World Future Council – Newsletter 1/2013

Jay Owen Global Citizen, Sustainability News, Trendspotting

World Future Council Newsletter 1/2013

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Dear Friends of the World Future Council,

“No development, no peace. No disarmament, no security. Yet when both advance, the world advances with increased security and prosperity for all. These are common ends that deserve the support of all nations.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has put it in a nutshell: the continued existence of weapons of mass destruction – notably the proliferation, threat to use and potential use of nuclear weapons by design, miscalculation or accident – poses an existentialthreat to life on earth as we know it. In addition, the production and trafficking of conventional weapons undermines peace processes and prevents the achievement of sustainable development and human security.

To show how disarmament and thus development can be achieved, the World Future Council (WFC), in collaboration with the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), will present the 2013 Future Policy Award to laws or regulations that have contributed to the achievement of peace, sustainable development, and security.
The winners will be selected by a 10-member international panel of experts based on a thorough evaluation report of the nominated policies.

We would dearly like to thank to all of those who voluntarily work in the jury. So far, these have been confirmed as Sergio Duarte (Former UN High Commissioner for Disarmament Affairs), Nabil Fahmy (Dean of the American University, Cairo) as well as World Future Council members Prof. Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger (Director, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law – CISDL), David Krieger (WFC Co-chair of the Disarmament Commission and President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation) as well as Alyn Ware (International coordinator of the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation – PNND).

The award ceremony for the 2013 Future Policy Award will take place during UN Disarmament Week (24 – 30 October) at the UN headquarters in New York.

Best regards from Hamburg,

Jakob von Uexkull,
Founder and Chair of the World Future Council

Alexandra Wandel,
Director, World Future Council

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Two new voices for future generations

We are very pleased to announce that two accomplished young women, Anna R. Oposa, and Tahia Devisscher, have joined the World Future Council. At the age of 24, Anna R. Oposa is a proven change-maker. She is a writer, public speaker, PADI Rescue Diver, and environmental advocate. She co-founded the organisation ‘Save Philippine Seas’ that aims to protect her country’s marine resources by harnessing the power of social media and lobbying for the enforcement of environmental laws. In 2012, Anna became the first Filipino to receive the Future for Nature Award in the Netherlands.

Tahia Devisscher is a Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute in Oxford and Go4Biodiv Messenger. Her research interests involve social-ecological system dynamics, governance of complex adaptive systems, climate change adaptation and sustainable development. She was Lead Author for the Land Chapter of the Global Environment Outlook 5 (GEO-5), and Science Writer for the UNEP Year Book 2011 and 2009. In 2008, Tahia was awarded the Development Cooperation Prize from the Belgian Government for her outstanding research in Borneo, Malaysia, on the sustainability assessment of palm oil production.

Future Justice at a click: Innovative WFC online database re-launched

Great news! A brand new version of the World Future Council’s unique policy toolkit and database is now online. Four new sections present proven future just policies on nuclear disarmament, rights of persons with disabilities, sustainable forests, and the protection of oceans and coasts. The new design makes it easier for users to interact with and navigate the website.

REN 21 Global Futures Report charts future of renewable energy

What does the future of renewable energy look like? Answers to this question can be found in the REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report (GFR), which was launched in January and provides access to the range of likely developments. The reportis based on interviews with over 170 leading experts around the world and the projections of 50 recently published scenarios. The World Future Council is proud to be one of the contributors and partners of this report next to the UN Foundation, the German Ministry for Environment, the German Ministry of Economic affairs and the American Renewable Energy Council (ACORE).

12-year-old environmentalist advises WFC

The World Future Council has appointed 12-year-oldKehkashan Basu as a youth advisor. Basu, who lives with her parents in Dubai, was the youngest participant at the official UN Earth Summit Rio +20. She is also the first minor who has ever been appointed the UN Environment Programme’s global coordinator for Major Group “Children and Youth” (MGCY). The MGCY is the official voice for young people in UN activities on sustainable development. Kehkashan is the founder of a youth organization, GREEN HOPE UAE, which seeks to provide a networking platform to children and youth in the region to carry forward the Rio legacy.

Coming Up

Side Event: Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities – 07/03/13

Geneva: At the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the World Future Council and the Essl Foundation will host a side on “Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities: Where we are now and the way forward post 2015”. The event will seek to identify challenges, good practices and means of enhancing cooperation with the goal of implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The event is held in collaboration with the International Disability Alliance as well as the Austrian and Finnish Permanent Missions to the UN.

Pathways To 100% Renewable Energy – 16/04/13 

San Francisco: The conference “Pathways to 100% Renewable Energy” provides a unique forum for pioneers to join leaders from the policy sector, industry, finance, education, and advocacy, to share best practices and build strength. The event aims to foster a global dialogue about how cities, regions, and businesses worldwide can accomplish – and indeed are accomplishing, even surpassing – 100% renewable energy targets in all sectors. The World Future Council is delighted to be a partner at this conference. Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy will be one of the speakers.

Get information on all other upcoming events.

Activities Update

Public money to protect our climate

In a letter to the editor published in the Financial Times, WFC Policy Officer for Future Finance, Suleika Reiners, argues in favour of printing public money to protect our climate. This would not replace a sound tax system but complement it. New central bank money that finances real-economic needs will not be inflationary. Upon registration the full letter can be found hereThe original article by Martin Wolf to which the comment refers is linked here.

Second Zero Project Conference

Vienna: The World Future Council and the Essl Foundation held their second Zero Project Conference on “Employment Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Innovative Policies and Innovative Practices” on 18-19 February 2013. Keynote speakers included Dr Barbara Murray (International Labour Organization) and Javed Abidi (Chairperson of Disabled People’s International). More than 250 international parliamentarians, academics, NGO and foundation representatives, social entrepreneurs and business leaders as well as disability rights activists from 36 countries of all five continents discussed innovative policy and practice models. The conference was organised in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO). More information can be found on

Council of Europe Conference

Strasbourg: To announce the basis for a renewed strategy to fight poverty, the Council of Europe organised the conference “Poverty and Inequality in Societies of Human Rights: the Paradox of Democracies – Proposals for an Inclusive Society” in partnership with the European Commission. Jakob von Uexkull, Founder and Chair of the World Future Council, participated in the plenary session on “Alternative Strategies to Fight Poverty and Inequality: Equity in bearing the Burden of the Crises, Common Goods, Redistribution and Waste Avoidance”. Find more information here.

Side Event: Ombudspersons for Future Generations

Nairobi: Catherine PearceWFC Director Future Justice, chaired this high-level Global Ministerial Environment Forum side event on how to take into account the needs of future generations in policy-making. Speakers included Alexander Juras, Chief, Major Group and Stakeholder Branch at the United Nations Environment Programme – UNEPand Kehkashan Basu, World Future Council Youth Advisor. More information here.

Get information on all other recent events.

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