Join the oikos FutureLab 2012 as a Student Reporter! The oikos FutureLab is the central annual event of the oikos community, serving as a platform for changemakers, convening our chapter members from across four continents; our alumni in business, government, NGOs, and academia; our faculty members from schools for management and economics worldwide, and a broad array of partners supporting our projects. A team of up to six Student Reporters will exclusively cover the oikos futureLab 2012 via the oikos Blog. Led by oikos PhD Fellow Johannes Schwarzer, the team will provide full coverage of the program, taking place from 19-20 November 2012 in St. Gallen/Switzerland.
Why agriculture? Having realized that consuming local foods is not always environmentally-preferable to consuming imported products (see my last post), what else can I do to save the planet as a conscious consumer? Obviously, I go for organic food. And as the number of fellow conscious consumers has significantly increased the last decade or so, aggregate demand for organic foods and drinks (OFD) has followed suit. In fact, the global market for OFD has more than tripled between 1999 and 2009 (see Figure 1).
Suppose you are an environmentally conscious consumer living in, say, Scotland. You walk into the supermarket and feel like buying, say, strawberries. You are offered a choice between strawberries that are locally grown and strawberries imported from Spain. Everything else being equal, which one would you go for? Most “conscious consumers” would arguably go for the local type, thinking that it would be better for the environment.
Rio+20 is not just another conference. Its sheer immensity can be felt all over the vast agglomeration of Rio de Janeiro and literally dominates the cityscape. Military police secure the orderly course of events and so do naval frigates along Ipanema Beach. Hotels charge exorbitant rates, delegates and representatives from every corner of the world roam the streets of Rio in their native costumes; even the statue of Christ that watches over the city from Mount Corcovado is flooded in a very appropriate green light. The International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) has seized this unique opportunity to organize its XII Biennial Conference in parallel, tapping the immense pool of Rio+20 attendees to foster dialogue with a broader audience.
This post is in reflection of the first day of TEDx Rio+20. My experience with Ted Talks so far is, admittedly, quite limited. In fact, it is limited to viewing videos of classic talks by the likes of Hans Rosling and Esther Duflo. Viewing these videos online of course allows you to pick the ones you are most interested in. On the other hand, you might miss out on great performances by lesser known presenters.
The second edition of TedxRio took off today 11th June at the picturesque Forte de Copacabana. The first session, entitled “From Blindness to Perception”, focused on human consciousness and sensibility. In a rather frightening vision of the future, José Luis Cordero promoted the accelerated adoption of technology as the way forward for sustainable development. His transhumanist, if not singularitarian views were not to everyone’s taste, and it was thus rather comforting to have following speakers elaborate on less controversial topics, such as sustainable design or the power of self-transformation (without technological help). The venue of the Rio+20 talks was embedded in an unconventional scaffolding structure that was erected for Humanidade 2012, hosting a whole set of exhibitions, workshops, conferences and other activities during Rio+20.