Our recent events
Our upcoming events are featured on our homepage.
How can Europe better consider future needs?
The High Level Hearing “How can the decisions of today’s Europe better consider future needs?” took place on Monday 28 September, in the European Parliament in Brussels. The event was co-organised by Mr Benedek Jávor MEP Greens. Pictures of the event can be found here; for more information on the event please click here.
"Essential Ingredients for a Sustainable Future"
The decisions that we make today will impact the generations of the future. Our conference on "Essential ingredients for a Sustainable Future" considered how institutions dedicated to safeguarding the future can drive sustainable change, incorporating long-term solutions to build more peaceful and resilient societies. Our conference took place in Cardiff, Wales, from 28-29th of April 2015. Click here for the conference programme.
Fourth Zero Project Conference in Vienna - 25-27 February
500 politicians, experts and opinion leaders convened to discuss matters relating to disability at the UN Vienna, Austria. The fourth Zero Project Conference was being held in partnership with the Essl Foundation and European Foundation Conference. Click here to learn more.
El Hierro: MEPs learn about 100% renewable energy - 19-21 February
Four members of the European Parliament took part in a WFC study trip to the Canary Island of El Hierro. El Hierro is exceptional in that it already runs on 100% renewable energy garnered from the sun and the wind. The MEPs got the opportunity to learn first-hand why and how this works. Click here to learn more!
Food Security: Study trip to Belo Horizonte - 2-6 February
Two mayors and a technical team from Namibia visited the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte to learn about its food security programme. It reduced malnutrition by 75% and received the Gold Future Policy Award in 2009. Now, the cities of Windhoek and Walvis Bay will adapt and implement the programme to reduce hunger and malnutrition.
Food Security Workshop in Namibia – 21-23/7
Windhoek: 90 policy makers from Namibia as well as international experts gathered in Windhoek to attend our workshop on malnutrition and food security. With our support, they shared and discussed concrete and proven solutions to make malnutrition in the country a thing of the past.
Click here for further information and here for the final declaration.
"Ideas and trends that can shape the lives of present and future generations" - 1/7
New York: The United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development was held at the United Nations headquarters from 30 June to 9 July 2014. WFC Future Justice Director Catherine Pearce was amongst the panelists of the moderated dialogue. More information can be found here.
Side event: “Removing barriers to accessibility″ - 24/6
Maputo: In the context of the Third Review Conference of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, the Essl Foundation and the World Future Council, together with the Delegation of Austria, organized a side event to stress the importance of accessibility for victim assistance. >>
Side event: “Accessibility and post-2015 agenda″ - 10-12/6
New York: The Essl Foundation and the WFC invited to the side event "Creating accessible and inclusive societies for all: progress and challenges in implementing article 9 of the CRPD" at the UN Headquarters. The event took place on the occasion of the Seventh Session of the Conference of the State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
2nd World Summit of Legislators - 6-8/6
Mexico City: At the 2nd World Summit of Legislators, the WFC, GLOBE and CISDL presented the Biodiversity Legislation Study that analyses and compares comprehensive biodiversity laws from eight countries. Over 300 high-level representatives and national legislators from all over the world attended the summit hosted by the Mexican Congres.
UNFCCC Side Event: Energy [R]evolution - 06/6
Bonn: An energy revolution is needed to phase out coal and nukes in a just transition to 100% renewable energy by mid-century. At the UNFCCC conference in Bonn, Anna Leidreiter presented policy solutions that have proven successful across the world in enabling this transition. Other speakers included Kyle Ash, Greenpeace US as well as representatives from WWF.
Security without nuclear weapons - 15/5
Prague: WFC councillor Alyn Ware spoke at this conference on the role of the Czech Republic and Czech legislators in international disarmament processes. The event was hosted by Alena Gajdůšková, First Vice-President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, and co-sponsored by the international network of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and the PragueVision Institute for Sustainable Security.
Nuclear disarmament through inter-parliamentary forums – 08/5
New York: PNND Global Coordinator and Member of the World Future Council, Alyn Ware, presented at this side event, organized by PNND and the WFC, which took place during the NPT Preparatory Committee Meeting at the United Nations headquarters. >>
AREA Conference – 27-30/4
Cairo: The World Future Council partnered the AREA Conference “Towards 100% Renewables and Sustainable Communities for Africa”. WFC Policy Officer Anna Leidreiter was part of the International Organizing Committee and presented the Global 100% Renewable Energy Campaign. >>
Model Institutions for a Sustainable Future – 24-26/4
Budapest: WFC Councillors Judge C. G. Weeramantry, Dr. Sándor Fülöp, and Dr. Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger as well as Future Justice Director Catherine Pearce contributed to this intensive three-day conference hosted by the office of the Hungarian Ombudsman for Future Generations.
World Urban Forum – 5-11/4
Medellin: The World Urban Forum is the world’s biggest gathering of cities. In the context of this year’s Forum in Colombia, the World Future Council organized a networking event on regenerative urban development. >>
Round Table “Philanthropy & Handicap” – 01/4
Geneva: Ingrid Heindorf, World Future Council Human Rights Officer and Coordinator of the Geneva Office, presented Best Practices from the Zero Project Report 2013. The event was organized by the Canton of Geneva in collaboration with Swiss Foundations, the association of Swiss grant-making foundations.
BRAINPOoL Conference – 24/3
Paris: At the conference "Beyond GDP – from measurement to politics and policy", the key findings and recommendations of the BRAINPOoL project on alternative indicators were presented. >>
Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Art, "Transition to a New Society" - 20-22/3
Podgorica: This international conference focused on three major topics: A. Political and Economic Change; B. Environment, Energy and Sustainability, and C. Humans and Machines. WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull delivered the presentation "Political and Economic Change - A New Human Story". >>
Side Event: “Re-engineering society for inclusion″ - 20/3
Geneva: At this side event at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council Michael Fembek, Head of Zero Project, will be presenting the key findings of the Zero Project Report and Conference 2014 on good policies and practices to improve accessibility. >>
Side Event: "The Humanitarian Imperative and Cooperative Framework to achieve a Nuclear Weapons Free World" – 20/3
Geneva: Disarmament Coordinator Rob van Riet spoke at a side event of the 130th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, in a discussion on the humanitarian dimension of nuclear weapons abolition, contributing in particular knowledge of exemplary policies in the field as highlighted by the 2013 Future Policy Award. >>
Zero Project Conference – 27-28/2
Vienna: The third Zero Project Conference was held at the United Nations International Centre. More than 30 innovative practices and policies from around the world covering all areas of accessibility were presented. Topics included disability-inclusive development policy, barrier-free cities, internet accessibility, accessible products and services, and much more. More than 400 participants from around the world were attending. For more information, see the website of the Zero Project.
Parliamentary Conference and PNND Annual Assembly – 25 -27/2
"Climbing the Mountain: Legislators collaborating on bilateral, plurilateral and global measures towards a secure nuclear-weapons-free world." Disarmament coordinator Rob van Riet joined WFC Councillor Alyn Ware in a discussion of exemplary disarmament policies highlighted by the 2013 Future Policy Award. >>
Regional renewable energy workshop - 11/2
Nairobi: East African energy stakeholders were invited to this intensive policy workshop on how to unlock Africa’s untapped renewable energies potential, which was jointly organized by the WFC and Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Kenya.
ISEP Community Power Conference - 1-2/2
Fukushima: Stefan Schurig, Director Climate and Energy, participated in the 3rd Community Power Conference in Fukushima, organised by the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP). The conference aimed to create a unified forum for those people working on community based renewable energy projects and to accelerate further development through discussion and knowledge exchange.
Stefan Schurig was invited to give the opening keynote speech on the “Realization of a 100% Renewable Energy Society”.
Full Circle presents Talking Heads - 30/1
Brussels: WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull spoke to an international audience of policy-makers and students on the subject "World Emergency: Charting the Course to a Shared Future" in a discussion of the Global Policy Action Plan.
Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons - 20/1
Senate of France: Coordinator of the Peace and Disarmament Programme, Rob van Riet discussed the application of International Humanitarian Law to Nuclear Weapons and how it could give impetus to efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.
The 10th Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics + Aesthetics - 18-19/1
Lucerne: WFC founder Jakob von Uexkull gave the inaugural keynote speech at The 10th Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics + Aesthetics on the topic of "Be the change we want to see in the world".
14th International Conference of Chief Justices - 13-17/12
Lucknow, India: World Future Council founder Jakob von Uexkull delivered a keynote address at the 14th International Conference of Chief Justices of the World (The World Judiciary Summit 2013).
International Parliamentary Forum - 13-15/12
Dar es Salaam: Focusing on national policies to trigger investment in mini-grids, this forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania brought together policy makers from less-industrialized countries with pioneering renewable energy practitioners. WFC Director Ansgar Kiene presented the findings of the World Future Council’s report “Powering Africa through Feed-in Tariffs”.
Educating for the Common Heritage, 1-3/11
Porto: Currently humanity is living well beyond the carrying capacity of the earth and we are beginning to exceed a number of planetary boundaries. Quercus, the Serralves Foundation, and Commons Action for the UN are organized a conference in Portugal focusing on how to enable all people to contribute to and benefit from reversing climate change, end degradation of the natural environment, and restore the natural capital of the earth. Catherine Pearce, WFC Director of Future Justice, spoke on "Safeguarding the planet - a guardian for future generations". For more information see the conference programme.
5th African Renewable Energy Dialogue - 30/10 - 1/11
Johannesburg: This workshop was a continuation of a series of international meetings since 2009 under the theme "Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development in Africa". The 20 participants from 16 African countries aim to build bridges across country borders and strengthen ties among various climate / energy stakeholders by connecting the different silos of thought and action.
Future Policy Award 2013 - 23/10
New York: In 2013, the Future Policy Award highlighted exemplary disarmament policies that contribute to the achievement of peace, sustainable development, and security. Marking the start of UN Disarmament Week, the winning policies were celebrated in a ceremony at United Nations Headquarters in New York. As a special guest, Colombian musician and peace activist César López gave a short speech and played his famous Escopetarra, a decommissioned AK-47 converted into a guitar. The keynote address was given by the UN High Representative of Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane. You can find more information as well as pictures here. >>
“Power up! A just energy transition for the south” - 7-11/10
Malmesbury, South Africa: In partnership with Misereor and Project 90 the World Future Council conducted a capacity building workshop for participants representing civil society organisations from South Africa, India and Brazil. They met at South Africa’s Western Cape to exchange experiences and increase their capacities in advocating for access to clean, renewable energy for all.
Inter-Parliamentary Hearing: Attracting Investment in Renewable Energy - 4-6/10
Morocco: Organised by the Climate Parliament, UNDP and the WFC this Inter-Parliamentary hearing united Parliamentarians from eight Asian and African countries to discuss what countries need to do to attract big investments in energy from sun, wind and water. Participants came from Bangladesh, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Tunisia. >>
Presentation of Zero Project Report 2013 - 27-28/9
Istanbul: At the EASPD Conference “Employment of persons with disabilities: Raising awareness & employment opportunities” WFC Human Rights Officer Ingrid Heindorf presented findings of the Zero Project Report 2013. >>
Side Event: The Use of off-grid wind power to facilitate sustainable energy for all in sub-Saharan Africa - 26/09
Cape Town: Ansgar Kiene, Director, World Future Council Africa; Secretary General, African Renewable Energy Alliance (AREA) spoke at this full day side event of Windaba in Cape Town, South Africa. He highlighted the necessary frameworks in Institutions & Politics, Finance & Markets, Human Resources, Technology, Research & Development that are needed to accelerate access to renewable energy in Africa. These findings are based on the outcome of the 2012 AREA conference at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Centre. The over-arching theme of the side event was “The use of off-grid wind power to facilitate sustainable energy for all in sub-Saharan Africa”. The World Future Council and the African Renewable Energy Alliance were endorsement partners of the 2013 Windaba.
Euro Memo Group Conference - 20-22/09
London: In a workshop on "Governance and democracy in the EU" World Future Council Policy Officer Suleika Reiners highlighted the need for central banks to serve the real economy. The conference was held at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
Inter-Parliamentary Hearing on Innovative Biodiversity and Marine Policies - 17-19/09
San José, Costa Rica: In September 2013 the WFC, in close collaboration with IUCN Regional Office Mesoamerica and Caribbean Initiative and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), convened an Inter-Parliamentary Hearing on Innovative Biodiversity and Marine Policies in San José, Costa Rica. On this occasion approximately 45 parliamentarians, government officials and other key experts from academia and civil society came together from 7 Mesoamerican and Caribbean countries to discuss exemplary biodiversity and marine policies as well as good practices and lessons learned concerning their implementation.
Green Cross 20th Anniversary Events - 2-3/09
Geneva: As part of the Green Cross' 20th anniversary celebrations, Jakob von Uexkull joined WFC Councillor Alexander Likhotal, President of Green Cross International, to give an opening speech to GCI's General Assembly. In addition, he participated in the discussion panel "Revitalising Multilateral Cooperation: Poverty, Food and Water" as part of the 7th edition of the Earth Dialogues, titled "Pathways into the Future - Triggers of Change" alongside Jean-Michel Cousteau, Mohamed T. El-Ashry, Dr. Ashok Khosla.
Africa Energy Transition - Pan-African Parliament 15-16/08
Midrand, South Africa: Ansgar Kiene, Africa Director of the World Future Council spoke at the briefing sessions titled “Climate Change, Poverty and Energy - is renewable energy the solution for Africa?”. The workshop at the Pan-African Parliament on 15-16 August 2013 was convened by the World Future Council (WFC) in collaboration with the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, and the Climate Parliament. The WFC engaged with Parliamentarians especially on the experience of Germany with their energy transition (Energiewende)and shared lessons and recommendations on drafting and implementing successful Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFiT) policies in the African context.
Side event: “Economic empowerment of persons with disabilities: Where we are now and the way forward post-2015″ - 17/07
New York: On the occasion of the Sixth Session of the Conference of the State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Essl Foundation and the World Future Council supported a side event at the UN Headquarters to highlight the importance of the inclusion of people with disabilities in the labor market. The event was organized by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, together with the Permanent Missions of Austria, Finland, Thailand and New Zealand. Ingrid Heindorf, WFC Human Rights Officer, was among the speakers.
Inter-Parliamentary Regional Hearing on Exemplary Forest Policies in Africa – 9 - 12/07
Dar es Salaam: In light of the critical importance of forests and the continuing strive for sustainable forest policies, the World Future Council organized an Inter-Parliamentary Hearing entitled ‘Forests for People’.
Parliamentarians, policy-makers and world experts on forest policies gathered for the 2013 Hearing on Exemplary Forest Policies in Africa which is convened by the WFC with the support of the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, the Tanzania Forest Service Agency, the United Nations Forum on Forests, the FAO Regional Office for Africa and UNDP.
With the vision of promoting Rwanda’s National Forest Policy that has received the Future Policy Award 2011, the hearing enabled exchange of experiences and shaped parliamentary action on sustainable forest management in line with implementing the Kigali Declaration. This blog has beautiful pictures of the opening ceremony with Tanzania's Vice President H. E. Dr. Mohammed Gharib Billal and WFC Honorary Councillor Dr. Gertrud Ibengwé Mongella. For more information, see our press release.
Implementing Intergenerational Equity: Bringing Future Perspectives to the Status Quo, 4 - 5/07
Geneva: The two day conference, organised by the UN Environment Programme and the World Future Council, supported by the German Government was attended by leading philosophers, academics, human rights specialists, lawyers, civil society representatives, senior UN officials, practitioners, youth representatives from around the world, with delegates from some Geneva based Missions.
Presentations and discussions were thoroughly constructive and positive, demonstrating the interest and momentum behind this issue. All were in agreement, without exception that an organization or institution such as a Guardian for Future Generations at all levels of governance would be important to ensure that the voices of future generations are brought to the table. Many look to the forthcoming UNSG report as a key tool to set out strong recommendations and drive forward clear, decisive action at all levels. All participants acknowledged and highly appreciated the World Future Council’s initiative and role in highlighting and protecting the rights and interests of the future generations. We have witnessed the critical mass of international policy and legal commitments (over 60) and national constitutions directly referring to future generations. In unison, all delegates agreed that it is high time to implement these commitments. You can find the full conference synopsis here.
Annual General Meeting of the World Future Council - 20 - 23/06
Bonn: "Charting our Shared Future: Towards a Global Politics of Responsibility" was the title of the 7th Annual General Meeting of the World Future Council. Our international Councillors convened from June 20 to 23 in Bonn for intensive discussions about current developments and the WFC's future work program. The AGM was supported by the City of Bonn.
Panel discussion "Pathways Towards Regenerative Cities" - 21/06
Bonn: Jakob von Uexkull, Herbert Girardet and Frances Moore Lappé discussed measures for a regenerative development of the Ruhr conurbation with Johannes Remmel, Minister of Environment in North Rhine-Westphalia and Cologne Mayor Jürgen Nimptsch . >>
Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum - 17 - 19/06
Bonn: The World Future Council was an official partner of the three-day international media conference of Deutsche Welle, this year entitled "The future of growth - the economy, values and media." Council members Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish and Prof. Dr. Vandana Shiva, as well as Jakob von Uexkull, founder of the World Future Council and the Right Livelihood Award, spoke on the final day of the conference. Ibrahim Abouleish and Jakob von Uexkull took part in the panel "Changing Economic Values: Green Economy, CSR and Human Rights” whilst Vandana Shiva spoke at the closing ceremony. The 6th Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum brought 2000 participants from all over the world to Bonn in order to take part in some 50 workshops on achieving a sustainable and value-oriented economy. More information about the Global Media Forum is available at www.dw-gmf.de. You can watch the nice Deutsche Welle news story with Jakob von Uexkull and Vandana Shiva here.
The Debate on 100% Renewable Energy: The new normal? – 18/06
Munich: WFC policy officer Anna Leidreiter presented the Global Campaign Go100% - the first global campaign that advocates 100% renewable energy. It connects and builds on initiatives that already take place on the national, regional and local level and continues the international debate on renewable energy reaching 100%. Please click here to download the invitation.
11th EUSE Conference – 11 - 13/06
Dublin: On 11th June 2013, Ingrid Heindorf, Policy Officer for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, presented the Zero Project during a speed dating event at the 11th European Union of Supported Employment (EUSE) Conference in Dublin, Ireland. Being held in association with the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU, the EUSE conference took place at Croke Park Stadium and Conference Centre, June 11 – 13. The conference represented an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest advances and development in supporting people with disabilities and mental health difficulties into jobs and in retaining workers who acquire a disability during their working lives. More than 50 talks, events and parallel workshop sessions were presented to participants from 30 countries across five continents. Speakers included experts like Dr. Paul Wehman (USA) and Dr. Rachel Perkins ( U.K.), who drafted one of the Zero Project's selected Innovative Policies 2013. Workshops took place throughout the three day conference in areas such as mental health, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder and assistive technology in the workplace. The full programme is available here.
