On Monday 17th November 2008 was held the Forum for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development co-organised by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO (NZUNESCO) and Sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand Inc. (SANZ). This day of reflection and dialogue was facilitated by Trish Hall from Thought Partners Ltd, and lead by Wendy Reid and Simon Hertnon from SANZ. A total of six speakers, including  Wendy McGuinness, Sustainable Future’s Chief Executive, were invited to present their work, their vision, and their passion. Around 40 people attended this meeting representing 54 different networks in total. The main aim was to find solutions to take a real step toward strong sustainability for New Zealand, and to move beyond being stuck in the ‘discussion’ phase. That was the main catalyst which animated the debate and brought through ideas of innovative initiatives to basically ‘spread the word’ and start to act.

This forum was a great success in both groups’ reflection times and discussions, it was amazing to see that people were so motivated to take a step forward and start to make a difference. We believe the time has come to look forward, to think about and build our future, a future for our children and the next generations. In this context of global crisis, where the current model clearly shows its limits we issue a call to action. We must realise that the time has come to innovate and think in a different way, because it is not just the concern of a small group of people, it is the concern of humanity, and if nothing is done, we will increasingly face insurmountable difficulties.

Text by Jean-Charles Perquin
Photo by Wendy McGuinness