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The Roads from Rio – Views from the World of Experts

May 29, 2012 in New video or audio registrations, Reflections & views

At some point last Fall I realized I was booked in a string of international meetings, all in the lead up to the Rio+20 conference of June 20-22. I also realized that all the interesting views that I heard from my fellow experts, were often hardly known to people outside this circuit of experts. So I decided to buy a small HD camera to try and capture something of those thoughts and discussions. What are experts concerned about? Where do they see hope? What analysis of the situation do they come up with?
I started interviewing, quickly realising that this was actually not all that easy. Mis-en-scène, light, the realisation of the prevalence of noise. After the first round I added a good microphone and a stable tripod. I sought the advice of a documentary maker, Wouter Hasebos. I started to tape in between interviews, provide footage to avoid the constant image of talking heads.

Now, eight months later, I happily present a first version of ‘The Roads from Rio – Views from the World of Experts’. It is not finished, as it does not include the Rio conference itself, for instance. But here it is, in the hope that this range of views help can help people to form their ideas about the conference, the analysis of the situation and the ways out. It is an open story, with experts that may contradict each other. Well, that is what science is like. I think we all agree on the urgency of the situation, both in terms of social justice and ecological threats. But scientists all have their particular angle on things that may lead to a different emphasis. And at the same time there is a marked shift in emphasis: it is the issue of governance that is now central. Quite right. After all, the question is not whether we need a shift, the question is how to get into the pathway of sustainability and which trade offs we find acceptable.

The project comprises a 20 minute documentary as well as 20+ interviews with experts. Go to the documentary & interview highlights at the PBL homepage, or, alternatively, via vimeo based website of the documentarymaker here.

PBL produced a major assessment study on Rio with the title ‘Roads from Rio+20’. Go to the report. 


Picnic Stories: Fix It!

December 11, 2011 in New video or audio registrations

Fix it! The Energetic Society as a New Perspective on Governance for a Clean Economy.

Maarten Hajer on Fix it! The Energetic Society as a New Perspective on Governance for a Clean Economy / PICNIC Festival 2011 from PICNIC on Vimeo.

The ambitious goal of a clean economy and a high-quality society can be achieved. 

It is “the existing powers of creativity and innovation within society that offer opportunities for green growth,” says Maarten Hajer in The Energetic Society, the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency Trends Report. Yet in order to exploit the potential of this energetic society, Hajer says, governments need to adjust and act in a timely way, otherwise they will be exposed to the powers of the energetic society that may effectively obstruct government initiatives. We need a new partnership and a new division of responsibilities.

Innovation means planning for action and initiative, accepting the fact that mistakes will be made, and making certain that improvements are identified and implemented rapidly. Such innovation calls for a different type of government based on the notion of “radical incrementalism.” Putting the sustainable achievements of institutions and businesses in digital, shareable form is important for providing valuable examples and feedback.

The challenge is to do more with less – something for which there is no instant solution. New ideas will constantly be required and may be stimulated by a government that commits itself to clear objectives and engages in new forms of social engagement.