The Planet Workshops - Global Conference 2013 – 3-5/06
Paris: Issues related to sustainable development should be in our indisputable common interest, but there is currently very little collective public action on this subject. Is the problem to be found in leadership, in the competing interests and the difficulties in organising such change? Should we continue along the same path, or is it time to promote a new dynamic? The core of the discussion will consist of the urgency of current economic and political challenges that prevent decision-makers from being able to step back and adopt a more long-term vision of societal change. Jakob Von Uexkull took part in the plenary session of the VIIIth Edition of the Planet Workshops Global Conference at the UNESCO headquarters, Paris. For more information please check the programme.
NNDR Conference - 30-31/05
Turku: WFC Policy Officer Ingrid Heindorf presented the findings of the Zero Project Report 2013 at the 12th Conference of the Nordic Network on Disability Research. The aim was to discuss the findings of the Zero Project's research on employment of persons with disabilities. The Zero Project Report 2013 includes a survey of 23 Social Indicators on the implementation of the UN CRPD in 55 countries, a survey of 10 Social Indicators focusing on the employment of persons with disabilities in 82 countries and a selection of 50 innovative practices and policies.
1st World Youth Sustainability Summit 2013 – 15.05.
Berlin: Challenges such as climate change, environmental degradation and social inequalities can only be solved if the next generation is consciously aware of these problems and actively involved in their solutions. For this reason, the 1st World Youth Sustainability Summit was held from 10 - 20 May 2013.
Young people from 30 different countries all over the world met with experts in order to find concrete and sustainable solutions and to draft a common position paper on the topic “Youth and Sustainability in Everyday Life – Challenge, Rethink and Revive Global Ways of Living.” On 15 May, Jakob von Uexkull, founder of the World Future Council, founder of the “Alternative Nobel Prize” (Right Livelihood Award) and co-founder of the Alternative Economic Summit (TOES), spoke on the subject "The way forward – future-oriented thinking and acting" in Berlin. He also participated in the panel discussion “The young consumer in the crossfire of numerous forces – Media, Politics, Economy, Science”. You can find the complete event programme here.
Expert Panel on Intergenerational Solidarity - 09/05
New York: Ways to institutionalise the needs and rights of future generations were discussed by an Expert Panel on Intergenerational Solidarity at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on May 9. This event aimed to inform the content of the forthcoming Secretary-General’s report on intergenerational solidarity, a result of the strong call for a UN Ombudsperson or High Commissioner for Future Generations at the Rio +20 conference in June 2012. For more information please click here.
Pathways to 100% Renewable Energy - 16/04
San Francisco: It is a fact that traditional fossil fuels, by definition, will run out and that they are causing multiple time-sensitive global crises. Therefore, the time is now to understand how to technically, financially, and politically switch to renewable resources. The conference "Pathways to 100% Renewable Energy" provided 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 aimed 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. Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy was one of the speakers in this high-level event.
Launch of new Nuclear Abolition Forum Edition – 9/04
Geneva: The second edition of the Nuclear Abolition Forum’s periodical publication explores the validity, utility and risks of nuclear deterrence. Aimed at advancing the dialogue surrounding nuclear deterrence, the publication offers a range of perspectives and opinions on the deterrence doctrine and examines alternative cooperative security approaches which could help to progress beyond nuclear deterrence. The launch event in Geneva was opened by Ambassador Urs Schmidt, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the Conference on Disarmament. World Future Councillor Alyn Ware, co-editor of the 2nd edition, delivered introductory remarks. Speakers included Marc Finaud, Senior Programme Advisor, Geneva Centre for Security Policy. You can download the report of the launch event here.
Media Briefing and Renewable Energy Brunch: Powering Africa through Feed-in Tariffs – 18/03
Johannesburg: In cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the World Future Council invited journalists and stakeholders to the launch of the first comprehensive renewable energy policy guide for African decision makers, civil society and the private sector. The guide is titled “Powering Africa Through Feed-In Tariffs. Advancing renewable energy to meet the continent‘s electricity needs” and was also supported by Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It provides an in-depth analysis of existing and drafted REFiT policies in 13 African countries examining the policy drivers and socio-economic effects of REFiTs and analysing both supportive and obstructive factors for successful policy implementation. The full study can be downloaded here.
Side Event: Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities - 07/03
Geneva, Switzerland: In collaboration with the Austrian and Finnish Permanent Missions to the United Nations, and the International Disability Alliance, the World Future Council and the Essl Foundation hosted a side event at the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on “Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. Where we are now and the way forward post 2015.” The event sought to identify challenges, good practices, and means of enhancing cooperation in order to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), as well as to examine ways to enhance the inclusion of those rights in the post-Millennium Development Goals framework
About 40 representatives from Permanent Missions to the UN, such as the US, the UK, Thailand, New Zealand, Austria, Finland, Spain, Lithuania, Australia, Norway, as well as representatives from international organizations such as the ILO, OHCHR, Council of Europe, UNICEF, the International Campaign for the Ban of Landmines and others attended the conference.
During the meeting it was emphasized that current negotiations on the post-2015 MDG agenda take a high priority, that the UN CRPD very clearly makes the link between human rights and development, that 2013 will be the most important year for the MDG process, and that one of the post-2015 goals must be Human Rights. Mr. Craig Mokhiber, Chief, Development and Economic and Social Issues Branch, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights made an important point that that “the MDG agenda not only ignored the rights of persons with disabilities, but completely left out human rights."
The press release can be downloaded here.
More information about this event can be found here.
Council of Europe Conference - 21/02-22/02
Strasbourg: Poverty, precarity and inequality are on the rise in all European countries and have been reinforced by the crisis. These phenomena not only weaken the Social Cohesion of European societies but they also violate human rights, including social as well as civil and political rights, and question the functioning of democracy. To release 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 on the conference here.
Zero Project Conference - 18/02-19/02
Vienna: In collaboration with the International Labour Organization, 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 18-19th February 2013. Keynote speakers included Dr Barbara Murray, International Labour Organization, Dr Ádám Kósa MEP, President of the Disability Intergroup, and Javed Abidi, Chairperson of Disabled People's International. More than 30 parliamentarians, together with a further 150 academics, NGO and foundation representatives, social entrepreneurs and business leaders, as well as disability rights activists attended this conference. More information can be found on www.zeroproject.org
Side Event: Implementing the Long -Term: Ombudspersons for Future Generations - 18/02
Nairobi, Kenya: Keynote speakers at this Global Ministerial Environment Forum side event on "Implementing the Long-Term: Ombudspersons for Future Generations" included Alexander Juras, Chief, Major Group and Stakeholder Branch at The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Kehkashan Basu, World Future Council Youth Advisor and Global Coordinator for Children & Youth, UNEP Major Groups Facilitating Committee and Marcos Orellana, Director of CIEL's Human Rights and Environment Programme. Catherine Pearce, WFC Director Future Justice, chaired this high-level session that started on Monday, 18 February at 12 pm. More information about this event can be found here.
Jokkmokk Winter Conference - 04/02-07/02/2013
Jokkmokk, Sweden: The Jokkmokk Winter Conference provides a forum where young professionals, students, environmentalists and entrepreneurs can establish relationships with senior experts and politicians, present their activities and form new collaborations and partnerships.
Jokkmokk Winter Conference 2013 focused therefore on the following issues:
Anna Leidreiter, Policy Officer Climate and Energy spoke on “100% renewable energy regions – it is possible!“.
More information about this event can be found on the conference website.
Africities Summit - 04/12-08/12
Dakar: The sixth edition of the Africities Summit had as a subject “Building Africa starting from its territories” and it accommodated nearly 5000 people. The participants represented all the protagonists of the African local life and their partners from other regions of the world: Ministers in charge for the local governments and Ministers in charge of sustainable development and of employment, local authorities and elected officials, central and local administrations representatives, civil society organizations and many more. The Africities Summit examined the impact of the dynamic of urbanization, globalization and democratization with her corollary the decentralization, on the reorganization of the settlement and development of the continent, and her inscription in the world of today and tomorrow. At a side-event of the FAO the WFC presented the award-winning programme for food security of the Brazilian city Belo Horizonte, and showed how it can be transferred to African cities. Find more information on the Africities Summit here.
Doha 2012 UN Climate Change Conference COP 18 - 26/11-07/12
Qatar: The 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC took place at the Qatar National Convention Centre, Doha, Qatar. The World Future Council hosted two side events at the COP:
“Renewable Energy Revolution - Lessons applied in the Middle East and Africa” - 30/11
Germany’s feed-in tariff policy delivered the basis for an ambitious energy transition with the aim of phasing out nuclear power. It therefore provides a blueprint for countries worldwide. How can REFITs in Africa and the Middle East help to provide electricity access and thus tackle poverty whilst leapfrogging dirty technologies? – In partnership with Heinrich Boell Foundation. Download the flyer here.
Climate change resilience and the role of regenerative cities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - 03/12
GCC countries have developed rapidly due to fossil fuel revenues facilitating natural resource consumption. Vulnerability to climate change threatens this development. Experts will discuss projected impacts of climate change and response strategies including ‘regenerative’ development in the region. – In partnership with HafenCity University Hamburg and WWF. Find more information in our invitation.
Launch of Zero Project Report 2013 - 03/12
Vienna: The Zero Project Report 2013, with its special focus on the employment situation of persons with disabilities, was launched on 3 December 2012, the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, at the Vienna International Film Festival for Human Rights.
At the launch some of the most striking findings and figures of this year’s Zero Project research as well as innovative policies from all around the world were presented, under the lead of Dr Michael Fembek of the Essl Foundation. In particular, attention was drawn to the employment situation in Austria. The German version of the Report analyses for the first time all available employment statistics as well as the country’s position from an international point of view. The Zero Project Report is published annually by the Essl Foundation, in collaboration with the World Future Council.
SusCon 2012 - 27/11-28/11
Bonn: The WFC was an official partner of the third Conference on Sustainable Business and Consumption. It gathered international decision-makers from businesses, NGOs, governments and UN organisations that strive for the concrete implementation of an “inclusive green economy”.
Five months after RIO +20, the main goals were:
Among the participants were world renowned speakers such as WFC Councillors Prof. Dr. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker and Dr. Vandana Shiva. More information at www.suscon.net.
6th Annual General Meeting of the World Future Council - 22/11-25/11
Abu Dhabi: At the invitation of Abu Dhabi businessman and visionary Abdul Majeed Al Fahim, the Annual General Meeting of the World Future Council was held in the Arab world for the first time. After the opening ceremony with speeches by H.H Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al-Nahyan, Minister of Education and Science of the United Arab Emirates, and WFC founder Jakob von Uexkull the Councillors, Honorary Councillors, Advisors and staff retreated for three days of intensive discussions and enjoyed the inspiring atmosphere and Arab hospitality. On the initiative of council members Scilla Elworthy and Rama Mani, a new, initially informal "Circle on Ethics and Vision" was formed with the aim to investigate how psychology, communication and spirituality can contribute to creating a more ethical, equitable and sustainable world. The 2013 work programme of the Commissions Future Justice, Climate and Energy, Sustainable Ecosystems, Sustainable Economy and Peace and Disarmament was adopted unanimously in the closing plenary session. "We will continue working with all our power to ensure that the rights of future generations are respected worldwide," said Jakob von Uexküll. "A quick change of course is an absolute prerequisite to prevent the impending consequences of unchecked climate change."
Basel Peace Office Opening - 16/11-17/11
Basel: The World Future Council opened a new office in Basel, Switzerland jointly with Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), the Middle Powers Initiative and the Global Security Institute. The opening events included a public launch reception, a special dinner and a seminar on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons as an imperative for nuclear abolition. The Basel Peace Office will focus on programmes to achieve the peace and security of a nuclear weapons-free world. It will be hosted by the University of Basel Sociology Seminary and will be supported by the City of Basel. Director of the Basel Peace Office is Alyn Ware, WFC Councillor and Founder and Global Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND).
Release of the Inter-Parliamentary Handbook on Parliamentary Measures to Support Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament - 24/10
Quebec City: The Inter-Parliamentary Union has commissioned Rob van Riet, Coordinator of the WFC Disarmament Programme, and Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and WFC Councillor, to produce a handbook identifying existing examples of good practice in the area of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and offering recommendations for further parliamentary action. It was released (in English and French) on 24 October 2012 during the 127th IPU Assembly in Quebec City, Canada.
WFC Side Event on Exemplary Biodiversity Policies - 18/10
Hyderabad: The 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-11) served as an international platform on biodiversity and governing body of the convention. The World Future Council held a side-event on ‘Visionary Biodiversity Policies and Laws’ in cooperation with GLOBE International, GLOBE India and CISDL with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment on 18 October. As a follow up to the Biodiversity Session at the World Summit of Legislators in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, exemplary biodiversity policies and laws were presented along with training materials for legislators and policymakers for future just biodiversity policies and laws.
After an opening address by the Vice-President of GLOBE International Barry Gardiner MP and the Hon Prakash Javadekar MP, President of GLOBE India, Alexandra Wandel, Director WFC, presented the Future Policy Award and its survey on future just biodiversity policies. Inspiring presentations on visionary and exemplary biodiversity policies were given by the Hon. Ana Lorena Guevara, the Vice Minister for the Environment and Energy from Costa Rica, Gaute Voigt-Hanssen representing the Ministry of the Environment of Norway and Naohisa Okuda, Director, Global Biodiversity Strategy Office, Ministry of the Environment, Japan. The meeting concluded with a presentation of the WFC CISDL Training Materials for Parliamentarians and Policy-makers followed by discussion.
Some 150 participants from numerous delegations together with a parliamentary delegation from GLOBE India attended the event.
Future Policy Award Ceremony - 16/10
Hyderabad: During a beautiful award ceremony in Hyderabad, India, the winners of the Future Policy Award 2012 were celebrated: Palau received the Award in recognition of two outstanding marine policies, Palau’s Protected Areas Network Act, initiated in 2003, and its Shark Haven Act from 2009. The two Silver Awards were given to the Philippines for the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act (2010) and to Namibia for its Marine Resources Act (2000). In the ceremony the importance of healthy oceans and coasts for the well-being of future generations was stressed by high-profile speakers like Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Bioversity (CBD), who delivered the welcome address, Dr. Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Jakob von Uexuell, Founder of the World Future Council. Uexkuell appealed to the guests to "go out and spread the word that good solutions for the challenges of our time do exist.”
The Award Ceremony was convened by the World Future Council in partnership with the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and with the support of the Okeanos Foundation at the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
More information on the Future Policy Award can be found here.
Folkecenter Parliamentary Hearing - 04/10-07/10
The World Future Council, together with Climate Service Center and Nordic Folkecenter, hosted a parliamentary hearing on “Regional Development and Renewable Energy in Europe: Best Policies for 100 % Renewable Energy in European Regions” to discuss the potential of decentralised and community-owned renewable energy supply.
The primary objective of the hearing was to bring together policy makers and parliamentarians from all governance levels as well as experts from the field of European energy policy. The workshop provided a platform to share knowledge, exchange ideas, develop strategies and build networks with the overall goal of implementing 100% renewable energy targets across European regions. 40 experts and decision makers for European regional development from 15 European countries participated in the Parliamentary Hearing.
Find more information here.
European Environmental Bureau Annual Conference - 01/10
Brussels: The EEB’s 2012 Annual Conference focused on what the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference – both its successes and its failures – means for Europe; to what extent it has changed the environment and sustainable development governance framework and provided a stimulus to a greener economy; and what tools and opportunities it provides for addressing future challenges. It brought together leading figures from governments, EU and international institutions, NGOs and other stakeholders to address the question: ‘how must the EU renew its commitment to sustainable development after Rio?’ Catherine Pearce, WFC Future Justice Manager, gave a speech concerning governance structures that respect the rights of future generations.
The detailed programme can be found here.
European Conference (EuroMemo) for Alternative Economic Policy - 28/09-30/09
Poznan: At the 18th EuroMemorandum the WFC introduced policies to finance climate protection by creating new special drawing rights of the IMF and for a "Financial TÜV" to regulate financial markets. Both were recorded in the final memorandum. The conference adopted a declaration of solidarity with the southern European countries suffering from the austerity policy that has been forced on them.
Press conference on Future Policy Award 2012 - 26/9
New York: The four winning policies of the Future Policy Award 2012 on the protection of oceans and coasts were announced during a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters. Carl Lewis, FAO Goodwill Ambassador; Veerle Vandeweerd, Director, UNDP Environment and Energy Group; Alexandra Wandel, Director, World Future Council and Lila H. Ratsifandrihamanana, Director, FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations, presented the winners.
Inter-Religious Dialogue on Climate Change - 23/9-27/9
Sri Lanka: The conference, organized by the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), the Sewalanka Foundation-Sri Lanka and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Sri Lanka, focused on connecting Buddhist environmental activists across Asia for the first time while bringing in leaders from other faith traditions and religions.
It was one component of a larger programme identified for Asia and other regions on religion and climate change including theological work, hard science and action planning at the same time. Its goal was to increase active participation and knowledge on climate change among religious leaders and activists. Ansgar Kiene, WFC Campaign Manager Climate and Energy Africa, had been invited to participate. For more information see here.
Expert Hearing on Regenerative Urbanisation – 20/9-24/9
Dubai: The Expert Commission on Cities and Climate Change, established by the World Future Council and HafenCity University Hamburg, brought together 40 policy makers and experts in this Expert Hearing to explore perspectives and develop strategies for future‐proofing urban development and creating regenerative cities in the Middle East and across the world. It was hosted by the Al Habtoor Group in Dubai.
Modern cities are the most complex systems ever created by humans – approximating the complexity of living systems in an ecological web. But as the world becomes predominantly urban, their inherent tendency to waste resources is amplified. To assure that cities are benign to both their inhabitants and the ecosystems on which they depend, bold new approaches to policy, planning, design and use of technology are urgently needed.
6th World Urban Forum of UN-HABITAT – 3/9
Naples: The World Future Council co-hosted a networking event on Regenerative Cities at the 6th World Urban Forum of UN-HABITAT where Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy, held a discussion on Regenerative Cities among panellists and the audience.
This networking event “Regenerative Cities – Beyond Sustainability” was an opportunity for urban planners, policy makers from different governance levels and civil society organisations to discuss different urban planning opportunities and challenges especially with regards to enabling governance structures and policy instruments, resource planning and flows, and the role of energy for regenerative cities. View the two-page flyer as a PDF here
Parliamentary Forum "From a Nuclear Test Ban to a Nuclear Weapon Free World" – 27/8 -29/8
Astana: Parliamentarians from around the world gathered for the 2012 "Astana-Semipalatinsk Forum: From a nuclear test ban to a nuclear-weapons-free world." Hosted by the Kazakhstan Parliament and organised by Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), the forum built upon the nuclear disarmament experience and inspiration of Kazakhstan in order to shape parliamentary action and build political momentum to achieve the global abolition of nuclear weapons. Rob van Riet, WFC Coordinator Peace and Disarmament, was attending the Conference.
