In 1983 the United Nations created the Brundtland Commission. The aim was to reflect about ways to save the human environment and natural resources and prevent deterioration of economic and social development. The Commission defined sustainable development as development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
This seems to be failing. Even with government departments and climate change meetings around the world we still appear to be heading towards an unsustainable future. Now the conversation is being not only joined by, but appearing to be led by, the people.
Individuals around the world are speaking up and making themselves heard on one of the most pressing issues of our time. Celebrities are bringing the issue to the attention of those around them. Actor and climate change activist Harrison Ford has spoken about rainforests and climate change at events for some years, including the Global Climate Action Summit and the recent UN Climate Action Summit.
Meanwhile Leonardo di Caprio has formed ‘Earth Alliance’, with one of its first actions being to donate US$5 million to help protect the Amazon rainforest. “The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution,” DiCaprio wrote in an Instagram post. “Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the earth’s warming in check.”
World renowned ethologist and conservationist Dr Jane Goodall founded Roots & Shoots, a global program that guides young people in nearly 100 countries in becoming conservation activists and leaders in their daily lives. Today she travels the world, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, environmental crises and her reasons for hope. In her books and speeches, she emphasizes the interconnectedness of all living things and the collective power of individual action. Here she is in conversation with Guy Kawasaki.
Marga Hoek is a visionary, international figurehead recognised for her ongoing thought and business leadership on sustainable business and capital. Marga focuses on how business and capital have the responsibility, and opportunity to create sustainable value, and contribute to the solving of global challenges, using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework. Working towards these SDGs is not just a goal on its own, by doing so tremendous opportunities and new markets become available. Watch Marga’s TED video on page 2.
Jeremy Rifkin is an American economic and social theorist, writer, public speaker, political advisor, and activist. Rifkin is the author of 20 bestselling books about the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. He has just published his new book The Green New Deal and has written an article for CSA Celebrity Speakers discussing the Green New Deal to save life on earth (page 7).
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