Saturday, December 30, 2006

Generation Two

Readers who have attended some of my most recent conferences have seen me use Picasso's chair to illustrate the lack of balance between the three pillars of sustainable development.

The environmental pillar continues to be very weak; the social pillar is being erroded in many ways; and the economic pillar takes so much space that it distabilizes the whole edifice.

Furthermore, it is evident that it is safer to sit on a chair with four legs than with three. It would thus perhaps be a good idea to rescue the idea of adding a cultural pillar to sustainable development. Respect for cultural diversity is a key to respect for biodiversity. A cultural pillar could perhaps also reinforce efforts to tackle cultural aspects of our unsustainable consumption patterns with which we are swallowing nature.

[We need to urgently address the role of the Advertising Industry as key driver of unsustainable consumption, for example; and also explore the opportunities provided by Article 13 of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions which is going to enter into force in three months]

One generation has passed since twenty years ago the Brundtland Commission coined the phrase Sustainable Development. It was in 1987.

As 2007 is about to begin, I look forward to seeing what Generation Two will do.

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