The Elders

Independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights.

Guest blog

Meet the Youngers: Pedro

“When people ask me what I do for a living I like to present myself as a socio-environmentalist.”

Pedro shares his experience working towards overcoming the social, economic, environmental and political issues facing Brazil and the wider world. As Rio+20 approaches, he argues that the Elders+Youngers debate will be another step towards the solution.

 

Presenting the Rio+You international campaign (www.rioplusyou.org) for a group of Brazilian non-governmental organisations and social movements that are actively working on activities related to the Rio+20 conference, during a planning workshop promoted by the School of Activism. Rio+20 brings opportunities for many people to engage with sustainable development issues both locally and globally, and I've been working together with many other people to help foster that in initiatives and spaces such as the Rio+You campaign, the São Paulo Civil Society Committee for Rio+20 and the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth.

In Zambia, where I volunteered between December 2008 and January 2009 contributing to the local development of communities while sharing my days with local people and immersing myself in their amazing culture. This was a life-changing experience that consolidated my will to dedicate my life to help transforming the reality of people living under any hardship that prevents them from developing their full potential.

In Bilbao, Spain, together with the group who took part in an Unesco Etxea course to foster civil society participation in Rio+20, where I was one of the lecturers. Since school I've had the chance to work in several projects and activities related to strengthening the role of civil society and empowering individuals, in many different manners, and that is surely something I want to keep doing for the rest of my life.

Debating civil society proposals for Rio+20 at EIMA8 - 8th Ibero-American Meeting for Sustainable Development, in an event that brought together different perspectives from groups and institutions from several countries.

I’m a 23-year old Brazilian living in São Paulo, and when people ask me what I do for a living I like to present myself as a socio-environmentalist. My concerns with the reduction of poverty and inequalities, the promotion of human rights and the fostering of culture of peace have always been followed by a deep preoccupation with environmental issues, and since the beginning of my professional life I have been working in non-governmental organisations.

I have chosen to dedicate my life to working with sustainable development because both my heart and mind tell me there is not much sense in focusing my energy in anything else, given all the evidence we already have that deep changes must happen to guarantee dignity and well-being for every single person. I agree with those who sense that our global society lives a moment of transition, and truly believe we can work together to overcome the social, economic, environmental and political crisis our civilisation faces.

Since 2011, I have been deeply involved in many activities related to the Rio+20 conference. Together with the Vitae Civilis Institute team, I am in connection with several initiatives by Brazilian and international civil society, and also participating in dialogues with the Brazilian government and the United Nations. Rio+20 comes as a very important moment of convergence, exposing the many challenges we face worldwide, but also creating big opportunities for us to stand up for a fair, peaceful and sustainable world.

Besides everything that was mentioned above, I really enjoy listening to some good music, playing basketball, hiking, reading comic books and practising some magic tricks. And I live on two wheels, always carrying my bike with me!

Views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Elders or The Elders Foundation.