20 solutions for a sustainable future

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 Guest post by World Youth Congress As part of the lead up towards the 6th World Youth Congress, we’re inviting WYC participants and supporters alike to tell us: what solutions do we need, in order to move towards a more sustainable future? Our Congress series has often produced action-oriented statements, that have inspired its participants, and other stakeholders they have been engaging with. As we get closer to the dates of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as Rio+20 and Earth Summit 2012), one thing is clear: declarations can only get us so far, what we need is a true plan of action. HOW DOES THIS WORK? Solutions will need to include: – WHAT: what the solution is about – be as specific as you can, but make sure that solutions are of wide applicability – WHO: who’s responsible for making it happen (governments, business, young people, etc. – or more than one sector, or somebody in particular within that sector) – WHEN: is there a deadline? how much of it should happen by when? be specific In your comments, please elaborate: – WHY: the rationale behind proposing such solution, whether it’s a moral, or scientific, or other argument – EXAMPLE: if possible, showing how the solution is already implemented somewhere around the world The top 40 ideas will be discussed at the WYC, and 20 solutions will come out of the event, as our proposed plan of action for its follow up. To see some of the solutions we’ve received so far, please visit Proposed Solutions. We are really looking forward to your insights! Passionately yours, The WYC organizing team   To find out more about World Youth Congress, please visit  

What is Sustainable Development?

Written by admin on . Posted in General Information

Guest post by International Institute for International Development

Sustainable development has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report:

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:
  • the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
  • the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.”

All definitions of sustainable development require that we see the world as a system—a system that connects space; and a system that connects time.

When you think of the world as a system over space, you grow to understand that air pollution from North America affects air quality in Asia, and that pesticides sprayed in Argentina could harm fish stocks off the coast of Australia. And when you think of the world as a system over time, you start to realize that the decisions our grandparents made about how to farm the land continue to affect agricultural practice today; and the economic policies we endorse today will have an impact on urban poverty when our children are adults. We also understand that quality of life is a system, too. It’s good to be physically healthy, but what if you are poor and don’t have access to education? It’s good to have a secure income, but what if the air in your part of the world is unclean? And it’s good to have freedom of religious expression, but what if you can’t feed your family? The concept of sustainable development is rooted in this sort of systems thinking. It helps us understand ourselves and our world. The problems we face are complex and serious—and we can’t address them in the same way we created them. But we can address them. For more information about International Institute for Sustainable Development, please visit their web page

(photo credits Snezana Antonovic)