The three-day Forum, opened by President Nazarbayev, included a trip to the former nuclear test site in Semipalatinsk and the Kazakhstan Radiation Research Centre, along with discussions on key nuclear disarmament issues followed by the PNND annual assembly.
Inter-Parliamentary Hearing on Exemplary Forest Policies – 6/7-8/7
Kigali (Rwanda): Following up on the Future Policy Award 2011 that was dedicated to the world’s most inspiring forest policies, the World Future Council held an Inter-Parliamentary Hearing entitled ‘Forests for People’. The hearing was convened in collaboration with the Rwanda Ministry of Natural Resources, the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority, the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) and GLOBE International.
With the vision of promoting Rwanda’s National Forest Policy that has received the Future Policy Gold Award 2011, the WFC brought together parliamentarians, policy-makers from Central and Eastern Africa, forest policy experts, NGOs and media representatives to inspire future innovative and influential policies and laws protecting forests, their biodiversity and people depending on them. The hearing showed exemplary policies in action and illustrated how effective forest management can be one of the bedrocks for the economy, food security, poverty alleviation, and ecological balance.
Read more about the outcome of the hearing in the follow up report available on the Future Policy Blog
11th World Wind Energy Conference – 3/7-5/7
Bonn: WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull and Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy, spoke at the 11th World Wind Energy Conference (WWEC). In addition, the WFC co-organized a side event titled „FIT2.0: The way forward“. At this year’s Conference 200 speakers from all over the world discussed aspects of wind power with special focus on community power and decentralized ownership models. You can find the conference Programme here.
„Towards the Common Good“ – 3rd Zermatt Summit – 21/6-23/6
When world leaders meet at G 20, what do they discuss if not directly answering the call of all human beings to live in a world where peace and respect for the human person are the key values? Is the Universal Common Good a concern for them at all? What are next steps towards the Common Good? - WFC Founder Jakob von Uexküll and Suleika Reiners, Policy Officer for Future Finance, were among the speakers of this panel discussion. Visit http://www.zermattsummit.org/ for more information.
A prelude to the European Accessibility Act: Findings of the Zero Project Report – 21/6
Brussels: On 21 June 2012, findings on accessibility of the Zero Project Report were discussed with European parliamentarians, policy experts and disabled people's organizations. This conference, organized by Dr Ádám Kósa MEP, President of the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament, the World Future Council and the Essl Foundation, in collaboration with the European Disability Forum, hosted a debate on how to unlock Europe’s potential through accessibility, led by the members of Bureau of the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament: Dr Ádám Kósa MEP and Elisabeth Schroedter MEP, as well as, amongst others, Donata Vivanti, Vice-President of the European Disability Forum. In addition, Mr Johan ten Geuzendam, Head of Unit Rights for Persons with Disabilities of the European Commission's DG Justice, opend our final session as Keynote Speaker. The event (Final programme) took place on Thursday 21 June 2012, from 12:30 to 15:00, in the Jòzsef Antall Building (JAN), Room: 6Q1, of the European Parliament, Brussels. Visit our thematic website for more information about our work and the Zero Project!
Decisions We Need for the City of 2030 – 21/6
Rio de Janeiro: The World Future Council Climate & Energy Commission, together with ICLEI (lead applicant), the Swedish government, World Resources Institute, WWF and Rio+20s hosted a side event titled: Decisions We Need for the City of 2030. It discussed governance from the local to the global level, highlighted innovative city examples, and outlined ideas for future sustainable urban solutions. Find more information on the Rio+20 website.
Furthermore, the WFC Climate & Energy Commission will continue to actively engage in the sustainable development dialogues online platform by giving input specifically on regenerative urban development.
A tank made of bread - 19/06-22/06
Rio de Janeiro: In 2011 global military spending amounted to $1.74 trillion – despite the fact that about 1 billion people still suffer from hunger and even more have no access to safe water, adequate health care and education. For this reason, the World Future Council and various partners launched an appeal to the UN and the governments at Rio+20 that military spending should be cut back by a minimum of 10 % per annum and that the freed-up funds should be used for social, economic and ecological programs worldwide. To support this appeal, we brought a life-size tank made of bread to Rio. The tank was the center of various events and received international media attention. >>
Choosing Our Future – 19/6
Rio de Janeiro: The Foundation Getulio Vargas hosted a whole day of sessions on Open and Participatory Sustainable Development Governance, co-organized by the World Future Council and sponsored by the Ford Foundation and Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Objectives were to highlight governance commitments from around the world, to develop an agenda of good governance reforms for the coming decade and to advance ideas on how to build legal frameworks at the national, regional and international levels to implement Principle 10. For detailed information see the event flyer.
World Summit of Legislators Discusses Visionary Policies for Biodiversity – 15/6 -17/6
In cooperation with the Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE) International, the WFC implements the “GLOBE-WFC Visionary Biodiversity Law Programme”. The first phase of the programme culminated in a Biodiversity Session at the World Summit of Legislators, which was hosted by GLOBE International, the Mayor of Rio and the Brazilian Congress in Rio de Janeiro from 15th to 17th June to complement the governmental process at Rio+20. The session was opened by Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, followed by presentations on exemplary biodiversity policies by Alexandra Wandel, Director of the WFC and MPs from Costa Rica, Norway, Japan and South Africa. The Biodiversity Session of the World Summit of Legislators was supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Environment.
The inaugural World Summit of Legislators sought national legislation and parliamentary scrutiny at the heart of implementing the Rio agenda. The summit was attended by the Presidents and Speakers of the World’s Senates, Congresses and Parliaments as well as key Chairs of relevant parliamentary committees. The Summit negotiated and agreed a Legislators’ Protocol to be ratified in the legislatures of the participating parliaments.
For more details visit www.globeinternational.org.
FiTs in Developing Countries – 16/6
Rio de Janeiro: The World Future Council was partnering with IIED to host an energy day in the Fair Ideas space (Pontifíca Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro).Together with Friends of the Earth, the WFC Climate & Energy team hosted a policy workshop on FiTs in Developing Countries on June 16th. The event aimed to position feed-in tariffs within the wider energy access debate that has gained prominence through the UN Year of Sustainable Energy for All. In addition, WFC Director Climate & Energy Stefan Schurig spoke on the topic of FiTs on the Clean Energy Symposium hosted by Amazon Watch and others on June 18th. Find the IIED’s programme here or download the flyer.
Social Justice for Future Generations – 15/6
Rio de Janeiro: In this official Rio+20 side event in Rio Centro high level speakers shared their views on safeguarding a sustainable future - an essential requirement to ensure a meaningful outcome at Rio+20. We discussed the possible Rio outcomes and what they mean for child and youth representatives, representatives of networks committed to social justice, the rights of nature, practitioners in the field of future generations and internationally recognized authorities on future justice governance.
The event was co-organized by the World Future Council, Terre Des Hommes, Social Watch, Rio+Twenties and the Earth Charter International. Speakers included Dr. Maja Göpel, Director of WFC's Future Justice, Danuta Sacher, Terre des Hommes, Roberto Bissio, Social Watch and Mirian Vilela, Earth Charter International. Find more information on the Rio+20 website.
Access to Sustainable, Renewable Energy in Africa as Prerequisite for the
MDGs – 22/05-26/05
Bellagio: As 2012 marks the UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, the African Renewable Energy Alliance (AREA) focus on identifying and promoting the necessary frameworks and instruments for the scaling up of access to renewable energy for all African citizens to improve their livelihoods and to protect the environment. Universal access to sustainable energy means
the provision of access to clean and affordable energy with low greenhouse gas emissions for electricity, cooking, lighting, heating and cooling as well as processing.
The conference “Access to Sustainable Renewable Energy in Africa as Prerequisite for the MDGs” served as a high level platform for discussion and the development of implementation models. Participants of the conference – policy makers, stakeholders from business, civil society, academia and multilateral organizations – were invited to network, catalyze ideas and share information in a focused manner. The meeting aimd to concentrate on the evaluation and dissemination of proven models for access to renewable energy, with brief introductions and inputs serving as the basis for collaboration to resolve operational issues, barriers and challenges as well as elaboration of sustainable solutions on various levels of implementation.
World Renewable Energy Congress – 13.-17.05.
Denver: The biennial World Renewable Energy Congress provided over 200 sessions including presentations of technical papers, forum sessions and panel discussions. It examined how renewable energy technologies address the world’s economic, environmental and security challenges at every scale, from off-grid villages to gigawatt power plants. Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy, presented on the topic “FIT for Future – How a Feed in Tariff (FIT) and SDRs can boost the renewable energy sector”.
The congress was part of the World Renewable Energy Forum 2012. Visit www.wrenuk.co.uk for more information.
2012 NPT Preparatory Committee – 30.04.-11.05.
Vienna: Rob van Riet, WFC Coordinator Peace and Disarmament, spoke at three events during the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The first event “Exploring the climate-nuclear nexusis” took place on May 7 and is co-organized by the WFC. Rob van Riet gave a presentation on the multi-dimensional interplay between climate change and nuclear security. On May 9, The Nuclear Abolition Forum, hosted by the WFC, held a roundtable discussion entitled “Moving Beyond Nuclear Deterrence to a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World” where Rob van Riet as Nuclear Abolition Forum Director gave the introduction. On May 10, Rob van Riet spoke at a PNND event on the Handbook on Parliamentary measures to support Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament which will be released in October and sent to every parliament.
Millennium Development Goals Summit – 03.-04.05
Cape Town : Ansgar Kiene, Director WFC Africa, participated in a panel discussion about analysing bottlenecks and constraints in terms of water, agriculture and energy at the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) meeting in South Africa. The event had its theme set out to promote the power of business as one of the solutions to the MDG challenges. MDGs are a huge opportunity for sub-Sahara Africa to bring about the sustainability it so requires and work towards a permanent poverty eradication agenda. Ansgar Kiene talked about the topic “Energy – the missing Millennium Development Goal”.
Find more information on the official website.
Liechtenstein Congress on Sustainable Development and Responsible Investing – 02.-04.05.
Vaduz: WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull speaked about “Breaking the funding deadlock”, i.e. finding innovative ways of financing the necessary transition to a green global economy. Building upon three specialized yet interwoven programmatic focus areas, the Liechtenstein Congress provided a unique cross-disciplinary platform for the exchange of research results and expert knowledge. Get more information from the congress’s programme.
126th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly – 31.03.–05.04.
Rob van Riet, WFC Coordinator Disarmament Working Group, joined WFC Councillor Alyn Ware at the 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Kampala, Uganda, to discuss international peace and security. Find more information on the official website.
Ombudspersons for Future Generations: a proposal for Rio+20 – 26.03.
At a side event at the UN Third Intersessional for Rio+20 in New York, Catherine Pearce, WFC Campaign Manager Future Justice, presented our Rio+20 proposal: Ombudspersons for Future Generations. Learn more about ‘Ombudspersons for Future Generations’ here.
25 March: Governance Issues and the Rio+20 Zero Draft
In the frame of a central workshop on governance issues in the Zero Draft of the Rio+20 outcome document, WFC Councillor Sándor Fülöp and Campaign Manager Catherine Pearce held a session on the role, function and mandate of Ombudspersons for Future Generations. The workshop was organized by the WFC with top-class partners like UNEP, UNDESA, The Access Initiative und UNITAR. Find the progamme flyer here.
13-18 March: Saving our shared future - Strategy Meeting
A detailed five-year policy action plan is the result of an intensive four day meeting of selected WFC Councillors, board members, staff and external advisors. Based on a paper by WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkuell, participants identified nearly two dozen civilisation-saving tipping point policies in the fields of environment, economics, governance and education. After review by the whole Council they will be broadly communicated in the context of the World Future Council’s campaign for Ombudspersons for Future Generations at the Rio+20 conference.
Recognizing the urgency of agricultural reform to create food security for all while minimizing the ecological footprint, it was also decided to prioritize finding the funding to launch an agriculture commission that will be based in the inspiring surroundings of the biodynamic farm, SEKEM, near Cairo. The strategy meeting took place at SEKEM at the invitation of Councillor Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish who founded the SEKEM Group and runs it together with his son Helmy, who acts as an advisor to the WFC. Participants very much enjoyed the wonderful spirit and had a much-valued chance to look at the sustainable enterprises of the SEKEM Group including farming, medicinal products and clothing as well as their hospital and school.
In a very interesting article about the strategy meeting Councillor Dr. Scilla Elworthy calls SEKEM “a place where the impossible has become possible” – and calls for all of us to keep working on solutions for the many challenges our world is facing. Please read her text here.
6 March: Building a Sustainable Future
WFC-Councillors Judge C.G.Weeramantry and hosted an open forum discussion about the challenges of building a sustainable future in an event of the Weeramantry International Centre for Peace Education and Research in Colombo, Sri Lanka. For more information see the event flyer here.
5 March: German-African Economic Forum North Rhine-Westfalia 2012
In the second German-African Economic Forum of North Rhine-Westfalia in Dortmund, organised by the 'Auslandsgesellschaft NRW (Foreign Subsidiaries of North Rhine-Westfalia), WFC Director Africa Liaison Office moderated an event on renewable energy and green technology. Africa will be the market of the future: over one billion people live on this continent, the geographic proximity of which lends itself to be an important trading partner of Europe. Nonetheless, German businesses are still highly underrepresented in this market. The second German-African Economic Forum North Rhine-Westfalia focused on the challenges of expanding in the African market and possible solutions. Further information on this event can be found here (in German).
2 March: Municipalities moving ahead in climate protection
The WFC co-hosted an event with the Heinrich Böll Foundation on 'Muncipalities Moving Ahead: Rio+20' in Stuttgart, Germany. The event was the start of a series, which will use the WFC concept of the "Regenerative City" to discuss and further develop ideas and strategies for local sustainability.
1 March: Feed-in Tariff Workshop
The WFC sponsored a briefing for California farm groups on the benefits of a robust Feed-in Tariff state policy in Sacramento. Randy Hayes, WFC-Director US Office, gave the opening remarks and set the context for a powerful response to the climate dilemma. For more information on the workshop download the flyer here.
22-24 February: World Oceans Summit
WFC Director Alexandra Wandel attended the World Oceans Summit in Singapore from 22 to 24 February 2012 to discuss best policies on oceans and coasts with the world's top ocean experts. Chaired by The Economist Editor-in-chief John Micklethwait, the summit examined how the increasing activity in and around the oceans can be managed sustainably and what this means for business and other key stakeholders. More than 200 global leaders from various sectors and disciplines, including government, business, international organisations, NGOs, think-tanks and academia participated in this outcome-driven dialogue. 2012 is a critical year for ocean and coastal policy, and the World Future Council’s Future Policy Award 2012 will celebrate the world’s best policies for oceans and coasts. In October, governments from 193 countries will convene in Hyderabad, India to agree on policy measures on coastal and marine biodiversity at the 11th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-11).
21-22 February: Global Energy Basel
On the second day of the Global Energy Basel conference, WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkuell spoke on “Financing a Sustainable Infrastructure Future” in the morning plenary session. Co-panelists included Morgan Landy, Senior Manager of the IFC's Global Infrastructure Department and Olaf Merk, Deputy Head of the OECD's Urban Development Programme. Find more information on the conference website.
30 January - 2 February: Jokkmokk Winter Conference 2012
Climate change and its devasting effects threathens the future of many countries. International experts discussed these challenges at this year's Jokkmokk Winter Conference. WFC Policy Officer Climate and Energy Anna Leidreiter gave a presentation on 'Regional Development through Sustainable Energy'. The conference programme can be found here.
25-27 January: Initial discussions on the Rio+20 Zero Draft
WFC Future Justice Campaign Manager Catherine Pearce took part in the initial discussions on the Zero Draft in New York. The draft includes our demand for Ombudspersons for Future Generations. In the coming weeks and months, our team will focus on working on an exact wording of this demand and providing support to governments. Find out more on Rio+20 here.
24-25 January: Climate Finance & Carbon Markets Africa
Ansgar Kiene, Director WFC Africa Liaison Office, spoke about African climate finance at "Climate Finance & Carbon Markets Africa" in Johannesburg. The international conference broke down the key outcomes of COP 17 and what they mean for Africa. As COP 17 reached its lengthy conclusion, agreements were made which clarify the future for climate investment in Africa. An extension of the Kyoto Protocol beyond the end of 2012 will allow Africa to continue to leverage funding from the carbon markets as a means of stimulating projects under the Clean Development Mechanism. But the question remains: How can the continent become a bigger recipient of climate finance under the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period? Climate Finance and Carbon Markets Africa provided a platform for addressing this issue immediately, as stakeholders in the carbon market sector congregate and look to rework their strategy in light of these outcomes. Find more information here.
22 -23. January: International Conference on Good Policies for Persons with Disabilities
The Zero Project Conference - "International Conference on Good Policies for Persons with Disabilities" being organised in partnership with the Essl Foundation and Bank Austria, will take place in Vienna and concentrate on Good Policies.
In a carefully designed research and evaluation process adopted by the World Future Council, eight Good Policies have been selected by the Scientific Advisory Board to be presented and discussed with 250 international decision-makers in the field of disability policy. For the first time ever parliamentarians, disability rights activists, academics, representatives of NGOs and foundations, from the European Union and elsewhere, will come together to discuss inspiring policies from all around the world and to find ways to spread them to other countries. Download the conference programme >>
Find more information here or contact Ingrid Heindorf, Policy Officer for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
28 November - 9 December: Climate and Energy Team at COP17
The WFC Climate and Energy Team participated in the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban. Apart from an exhibition booth, the team presented WFC work on two side events: "Regenerative Cities: Governance for sustainable development in megacities" in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart, and "Solving the funding problem of the energy transition with the help of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)" in cooperation with REN Alliances: World Wind Energy Association, International Solar Energy Society (ISES), World Bioenergy Association (WBA). Our experts presented policy solutions for sustainable urban development as well as gave an answer on how to break the funding deadlock by using Special Drawing Rights of the IMF to finance the energy transition. Find more information on the official COP17 website.
24-26 November: Protection and utilisation of biodiversity
Alexandra Wandel, WFC Director, gave a presentation on exemplary biodiversity laws at a GIZ conference on the protection and utilisation of biodiversity, of which the WFC is a partner. The journalists' conference addressed the question of how the media can present the issue of biodiversity in an accessible way that also acknowledges the complexity of biodiversity. Find the conference flyer and agenda here (in German only).
21 November: Change to a new wealth
The German Bundestag motivated a discussion about wealth with its new committee of inquiry “Growth, Wealth, Quality of Life”. Dr. Maja Göpel, Director of the WFC’s Future Justice working group, attended a panel discussion of the Wuppertal Institute on this topic.
