By Gregory Delaune
This post is part of the on-going events news, related to the Bay2Rio+20 delegation team’s on-the-ground coverage from Rio+20. It addresses the on-line international charrette/workshop, which will take place at the San Francisco Bay Area Hub and at Hub Culture in Rio de Janeiro on June 23rd. To follow along, click here.
The Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is currently underway. Following the news about the summit events from other parts of the world, concerned global citizen are seeking ways to comprehend and engage the issues being discussed at the summit. The Bay2Rio+20 initiative is creating interactive platforms for people from all over the world to make their voices heard, utilizing the same innovative technologies and techniques that hold the promise for broader implementation of sustainable development projects and policies in the coming years. On June 23rd, from 12pm to 4pm PST, the Bay2Rio+20 team will be hosting a free global workshop at one of the premier co-working spaces in the world, the Bay Area Hub in San Francisco, California. Using Crowdbrite, a new on-line crowd sourcing technology, anyone in the world with Internet access can contribute their ideas about how global innovations are, and can be manifested in our local communities. Participating is as easy as logging into Crowdbrite and following the simple instructions for adding your ideas and comments.
Economist Jeremy Rifkin explains how lateral power structures and distributed capitalism are leading us towards a new revolution in energy, communications and transportation technology. This “Third Industrial Revolution” has the capacity to usher in a new era of global economic growth while freeing us from our dependency on fossil fuels and empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs and policy thinkers. One of the most exciting aspects about Rifkin’s arguments is that developing economies, which typically lag behind industrialized nations with regard to the sophistication of their energy and transportation infrastructure systems, have the capacity to be key players in this new wave of development.
The 2012 Rio+20 Conference focuses on two primary themes: green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development. These themes perfectly reinforce Rifkin’s call to action for developing economic models that open new opportunities for struggling economies through the implementation of lateral power structures and distributed capitalism. This is already being achieved through the information transparency and universal access to global consumer markets that the Internet provides to citizens in every corner of the world. New local and global commercial networks facilitate the distribution of customized products and services, including energy, on a peer to peer basis, eliminating the need for centralized production hubs that make customization impractical and are dependent upon energy intensive regional (or international) transportation logistics.
The Bay2Rio+20 Initiative is working to build city-scale public-private collaborative bridges between the innovation centers of Brazil, the United States, and beyond. Recognizing the importance of the new lateral power structures and distributed capitalism models, the initiative is creating opportunities for innovative collaboration between local and regional governments, private corporations, NGOs, and individuals engaged in global dialogue about environmental stewardship, social justice, and poverty eradication. The global workshop event on June 23rd will capitalize on the momentum of the Rio+20 Conference as a first opportunity to formulate a vision for an on-line Global Urban Innovation Exchange (UIX Global) where contributors from around the world can meet to share ideas, consolidate resources, and launch pilot projects for realization of a sustainable world. Future global gatherings, like the 2013 America’s Cup, the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, where public-private collaborations act as catalysts for urban revitalization and development efforts, will provide additional opportunities for UIX events that will highlight the potential for implementing the economic and socio-cultural models that will help usher in a new age of green industries and sustainable development planning.
Gregory Delaune is Education and Outreach Coordinator for Bay2Rio+20 and the UIX: An urban planner specializing in technology and policy for sustainable economic development. Greg is coordinating institutional level public-private partnerships and collaboration for Bay Area special events, as well as long-term visioning for international expansion of the Bay2Rio+20 and UIX Global mandate.