Last week I attended the Planet under Pressure conference in London. The conference was great and extremely well organized with 3000 participants and more than 3000 unique viewers a day to the streaming videos. One of the outcomes of the conference is the first declaration of Planet.
The conference was framed in preparation of Rio+20. In 1992 the Rio conference led to many promises on paper, but little changes in practice. 20 years later the science is even more convincing that current trends led to undesirable outcomes for most of us and changes of behavior are needed.
There was quite some pessimism during the conference since so little concrete action came out of Rio. It was also clear that science itself need to change. A more solution focused research in collaboration with non-science organizations are needed. The new initiative, Future Earth, a 10 year program that combines research of natural and social science on global change, is a step forward.
The conference was exemplar in bring many different perspectives to the table, from science, business, government, journalism and ngos, from people of different color, age and gender, and using twitter to solicit questions from all over the world to the plenary speakers. Whether this will lead to any changes in Rio+20, we will see. At least science itself recognize it need to change to be more proactive and solution oriented. This is a promising step forward.