14-18 November: Study tour on renewable energy
On a study tour on renewable energy of the UNDP and ECOWAS in Spain Ansgar Kiene, Director WFC Africa Liaison Office, informed African participants about prospects of renewable energy. Find more information about the WFC's African Renewable Energy Alliance on the AREA-website.
4-6 November: Annual General Meeting
The WFC held its 5th Annual General Meeting 'The next 5 years. Growing and Acting together' in Hamburg, where members of the Council, Supervisory Board, Board of Advisors and staff discussed and drew up strategies and activities for the coming year. Key topics were the upcoming Earth Summit in Rio in 2012, rights of future generations and the spreading of best policy solutions in climate/energy, sustainable ecosystems, sustainable economies and peace and disarmament.
15-19 October: A nuclear weapons-free world
Rob van Riet, WFC Coordinator Disarmament Working Group, joined WFC member Alyn Ware at the annual assembly of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) as well as attned the 125th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Bern. Find more information here.
5 October: Celebrating the world's best forest policies
The winning policies of the 2011 Future Policy Award, which were announced on 21 September in New York, were presented by the World Future Council at a side event at the international conference “Contributions of Forests to a Green Economy” in Bonn. Jan McAlpine, Director, UN Forum on Forests, moderated a panel discussion with Frank Rutabingwa, Deputy Director General, Rwanda Natural Resources Authority, Charles Barber, Forest Division Chief, U.S. Department of State and Eva Muller, Principal Officer, Forestry Department, FAO. During the week-long conference an exhibition featured the winning policies and the honorable mentions. Find out more about the Future Policy Award here.
Andre Giacini de Freitas, Director General, Forest Stewardship Council, Alexandra Wandel, Director, World Future Council, Charles Barber, Forest Division Chief, U.S. Department of State, Frank Rutabingwa, Deputy Director General, Rwanda Natural Resources Authority, Jan McAlpine, Director, UN Forum on Forests, Eva Muller, Forest Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, and Heiko Warnken, Head, Department of Environment, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Germany.
21 September: 2011 Future Policy Award
Congratulations to Rwanda’s National Forest Policy, initiated in 2004, for winning the 2011 Future Policy Award. The Gambia’s Community Forest Policy and the USA’s Lacey Act with its amendment of 2008 took home the Silver Awards. The three policies in the world which most effectively contribute to the conservation and sustainable development of forests for the benefit of current and future generations were announced at the UN headquarters in New York. The announcement was followed by an awards ceremony in the evening at Central Park Zoo. Photos | Webcast | Brochure
15 September: European sustainability expert meeting
The Authority for Urban Development and Environment of the City of Hamburg organised a two-day expert meeting focusing on the themes “European Green Capital” and “UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development”. Together with representatives from Barcelona, Marseille, Zurich, Warsaw, Tallinn and Riga, Anna Leidreiter, WFC Policy Officer Climate and Energy, discussed paths to sustainable urban development and how European communities can learn to be sustainable. The meeting served as a platform for experience exchange and knowledge transfer among European cities. Find a list of the other participants here.
13 September: Financing the uptake of renewable energy
Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy, spoke on "Financing the uptake of renewable energy in developing countries" at the Climate Service Centre's "Climate Impetus" in Hamburg.
3-5 September: Have we lost vision and courage?
The 64th Annual UN DPI/NGO conference in Bonn, Germany, a milestone event on the road to the critical UN Earth Summit (UNCSD 2012) next June, concluded with an outcome document which will be presented to all member states at the UN General Assembly in September. Attended by our Future Justice team along with over 2000 delegates from civil society, governments and UN institutions it served to identify promising proposals for the ongoing negotiations around a Green Economy and Governance for Sustainable Development. Ombudspersons for future generations were included as a core solution to the short-term orientation in our societies threatening our very future. Read more here.
2 September: Our Daily Rice: feasible for all. But how?
The World Future Council was a partner of the evening panel discussion on "Our Daily Rice: feasible for all. But how?" in the run up to the UN conference on "Sustainable Societies - Responsive Citizens." Councillor Dr. Vandana Shiva (Alternative Nobel Prize laureate), Achim Steiner (Executive Director UN Environment Programme) and Hans Herren (World Food Prize laureate) presented on the pressing issue of the global food situation. Find the program details here.
21-27 August: Renewables and Rural Energy Opportunities Study Tour
The WFC's second "fact-finding mission" was organised by WFC Director US Liaison Office Randy Hayes and co-hosted by Ecologic, focusing on renewables and rural energy opportunities. The study tour took place in Bavaria, Germany and Upper Austria and included visits to the 7th largest PV solar park in the world, the Straubing Center of Excellence for Renewable Resources, the bio-energy region Ascha, the Bavarian State Institute on Forestry, an experimental agro-forestry site, a biomass- and biogas plant as well as the German Biogas Association. Anna Leidreiter, WFC Policy Officer Climate and Energy, participated in the exchange between professional foresters and farmers, policy makers in these fields, local non-profit advocacy groups and biomass experts and created a forum for problem-focused, goal-oriented conversation. During the 5-day tour, special attention was paid to the role that renewable energy policy plays in agricultural and forestry policy and the implications of feed-in tariffs on rural economies.
23 August: "The Earth belongs to all of us"
With an audience of over 1000 people, WFC Councillor Prof. Dr. Vandana Shiva spoke at the Hamburg International Summer Festival on the unjust and devastating effects of applying property rights to common goods such as seeds, and the need to safeguard the commons. The evening event was moderated by Thorsten Fischermann from Die Zeit and organised by Kampnagel in cooperation with the World Future Council, the Bucerius Summer School on Global Governance, the Initiative for a GMO-Free Hamburg and GLS Bank. Earlier in the day Dr. Shiva was at City Hall for a private meeting with Deputy Mayor Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt and Consul General of India Murugesan Subashini, as well as to sign the Golden Book of Hamburg. A protagonist of the global justice movement and physicist, activist, professor, and Alternative Nobel Prize Laureate, Dr. Shiva has fought for many years and on many levels to ensure that common goods such as seeds and water belong to all, now and in the future.
23 August: Nuclear phase-out in Germany
Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy, presented on the current nuclear phase-out in Germany, comparing it to that of 2000, at the Information Network For Sustainable Energy (INFORSE) Europe seminar. He answered the questions "What is the current global nuclear situation like?" and "Can Germany serve as an example to the rest of the world?"
19-24 July: European Youth Meeting
The World Future Council was a partner of the European Youth Meeting in Tallinn, at which WFC Policy Officer Future Justice Alice Vincent joined other participants committed to youth-led sustainable development in a diverse program designed to harness the energy and passion of youth towards developing an effective strategy for sustainable development and creating a combined European youth perspective on a fair and green economy. The specific objectives were to advance and encourage the participation of young people and youth organisations in international decision making-process on sustainable development; exchange experiences, best practices and perspectives on sustainable development; promote fair and green economy; encourage the use of technological advancements to ensure sustainable development; and develop at the end of the meeting a policy statement supplemented by a local action plan. Find more information on the organiser's website.
3 July: Can a new generation of global political leaders ensure the Earth's security?
WFC Management Board and Director Alexandra Wandel, together with Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Program, Kenya, and WFC Councillor Anders Wijkman, former Member of European Parliament contributed to the workshop 'Rio+20: Can a new generation of global political leaders ensure the Earth's security?' to discuss whether a new generation of leaders will take the baton to enforce the Earth agenda after 2012, where they are and how they can be supported. Twenty years after the UN-sponsored ‘Earth Summit’ in Rio de Janeiro, the sustainability agenda remains largely unfulfilled, and the Rio+20 Conference to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 provides an opportunity to create a new momentum for the sustainability agenda. Convened by Alejandro Litovsky (Earth Security Initiative, UK), other workshop participants included Fadi Zaghmout (Blogger, The Arab Observer, Jordan) and Christine Loh (Civic Exchange, Hong Kong). The workshop was convened at the Tällberg Forum 2011 in Sigtuna, Sweden. Find more information on the organiser's website.
29 June - 1 July: Power Kick for Africa
Full agenda | Conference outcome | Photos and posts from Abuja
Access to cleaner, more affordable energy for people worldwide is a current priority for the United Nations. But what exactly do African countries need in order to foster renewable energies? This was the focus of the 3rd international conference of the African Renewable Energy Alliance (AREA) in Abuja, Nigeria, organised by Ansgar Kiene, WFC Director Africa Liaison Office and Coordinator AREA, which identified concrete implementation possibilities for the participants. As gender is a main determinant of energy resource access, utilisation, opportunities and control, the gender aspect will be highlighted. Two prominent WFC Members attended the three-day conference: Hafsat Abiola-Costello spoke on 'The African Women’s Decade 2010-2020 - Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development' and Dipal Chandra Barua on the financing of renewable energy. In conjunction with the conference the WFC and Bosch Solar AG hosted solar powered screenings of Nigeria's matches in the Women's Football World Cup against Germany and France, featuring interviews with female football players and drinks from a solar powered cooler. The AREA conference was opened by Elizabeth Thabethe, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in South Africa, and included experts Thembani Bukula, Head Electricity Regulation, NERSA, South Africa, Inigo Sabater Eizaguirre, Vestas, Dr. Rose Mwebaza, Regional Expert on Gender and Climate Change Adaptation, UNDP/African Adaptation Programme, Uganda and Prof. Salah Arafa, School of Sciences and Engineering, American University in Cairo, Egypt, among others. It was jointly organized with the WFC and the Heinrich Böll Foundation Nigeria, partnering with the Energy Commission of Nigeria and the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE).
22 June: Policies create the future: How can Hamburg safeguard our quality of life?
Cities are the place for global development. By 2050, over two-thirds of humanity will live in them. Here, goods are consumed, energy demanded, pollutants emitted; here, there is social exclusion and inclusion, products manufactured and services provided. They have an enormous potential for resource efficiency and sustainability, are places of innovation and a close relationship between the state and its citizens. But will they fulfill their important role in safeguarding the future for future generations? How can policies be freed from shortsightedness? How can the interests of future generations be included? What experiences lie at the international level? What implications are there for the 'modern city of Hamburg'? We wanted to discuss this with you and thus organised a public discussion together with the Hamburg Future Council, which brought together actors and institutions of innovative, future just policies. WFC Director Future Justice Dr. Maja Göpel presented on 'Future Justice: The chances and and responsibilities for a better world'. Also presenting were Holger Lange (State Councillor for Urban Development and Environment Hamburg), Prof. Dr. Martin Jänicke (Enquete Commission of Growth, Prosperity and Quality of Life, and Founding Director of the Research Institute for Environment, Free University of Berlin), Prof. Dr. Sabine Schlacke (Member, Scientific Advisory Board Globalisation and Environment, University of Bremen) and Dr. Delia Schindler (Hamburg Future Council).
16 June: Vision of a Renewable World
At the 2nd Zermatt Summit, WFC Founder Jakob von Uexküll spoke on a vision of a sustainable world system. The age of industrialisation began with the discovery of fossil fuels and and has become a self-perpetuating vicious cycle ever since: Producing energy out of the combustion of oil, gas and coal to produce machines to raise the demand and to drill for even more fossil fuels. Before the age of industrialisation and the discovery of fossil fuels, human species had been living more or less sustainably for thousands of years. However, level of education, life expectancy and quality of life was very different from what many people in the industrialised countries experience nowadays. The level of global injustice was as unbalanced as it is today. Therefore the vision of a ‘renewable world’ is not about a U-turn back into the stone age. The aim is rather abandoning fossil fuel dependency while saving the positive achievements of the industrialization and transforming them into sustainable systems. More information on the summit can be found on the organiser's website.
15 June: What are the rights of future generations?
Alice Vincent, Policy Office Future Justice, was in Bristol to speak at the CONVERGE 'Rethinking Globalisation' seminar series on 'Self interest vs Self preservation - What are the rights of future generations?', organised by the Schumacher Institute and the Alliance for Future Generations. Find more information on the organiser's website.
13 June: Future Policy Award Jury meeting
In Bonn, eight distinct sustainability experts representing all 5 continents make up the jury that shortlisted 6 Best Forest Policies from a list of 20 nominations for the 2011 Future Policy Award.
11 June: Governance for 100% Renewable Energy Cities
How can 100% renewable energy be achieved in cities? What role do actors, institutions and co-operative instruments play? What policies are needed to implement 100% renewable energy targets in practice? These questions were tackled at a side event jointly hosted by the World Future Council and HafenCity University Hamburg at the UN Climate Change Conference SB34 in Bonn. Modern cities and urban regions are responsible for a large share of the world’s energy consumption. The number of cities and urbanisation is increasing worldwide. Cities and urban regions are therefore a key arena for mitigation of climate change. 100% renewable energy is no longer a myth. Cities are setting out plans to reach this goal, while some smaller communities have in fact achieved it. Cooperation between governments, industry, universities and civil society has a large potential to mobilise renewable energy development. A closer look at governance of 100% renewable energy was therefore due, and Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate, Energy and Cities, spoke on the need for 100% renewable energy cities. Prof. Dr. Joerg Knielling (HafenCity University Hamburg), Dr. Peter Moser (Director Sustainable Regional Development and Renewable Energy) and Matthias Sinn (Head of City of Munich Unit Climate Protection, Environmental and Health Reporting) also presented on governance of and Germany's experiences in 100% renewable energy cities.
11 June: New money for the Green Climate Fund and 'Feed-in Tariffs'
Unlocking the renewable energy uptake in developing countries by breaking the funding deadlock was the theme of the World Future Council's side event at the UN Climate Change Conference SB34 in Bonn. We demonstrated that it is feasible to finance the renewable energy transition in less industrialized countries by pre-distributing newll money instead of redistributing existing funds. Experts outlined how the $100 bn per year promised to the Green Climate Fund in Cancun can be generated through the issuance of new non-repayable Special Drawing Rights of the IMF without increasing debt and inflation and how these financial resources can be channeled to ensure a rapid uptake of renewable energy. An economic model was presented on how the real economy and the monetary system in industrialized and developing countries are likely to react to the SDR-issuing. WFC Founder Jakob von Uexküll illustrated how to pre-distribute the new money in a way to make sure that renewable energy infrastructure is built at fair prices. Other speakers included Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate, Energy and Cities, and Dr. (des.) David Jacobs (Director Renewable Energy, IFOK GmbH), who spoke on the financing of feed-in tariffs for developing countries. Read our discussion paper.
9 June: Visionary Biodiversity Laws and Policies Workshop
How do we develop exemplary biodiversity laws based on sustainable development law principles, including justice for future generations? WFC Management Board and Director Alexandra Wandel gave a presentation on 'Celebrating the World's Best Biodiversity Policies' at the workshop for policy-makers in Montreal, Canada. Jointly organised by the WFC and Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) Biodiversity Law Programme for the First Meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, the workshop presented examples based on a WFC/CISDL analysis of some of the world’s best biodiversity laws, focusing on guiding principles, the process through which they were developed, drafting and adoption, and their implementation and related monitoring, reporting and compliance processes. WFC Honorary Councillor Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf (Executive Secretary, UN Convention on Biological Diversity) also spoke at the side event, which offered training materials developed for decision-makers on the implementation of biodiversity law. A presentation of research results on best biodiversity laws and policies was given by Prof. Jorge Cabrera and Frederic Perron-Welch (CISDL).
7 June: Global challenges and answers
On occasion of the 8th CESIO Congress in Vienna, WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull raised the questions facing humanity today and in the future: Which challenges are arising? Which solutions already exist?
7 June: The future of our planet
'Can the future still be saved?' This was the question Councillor Prof. Dr. Rolf Kreibich of the Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment addressed in a special series at the Ecumenical Centre of Berlin.
26-27 May: Urban Futures 2050
With these and other questions in mind, city planners, politicians and architects, who want to enable the transition into a sustainable urban development, participated at the conference "Urban Futures 2050" in Berlin. WFC Co-founder Prof. Herbert Girardet, as one of five global visionaries for sustainable urban development, was part of the introductory panel discussion together with Cecilia Martinez Leal (Director of UN-HABITAT’s regional Office for Latin America and Caribbean), Simon Marvin (Director of the Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures, Salford University, UK & Co-author: Splintering Urbanism; Cities and Low Carbon Transitions), Peter Schwartz (Co-founder and Chairman of the Global Business Network & Author: The Art of the Long View) as well as Kees Christiaanse (Professor at the Institute for Urban Development, ETH Zürich). WFC Councillor Prof. Dr. Rolf Kreibich also held a speech at the conference, and Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy, moderated the discussion on sustainable European Cities by Abebayehu Assefa (Head of Energy Centre at the Faculty of Technology, Ethiopia), Michael Knoll (Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment, Berlin), Magali Menant (Manager of Building, Energy and Environment at the Delegation of German Commerce and Industry, Shanghai), and Saif Ul Haque (architect from Bangladesh). More information (in German) can be found on the homepage of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
25 May: Green Week
'Resource Efficiency' was this year's theme at the European Commission's 11th Green Week conference. WFC Councillor Dr. Sándor Fülöp (Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations Hungarian Ombudsman) and Dr. Maja Göpel, WFC Director Future Justice, spoke at the session on 'Monitoring our impact on the environment: the role of Ombudsmen'. Ombudspersons can ensure that due process, transparency and accountability are followed in cases where government administrations fail to take adequate action to protect the environment for use by present and future generations. This session explored the roles of Ombudspersons in European governance and identified aspects that make them effective. Nikiforos P. Diamandouros (European Ombudsman), Jeremy Wates (Secretary General, European Environmental Bureau) and Prof. Jonas Ebbesson (Director, Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy Centre) also spoke at the session. More information can be found on the Green Week homepage.
25 May: European Parliamentary Hearing on Rio+20
Dr. Sándor Fülöp, WFC Councillor, and Dr. Maja Göpel, WFC Director Future Justice, spoke in Brussels on 'Sustainable development governance - and how can it be improved?'
23-24 May: Sustainable Development by Desertec?
At the first international conference of the Desertec Discussion Group in Berlin Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy, participated at the panel discussion "What do the upheavals in the MENA region mean for the Desertec project?" >>
19-22 May: Conference on sustainable economy
At the conference 'think more about - Days of Sustainability' in Brixen, WFC Councillor Prof. Ibrahim Abouleish and Dr. Maja Göpel, WFC Director Future Justice, participated in the panel discussion 'The art of cooperation and sustainability.'
17 May: Mayors for Peace seminar
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran (University of Hamburg), member of WFC Peace and Disarmament working group, together with Rob van Riet, WFC Coordinator of the Peace and Disarmament Working Group, presented the new WFC study "Climate change, nuclear risks and nuclear disarmament: From security threats to sustainable peace."
13-15 May: 8th European Colloquium of Konstanz
At the European Colloquium in Konstanz, Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate, Energy and Cities elaborated on the economic and political challenges of a low carbon economy.
