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Posted By WINGS, Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Rio+20 Issue Cluster on Innovation and the 15/15/15 UN Civil Society Partnership Formula

By Miroslav Polzer

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) is expected to the biggest event in the history of United Nations. People from all over the world—and especially young people—look at Rio+20 as the big political window of opportunity for the world to shift towards more international and intergenerational justice and solidarity, towards harmony with nature and equal opportunities for a decent life for all.

But can Rio+20 deliver on these high expectations?

My answer is: Yes, Rio+20 will be a turning point in the way people from around the world build innovative planetary problem solving alliances! And Rio+20 Issues Cluster on Innovation and our 15/15/15 concepts and initiatives for global citizen focused innovative resource mobilization for UN led sustainable development will help to get there.

Rio+20 comes at a time when it is undisputed fact that a UN system which is based only on national governments and the resources (knowledge, financing, workforce and heart power) allocated by governments to global challenges response actions can’t deliver sustainable development. Each individual global citizen and all economic actors need to be aware of their role in sustainable development and contribute in a coherent and responsible way.

Sustainable global socio-economic systems need innovative thinking – questioning of all existing societal and individual arrangements regarding the generation, distribution and consumption of natural and intellectual resources is needed. Technological progress and technological innovations will help, but they will certainly not fix the systemic problems that we face. Systemic (governance) innovations (especially of science, technology, innovation and education systems), Institutional redesign on all levels, behavior change, culture change and much more is needed.

How does the Rio+20 Issues Cluster on Innovation address these issues?

The first step of setting up the Innovation4Rio Cluster has been an Informal Strategy Development Workshop "Thematic Priority ‘Innovation and Youth’—Key to Success at Rio+20?!” 23rd of January 2012 in New York.

For communication among the Cluster member a public google group has been established.

Next step has been to provide a cluster submission to the Zero Draft of Rio+20 Outcome document (Innovation4Rio cluster comments/amendments highlighted in red).

A key element of the submission is the ‘15/15/15 UN Civil Society Partnership Formula’ stating that global civil society on the one hand commits to mobilize 15 billion Euros and 15 million volunteers by the year 2015 for UN led sustainable development efforts and on the other hand asks UN system for governance space and real space at UN HQ.

The comments of Rio+20 Innovation Cluster have been included in the official Major Groups comments document for Rio+20 Outcome Document (Zero Draft) as comments on behalf of 'Major Group NGO'.

Next steps will a meeting of Cluster members on Monday 19th of March 2012 in New York (details regarding time and venue will be announced on Rio+20 Major Groups events homepage and on

Monday 19th March 6.15-7.45 the cluster organizes an official Side event "Rio+20: A Global Innovation Summit?” at UN HQ NLB, Conference room B in the context of First Informal Informal negotiations and Third Intersessional. Sunday 25th of March some cluster members will attend the event "Improving the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development: A Deep Dive into Governance Issues and the Rio+20 Zero Draft” and feed the 15/15/15 proposal in the Working group "The Zero Draft and Sustainable Development Goals—ambitious and visionary goals”.

An important source of inspiration for the cluster is the "Rio+20 Global Youth Music Contest” which is an innovative initiative aiming to give young people from around the world a voice in Rio+20. The musical messages can be watched at It is planned that next round of the Global Youth Music Contest will be announced at Rio+20 conference and that it will focus on social innovation and the role of youth in achieving the 15/15/15 Un Civil Society partnership.

Miroslav Polzer is the Secretary General of the International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges IAAI, and Faciliator of Rio+20 Issues Cluster "Innovation".

Tags:  IAAI  UN 

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