“You have not told us to 'calm down', that we don't need to be radical; you have instead told us that we have the power to make change happen – and that is what we need to hear!” Sara Svensson
In June 2012, following eight weeks of online debate, the Elders and ‘Youngers’ travelled to Brazil for Rio+20, the UN summit on sustainable development.
As world leaders gather in Brazil for Rio+20, the Elders and Youngers answer your questions on sustainable development, the world we want and how we can achieve it.
Watch the Q&A videos of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Mary Robinson and Gro Harlem Brundtland with the Youngers.
Four Elders and four Youngers. Seven billion people, one planet and one future.
Join Elders+Youngers as they take the debate to Rio, where world leaders will come together to decide the planet we leave for future generations.
“We have the largest generation of young persons in the history of mankind; things are changing.”
Esther Agbarakwe, a young activist participating in the Elders+Youngers debate speaks about her experience getting involved in the initiative in this interview with Network Africa, BBC World Service.
“I share the frustration of millions, outraged at the indifference world leaders are demonstrating towards some of the toughest and most urgent challenges we face today.”
Writing in the Huffington Post, Desmond Tutu voices his exasperation with our current leaders and looks to the next generation for the bold action needed to safeguard the future of our planet.
“One of the most incredible sources of energy for me is when I am with young people – sorry oldies!” Desmond Tutu
In May 2012 four 'Youngers' – climate change activists from Nigeria, Brazil, Sweden and China – joined the Elders at their bi-annual meeting in Oslo to discuss the upcoming Rio+20 summit on sustainable development, the role of the UN, and how to mobilise civil society, especially young people, around urgent global issues.
What will a cleaner tomorrow look like? How do you empower young people? How can countries with different ideologies and cultures reach a consensus over our environment and development?
Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, and Gro Brundtland debated these questions with young activists Esther and Marvin at a public event in Oslo, with questions from a live online audience. Watch the video and join the discussion.
"You must succeed where we have failed" - Desmond Tutu, in the run up to Rio+20.
The Elders launch a global debate with young leaders to inspire the urgent change needed to build a more equitable and sustainable world.
Good jobs? Clean air? Food security? In June 2012, world leaders are coming together in Rio. Their actions – or inactions – will shape this planet for generations to come. What do you want that world to look like? Join the debate with Elders+Youngers.
“For me sustainable development is much more than caring for the environment. It’s also much more than making money from our natural resources and from our economic growth. It’s an intersection between the economics, the social, and the environment.”
Esther, from Nigeria, is one of four Youngers taking part in the Elders and Youngers, in the run up to the Rio+20 summit. In this video she gives an outline of her work and the future she wants to create.