6 May: European Policy Dialogue Workshop
Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy, participated in a workshop in Brussels which looked at carbon trade-offs, future costs, power and gas market design and integrating renewables into the power mix.
5-6 May: Hearing on South Africa Energy Legislation
Ansgar Kiene, Director WFC Africa Liaison Office, spoke at a public hearing in Pretoria on the legislation of the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff policy we introduced to South African Parliamentarians in 2007.
3-4 May: World Economic Forum on Africa
In a series of private sessions, the World Economic Forum on Africa explored the factors that trigger the scaling-up of renewables on the continent. Discussions were focused through an economic lens that emphasises jobs, growth and effective modes of collaboration, including public-private and domestic-international models. Other sessions examined the transition to new energy architectures and challenges and solutions in implementing energy efficiency policies. Ansgar Kiene, Director of WFC's Africa Liaison Office and AREA Coordinator, shared his experience in the renewables field. South African Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters was also participating, along with Abdoulie Janneh (Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa), Kenneth Matambo (Minister of Finance and Development Planning of Botswana), Dan Plato (Executive Mayor of Cape Town, South Africa), Abraão Pio dos Santos Gourgel (Minister of Economy of Angola), Carlos Poñe (Chief Executive Officer South Africa and Southern Africa), Sun Haiyan (Vice-President, Trina Solar, People's Republic of China), Alexander Voigt (Chief Executive Officer of Younicos, Germany), and Michael Zarin (Director of Government Relations of Vestas Wind Systems, Denmark). Please find details of the programme here.
18 April: The Great Disruption
The WFC co-hosted a discussion of Paul Gilding's new book "The Great Disruption: How the Climate Crisis Will Transform the Global Economy" (Excerpt) in Brussels. Gilding is a renowned international sustainability advocate. >>
6-8 April: Energy Cities Annual Rendez-vous
During the Energy Cities Annual Rendezvous 2011, Energy Cities and the hosting City of Zagreb wanted to encourage European local authorities to “Do It Yourself…together”: each city has its own energy challenges and skills, but only by teaming up with others it will be well prepared for an unpredictable 21st Century. The conference intended to be a source of inspiration for political decision-makers, technical representatives, companies and academics. Local energy policies and their direct linkages with EU developments were discussed focusing on Creative practices: how local level decisions are setting trends; Valuable sources: how to finance great ideas; and Showing innovative methods: how to make cities more efficient. At the meeting WFC Co-founder held a keynote lecture on “Regenerative Cities Sustainable cities & Energy: a meta bolic approach”.
28 March: Hamburg between Status quo and Eco-city
In the context of the urban planning seminar of the Architektur Centrum of Hamburg WFC Co-founder Prof. Herbert Girardet discussed the emerging possibilities for Hamburg, the European Green Capital 2011, in the field of sustainable land use. Nearly 120 people attended the event.
23 March: "Greener Europe-Greener World?"
WFC Director Future Justice, Dr. Maja Göpel, held a speech at an all-day hearing for civil society participants organised by the EESC's Sustainable Development Observatory. The hearing addressed the questions highlighted in the EU Commission’s consultation document, and any other major issues for the 2012 Rio Conference on sustainable development and seeked to identify which of these are the most important ones for civil society to give particular attention to in the build-up to the Summit.
22 March: World Water Day
WFC Councillor Tony Colman represented the World Future Council at the UN World Water Day and Event in Cape Town, South Africa. He took part in the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) meeting working on both the importance to Africa of water for adaptation to climate change at the COP 17 meeting in Durban this year and the 6th World Water Forum meeting in Marseille in 2012. He spoke at the meeting held by UNHABITAT on the right to water.
15-17 March: Global City Forum 2011
At the conference "Visionary values for sustainable cities" in Abu Dhabi WFC Co-founder Prof. Girardet held a keynote lecture.
14-15 March: What Role for CSOs?
This conference in London on "Smart CSOs" looked at why CSOs should – and how they can – work towards a more holistic and systemic transition to a sustainable society. WFC Director Future Justice, Dr. Maja Göpel, held the keynote speech.
13-15 March: Gulf Energy Forum
At this forum for energy experts WFC Co-founder Prof. Herbert Girardet held a keynote lecture. The forum took place in Riyadh.
9-11 March: Regenerative urbanisation in India
The World Future Council, in co-operation with Development Alternatives and HafenCity University Hamburg, organized a policy workshop on "Regenerative urbanisation in India: Steps towards future-proofing urban development" in Delhi, India. This strategy workshop explored in nine lectures the perspectives and opportunities for future‐proof urban development in India, looking for innovative strategies for environment‐ and people‐friendly urbanisation, and a restorative relationship between cities and the ecosystems on which they depend. For the first time ever it brought together best practices and policies from across the world that are relevant to the development of human settlements in India. Over 60 academics, architects, urban planners and developers, energy specialists, environmentalists, water experts, climate change researchers attended the workshop and in addition several Indian MPs and most importantly the former minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy contributed to the discussions. Among the expert speakers were Prof. Herbert Girardet, WFC Co-Founder, Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate, Energy & Cities, and WFC Councillor Ashok Kosla. It took place at the India Habitat Centre, in New Delhi.
4 March: Ombudspersons for Future Generations as Sustainable Development Implementation Units
Dr. Maja Goepel and Alice Vincent from the WFC Future Justice Commission successfully organised a side-event at the CSD-19 Intergovernmental Preparatory meeting in New York in collaboration with ANPED. On Friday March 4th in a well-attended auditorium, invited speakers debated the merits of institutionalising the protection of future generations through an Ombudsperson at national, international and local level and how this could help close the implementation gap in the sustainability agenda, - one of the main issues to be tackled at the third follow-up conference of the 1992 Earth Summit (Rio+20) in May next year. In the open discussion participated WFC Councillor Dr. Sándor Fülöp, Dr. Maja Göpel, WFC Director Future Justice, Jan-Gustav Strandenaes, Senior Adviser ANPED, Ivana Savic, Organising Partner of the UNCSD Major Group Children & Youth / Rio+20s, Albert Recknagel, Head of Child Rights Department of terre des hommes, and Halina Ward, Director of the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development. Find the programme here.
3 March: A homage to the visionary Hermann Scheer
As most influential advocate for renewable energies worldwide, WFC Founding Member Hermann Scheer decisively influenced our work on the international dissemination of Feed-In Tariffs. On 3 March the legacy of this infatigable pioneer was highlighted by WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull, Nnimmo Bassey (Chairman of Friends of the Earth), Sven Giegold (MEP), Monika Griefahn (former German Minister for Environment & Member of the German Parliament) during a discussion about the documentary "The 4th Revolution: Energy Autonomy" in Potsdam.
3 March: Projects of hope
At the first Cradle to Cradle®-Festival, which presents completely recyclable products, WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull discussed with Monika Griefahn (former German Minister for Environment) about how inspiring examples and projects of hope can change societies and how the concept of Cradle to Cradle can support the dynamics of change. The principle of Cradle to Cradle® is based on the development of all products and production processes in a way that there is no useless waste, but only useful resources. In this model all materials flow in closed biological or technical cycles. Already more than 600 products have been developed based on this principle.
2 March: Sustainable economy as a competitive advantage
WFC-Founder Jakob von Uexkull was invited to the HASPAX-Awards 2011 and debated as keynote speaker the competitive advantage of a sustainable economy. The event took place in Hamburg.
28 February - 1 March: Shared social responsibility
Dr. Maja Göpel, WFC Director Future Justice, was guest at the conference "Shared social responsibility. Securing trust and sustainable social cohesion in a context of transition" of the Council of Europe, which took place in partnership with the European Commission at the Borschette Centre in Brussels. For the discussion of the proposal of a "European Charter on shared social responsibilities", Dr. Maja Göpel introduced the vision and definition of shared social responsibility. At the subsequent Round Table on "Addressing challenges to placing shared responsibility at the heart of the political agenda" she explained the challenge of intergenerational justice. Important personalities such as Professor Claus Offe (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin), Professor Mireille Delmas-Marty (Collège de France) and Stefano Rodotà (President of the Scientific Commission of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union) participated at the conference. Please click to view the conference programme.
28 February & 1 March: The Future of Cities
WFC Co-founder Prof. Herbert Girardet held a keynote speech at a conference organised by Chatham House on urban planning: Sustainable Infrastructure and mobility in London.
23 February: What is Future Justice?
Future Justice starts today. In order to achieve this objective WFC Director Future Justice Dr. Maja Göpel proposes an agenda for collaborative action. At SOAS in London she presented her engagement with the WFC. First occupied with Climate/Energy issues, Dr. Göpel launched the WFC Department on Future Justice in January 2008, working with its global Expert Commission towards a legal and policy framework that guarantees human security, ecological integrity, and social equity in the interest of future generations. Before starting with the World Future Council in 2006 she lectured on International Relations and presented papers at academic conferences on the current model of economic globalization and its impact on the environment and social equity. Dr. Göpel holds a PhD in Global Political Economy and a diploma in Media/Communications and has worked with several non-governmental organizations on the link between ecology, globalization and justice.
23 Feburary: The path to a Canadian sustainable energy future
At the meeting on clean energy strategies hosted by the Canadian M.P. Linda Duncan, Randy Hayes, WFC U.S. Director, held a keynote speech. The meeting took place in Edmonton. >>
14-15 February: The Right to a Healthy Environment
At a consultation organized by the Office of the Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations, Dr. Maja Göpel, WFC Director Future Justice, and WFC Councillor Prof. Dr. Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger explained how to guarantee this right. The event took place in Budapest at the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence of the Pázmány Péter Catholic University. Click here to view the agenda.
11 February: Achieving intergenerational fairness
WFC Director Future Justice Dr. Maja Göpel co-organized an event in Brussels on "Intergenerational Fairness" hosted by the Bureau of European Policy Advisors (BEPA) for representatives from all directorates of the European Commission to discuss resource efficiency, social security, finance, health and education from an intergenerational perspective. Dr. Rama Mani, WFC Councillor and Senior Research Associate of the Centre for International Studies at the University of Oxford, participated as expert speaker lecturing on "Efficient Governance of our Common Future". The event was part of the initiative Intergenerational Justice, which seeks to promote and reinforce responsibility towards future generations through awareness raising, policy discussions and engagement with institutional reform proposals. Read more about the Initiative "Intergenerational Justice". Click here to view the programme, background paper, participants list and final report.
2 February: Forests - Theme of Future Policy Award 2011 announced in New York
At the Annual Meeting of the United Nations Forum on Forests in New York, the World Future Council (WFC) announced that it will provide this year’s distinguished Future Policy Award to the world’s most inspiring, innovative and influential laws on forest protection and management. The Awards will be presented in New York in September 2011 at a reception hosted by the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the WFC. At the inauguration of the International Year of Forests on 2nd of February 2011 Wangari Maathai, Founder of the Green Belt Movement, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and WFC Honorary Councillor, held a keynote speech. Alexandra Wandel, member of the WFC Management Board, met her shortly after. Read more about the Future Policy Award 2011.
27 January: Climatejust investment
In the context of the themed event "Investment opportunity climate change" in Zurich, Stefan Schurig, WFC Climate and Energy Director, lectured on measures and instruments against climate change.
22 January: A laudatory speech on the fight for a better future
In front of 800 guests at the 62nd Hamburg media gala on 22nd January, WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull held the laudatory speech for the laureates of the Erich Klabunde Award. The presentation of the prize of the German Journalist Association represented the highlight of the evening. In this year the focus of the award was on integration, on the courage one needs in order to live in a foreign country –and the fight for a better life and future. Jakob von Uexkull called on the journalists and their duty to provide people with information, saying that “in this battle you have a central role and responsibility, because people see the future through the lenses and filters you provide”.
14 January: New money for climate protection measures
Jakob von Uexkull and Stefan Schurig met in Brussels with, Caroline Lambert, Cabinet member of the EU Climate Commissioner, to explain the WFC proposal of financing climate protection with the help of new Special Drawing Rights.
13 January: Post-Cancún strategy
Stefan Schurig, WFC Climate and Energy Director, discussed in Brussels the follow-up strategy of the 16. United Nations Climate Change Conference with European Commission officials.
10 and 11 January: Preparations for Earth Summit 2012
Dr. Maja Göpel, WFC Director Future Justice, participated in a meeting of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development in New York in preparation for the third follow-up conference of Earth Summit of 1992 (Rio+20).
8 and 9 January: Eight leverage points for a green economy
The development of a greener economy as well as institutional reforms are the main aims of the third follow-up conference of the 1992 Earth Summit (Rio+20). The World Future Council organized, together with the New Economics Foundation, ANPED, ALOE and the Stakeholder Forum, a workshop on the 8th and 9th of January in New York on the topic of sustainable economic change and required political measures. The participants developed 8 leverage points for a Green Economy. For the second official Rio+20 Preparatory Meeting at the beginning of March, the workshop participants will develop an international framework and national tools for the implementation of a more sustainable economy. Find more information here.
12 December: Integrated Policies for Sustainable Development
WFC Co-Founder Herbert Girardet delivered a keynote lecture at the event of the Saudi Sustainability Initiative in Riyadh, which aims to provide Saudi experts working in the environment sector with policy and strategic-making skills.
9 December: Working towards a Scottish Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone
Rob van Riet, WFC Peace and Disarmament Coordinator and UK Coordinator for Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), attended a debate in the Scottish Parliament on a motion on Scotland’s Nuclear Weapon Free Zones, put forward by PNND Council Member Bill Kidd MSP, and supported by 18 other cross-party parliamentarians. The motion proposed that the Scottish Parliament should explore the possibilities of establishing Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones in Scotland “with the aim to register Scotland as a single-state nuclear weapons-free zone with the United Nations.” Although the debate did not offer the possibility to vote, the motion was well-received by parliamentarians from different political parties and gathered several strong statements of support. Bruce Crawford, Scotland’s Minister for Parliamentary Business noted that although Scotland currently does not has the scope to remove nuclear weapons from its soil, it can still make “a united stand against the possession, threat and use of nuclear weapons.” He added that he was looking forward to the day “when Scotland can join New Zealand as a proud country whose nuclear-free status is firmly set out in legislation.” The proposal looks at New Zealand as an inspiring example of how three decades of anti-nuclear weapons campaigns culminated in the creation of nuclear-free zones, enshrined in legislation. Scotland is in a unique position as it is home to the UK’s nuclear arsenal but, as a country, is opposed to nuclear weapons. A recent opinion poll demonstrated that 67 percent of the Scottish people are against replacement of Trident. In addition, in June 2007 the Scottish Parliament voted by 72 to 16 against Trident renewal and continuation.
8 December: Regenerative cities - more than sustainable urban development
Modern cities consume vast amounts of energy and materials and the waste they produce, puts enormous pressure on the Earth’s ecosystems. Urban centres significantly contribute to climate change and their ecological footprints can exceed their surface area hundreds of times. With their cities work, the World Future Council and HafenCity University Hamburg aim at promoting the 100% Renewable Energies in cities around the world. On December 8th, they held together a side event on the topic of Regenerative Cities at the COP 16 in Cancún. Together with Dr. Axel Michaelowa (Perspectives Climate Change) and Dr. Maike Sippel (University of Stuttgart), Prof. Herbert Girardet (WFC Co-Founder) presented the concept of Regenerative Cities and touched upon the questions of the role of cities in climate change mitigation. The side event took place in Cancún Messe. The day before, a press conference was held, launching the new WFC study on Regenerative Cities.
2. December: What makes our policies sustainable?
In the context of the initiative "Changing Growth", under the direction of the Austrian Ministry of Life, WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull and Chair of the WFC Supervisory Board Dr. Katiana Orluc explained the central element of the WFC's work: the research of best policies which assure sustainability and promote the responsible guardianship of our planet. The interview was conducted by Rita Trattnigg from the Austrian Ministry of Life and Angie Rattay from the Neongreen Network in the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.
1 and 2 December: IBA Labor on the Energy Atlas
WFC Director of Climate and Energy Stefan Schurig facilitated the two-day symposium in Hamburg, on which the IBA Hamburg presented its Energy Atlas for a coming 100% renewable energy supply of the Elbe islands.
1 December: Financing the energy revolution with the issuance of new Special Drawing Rights
From November 29th to December 10th, negotiators, ministers and world leaders gathered in Cancún for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 16). After Copenhagen, the 2010 UNFCCC conference is dealing with the critical aspect of the funding dilemma for climate change mitigation activities: How can measures to counter climate change be financed in an equitable way? And how can funds be allocated effectively on a global scale? On Wednesday, 1st December, the World Future Council presented its approach on solving the funding problem of the energy transition with the help of new and re-designed (debt- and interest-free) Special Drawing Rights to over 80 delegates of governments, development banks and NGOs. Our experts Stefan Biskamp (WFC Director Future Finance) and Jasper Sky (Oxford University) showed how Special Drawing Rights can fund the renewable energy transition that is necessary to combat climate change without creating inflation. The side event was held in Cancún Messe. Find more information and the discussed papers here.
1 December: Changing course into the future – 30 Years Right Livelihood Award
Jakob von Uexkull, founder of both the Right Livelihood Award and the World Future Council, was invited to Johannes Kaup's interview series for ORF. The event took place in the Main Hall of the ORF Radio Cultural Hall in Vienna. The interview will be transmitted by Radio Austria 1 on the 11th of December and by the ORF TV Channel TW1 in December (date to be set).
23 November: Sustainable Cities and Energy
At the fifth IMAGINE-Conference of the over 1000 European "Energy Cities" WFC Co-Founder Herbert Girardet held the opening lecture about the founding elements of urban sustainability. >>
18 November: WFC workshop/AREA Steering Committee meeting
Coupled with the first Steering Committee meeting of the African Renewable Energy Alliance (AREA), in Johannesburg the WFC presented a workshop on “7 Principles of Future Just Law Making – Renewable Energy Policies for Sustainable African Development”.
15 and 16 November: WFC Feed-in Tariff online instruction manual -
As partner of a REEEP-workshop on Feed-in Tariffs the WFC presented its unique online FIT design toolkit in Johannesburg. >>
4 November: Pseudo solution genetic engineering - what kind of agriculture do we need to feed the world?
Benny Härlin of the German Foundation on Future Farming and Helmy Abouleish, manager of the SEKEM-Group, which grows organic products in the Egyptian desert and merchandises them successfully on the international market, examined ways to make agriculture sustainable in order to meet growing food needs of the world’s population. The event at the Hamburg Universitywas organized by the World Future Council, the GLS Bank and the Initiative for a GMO-free Hamburg Metropolitan Region. Helmy Abouleish, son of WFC Councillor and SEKEM founder Ibrahim Abouleish, is member of the Board of Advisors of the World Future Council. Benny Härlin represented North-American and European NGOs in the Supervisory Board of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development from 2004 to 2008 and founded the initiative "Save Our Seeds". The discussion was facilitated by Dr. Tanja Busse, a German book author. Her latest book deals with the nutrition industry and is published in German under the title "Die Ernährungsdiktatur".
