Published by Jeff Kart on 04 Jun 2012 at 02:30 pm
Twenty years ago, when the 1992 Earth Summit was held in Brazil, social networking, smartphones, the Internet and email were hardly as ubiquitous as they are today. This year, there are more ways than ever for young people and others to participate inside and outside of United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, which takes place from June 20-22.
Twenty years ago, when the 1992 Earth Summit was held in Brazil, social networking, smartphones, the Internet and email were hardly as ubiquitous as they are today.
Current icons of social media like Facebook and Twitter weren’t launched until 2004 and 2006, respectively. The first iPhone went on sale in 2007. Wiser, an accredited organization for the upcoming Rio+20 summit in Brazil, just celebrated its fifth anniversary on Earth Day, April 22.
This year, there are more ways than ever for young people and others to participate inside and outside of United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, which takes place from June 20-22.
At this year’s Earth Summit, technology is a principal driver for starting (and continuing) the conversation on 21st century sustainability issues, says Hans Vestberg, president and CEO of Ericcson, a communications company that’s helping put together Rio+Social on June 19.
Rio+Social is being billed as “one of the most important gatherings of technology, social media and global leaders in the history of South America.”
The event, which also includes the UN Foundation, Mashable, 92nd Street Y, and renewable energy company EDP aims “to create South America’s first-of-its-kind in-person gathering and global, online conversation on the potential of social media and technology to power a more innovative and better future for our world,” according to UN officials.
Sustainable development is often represented by three pillars: Economic, social, and environmental. You might say these social media efforts are helping build the social pillar, to foster ways that enhance the other legs of the stool.
The social aspects of Rio+20 are building on the Social Good Summit, centered for the last two years around UN Week. The hashtag #socialgood is being used on Twitter to allow conversations on sustainable energy, poverty eradication and other topics to be discussed throughout the globe. Other related hashtags in use include #rioplussocial and #futurewewant.
Contributions from social media also are being used to craft a modern-day, crowd-sourced version of an inspirational 6-minute speech given by then 12-year-old Canadian Severn Cullis-Suzuki at the 1992 summit.
An official Rio+20 Facebook page has more than 18,000 followers, up from 13,500 in early March.
UN officials say it’s about more than numbers and clicks, however. The organization hopes to use so-called Information and Communication Technologies to drive “the sustainable development agenda, advancing education and the spread of knowledge, building a green economy and bridging the digital divide.”
A partial list of places to go for Rio+20 social media resources and more includes:
• The Rio+Social Facebook page and @rioplussocial Twitter page;
• The Rioplus20 NGO platform SDIN on Ning.com;
• The Wiser Rio+20 group, a clearinghouse where people involved officially and unofficially can find resources, and connect and collaborate on the conference, and sustainability issues in general;
• The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development Facebook page;
• The UN Conference on Twitter @UN_Rioplus20;
• The official Rio+20 website with links to YouTube, photo submissions, messages, and more.
How do you plan to participate? What do we do on June 23? How can Wiser help?
Let us know.
Leave a Reply