Rio+20

***Article originally appeared on UPLIFT*** When we work together we can create the future Mother Earth deserves. Solutions
The willingness to adapt and change, the curiosity to look beyond and find more to be discovered, more to contribute to, more to advance, more to develop, more to make progress lies within the human arrow of learning and teaching.
The Sustainable Development Goals are about much more than achieving a diplomatic consensus. Starting next year, they will serve as a road-map for driving development around the world, including the world's poorest countries.
Trees are down all over my neighborhood and at night it is pitch dark, with only the moon as light. I feel paralyzed with cold. It is a freezing chill that goes deep to the bone and makes me worried about the future I can have on this planet.
With the clean energy market topping $263 billion globally, and a solar trade war raging, the ending to this tale is crucial for U.S. competitiveness in the technologies of the future.
By the sheer number of initiatives in this arena and the degree to which other efforts are trying to hitch their wagon to the trend, it is clear that something important is afoot. Will merely knowing more about these impacts necessarily lead to dramatically better sustainability outcomes?
While perceptions may differ about the value of the overall outcomes for this year's Earth Summit, I believe most would agree that it is unthinkable to endure another decade marked by inertia in the face of the ongoing collapse of vital ocean ecosystems.
The so-called "green economy," which governments, business leaders, and some environmental organizations touted at last month's summit in Rio de Janeiro, is actually a greenwashed economy.
Last week, the first step was taken at the United Nations to form the working group that will elaborate these goals. As a serious advocate for SDGs, I believe this step is worthy of reflection.
We know that healthy communities and investment in workforce development are good for business. And after six months of work, the International Business Corps is already producing tremendous results for the NGOs, companies, corporate volunteers, and communities in Rio de Janeiro.
Since returning from Rio, I have already participated in a number of debriefings about the summit. I am pleased to see the interest, but dismayed to find many people have already accepted the message that the Summit had been a "flop" or a "failure."
When I asked the women I met in rural Bangladesh how many owned phones, most did. But when I probed on what they used them for, the answer was calling and photos.
International summits do not necessarily have the dramatic intensity to satisfy our appetite for spectacle. However, they do serve an important function for the dissemination of ideas which goes beyond appearances. This will certainly be the case with Rio +20.
The Rio+20 UN conference on sustainable development is over. The conference declaration, titled "The Future We Want," is a weak and meaningless document.
The Rio+20 outcome document -- though 49 pages long and consisting of 23,917 words -- mentions women in less than 0.01 percent of the entire text.
The road to success is often riddled with challenges and failures. No matter the outcomes that transpire at Rio+20, we must never give up the fight for the rights of future generations to be able to enjoy what we have taken for granted.
I firmly believe a new generation of pragmatic and committed leaders was hard at work at the conference in Rio. Our job now is to identify who these leaders are and how to work with them to ensure they succeed.
Indeed, the dialogues were an innovative process to the UN system that leaves many wondering if such a process will become a staple of UN engagement with civil society.
What Rio+20 has demonstrated is that we can no longer stand by and wait for world leaders to provide solutions to prevent us from reaching the tipping point, or point of no return.
Simultaneously we will need to demand that our governments change their approach and get serious. Time is short.