3 and 4 November: Back-to-back meetings of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) in the UK House of Commons and the French Senate
On Wednesday November 3rd, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), an international network of over 700 parliamentarians from more than 75 countries working to prevent nuclear proliferation and achieve nuclear disarmament, hosted a meeting for its UK parliamentary members in the House of Commons in London. Chaired by PNND Co-President Baroness Sue Miller of the House of Lords and PNND Council Member Jeremy Corbyn MP, the meeting served as an opportunity to inform PNND UK members on global nuclear abolition initiatives, to discuss recent and future PNND activities and to meet PNND Global Coordinator Alyn Ware and Rob van Riet, who coordinates the WFC Peace and Disarmament Programme and was recently appointed PNND UK coordinator. On November 4, a meeting in the French Senate in Paris, chaired by PNND Council Member Senator Jacques Muller and attended by Baroness Miller, explored cooperation between France and the UK on Common Security and Nuclear Disarmament, with an emphasis on collaboration on this issue between parliamentarians of both countries through PNND initiatives. The meeting came at an opportune moment as the governments of the two countries had signed an unprecedented agreement on military cooperation only days earlier. Cooperation between PNND and the WFC has recently deepened with the appointment of Alyn Ware as WFC Councillor and WFC Peace and Disarmament coordinator Rob van Riet also taking up the position of PNND UK coordinator. PNND's global network of legislators and the WFC's work with policy-makers are the basis for a natural partnership.
3 November: Public presentation of German edition of "A Renewable World"
The WFC book "A Renewable World. Energy, Ecology, Equality" was published in 2009 and received considerable recognition worldwide. On November 2, the German edition “Neue Energien freisetzen - Für eine ökologische und gerechte Welt” was released by the Zurich publishing house Rotpunktverlag. WFC founder Jakob von Uexküll and co-author Herbert Girardet presented the book at a public event in Hamburg on November 3.
28 October: Pacific Ocean 2020 Challenge
At the tenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 10) in Nagoya, Japan, the World Future Council hosted a side event titled "Pacific Ocean 2020 Challenge - A healthy ocean for future generations" . Dirk Hendricks, WFC Director Oceans, moderated a panel discussion between Pacific Islands Leaders who underlined the necessity for joint action to promote future just policies on ocean management in the Pacific.
25 October: Future Policy Award 2010
On October 25, the World Future Council's Future Policy Award 2010 was presented to Costa Rica for its ground-breaking Biodiversity Law at the UN biodiversity conference in Nagoya, Japan. The aim of the award is to raise global awareness for exemplary policies and speed up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity acted as the formal host of the celebratory award ceremony. Its Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf and Shoichi Kondo, Senior Vice Minister of Environment of Japan, held the opening speeches. For more information read the press release >>
25 October: Challenging old economy ideas
In the European Parliament, Director Future Justice Maja Göpel debated with Johan Norberg the potentials and pitfalls of indicators and research on wellbeing beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Norberg is a strong advocate of capitalist market growth and the Centre for European Studies wants to provide a platform for critical assessment and reflection of the ongoing debates that challenge many old economy ideas.
18-21 October: Solar Energy Support Policies and Mechanisms
WFC Director of the Africa Liaison Office Ansgar Kiene presented Solar Energy Support Policies and Mechanisms at an ECREEE Regional Forum in Dakar, Senegal.
19-21 October: European Future Energy Forum 2010
Europe's largest exchange of knowledge on the future of energyprovides solutions and business opportunities for the global renewable energy and environmental technology market. The format of the event was based on enabling high-level debate on a large conference platform as well as in knowledge exchanging workshops, round table discussions and an international exhibition. In the Green Buildings/Green Cities stream of the conference, WFC co-founder and Director of Programmes Herbert Girardet brought his expertise to round-table discussion about “Powering our Cities”. Decentralised generation, smart grids, storage technologies and demand management systems have been explored as ways to power cities in a more sustainable way. For more information see here.
20 October: World Future Council co-sponsored "FIT for New York: A Long-Term Renewables Incentive Vision"
The WFC’s US Director Randy Hayes delivered the luncheon keynote talk at this New York City event. It brought together the brightest and most respected minds in the field of Feed-in Tariff (FIT) design to develop a FIT Policy Incentive proposal that is rooted in the reality of New York's political, regulatory and market realities. The FIT is not intended to compete with other policy options that have been supported recently but to explore an alternative approach that is working all over the world - 75% of grid-tied solar has been installed as a result of FITs. It also works well just to the North in Ontario, Canada, which is quickly becoming one of the strongest markets for solar in North America. This workshop was being held in cooperation with the New York Solar Energy Society (NYSES), the Alliance for Renewable Energy (ARE), and Wind-Works. JFS Renewables was the lead organizer of the event. For more info click here and here.
8-10 October: Six Senses Eco Symposium
"Powerful future! - The Role of Renewable Energy for a Steadily Increasing Global Ecotourism" was the topic of Stefan Schurig's presentation at this symposium in the Maldives, opened by the President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed.
3-7 October: Faith, Shared Wisdom and International Law
At the Multi Religious Consultation on Faith, Shared Wisdom and International Law in Kuala Lumpur, Maja Göpel represented the WFC vision on Future Justice. WFC Councillor Judge Weeramantry was among the conveners. The consultation brought together 70 selected participants from all sectors of society and all major religions to discuss similarities between the core values of our belief systems and how these could inform programmes on conflict resolution, ethics in sustainability and development of international law. The goal was to formulate a declaration that informs a continued process of political engagement.
30 September-1 October: The Global Clean Energy Forum
At this 2-day forum, organised by the "International Herald Tribune" in Lisbon, WFC Climate & Energy Director Stefan Schurig discussed the outlook for the UN Climate Conference COP 16 in Cancun as part of an international expert panel.
25-30 September: World Renewable Energy Congress XI
The 11th WREC congress, themed "Towards sustainable environment: Green Buildings and Renewable Energy Options", brought together international top-experts from the Renewable Energy field. In Abu Dhabi, WFC co-founder Herbert von Girardet spoke on "Renewable Energy for Cities" while WFC Climate & Energy Director Stefan Schurig elaborated on the topics "FIT for Future - How a Feed-in Tariff (FIT) and other policies can boost the renewable energy sector" and "Breaking the Funding Deadlock: Creating new money to finance climate security and climate justice".
24 September: Session on the value of Feed-in tariffs
WFC US Director Randy Hayes and the former Mayor of Gainsville, Florida, Pegeen Hanrahan, provided a session on the value of feed-in tariff renewable energy policy at ICLEI's Local Action summit at Washington, DC. Among the audience were several dozen local government officials, both appointed and elected, from cities and counties working toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
23-24 September: My Sustainable World - a market place for sustainability
The conference "My Sustainable World" dealt with Living, Energy and Mobility all at once. For two days, businesses met with science, politics, society, institutions and consumers. Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy, spoke about one of his areas of expertise: cities.
23 September: Feed-in tariffs workshop in Canada
The WFC and the Canadian think tank Pembina Institute co-sponsored a workshop on Feed-in tariff renewable energy policy in Alberta, Canada. About 100 citizen advocates, industry employees and elected officials took part in the event in the town of Red Deer. At the same time, the World Future Council sponsored US Feed-in tariff expert Paul Gipe to spend time in Alberta educating constituents on the benefits of the policy.
16-19 September: International Solar Cities World Congress
Dezhou is “China Solar City” and “Model city for the use of renewable energy in building”. As an expert in this field, WFC co-founder Herbert Girardet held a keynote lecture on 18 September.
16 September: Inspiration for Living Change
At this one day conference on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Right Livelihood Award nine Awardees presented visions and inspirations for a better world to about 400 participants. WFC Councillors Frances Moore Lappé, Vandana Shiva, Ibrahim Abouleish and Tewolde Egziabher were among the speakers. The highlights of the bilingual (German-English) conference were broadcasted in the internet by video livestream. More information here.
15-18 September: Sustainable Development and Responsible Investing 2010
The Liechtenstein Congress, held at the auditorium of Hochschule Liechtenstein, provided an international platform for practical research and informed practice in Sustainable Development and Responsible Investing, guided by effective policy and enlightened by a deep sense of responsibility. WFC Climate & Energy Director Stefan Schurig lectured on "Direct market development mechanisms in practice: the renewable energy feed-in tariff".
15 September: Future Generations and the EU 2020
During a dinner debate organised by the WFC at the European Parliament, four MEPs - Kriton Arsenis, Maria da Graca Carvalho, Nessa Childers and Kinga Gál - presented concrete policies on how the EU 2020 strategy can be used to safeguard opportunities for young people and future generations. They suggested key priorities for actions and discussed with Tonnie de Koster, team leader in the strategic objective prosperity unit of the European Commission, how the EU institutions can provide ways out of the current crisis to protect the conditions for life in the future. The EU 2020 strategy offers guidelines to a more sustainable and resilient European society. For more information on the event please contact Malte Arhelger.
14-19 September: Youth Conference on solutions for sustainability
In parallel to the Right Livelihood Award conference, the Youth Future Project organised a Youth Conference with 120 young people between 18 and 25 to discuss solutions for sustainability. Director Future Justice Maja Göpel presented the WFC and its policy work. One of the ideas discussed in the workshop concerned how young people can influence policy-making and how the WFC Future Just Lawmaking methodology can support every individual’s and organization’s effort on policy evaluation, amendment and design. More information can be found here.
14 September: Renewables last forever
The EU Liaison Office hosted again the European parliamentary group on Supergrid issues in the European Parliament on the 14th of September. WFC Councillor and Secretary-General of the e-Parliament Nick Dunlop and WFC EU Director Dirk Hendricks discussed with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) opportunities in the annual budget process for 2012 and beyond to reallocate money for the enhancements of electricity grids. “It is arguable that even as little as 1% of the world’s government budgets (around €140 billion a year) might be sufficient as the contribution from public funds to make the renewables revolution happen. If resources on this scale were allocated to priorities such as grid construction, building insulation, research and development, and incentivising private investment in generating capacity, it should be enough to prevent a spike in electricity bills” argues Nick Dunlop. A systematic effort to reallocate funds in the European Parliament could form the centrepiece of a global initiative to encourage governments everywhere to commit a minimum percentage of their budgets to regional grids, renewable energy and energy efficiency. 1% isn't much to ask, when the future of the planet is at stake!
9-11 September: Self Knowledge and Global Responsibility Symposium
Councillor Scilla Elworthy and Director Future Justice Maja Göpel contributed to this year’s Forum on the topic “Facing the Unknown”: How do we think, act, plan in light of the manifold uncertainties that working for the future entails? The Forum gathered people from all walks of life “to find and express a common vision of humanity and to work for its continuous evolution and exposure”. The WFC vision on Future Justice was one of the topics discussed this year. You can find more information here.
3 September: Construction and Reality
Alpbach: WFC co-founder Herbert Girardet will hold a keynote lecture on architecture and urban development at the European Forum Alpbach.
6 August: Commemoration of U.S. bombing of Hiroshima
On August 6, 1945, the U.S. B-29 warplane Enola Gay dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima killing more than 70.000 people. Three days later, a second nuclear bomb struck Nagasaki. At the end of 1945, the death toll from both atomic strikes had risen to 200,000. In the decades after, many more perished from leukemia, cancer and other long-term effects. On the 65th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing a ceremony in the city brought together tens of thousands, including representatives of a record 74 states. Among them were also the hibakusha, the survivors of the atomic strikes, who saw the United States represented at the annual ceremony for the first time. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demonstrated his commitment to nuclear disarmament by becoming the first UN chief to attend the event. Ban urged the attendants to “keep up the momentum.” WFC Honorary Councillor, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba underlined the urgency of abolishing nuclear weapons, insisting that “we cannot force the most patient and enduring people in the world, the hibakusha, to be patient any longer.” U.S. Ambassador John Roos noted that “for the sake of future generations, we must continue to work together to realize a world without nuclear weapons.”
Also in commemoration of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) held its 16th annual Sadako Peace Day in Santa Barbara, on the U.S. West Coast. NAPF President and Chair of the WFC Disarmament Working Group, Dr. David Krieger recognized that "the most important thing we can do as planetary citizens is to pass the world on intact to the next generation. Ending the nuclear weapons era is a responsibility we owe to the future.” For more information on the Sadako Peace day and Dr. Krieger’s message for Hiroshima Day, click here.
28 July: Feed-in Tariff Briefing on Washington's Capitol Hill
The World Future Council sponsored an educational briefing on the economic benefits of Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on July 28. The briefing occurred with the backdrop of Congressman Jay Inslee’s introduction of the Renewable Energy Jobs and Security Act the day before, which contains a national FIT policy (H.R. 5883). Panelists included Randy Hayes, US Director of the World Future Council, Craig Lewis, FIT Coalition Executive Director, and Wilson Rickerson, CEO of Meister Consultants. Michael Eckhart of the American Council on Renewable Energy moderated the briefing. Senate and Congressional staff learned about on how Feed-In Tariffs provide tremendous economic benefits. FITs are fixed price, long-term contracts that require a utility to buy electricity produced by renewable energy generators. Hayes provided an overview of FITs and focused on how they improve local self-reliance by providing community based jobs and investment. Lewis discussed in his presentation how FITs work to remove barriers and encourage increased development of clean energy. He went on to explain how growth in clean energy can translate into tens of thousands of new jobs, produce millions in tax revenue, and attract millions more in private investment. Rickerson rounded out the three-person panel by providing an overview of what is driving the recent interest in FITs. “With a strong and well-designed FIT, the Germans have fundamentally changed their electricity portfolio in rapid time” explained Rickerson. He cited numerous statistics about how FITs scale up clean energy development and foster growth in the renewable sector. “Around the globe, 86% of all solar photovoltaic generation was brought online with FITs.” All the panelists felt encouraged by the introduction of the Congressman Inslee’s bill. Randy Hayes said, “This policy is proven to get the most gigawatts of renewable energy on line the fastest. The house is on fire and the US and Canada must move fast to enact the German style policy.”
12 July: Feed-in Tariffs - A Time for Real Action on Renewable Energy
The World Future Council, Pacific Environment, Boell Foundation and others co-hosted a one-day conference on July 12 in San Francisco for the purpose of discussing the deployment of renewable energy in the United States, with a focus on California and the West Coast. Participants from stakeholder organizations, business and government discussed Feed-in Tariffs as a policy option to stimulate vast investment in renewable energy to increase energy security and job creation in California and other states. Among the speakers were Randy Hayes, WFC US Director and Founder of the Rainforest Action Network, Paul Gipe, Co-chair of the Allicance for Renewable Energy, and Hans-Josef Fell, German MP and co-author of Germany's Renewable Energy Sources Act.
28 June - 2 July: Pacific Ocean Challenge 2020 Week
In cooperation with IUCN Oceania and other partners the World Future Council organised a meeting of government officials, political decision-makers and NGO representatives from Pacific fringe states in order to develop a Pacific Ocean 2020 Strategy. The strategy's objective is to provide targets and solutions to ensure the sustainable management and conservation of the Pacific Ocean by 2020.
23-26 June: Crans Montana Forum
Jakob von Uexküll, Founder of the World Future Council and the Right Livelihood Award, discussed "Food security, food industry, new models for a new century" with other high-profile panellists such as Mr. Gemmo Lodesani (Director, World Food Programme) and Mr. François Rubio (Director, Médecins du monde) at the 21st Annual Session of the Crans Montana Forum in Brussels. In addition he participated in plenary sessions discussing topics relating to the theme of the forum: "A New European Union".
11-23 June: Power Kick for Africa - Public Viewing
In order to point out the potential of renewable energy and to show the necessity of stronger political support for their uptake, the World Future Council organized a public viewing of the 2010 Football World Cup in the non-electrified village of Oboadaka in Ghana. All group games of Ghana's national team, the "Black Stars", were broadcasted live to a screen in the village's school. This event was used as an entry point for the development and implementation of renewable energy policies for powering education and medication in rural areas. View photos from Oboadaka here >>
21-23 June: Power Kick for Africa - Strategic workshop
Members of the African Renewable Energy Alliance (AREA) met in Accra to define and elaborate solid energy policy frameworks for sustainable development in Africa. This workshop helped facilitate the sharing of information and networking among experts and stakeholders from politics, business and civil society. Get more info on both events >>
15-16 June: International Conference on Sustainable Business and Consumption
The current biodiversity crisis is a major political concern on the global level and an exemplary expression of the systemic flaws in our current model of socio-economic development. 2010 marks the International Year of Biodiversity, a year-long celebration of biological diversity and its value for life on Earth. The World Future Council has chosen the topic of biodiversity for its Future Policy Award 2010, to raise awareness about acute biodiversity loss, threatening wildlife, the environment and our common future.
The second international sustainability conference, SusCon 2010, was also connected with the Year of Biodiversity. In panel discussions and thematic sessions participants tackled a broad range of highly relevant sustainability topics such as social entrepreneurship, climate change, offset programmes and biodiversity protection. The WFC is an official supporter of SusCon, which took place in Nuremberg (Germany), and presented its work to participants from multinationals and small enterprises, institutions, other NGOs, politicians and the media.
15 June: Financing climate security
In conformity with its commitment to future generations, the World Future Council presented its paper "Breaking the funding deadlock" at the John Knox International Center in Geneva. Jakob von Uexkuell, Founder of the WFC, presented this policy proposal which focusses on financing climate security on a global scale. The meeting was organised by the WFC under the auspices of FIIG (Federation of International Institutions in Geneva). Read .
2-5 June: "Rework the World"
The summit titled "Rework the World: 5th Global Youth Entrepreneurship Sustainability Summit" gathered 1.700 entrepreneurs and decision makers from all over the world in Leksand, Sweden, to discuss how to best integrate the sustainability imperative into the employment agenda with a particular focus on young people across nations that face increasing difficulties to enter the labor markets. The parallel policy dialogue 'Identifying the policy implications of world-changing initiatives' was hosted by Councillor Anders Wijkman and brought together directors of the International Labor Organization, the UN Environment Program, the OECD and several pioneering ministers of national governments to formulate policies that enable emerging initiatives to become transformative forces of change. An underlying theme was the need to merge policy agendas of different ministries and organizations for more effective and integrated government interventions. The concluding statement will soon be published; for on-stage presentation see the video (about 1/6th into the stream). For more information please contact Maja Goepel.
3-28 May: Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference
Several members of the WFC Disarmament Working Group attended the five-yearly Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York. It offers nuclear weapon states a valuable opportunity to make tangible progress on abolishing their nuclear arsenals. The Working Group members’ goal is to further stimulate and capitalize on the current political will, as indicated by the recent nuclear arms reduction treaty between the US and Russia, so that 2010 will mark a turning point in the Nuclear Age. For this purpose, the WFC released two compelling booklets written by members of the Disarmament Working Group on why world leaders should live up to their responsibility towards future generations and free the world of nuclear weapons. For more information please contact the Disarmament Working Group's coordinator Rob van Riet and read about the NGO involvement here.
