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Here is an excerpt from the “Opening Keynote” to the “Good Jobs, Green Jobs” Conference (Feb. 4-6, 2009) in Washington D.C.—by Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme
“We know, very much as a result of the past 12 months, that markets are not divine creations - they are made by men and women and as such they can be redesigned by human beings and governments to achieve multiple aims.”
I truly believe that there is much good work being done out of the “spotlight” of even the most progressive networks looking to gather together inspiration and “nuts and bolts” how-to information. One of the “countless numbers of things we can do in the everyday circumstances of our lives” to contribute to overcoming the challenges of our times is to “bring to light” the good efforts of people and organizations, from all levels of activity… from international coalition building to helping a neighbor who really needs help.
As an example of “bringing to light” good efforts, I have read a few articles on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) website related to green jobs, and in each article I found very helpful comments from Achim Steiner, the UNEP Executive Director. So, when I looked at the program for the “Good Jobs, Green Jobs” conference (Feb. 4-6, 2009; Washington D.C.), and saw that Achim Steiner was scheduled for the “opening keynote” on February 4, I immediately began searching to see if I could find a text of that speech. And the UNEP website did have a complete text, here at http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=563&Ar...
I have included some excerpts from the speech here in this post (see excerpts below). I believe this speech is worth noting because it can provide readers with a glimpse of the kind of leader who brings attention to good work wherever it can be found, and whose good intentions are ready to extend to any part of the world. I also believe Achim Steiner is the kind of leader who sets a tone for the kind of positive and constructive information exchange which leads to strong coalitions which can endure the tests of time. And I believe that we need to be learning about, creating, and supporting many more people with these kinds of leadership skills if we are to overcome the challenges of our times.
I encourage readers to read his speech at the above link. And I encourage readers to add links here to other examples of this kind of leadership, and other examples of good efforts, from every level of activity. When there are more examples of this kind of leadership, and more examples of good efforts from every level of activity, than there are examples of misguided leadership and efforts based on poor judgment, then we will have a confidence about the future that is based on the soundest kind of evidence.
Excerpts from Achim Steiner’s Speech:
“In mid-February, the world's environment ministers will meet at UNEP headquarters for the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum.
“Here we will present some of the latest findings on the state of the world's ecosystems, such as forests and soils to coral reefs and fisheries, in our UNEP Year Book 2009….
“Globalization means that the ups - and currently the real downs - of the global economy reach everywhere. But so, too, do ideas and imaginative initiatives….
“The investments being made now in order to counter the various "crunches" need to set the stage for a resource efficient, innovation-led, economic renaissance.
“The challenge today is to embed Green Economic policy in national economies everywhere - to make the many shining examples already pursued here and there part of the mainstream of economic thinking, part of the ‘here and now’….
“UNEP's Global Green New Deal report, bringing some of these global ideas and policy-actionable initiatives and compiled by a team of leading economists, will be published on 16 February at our environment ministers gathering….
“If we are to deal with the immediate crises and the ones just around the corner, then every dollar, Euro, peso and yuan is going to have to work smarter and harder.
“The investments being made now in order to counter the various "crunches" need to set the stage for a resource efficient, innovation-led, economic renaissance….
“There are still many voices being raised saying we cannot afford it - that it is interfering in the market as if the market was some perfect construct - independent of human affairs….
“We know, very much as a result of the past 12 months, that markets are not divine creations - they are made by men and women and as such they can be redesigned by human beings and governments to achieve multiple aims….”
From speech by Achim Steiner, United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director (and United Nations Under-Secretary General)— given as “Opening Keynote” on February 4, 2009 at the “Good Jobs, Green Jobs” National Conference [Feb. 4-6, 2009 in Washington D.C. (USA)]
Comments and excerpts from Achim Steiner speech submitted by Stefan Pasti, Founder and Outreach Coordinator, The Interfaith Peacebuilding and Community Revitalization (IPCR) Initiative
[“Everyone is involved when it comes to determining the markets that supply the ‘ways of earning a living’.” (SP)]