From Tom Friedman to Jeff Sachs: Day 2@ TERI’s Sustainable Summit

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Nitin Desai and Tom Friedman

Am I boasting that I heard Tom Friedman, Prof. Jefferey Sachs, Sir Jonathon Porritt, Dr. Larry Brilliant, Dr.R Pachauri speak in the space of half a day? Well, yes, I am. And not to mention the top leadership of some of most forward thinking companies like BMW and the Heads of States and change makers from numerous countries like the UK, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and even Bhutan (a small country with very big ideas). It is not everyday that one gets to hear, meet and the pick the brains of the some best minds in the world in the area of Economics, Politics, Sustainability and Climate Change.

Day 2 saw a variety of sessions take place – Sustainability challenges across sectors, Ensuring of energy, water and food security, Employment/Growth benefits of Green Economy  and the thematic tracks on Personal as well as urban low carbon mobility for all. Way too much information got exchanged between these sessions and if I can try and distil the essence of the day, I think here are 10 key take aways that can form the action steps and serve to change our mind sets:

  1. Break all the rules – yes, that’s what Tom Friedman suggests. There’s no point keeping the rules for future library archives!
  2. Inability of the current Economics model to look at the cost to the lives and livelihoods and the wiping away of the entire cultures apart from gauging only the physical environmental damages and the related infrastructure construction
  3. Emission targets must also segregate and budget into each of the different sectors
  4. Only the product should not be marketed as green, but the entire value chain
  5. New leadership model not only consists of Economic value creation but also Environmental value creation
  6. Private actions are wonderful but they are essentially hobbies. So the vehement need for strong policies and regulations

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    Jeff Sachs

  7. In a way Diesel in not going anywhere – only the diesel will become cleaner. And Electric Vehicles can be as sexy and fun to drive as any other fossil fuel driven cars
  8. A model of “Open Government Partnership” to facilitate better analysis of the energy sector
  9. Need for global governance to act in response to climate change
  10. And lastly, from Jeff Sachs: The possibility of killing a frog in the pan of water with a gradual increase of water temperature. But a sudden temperature change will make the frog jump – Humanity is yet to find out which frog is it going to be!

But my best takeaway came from Sir Jonathon Porritt of Forum of the Future attacking governments for their hopeless actions and failing their people. Well, it somehow comes back full circle to those to solve the problems who created them in the first place.

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Comments

  1. That really sounds like a great line-up. Thanks for sharing your reflections on the conference! Makes it much easier to stay up to date with what’s going on in the sustainability leadership field. And it would be great if you could do a final summary of the whole event that I could post to all followers over at http://sustainablefutures.info!

  2. Yeah! It really was a crowd puller…leadership not seen in any of the conferences that I attended in the last year. I would be doing a summary in a couple of days….

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