Sustainability calls for doing more with less, constantly learning how to get more out of every pound of material and watt of energy. It requires taking responsibility for our planet’s limited resources and inspires new ways of achieving long-term solutions for poverty reduction, as exemplified by the United Nations Secretary-General’s recently launched “Sustainable Energy for all” initiative. The 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, will address this challenge by inter alia discussing ways to foster a Green Economy in the context of poverty reduction and to strengthen the global institutional framework for sustainable development.
Social networks provide a foundation for these efforts to succeed. The creation and communication of knowledge on sustainability occurs in social networks of relationships of citizens, academics, and politicians. A Green Economy based on green jobs, green energy, and technology innovation will only function on the basis of a strong social fabric. Any reformed institutional framework for sustainable development must be responsive to people’s needs, while being able to reach the day-to-day social interactions of the world’s citizens.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), especially used as a social media tool, play a crucial role in linking individuals on a global scale to establish and strengthen the kinds of social relationships necessary to create and share knowledge on sustainability, build the foundation of a Green Economy, and foster accountability and effectiveness of a legitimate institutional framework for sustainable development. In this workshop, UNITAR and DESSC will therefore explore how ICT and social media facilitate and accelerate our transition to a global sustainable culture that enables and promotes sustainable development.