The Future We Want

Rio’s winter sun lightly bakes my face as I step off the shuttle bus outside of the conference center. Orange silk contrasts with mahogany skin as a woman in a kaftan walks out from the entrance.   “One less nuclear power plant!” advocates the t-shirt of a Korean activist as we stand in line to receive our conference badges. Excitement radiates in the air in the quickness of steps—boots, heels, flip-flops—and the animation of exchanges. We are here as a collective because we want to realize the survival and flourishing of our plant earth.

As a Yale student I have studied international environmental governance, landscape ecology, the science of air pollution, and environmental policy. I am very familiar with the dire straits our planet is in, from overfishing to tremendous…

Prof. Pavan Sukhdev, leader of the TEEB initative and founder and chair of GIST advisory announced the release of Corporation 2020 web portal,, a platform for the “Corporation 2020” campaign that was launched last June 14th at Rio+20. This campaign lays out a vision for today’s outdated ‘cost-externalizing’ corporation to be transformed into the engine of tomorrow’s ‘green economy.’ features exclusive film interviews with leading CEOs and thought leaders, including:

  • Rob Walton, Chairman of Walmart, the world’s largest public company.
  • Jochen Zeitz, CEO of the German sportswear company, Puma, who have recently completed the first ever ‘environmental profit-and-loss statement.’
  • Alessandro Carlucci, CEO of Natura, Brazil’s largest cosmetics company.
  • Julie Katzman, Executive VP of the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Jochen Flasbarth, President of Germany’s
Rio +20 Sustainability Recommendations up for Vote

Let’s speculate. What sustainability messages would Sageboy want to send to world leaders at Rio? His wish list would be pretty simple.

  • Encourage the use of bicycles
  • Incentivize the construction of energy efficient buildings
  • Advance women’s empowerment as a way to advance sustainable development

Alas, Sageboy cannot vote and he will remain transfixed to the concrete walls of Sage Hall while over 40 F&ES students descend upon the Rio+20 Summit this week to raise their voices about which items on their sustainability wish lists they want to see become reality.

HOWEVER, you can vote on Sageboy’s recommendations and more online at: Rio+20 Dialogues: Vote for the Future you Want.

This voting campaign is part of the …

Just wanted to let you know about an exciting new resource/way to get involved as a student here at F&ES… the Yale Environment Review!

The Yale Environment Review (YER) is a new, on-line publication at F&ES and it was recently featured in a Scientific American blog!

It aims to provide an authoritative source of information that bridges the gap between environmentally related academic research and its application to policy and management.  Broadly accessible translations of the primary academic literature are in short supply, yet such communication is necessary for original research to influence public policy and promote more informed decision-making.  YER will provide a forum for producing and disseminating concise summaries of cutting-edge research from around the world that will be of general interest to those…

Measuring Progress at Rio and Beyond

At the US-Canada Citizens Summit for Sustainable Development March 24-25, I facilitated a group discussion on metrics and indicators for measuring progress toward sustainable development goals. Indicators and targets are mentioned throughout the “Zero Draft” document titled “The Future We Want,” a 19-page document that distills over 6,000 some pages of viewpoints from member states and major groups. This document has been serving as the basis for negotiations, and hopefully will be adopted as some sort of “outcome document” at the Earth Summit in Rio this June.