Introducing the People+Planet Project

Building Partnerships to Achieve the SDGs and Climate Agreements

  • Report on the July 23, 2015 discussion on the People + Planet Project, a Post–2015 Action Platform
  • Hosted by the United Nations Post–2015 Development Planning Unit Executive Office of the Secretary-General
  • Presented by Natalia Vega-Berry, Campaign Director of the People + Planet Project An initiative developed by The Global Brain

In response to the momentous query What is our responsibility post–2015 to ensure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Climate Agreements are realized?, we have developed the People + Planet Project, to ensure actions will be taken by citizens, organizations, NGO’s and business following the announcement of the SDG’s and the new climate agreements at COP21.

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CCL 2015: Full Conference Report

An idea whose time has come

In 2010, when Citizens’ Climate Lobby brought 25 citizen volunteers to Capitol Hill, it felt like a big challenge to get enough people to go the distance, to meet with all 535 voting members of Congress. This year, we brought 36 times as many people, and it is looking more like we will need more elected officials to welcome and build relationships with all the citizen lobbyists coming to make democracy work.

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How Citizens can Catalyze Climate Action

On June 5—World Environment Day—we held a press conference to announce CCL’s effort, through the Pathway to Paris project, in collaboration with the World We Want, to build a worldwide always-active Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network. The press conference was conducted in association with the Climate Matters video interview series, as well as COY11, CliMates, IAAI GloCha, Context News, and the Association Actions Vitales pour le Developpement Durable.

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Disruptive Optimism for Serious Change

We need non-expert voices in the room. No individual expert knows everything, many decision-makers are themselves non-experts, and considering stakeholders’ voices leads to more legitimate, relevant and viable policy outcomes. Significant improvements in the prevailing condition require disruption of the status quo. The status quo implicitly extends from the status quo ante, the prevailing norms that preceded the current state of affairs and on which the structures we know were founded. Expertise is rooted in an examination of these two states, and can provide a sound and reasoned reference for how to move into the future, but when we look to achieve a post status quo reality, where human conditions are greatly improved and the previously unavailable has become commonplace, we have to recognize that we are looking beyond what is known. Expertise unaccompanied by the power of imagination and a hot contest of ideas can lead to planning not well adapted to visualizing, comprehending or catalyzing disruptive optimizing change.

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Common Sense Demands Collaboration

The word politics comes from polis, the Greek word for city, or state. Politics is the art of living amongst people. It is, at the root, and in practice, a project of collaborative problem-solving. In its broadest sense, it is a way to describe our process of learning how to talk about value with those around us; it is the study of what happens when people make choices, relying on free will and individual expression. Cynics, with either too much or too little immediate access to power, often argue there can be no real freedom and little cause for faith in humanity. That has never been the case. We constantly exercise our power of observation, our judgment, and our freedom to choose; this is how we relate to every person we know. In this sense, politics is what Jacques Derrida referred to as peri-philías: an examination of the nature of friendship. We form affinities, friendships, families, communities, alliances; we apply our vision, our judgment, our imaginations, and our best use of shared language, to hold the world together. It is to our benefit that choices lead to consequence, so we can choose better, improve outcomes, redress our failings. The question is: Do we build on each other’s strengths?

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Citizens Engage World Governments in Lima

The 20th Conference of the Parties, held in Lima last month, produced a consensus agreement among 195 governments, which provides the draft structure for “an agreed outcome with legal force” to be finalized in Paris, in December 2015. During the Lima Conference, governments engaged each other, non-governmental organizations engaged the process, and through Citizens’ Climate Lobby and the Pathway to Paris project, I had the privilege of helping to bring the voices of citizens from around the world directly into the process.

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Overcoming the Dissociation Crisis

A report on the Global Online Policy Forum: Solutions from Crisis, from the Pathway to Paris project…

Systems thinking views systems as already containing the expression of their own virtues and their own failings. A system cannot fail, unless the failure is made possible by some component of the system. In our use of energy, in contact with the Earth’s climate system, there is a flaw: our system is not designed to maintain a reliable climate-energy balance. So, we are pushing past the limits of the system, and motivating/encountering disruption. If we understand this, we can better see our limits, understand our strengths, and leverage the virtues of the system to achieve an outcome conducive to human thriving.

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