Bay Area Delegates at Rio+20 Launch Global Urban Innovation Exchange

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.  To read on click here.

By Amber Bieg

Charette from Bay2Rio+20 Urban Innovation Exchange

While many delegates left the Rio+20 Earth Summit disappointed by failed negotiations at the United Nations level, a small group of international entrepreneurs and innovators developed a collaborative vision for how sustainable innovation can be implemented in our local communities with the launch of Global Urban Innovation Exchange (UIX Global).

Working through the Bay2Rio+20 Green Economies Initiative, UIX Global is a forum where contributors from around the world can meet to share ideas, consolidate resources, and launch pilot projects for the realization of a more sustainable world.

Sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and tropical breezes at Hub Culture Rio de Janeiro Pavilion set the stage for UIX Global’s first international collaborative design charette, sponsored by Presidio Graduate School’s Innovation Strikes Fund.  Using Crowdbrite, a new online crowd sourcing technology, charette participants in Rio de Janeiro were able to share examples and ideas with participants at the The Bay Area Hub in San Francisco.

The focus of the charette was on the Ethos of the Innovator, with the question: “What key ingredients create the Ethos of the Innovator in sustainable urban development?” With nearly 40 in-person and another 20 online participants from around the globe, there was a surprisingly high-level of consensus.

The most prevalent themes were:

  1. Importance of a culture that allows for the freedom to fail
  2. The need for transparency of ideas and information
  3. Localization of economy for “increase in sharing and trust”
  4. Education that values creativity and is open to everyone

Some of the solution-oriented ideas were:

  1. Beaches could be schools/museums, with interactive lessons where the beach served as an outdoor classroom to teach ocean systems and biology.
  2. Governments could provide matching funds for new-venture investments, having a stake in the success of new ventures and reducing investor risk.
  3. Social games for good (sustainability, social Impact) ie: wetopia.
  4. New media stories that make heroes out of innovators, highlighting the failures as part of the process.
  5. Government-supported free wifi hotspots in low-income communities.

To view more of these solutions or to participate visit:

To follow the Bay2Rio+20 crew and UIX Global, follow us on Twitter: @Bay2Rio20.

Amber Bieg is a consultant at, strategic marketing firm for sustainable behavior change. She is passionate about reducing waste in all forms: Resource, time and money. 

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