27-28 May 2010: "Ways to legally implement intergenerational justice"
Co-hosted by the World Future Council and the Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations, this conference convened international legal experts to discuss policy antidotes to the political and economic short-termism that increasingly threatens our future living conditions today and in particular tomorrow. Among the delegates were Judge Shlomo Shoham, former Commissioner for Future Generations in Israel and Dr. Sandor Fülöp, current Ombudsman for Future Generations in Hungary. The World Future Council is currently launching a campaign on the promotion of such Guardians for Future Generations on the European level. For more information please contact Maja Goepel.
20-21 May 2010: WFC Commission Cities and Climate Change
The experts from the WFC Commission on Cities and Climate Change, a cooperation between the World Future Council and HafenCity University Hamburg, met in Hamburg to discuss the developments of their current projects. The main objective of the commission is to turn public awareness towards the responsibilities of cities in the age of climate change, identify the main obstacles to progress and facilitate the exchange of knowledge.
8-10 May 2010: Expert workshop on the Challenge of Sustainability
The main objective of the workshop titled "The Challenge of Sustainability: A Workshop in Preparation for Rio+20", which was co-organized by WFC Councillor Steve Marglin and the UN Division Sustainable Development, was to start a discussion among seasoned experts from different disciplines on both the possibility of global sustainable growth based on absolute decoupling of growth from additional inputs of material resources and the desirability of “growth” as a development focus. The minimum goal was to understand the fault lines in this discussion; the maxium goal was to bring the various sides closer together in a common understanding. The outcome document and updates on following workshops on selected challenges can be found here. For more details please contact Maja Goepel.
3-4 May 2010: Lessons Learned from European FIT legislation
The Canadian province Ontario introduced one of the world’s most progressive Feed-in Tariffs in autumn 2009. The positive effects of this policy are already evident: Installation of power plants using renewable energy to produce electricity has increased significantly. Upon invitation of the Canadian Institute, WFC Climate and Energy Director Stefan Schurig spoke about Germany’s and Europe's experience with ten years of FIT at the conference “Feed-in Tariffs for Developers” in Toronto. There is one positve aspect which distinguishes the Ontarian FIT from the German model: The “Local-Content-Paragraph” provides a possibly higher payment for the produced electricity, if the larger part of the value chain for the new power plant is located in Canada.
3 May 2010: Councillor calls for new international law
Addressing a lecture organized by the United Nations Association of Sri Lanka, WFC Councillor Judge C.G. Weeramantry said a sum of US $ 1000 billion is spent annually for the production of nuclear weapons, stating that creating the oneness of the humanity and protecting the environment is neglected in this situation. Weeramantry therefore called for a paradigm shift of international law based on major religions of the world. However, at the same time he said good aspects of other religions such as Bahai religion should also be considered in International Law. Find out more about the Judge in his impressive Curriculum Vitae.
27-28 April 2010: Transforming Innovation into realistic market implementation programs
The World Future Council participated in a workshop of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, with the objective to examine best practise policies and programs in order to set priorities for future research and development in OECD countries. Mr. David Jacobs presented international best practise design of feed-in tariffs on behalf of the WFC. Regarding the fact that the share of renewable electricity is expected to increase sharply in a number of OECD countries, Mr. Jacobs suggested studying the optimal design of liberalised energy markets in order enable the transformation towards renewable energy based power systems.
11-15 April 2010: BioVision Conference
WFC Director of Programmes Herbert Girardet gave two lectures at the BioVision Conference at the new library in Alexandria, Egypt. The conference was attended by 2000 people, including six Nobel Laureates, from all over the world. Girardet presented the WFC's latest ideas on ‘Regenerative Cities’ and ‘Bio-sequestration of Carbon’. Herbert’s lectures were based on material from our most recent book,
30 March 2010: Renewable Energies in Central- and Eastern Europe
At the "Central and Eastern Europe Renewable 2010" conference in Warsaw, the director of our EU Liaison Office, Dirk Hendricks, presented good policies for the promotion of renewable energies in the EU. Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and the Czech Republic were in the spotlight of discussions looking at topics such as current EU laws, smart grids, renewable storage and developments in the wind market. Program >>
26-29 March 2010: 2nd International Conference on DeGrowth
The economic system as it works today is not sustainable. If it is to serve human wellbeing and respect the boundaries of our planet now and in the future, the system needs to be changed. 400 scientists and policy advocates met in Barcelona to devise an improved economic system. Key questions addressed were firstly where in our economies should we curb exponential growth and secondly which goods and services need more support. Aim of the WFC's participation at the DeGrowth conference was to participate in constant dialogue on how to create what we call "Living Economies" - see the vision paper.
Click here for the DeGrowth conference website and here for a scientific compilation of papers from the first conference in Paris 2008. For further information please contact Maja Goepel.
26-27 March 2010: Feed-in tariff for Florida
Renewable energy industry, farmers, and finance enthusiasts along with municipal utility executives and elected officials met in Florida to discuss the Feed-in Tariff policy. WFC US Director, Randy Hayes, attended the two-day 2nd Annual FARE Conference (Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy) and met with the leadership of FARE and other FIT experts such as Paul Gipe. Florida is home to the first US renewable energy rate (FIT) policy in the town of Gainesville and the third largest user of energy in the US. The enthusiasm at the conference was high, with former CIA Director James Woolsey favouring decentralized renewable energy as key to increasing national energy grid security and farmers wanting to get to 25% renewable energy by 2025. There is no doubt about the benefits of advancing FITs state wide.
22-26 March: World Urban Forum 5
The World Future Council and the HafenCity University Hamburg launched their brand-new report "100% Renewable Energy - and Beyond - for Cities" at the world’s largest cities conference, the UN World Urban Forum, in Rio de Janeiro. The core element of the report is a seven-point-plan which encourages cities to set their own goal at 100% renewable energy supply. The plan addresses the need for regulatory measures as well as incentives at urban and national levels. Measures that involve private businesses and facilitate planning and permission processes are also explored.
15-19 March 2010: South Africa's Potential for Renewables
WFC Climate and Energy Director Stefan Schurig delivered a keynote speech on international renewable energy development and clean technologies at the opening session of the "Power and Electricity World Africa 2010" conference in Johannesburg. Participants discussed with regret that the implementation of Feed-in Tariffs, agreed by the South African Energy Supply Company (ESCOM) almost a year ago, is a dragging process as financing options and participation requirements still need to be clarified. However, they remained optimistic that the renewable energy uptake will be ignited in due course. The conference is considered as one of the most important events on energy in Africa.
17 March 2010: MEP meeting on EU grids and renewable energy promotion
WFC Councillor and co-founder of e-Parliament Nicholas Dunlop and other members from 14 different countries discussed EU grids and renewable energy at the EU Parliament in Brussels. The event was co-organised by the WFC and e-Parliament.
7-8 March 2010: Expert workshop on Religions and the common future
The Bertelsmann Foundation and World Future Council invited religious scientists and adherents of five world religions to an expert hearing on ‘Religions and the Common Future’ in Berlin on March 8th, 2010. The objective of the workshop was to reflect on core messages of the world religions on economic development, environmental protection and the preservation of future generations. The Report to the WFC 'Tread Lightly on the Earth. Religions, the Environment and the Common Future' was presented by Councillor Judge C.G. Weeramantry, former Vice-Chair of the International Court of Justice. Participants agreed that representatives of the world religions should more actively engage in the public debates on sustainable development. More
5-7 March 2010: Future Justice Commission
The World Future Council's Future Justice Commission met in Hamburg in order to develop a model for evaluating the effects of planned policies in cooperation with the Malik Institute.
5 March 2010: WFC advises World Bank Group on energy policy
WFC US Director Randy Hayes presented the World Future Council’s energy strategy recommendations at an Energy Strategy Consultation Meeting by the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C.. Katherine Sierra, Vice President Sustainable Development, and Jamal Saghir, Director Energy Transport and Water Department, spoke on behalf of the World Bank Group about the Energy Strategy Approach next to Johannes Linn, Director Wolfensohn Center for Development, who facilitated the session. Randy Hayes’ recommendations mainly related to how feed-in tariffs could contribute to the energy strategy and to how the World Bank Group should be promoting new technology and/or helping to transfer existing technologies to new markets, and how much weight should be given to each (- consultation question #5).
4-5 March 2010: Working group on Disarmament and Demilitarisation
The World Future Council's working group on disarmament and demilitarisation met in Hamburg to discuss the group's work and upcoming projects.
4 March 2010: What Does Security Really Mean? New Thinking for a Future of Peace
The WFC and the Center for Science and Peace Research organised an open panel discussion with four WFC Councillors at the University of Hamburg. David Krieger (US), Rama Mani (India), Hafsat Abiola-Costello (Nigeria) and Pauline Tangiora (New Zealand) shared their views on the concepts of security and their relevance for a future of peace.
Watch the recording of the event >>
23 and 26 February 2010: Feed-in tariff for Michigan/Massachusetts
The WFC funded and co-sponsored two Feed-in Tariff Price Setting Workshops in Michigan and Massachusetts. The larger objective was to provide a series of intensive training sessions across North America on how to accurately and fairly set feed-in tariff prices for a host of renewable technologies, but most importantly wind and solar energy. The target audience includes Feed-in tariff policy advocates (Alliance for Renewable Energy and local groups), regulatory commission staff, legislative committee staff, and environmental and energy staff of national and regional environmental organizations, and local wind and solar trade association staff.
23 February 2010: Cutting the Edge - How to realign the EU Sustainable Development Strategy
Based on the findings and results of the two previous WFC-Bertelsmann Stiftung seminars at the European Parliament, decision-makers assessed suggested structures of and ideas for a future EU Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS). Panellists discussed ways to dovetail the EU’s future growth and jobs strategy (“post-Lisbon strategy”) and the EU Sustainable Development Strategy. One of the main question was how the EU SDS can best contribute to a rapid shift to a low-carbon economy including a sustainable consumption pattern. Please find more detailed information here.
15 February 2010: Tradition & Innovation
Approximately 30 members of the Rotary Club Hamburg joined WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkuell at the InterContinental Hotel Hamburg to listen to and discuss the World Future Council's best policies on Tradition & Innovation: Ways out of the crisis.
3 February 2010: Coming to Grips - How to capture and assess sustainable development in a changing world
Decision-makers attending the WFC-Bertelsmann Stiftung discussion in the European Parliament addressed potential ways to implement a new paradigm called “Living Economies”, examining various proposals to improve sustainable development indicators and policy instruments.
The panellists, among them WFC Councillor Anders Wijkman, presented and discussed current initiatives and latest tools, such as the Beyond GDP Process. Detailed information can be found here.
26-28 January 2010: Euro-Mediterranean Innovation Marketplace
WFC Co-Founder Herbert Girardet facilitated a discussion on "Climate Change; The World after Copenhagen" at the Research and Innovation Forum of the Euro-Mediterranean Innovation Marketplace in Cairo. 3000 visitors - among them politicians, scientists and business people from European and Mediterranean countries - used the conference as a valuable platform to network and develop business ideas, partnerships and projects.
27 January 2010: AREA setting objectives for 2010 during first conference call of the year
On January 27th, the African Renewable Energy Alliance (AREA) initiatied by the World Future Council held its first conference call of the year, to decide on the objectives for 2010. AREA is a network of African politicians, business representatives and civil society to promote renewable energies in Africa. Please contact Ansgar Kiene for information on the outcome of the call.
22 January 2010: Sustainable agriculture and agricultural policy
Maja Göpel, WFC Director Future Justice, discussed challenges for agriculture and the food sector at a conference in Berlin on January 22nd. Panelists included German Federal Minister Ilse Aigner and other policy makers as well as civil society representatives.
21 January 2010: Congressional briefing on feed-in tariffs
The WFC sponsored a congressional briefing titled “Promoting Renewable Energy Policy” in Washington, DC. Elected officials & staff, industry representatives, academia, advocates, and media held discussions on green jobs, the national industry, and feed-in tariff policy. Congressman Jay Inslee presented his federal feed-in tariff bill.
21 January 2010: Handbook for feed-in tariffs
The WFC presented “Powering the Green Economy: the feed-in tariff handbook” at an evening book launch reception in Washington DC. Author and WFC research manager Miguel Mendonça introduced his book while US Director Randy Hayes spoke about WFC campaigns to promote best policies.
16 January 2010: Presentation of energy policy opportunities to future decision-makers
Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy, presented policy opportunities in the field of renewable energy to future decision-makers on January 16th. About 60 students of politics and international relations attended the lecture at Technikum Vienna.
13 January 2010: Striving for a Living Economy - How to shift the traditional groth paradigm towards wellbeing of humans and our planet
A joint WFC-Bertelsmann Stiftung seminar series in the European Parliament will address proposals to increase sustainability aspects in upcoming EU policy revisions. Decision-makers from various backgrounds will analyze implementation possibilities for new sustainability concepts over three evening sessions in January and February. On January 13, the panel discussion of the first meeting aimed at comparing the current development model, the “Washington Consensus”, with the WFC’s alternative proposals for a paradigm shift in establishing guidelines for prosperity. Detailed information can be found here.
12 January 2010: Best policy featured at international conference:
At the international conference EcoFair Rules!, organised by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Misereor in Berlin, "The City that Beat Hunger" was shown. The film portraits Belo Horizonte's food security programme, winner of the Future Policy Award 2009.
17 December 2009: Organic solutions for climate change and food security
On 17th December, the World Future Council and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) discussed organic solutions for climate change and food security. Measures like bio-sequestration were contrasted with high tech, unproven geo-sequestration (CCS). Taken together, regenerative organic farming, agro-forestry and forest protection are cost effective and easily adoptable solutions for safeguarding our climate, local communities, food supply and ecosystems. Read more about the World Future Council's policy proposals on agriculture and climate change.
16 December 2009: WFC press conference at COP 15
“Stopping climate change will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, not stopping it will cost much more – and take countless human lives”, said Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the World Future Council at the WFC press conference "Financing Renewables" on December 16th. “If we want to stop climate change we have to create a global Zero Carbon Economy as soon as possible”, added Anders Wijkman, Vice President of the Club of Rome and Chair of the World Future Council’s Climate Energy Commission. “We can achieve this by giving G77 countries the funds to develop their national renewable energy policies.” Read the press release here.
13 December 2009: Funding the Renewable Energy Transition
Money was key to the negotiations in Copenhagen: Discussions focused on ways to finance climate protection measures and in particular burden-sharing among industrialised and developing countries. Together with social banks, the World Future Council hosted an evening reception on "Funding the Renewable Energy Transition” on December 13th to discuss ways out of the funding dilemma. WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull presented the World Future Council’s policy proposals to finance climate protection on a global scale by bridging the gap between the financial requirements of developing countries and the current political inability of rich countries to provide the funding - read "Breaking the Funding Deadlock" here. Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy, provided an overview about internationally successful policies to ignite the renewable energy sector.
11 December 2009: "A policy matter: Innovation strategies of the power sector or 100% renewable energy for cities“
On December 11th, the World Future Council teamed up with HafenCity University Hamburg, Arup, ETH Zurich, and Fraunhofer ISI to discuss how cities can become more sustainable. Stefan Schurig, WFC Director Climate and Energy, facilitated the discussion on "A policy matter: Innovation strategies of the power sector or 100% renewable energy for cities“.
In spite of the late hour, 150 people attended the event and were keen to discuss with the panelists. The vital role of a sound political framework for driving innovation in the renewable energy sector and for guiding city authorities in their decisions became clear throughout the discussion - the World Future Council advises policy makers worldwide on how to create such a framework.
19 November 2009: Book presentation with Hans-Peter Dürr
WFC Councillor Hans-Peter Dürr presented his new book in Hamburg. The World Future Council organised the event in cooperation with Dürr's publisher oekom verlag. 80 guests joined the physicist at the Kesselhaus in the Hamburg HafenCity to listen to his stories and experiences.
16-18 November 2009: Hamburg City Climate Conference
The City of Hamburg as one of the first signatories of the Covenant of Mayors and European Green Capital 2011 invited mayors of the world's big cities and climate experts to the Hamburg City Climate Conference. The WFC supported the conference as a cooperation partner. Read more here.
17 November 2009: Grids, Smart Grids and Supergrids – Networking for Renewables
The financial world met NGOs and energy experts at a Roundtable in Fontainebleau outside Paris on 17 November. Organized by the top French business school INSEAD, WFC Councillor Nicholas Dunlop and WFC Brussels office Director Dirk Hendricks were among the participants debating the need for a European Supergrid: long distance electricity cables linking up countries and regions into a common renewable energy market. Dirk Hendricks underlined in his presentation the importance of getting the right legal frameworks implemented for the EU’s 2020 goals, while Nick Dunlop highlighted the sheer urgency of the environmental challenge. Global warming is accelerating far faster than expected. Our only course to avoid the looming climate catastrophe is to decisively move towards a renewable based energy order. Supergrids, he explained, are the answer: we need to first create Baltic and North Sea “pools”, then move towards a pan-European system linking wind and hydro in the North to solar and biomass in the South. Yet political will is still the main challenge. Building up strong parliamentary networks to support the move towards 100% renewables and set a trend the world can follow is a fundamental priority: we must get it right.
15-16 November 2009: Community Power Conference
WFC Research Manager Miguel Mendonça presented the WFC's work at the Community Power Conference in Toronto, Canada. The conference brought together renewable engery experts, utilities and politicians following the introduction of a Green Energy Act in the Canadian state of Ontario. With more than 450 participants at the conference and over 2,500 visiting the trade fair, the event showed that renewable energy is a major issue in Canada. Speakers and panelists included Dr Josef Pesch of the German Wind Energy Association, Stefan Gsänger of the World Wind Energy Association, and renewable energy expert, advocate and author Paul Gipe.
12 November 2009: Annual Transatlantic Business Conference
How can transatlantic cooperation in "green technologies" promote growth and employment? This question was discussed at the Annual Transatlantic Business Conference in Frankfurt by WFC Future Finance Commission Co-ordinator Stefan Biskamp, WFC Director Climate and Energy Stefan Schurig, and Reinhard Bütikofer, Speaker of the Greens in the European Parliament.
1 April 2009: Feed-in Tariff workshop in Michigan
As part of its renewable energy campaign in the United States, the World Future Council intensified its efforts to promote Feed-in Tariffs as best policy option that supports the rapid and cost-effective deployment of renewable energy on the state level.
