Elders and Youngers Discuss: How Do We Want to Live? How Can We Get There?
May 11, 2012  //  By:   //  Blog Post, Featured  //  No Comment

Global Campaign For Climate Action (GCCA) is bringing together four members of the Elders group, and four young activists for an online discussion about sustainable future.The Elders group was founded in 2007 by Nelson Mandela who, along with Aung San Suu Kyi, remains an honorary  member of the group. The ten member group is made up of independent leaders who do not hold public offices and do not have any official ties to governments or national agendas. The Elders have pre-established rapports with the international community due to their integrity and leadership. They work on bringing sustainable peace, and enhancing human rights. During the discussions, different generations will share their hopes, aspirations, and vision for a future that meets all of their needs.

Elders+Youngers is a public forum and welcomes outside participation. The first online discussion debated the topic of People, profit and the environment – can we balance them all? The discussion centered on the issue of the global economy prioritizing profit over the basic needs of the people and the environment. The latest economic bust was used as a springboard for brainstorming the following issues: how profit could become compatible with sustainability, the major points of contention between sustainability and profitability, and how to foster cooperation across different sectors. The motivation behind the discussions is to bring together diverse perspectives on the global community’s major problems. Each conversation will cover a different topic and will continue over the course of eight weeks leading up to Rio+20 in June, where the Elders and the Youngers will continue their conversations in person.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Gro Brundtland, Fernando H Cardos, and Mary Robinson are members of the Elders who will engage the young activists and the rest of the online community in conversations about sustainability in the modern world. Sara Svensson, an Alumni of the GEG Project, along with three other young activists, Esther, Marvin, and Pedro, will represent the Youngers in the discussion.

The Elders continue to advocate for sustainable global actions. The eight week long discussion will inform their calls to action at Rio+20, main highlights of which are Sustainable Development Goals and an Ombudsman for Future Generations.


About the Author :

Marija Bingulac is a doctoral student in public policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. She received her BA in political science from University of Massachusetts Boston in 2009, graduating with Excellence in Political Science Award as well as with the Feinstein Award for distinguished work in public policy and social justice classes. Following graduation, she worked in Belgrade, Serbia with the NGO Church World Service on hunger and poverty research projects. Her research agenda centers on Roma inclusion in Serbia, politics of poverty, gender, race and ethnicity.

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