“One of the most incredible sources of energy for me is when I am with young people – sorry oldies!” Desmond Tutu
In May 2012 four 'Youngers' – climate change activists from Nigeria, Brazil, Sweden and China – joined the Elders at their bi-annual meeting in Oslo to discuss the upcoming Rio+20 summit on sustainable development, the role of the UN, and how to mobilise civil society, especially young people, around urgent global issues.
What will a cleaner tomorrow look like? How do you empower young people? How can countries with different ideologies and cultures reach a consensus over our environment and development?
Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, and Gro Brundtland debated these questions with young activists Esther and Marvin at a public event in Oslo, with questions from a live online audience. Watch the video and join the discussion.
Good jobs? Clean air? Food security? In June 2012, world leaders are coming together in Rio. Their actions – or inactions – will shape this planet for generations to come. What do you want that world to look like? Join the debate with Elders+Youngers.
“Economies are stalling. Ecosystems are under siege. Inequality – within and between countries – is soaring. I will make the point I always make: these afflictions are clearly rooted in political short-sightedness, where narrow interests triumph over common interests, common responsibilities – and common sense.”
Gro Brundtland begins the Elders+Youngers dialogue with a message to the 'Youngers'.
“For me sustainable development is much more than caring for the environment. It’s also much more than making money from our natural resources and from our economic growth. It’s an intersection between the economics, the social, and the environment.”
Esther, from Nigeria, is one of four Youngers taking part in the Elders and Youngers, in the run up to the Rio+20 summit. In this video she gives an outline of her work and the future she wants to create.
“People in our society should feel they are empowered with equal access to energy, healthcare and quality education.”
Marvin, from China, introduces himself and outlines the key issues as he sees them. He is one of the four ‘Youngers’, young leaders committed to putting sustainable development into practice, participating in the Elders and Youngers debate, in advance of the Rio+20 summit.
“I dedicate my life to help build a world where everyone can be free to self-determine how they want to live their lives”
Pedro, a socio-environmental activist from Brazil, is one of the four ‘Youngers’, taking part in the Elders and Youngers debate, leading up to the Rio+20 summit. He talks about his work with the Vitae Civilis Institute and explains the important role that promoting change has to play.
“I’m driven by the vision of a world where everybody’s grandgrandgrandgrandchildren can live in harmony with nature and with each other”
Sara, from Sweden, is an environmental campaigner participating as a Younger in the Elders and Youngers debate for practical paths of action, ahead of Rio+20. She introduces herself and explains why finding new solutions is important to her and to the rest of us.
“When I was five years old, I discovered that something is seriously wrong with the way people treat our planet.”
Sara from Sweden is one of four young environmental activists taking part in the Elders+Youngers debate leading up to the Rio+20 summit. In this blog she writes of her inspiration and experience advocating for practical solutions to environmental issues – with governments and at a grassroots level.