On April 1, the WFC held a legislative luncheon in cooperation with the Land Policy Institute and Michigan Policy Leaders. "Feed-in Tariffs: The Most Effective Policy Option for Achieving Job Creation, Energy Security and the Rapid Deployment of Renewable Energy" informed Michigan policy makers on options for employing a Feed-in Tariff system to encourage renewable energy development. This event was hosted by Rep. Lee Gonzales (District 49, Flint Area) and Rep. Mary Valentine (District 91, Muskegon Area).
"With our unemployment rate at 12%, Michigan needs to move fast on good ideas to diversify our economy and create new good-paying jobs," said Rep. Gonzales. "By embracing fast-growing industries like renewable energy, we're positioning Michigan to be a leader in high-tech jobs. I'd like to thank those who took the time to share their expertise on this important issue."
About 70 participants, including a number of State Senators and Representatives, attended the event. About 50 participants followed the presentations and took part in the discussion over webcast. Listen here to a radio report.
WFC Climate Policy Officer Bianca Barth also testified in a Public Hearing in Oregon, informing State Representatives about Feed-in Tariffs and their successful employment in Germany. One week later, she presented to the House Technology Energy and Communications Committee in Washington State during a work session of the Committee.
12-14 December 2008: Parliamentary hearing
Following the UN Climate Conference, the WFC organized a parliamentary hearing at Palace Bedlowo near Poznan in cooperation with e-Parliament. The workshop specially targeted at Central and Eastern European parliamentarians addressed ways to promote renewable energies. In addition, the KidsCall exhibition Corridor of Hope showed appeals by young people from all over the world to politicians, calling on them to act against climate change.
1-12 December 2008: UN Climate Conference
At the UN Climate Talks in Poznan, Poland, the WFC organized a side event and was present with a delegation.
2 December 2008: WFC Brussels Office Launch
An evening reception in the MEP Salons of the European Parliament on December 2 celebrated the launch of the WFC office in Brussels. Around 140 guests from EU institutions, business and civil society organisations as well as media attended the event hosted by MEPs Anders Wijkman (Christian Democrats), Rebecca Harms (Greens), Graham Watson (Liberals) and Mechtild Rothe (Social Democrats). WFC Councillor and MEP Anders Wijkman and WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull addressed the most urgent topics to be discussed at the UN climate conferences in Poland and Copenhagen and under the EU climate and energy package.
1-2 December 2008: Sustainable Cities event in Hamburg
At the IBA (International Building Exhibition) Forum "Metropolis: Resources" in Hamburg, co-organized by the WFC, WFC Director of Programmes Herbert Girardet and Director Climate and Energy Stefan Schurig discussed cities and sustainability. The IBA aims to discover concepts for the future of the metropolis, producing exemplary buildings, social and cultural projects, events, dialogues and a number of publications - from 2007 to 2013.
27-28 November 2008: WFC informs New Zealand stakeholders about Feed-in tariffs
WFC Research Manager Miguel Mendonca participated in a panel discussion made up of New Zealand electricity stakeholders at the Sustainable Electricity Association New Zealand Annual Conference. Through its presence at international conferences, the WFC informs stakeholders worldwide about feed-in tariffs (FIT) and is able to link the national FIT campaigns by exchanging information, contacts and resources around the world.
21 November 2008: Conference on EU-Mediterranean Clean Energy Suergrid
The WFC promoted its policy initiative for a EU-Mediterranean Clean Energy Supergrid at a conference in Paris, hosted by the French EU Presidency.
17 November 2008: Conference "New Challenges and Urban Best Practices"
WFC Director of Programmes Herbert Girardet gave a speech on cities and sustainability at the conference "New Challenges and Urban Best Practices" in Madrid, organized by the Spanish Ministry of Housing in cooperation with the UN HABITAT programme.
15-16 November 2008: Parliamentary Hearing in Trinidad und Tobago
The WFC and e-Parliament organized an Interregional Hearing about renewable energies for praliamentarians and government representatives from small island states and West African countries. WFC Director Climate and Energy Stefan Schurig presented feed-in tariffs as a possibility to finance renewable energies and proposed a joint statement of the island states at the upcoming UN Climate Conference in Poznan.
11-12 November 2008: WFC at EU Workshop on Renewable Energies
Policy Officer Axel Bree represented the WFC at a workshop organized by the European Commission for new EU members. The conference aimed at sharing knowledge about the deployment of renewable energies with new EU members and candidates from Eastern Europe. Axel Bree outlined the effectiveness of the different renewable energy incentive schemes.
1 November, 2008: WFC at International Criminal Court in The Hague
A WFC Expert Workshop on Crimes against Future Generations brought together judges from the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice with WFC experts in The Hague, Netherlands, on November 1, 2008. At the workshop, participants discussed the results of intensive legal research on the definition of Crimes against Future Generations and their possible indictment under international law.
On November 2, a number of coalition-building meetings with legal experts aimed at incorporating these crimes into the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court during its revision in 2010.
For the WFC, Chair of the EC Bianca Jagger, Judge C.G. Weeramantry, international law expert Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkuell and Expert Commission Coordinator Maja Göpel participated along with legal advisors Sebastien Jodoin and Neshan Gunasekera.
30 October 2008: Discussion about global politics
WFC Co-Founder Herbert Girardet participated in a discussion named "Politics with 9 billion people". The event was organized by the Berlin Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment and the local radio station Inforadio.
17 October 2008: Global UN-STAND-UP Event features WFC Councillors’ video appeals
On October 17, more 116 million people around the globe stood up to support the eight Millennium Development Goals defined by the United Nations. The goals aim at eradicating poverty and social injustice until 2015. WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull took part in a podium discussion at the largest STAND-UP event in Germany in Berlin. Seven WFC councillors demand that people stand up against poverty - you can watch the video appeals by Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Duerr, Bianca Jagger, Frances Moore-Lappé, Hermann Scheer, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Sulak Sivaraksa and Francisco Whitaker. To read more click here.
14 October 2008: WFC co-hosts meeting in House of Lords to promote Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariffs in the UK
To make the voice of pro-renewable energy groups heard while Parliament is discussing an amendment to its renewable energy law, the WFC and others hosted an event in the House of Lords. With over a dozen civil society organizations, the WFC called for a renewable energy feed-in tariff in the UK. In her remarks, WFC EC Chair Bianca Jagger emphasized the environmental and economic success of feed-in tariff legislation in other European countries. As a result, the over 30 Members of Parliament present expressed their support for such an energy amendment, which would create a far better market for wind, solar or tidal energy companies.
To date, the biggest obstacle to effective renewable energy legislation has been the British Government. Just two days after the WFC-led coalition presented its case, Downing Street announced its own feed-in-tariffs proposal. This, however, falls short of coalition-defined expectations for the amendment.
12 October 2008: WFC Renewable Energies Workshop in San Diego
On October 12, the WFC involved some 100 high level industry experts and decision makers in discussions about the world’s most effective renewable policy instrument: Renewable Energy Payments (REPs), in Europe known as Feed-in Tariffs. The policy forum, which took place during North America’s largest solar conference and expo “Solar Power International”, brought together participants from across the U.S., including legislators, regulatory officials, environmental groups and high-level business executives from the world’s leading solar companies.
Referring to the successes of Feed-in Tariffs in Germany, Spain and elsewhere in Europe, the conference contributions explained the key benefits Renewable Energy Payments could bring to the U.S., including significant job creation, market growth and energy security. At the same time speakers showed the key elements of implementing such a policy successfully.
“We have more sunshine than places like Germany - we’re just not capitalizing on our solar potential like they are, “ said Raju Yenamandara, US Sales Director of the SolarWorld Group and one of the speakers at the WFC event. “By putting feed-in tariff laws in place we can catch up with the rest of the world and give our economy a huge boost, while making our country less dependent on imported energy. The policies democratize solar production by creating solar entrepreneurs out of households, schools, churches, farmers – anyone can participate and help green America.”
10 October 2008: WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull at BBC World Service
In an interview for BBC World Service News, Jakob von Uexkull demanded better regulations as a way out of the current financial crisis. You can watch the video here.
9-10 October 2008:
The first WFC Cities and Climate Change Commission meeting took place in Hamburg. Read more about the Commission here.
7-9 October, 2008: International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC), Abuja, Nigeria - WFC recommends renewable energy as key for sustainable development in Africa
In the past, the WFC and e-Parliament have conducted several parliamentary hearings in African countries to discuss the importance of the promotion of renewables. This October, the WFC participated in the International Renewable Energy Conference 2008 in Abuja, Nigeria. Campaign Manager Ansgar Kiene met with the Head of the Special Climate Change Unit of the Nigerian Environmental Ministry and the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency which marked the beginning of future consultancy activities for the WFC in Africa. He also sat on the closing panel about how to best exploit renewable energy opportunities in Africa. Read more here.
6-7 October 2008: WFC Expert Commission Climate and Energy meets in London
The WFC Expert Commission on Climate and Energy convened in London to discuss the increasing tasks of the WFC climate campaign. Participants included WFC EC Chair Bianca Jagger (UK), Councillors Prof. C.S. Kiang (China), Nick Dunlop (New Zealand) and Helmy Abouleish (Egypt), and managers and staff from Hamburg, the UKand Brussels. Key issues discussed were the WFC’s participation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Poland in December, the question of an international renewable energy power grid between Europe and North Africa (“supergrid”), the goal of reducing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere to 350 ppm, and the negative impact of drilling in the Arctic.
4 October 2008: WFC hosts panel discussion with former UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer about future cities
Hamburg’s HafenCity University (HCU) invited WFC Climate Energy Director Stefan Schurig to moderate a panel discussion about the impact of future city planning on the quality of urban environments. Dr Klaus Toepfer, former Executive Director of the Environmental Programme of the UN (UNEP) and former Minister of Environment in Germany and Dr Ralf Otterpohl from the Technical University of Hamburg emphasized the key role of cities with regard to climate change and international water scarcity.
The event honoured the contribution of English engineer William Lindley (1808-1900) to the development of the city of Hamburg as a modern metropolis. Lindley had gained international acclaim for decades of constructing water, sewage and railway systems throughout European cities.
22 September 2008: WFC “Corridor of Hope” hoists Appeals for a Better World
Some 200 flags line the two walkways to the ancient water tower that now hosts the Hamburg Planetarium. Passers-by stop to look at the 2.000 drawings, poems, and appeals printed on colourful flags on bamboo poles. Discussions about the state of the planet and what the future generation hopes for can be overheard as the results of the WFC’s youth campaign “KidsCall” flutter in the wind.
The exhibition features a selection of 14.000 appeals collected by the KidsCall campaign during the last 12 months. They are addressed to the G8+5 heads of state and call for immediate action to protect the environment and to stop climate change.
During the reception, WFC Chair of the Executive Committee Bianca Jagger, Director of the Planetarium Thomas Kraupe and Hamburg Department of City Development and Environment representative Christian Maaß voiced their support for the youths’ appeals.
In her speech, Bianca Jagger stressed the need for the renewal of the age-old pledge that hitherto has ensured the passing on of a clean planet with enough resources from parents to their children. She also called on decision makers in politics and economics to act now. Finally, she appealed to the children and teenagers representing the KidsCall campaign to never stop in their efforts to make change happen. Banners with their appeals to the heads of state of France, Italy and Great Britain were handed over to a courier. WFC delegations had personally delivered the same banners to the governments of Germany, Japan and India in July and August.
Dr Michael Otto, Chairman of the Otto Group, attended the reception as an honorary council member and avid supporter of WFC activities.
The WFC will exhibit the invocation flags in parliaments and at upcoming international conferences to remind decision-making bodies of their responsibility toward future generations.
22 September 2008: WFC-Founder Jakob von Uexküll spoke about "What we owe our children - global challenges and answers" at an event hosted by the Schweisfurth Foundation in Munich.
September 21, 2008: Charity concert for WFC in Berlin
At the sold out chamber music hall, some 1,400 guests applauded the appeals by WFC Chair of the Executive Committee Bianca Jagger and WFC Founder Jakob von Uexküll and the performance of Berlin Philharmonic top ensembles. In their opening remarks and during the discussion after the concert, Bianca Jagger and Jakob von Uexküll called upon the audience to actively get involved in fighting climate change.
20-21 September 2008: E-Parliament/WFC Parliamentary Hearing in Ghana
In Accra, Ghana, the WFC co-organized an interregional hearing on renewable energy.
16-19 September 2008: WFC Founder Jakob von Uexküll held a keynote speech on Diversity and a Sustainable Livelihood of Future Generations
at the Sardinia G8 preparatory Conference. Councillor Vandana Shiva also participated in the event covering biodiversity, desertification, food, water and human rights.
14 -18 September 2008: WFC Co-Founder Herbert Girardet gives keynote lecture at the Capital Cities Alliance International Conference
The conference in Washington DC, USA, explored the role of national capitals in creating a greener world. Girardet’s keynote lecture focused on the key role of the world’s leading cities to help transform the climate of opinion on sustainable urban development. The conference brought together leaders of 25 capital cities from five continents. Organiser Lisa MacSpadden said: “I received so much positive feed-back about your keynote. It truly was our honor to have you play such an important role in our conference.” Read more here.
11-12 September 2008: WFC Co-Founder Herbert Girardet speaks at Architecture Biennale
In his speech at the opening of the Danish pavilion in Venice, much of whose elaborate exhibits was based on his input, he stated that “a Biennale in Venice in 50 years time may not be possible at all. By then many coastal cities could be swamped by flooding due to climate change. We need to involve ourselves in new, transformative initiatives to dramatically reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, and minimise our emissions of CO2.” Read an interview with Herbert Girardet here.
8 September 2008: Climate Energy Director Stefan Schurig took part in a podium discussion at the Hanseatic University Lectures on Climate and the Environment in Hamburg. Contact Stefan Schurig.
31 August 2008: Introductory address by WFC Co-Founder Herbert Girardet at Rythms del Mundo Concert in Berlin
8000 people came and listened to top German rock bands like Silbermond, Culcha Candela and 2Raumwohnung performing together with musicians from the Buena Vista Social Club. The record Rhythms del Mundo Cubano Aleman supports the Artists’ Project Earth Charity, which funds climate change and renewable energy projects, including the WFC.
21 - 23 August 2008: World Future Council's US Policy Officer Randy Hayes spoke at the American Renewable Energy Day
The conference took place in Aspen, Colorado. From August 25-28, Randy Hayes attended the Democratic Convention in Denver and an NGO forum called The Big Tent.
16 August 2008: World Future Council delegation meets Indian Prime Minister.
Representatives of the World Future Council voice the concern of thousands of young people and demand action regarding climate change. Read more here.
2 July 2008: World Future Council youth delegation and Bianca Jagger present G8 appeal to German and Japanese governments
Kids pledge to do everything they can to save the planet – and expect nothing less from the G8 leaders
Kids call on G8 heads-of-state during Japanese Prime Minister Visit in Berlin: “Save our World! Act now!”
download press release
June 13, 2008
WFC invites US Utilities Decision Makers to Germany for Solar Fact Finding Mission
Germany is not known for its blue skies and sunny weather. Nonetheless, 31 US utilities executives and managers spent one week in June in and around Freiburg and Munich to study the latest in solar energy technology – and to discuss legislative approaches to securing long term renewable energy investments. The event was co-organized by the solar Electric Power Association and the Northwest Solar Center at Washington State University, and sponsored by PV module manufacturer First Solar.
June 10-12, 2008: WFC endorses China Power & Alternative Energy Summit 2008 in Beijing, China.
As one of the most important conferences on renewable energy in China, the China Power & Renewable Energy Summit 2008 has invited WFC Climate & Energy China Director Stefan Schurig as a key note speaker. It has also asked the WFC to endorse the summit.
During the two-day conference, some two hundred experts representing the sciences, politics and business will learn about the latest renewable energy technologies and policies.
The WFC will introduce its renewable energy campaign.
01 June 2008, Berlin: While German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minster Yasuo Fukuda met in Berlin Sunday afternoon, 20 children presented their demands for a sustainable future to the upcoming G8 summit on Japanese-style invocation flags in front of the chancellery.
“We ask for action from the world’s leaders to assure that we have a future,” says 13-year old Niclas from Hamburg. He is one of thousands of youngsters in 35 countries who have joined in the World Future Council’s international “KidsCall” campaign. They have a single demand: “Let us stop acting today as though there was no tomorrow.” read more
18-21 May 2008, HAMBURG: 2nd Annual General Meeting of the World Future Council.
One year ago, 50 respected personalities from around the world met in Hamburg, Germany, for the first time for the founding congress of the World Future Council. Now, the foundation presented its first annual report – and is looking forward to its second annual general meeting. It will bring the WFC’s members back to Hamburg between May 18 and 22, 2008, to celebrate achievements – and to plan and agree on new activities, expert commissions and projects. read more
12-16 May 2008, BONN: Vandana Shiva and Ibrahim Abouleish and Jakob von Uexküll will speak at the World Congress on the Future of Food and Farming as part of the Planet Diversity project. Contact Jakob von Uexküll.
18-20 May, HAMBURG: Children’s Conference: The Future in Our Hands, Hamburg, Contact Caren Herbstritt.
19 - 30 May 2008, BONN: The WFC will be sending a delegation to the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 9) of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Bonn, Germany. Contact Alistair Whitby.
20 May 2008, HAMBURG: Public event: The Future in Our Hands. Galerie DG HYP, Gertrudenstr. 3. Hamburg, Contact Miriam Chafik
22 May 2008, MUNICH: WFC Deputy Chair Beate Weber, Founder Jakob von Uexküll and Councillors Vithal Rajan and Chico Whitaker will be taking part in the seminar "Ethics and pratice of sustainability in the field of intercultural dialogue", at the Goethe Institute in Munich.
11 April 2008, SANTA BARBARA: The WFC is holding a public seminar entitled "Towards Future Justice: Protecting the Rights of Future Generations". The event will take place on Friday the 11th April in the McCune Conference Room at the University of California in Santa Barbara.
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WFC in the US
4-7 March 2008, Washington: The WFC sent a delegation to the WIREC convention in Washington. We hosted a side-event and presented the Feed-in Tariff system tailored to the US market together with congressman Jay Inslee.
WFC Launch in India
5-6 February 2008, DELHI: At the India International Centre, Vandana Shiva and Herbert Girardet will hold a seminar on the relevance of Ghandian thinking in an age of rapid economic development, in an event which will also mark the launch of the WFC in India.
Be the Change
On the 15th November 2007, the WFC was officially launched in the UK at the Be the Change Conference, Central Hall Westminster, London
The WFC held its Founding Congress in Hamburg from 10th to 13th May 2007.
Read the Press Release here
You can read the speeches from the opening ceremony, which was held in the Hamburg town hall:
Jakob von Uexkull "WFC - A Voice for Future Generations"
Dr Michael Otto "Congratulations and Official Address"
Herbert Girardet "Policies that Change the World"
Bianca Jagger "From Climate Chaos to Climate Security"
Beate Weber "Protecting the Global Locally - Best Practice Policies"