Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The World Future Council -- Jakob Von Uexkull

Visionary activist Jakob von Uexkull cofounded the World Future Council in 2006, with a global membership  of 100 wise elders, youth leaders, environmental activists, "servant leaders" from business and government advisers. Its activities include climate action, renewable energy and regenerative Cities, future justice, sustainable ecosystems, sustainable economies and Future Finance, Peace and Disarmament. Founder of the prestigious Right Livelihood Award  (the “alternative Nobel Prize”), he has spent the last twenty-five years building the European ecojustice movement. In this video, recorded at the June 20111 Zermatt Summit, he calls for world-scale transformation and citizen action.

Von Uexkull sold his million-dollar postage stamp collection to endow the Right Livelihood Award to "recognize the efforts of those who are tackling [the great challenges facing humanity] directly, coming up with practical answers to such challenges as the pollution of our air, soil, and water, the danger of nuclear war, the abuse of basic human rights, the destitution and misery of the poor, and the over-consumption and spiritual poverty of the wealthy."

The WFC's Intergenerational Justice Initiative (2010) insists on the welfare of future generations and green jobs as a guiding principle for government and business: the long term, without natural resources there will be no wealth production, without education for innovation there will be no technological progress, without tackling unemployment there will be no sound public budgets, without a decent distribution of wealth there will be inequity in participation and social tension, without a flourishing real economy there will be more and more speculative financial bubbles.

The majority of European citizens have understood this: 71% agreed that reforms which benefit future generations should be pursued even if it means sacrifices for the present generation (Eurobarometer, Sept 2010). Some countries have understood this and created systemic future research Commissions (Finland, Netherlands) or even a Commissioner or Ombudsperson for Future Generations (Hungary, Israel). The EU has a chance to join these pioneers and develop its global leadership position in
sustainability concerns, especially in the run up to the Rio+20 Earth Summit in 2012.

Von Uexkull is also the cofounder of TOES The Other Economic Summit (1984) and founder of The Estonian Renaissance Award (1993). He is a former trustee of the New Economics Foundation (London), patron of Friends of the Earth International, and a member of the Global Commission to Fund the United Nations. He has served on the Board of Greenpeace, Germany. As a Green MEP and Minister of the European Parliament (1984-89), he served on the Political Affairs Committee and the Science and Technology Committee. He is currently on the Council of Governance of Transparency International. See his Wikipedia biography.

No comments: