22nd November 2014 – Natural History Museum, London
Held to honour 50 years of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, the Biophilia Ball brought environmental luminaries, musicians, performers, artists and guests together – amidst the dinosaurs and whales of the Natural History Museum – and guided us on a journey across many landscapes from the frozen arctic to the grasslands of Africa, connecting us to nature through all of our senses.
The IUCN Red List has evolved over 50 years to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. Although The IUCN Red List is the starting-point for all conservation action, it is inadequately supported – as, indeed, are the species it speaks for. We were therefore delighted that HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco sent a message of his foundation’s support for The IUCN Red List.
The Biophilia Ball was an immersive experience, highlighting the amazing diversity of life on Earth. Guests were greeted by vultures on arrival, and then assigned an individual species from the Red List: each corresponded with a unique hand-painted mask by Alice Shirley. Once guests donned their masks, the museum truly came alive. Our beautiful event video below shows what a remarkable evening it was.
Starting their journey in a desert oasis, guests were soon called to dinner by a troop of Dhol drummers, where they were guided through the Open Ocean – alongside magnificent floating jellyfish – into Ice: the museum’s central hall. As they took their seats, guests were surrounded by images from the breathtaking film ‘Chasing Ice’. As the evening progressed, guests were taken through the sights and sounds of freshwater, forest and mountain habitats.
Our menu – celebrating seasonal vegetables – was lovingly created by Bruno Loubet, a Michelin starred chef: every ingredient was ethically sourced and carefully prepared by our incredible event partners.
We were entertained with spectacular musical and dance performances from all corners of the globe, highlighting the connection between people and nature. We even had a Coral Reef Lounge, where guests enjoyed the ethereal music of Cosmo Sheldrake. Our grand finale took place on the African savannah, where a meerkat played a violin on a high wire, before the Dhol Foundation sent us off into the night with the beat of the drum – a call to action – still ringing in our ears.