Memory is selective. The impressions that sticked to the minds of the participants of the WRF 2011 are starting to lose their tint. What will people remember in one year? And in five years? Personally, I will remember the presentation by Klaus Elle at the highlights session at the end of the first conference day.
Yes we can! Obama was not the first to use this empowering sentence. Roger Baud founder of ACTIS, a spin off of ETHZ, already used it in 2000 to promote the first Youth Encounter on Sustainability (YES) course. Bring 35 young people from all around the world together for 17 days. Hold interactive classes on sustainability from 8 am to 8 pm.
Prof. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker is one of the gurus of resource efficiency present at the WRF 2011. I had the privilege to interview him. I asked about him how did we arrive to the present resource squandering and how should the political and economical frame change to establish a sustainable resources use? How did the perception of resources changed during the last 40 years? Are politicians ready to change something?
In the first plenary session of the day the speakers showed incontestable facts demonstrating that keeping business as usual is not an option that will allow our children to enjoy the same living standard we do. Beside showing the need to change, every speaker proposed it’s own approach on what and how to change. What lacked was the connection between the different solutions presented. It was like looking at the pieces of the same puzzle – on sustainable resources management – but without seeing the whole picture. It is not an easy task to address such a complex question in 15 minutes. Moreover the large amount of information provided by each speaker did not help the participants to gain a clear message to take home.
Saturday afternoon 16:20, main train station of Zürich – “Are you from the Student Reporter group?”. Two smiles answer my question. I found two of the nine student reporters with who I’ll share a unique trip to the World Resources Forum (WRF) 2011 in Davos. After seeing pictures on facebook and hearing their voices at web conferences, it is nice to meet face to face. After sitting two hours together in the train and share dinner I already had the feeling of being part of a team.