it all sort of came together when I read the vision of IKEA ‘creating a better everyday life for the many people’. Then I was like, okay, we're actually on the same page. [...] And all I needed to do was to question whether what they do today is enough."

Advice for the next generation:

“So I do believe more than ever that this self-realisation journey is really important. It's really important to be community-minded and understand the importance of having social connections, strong social connections. So really good friendships, not just online connections, likes and dislikes.

“So really going in, being together and then believe and trust that there is a path that is not defined by society or your parents necessarily. That you can design your own way in life and that it's all about finding the strengths to pursue that and figure out what those dreams are. Just have a focus on how you use your talent, personality and potential to just add something good to the world. Whether small or big, doesn't matter."