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Internet Governance and Dealing With Disruption

The Value Web is just wrapping up a session with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development at the Confederation of Danish Industry headquarters, right across the street from Hopenhagen, a bustling spot where people can participate in a variety of activities relating to the climate crisis. It’s a nice thing to look out the window and watch the activities outside, and to realize that this group, inside, (whom many outside were protesting) are having the same conversations as the protestors – within a different frame, perhaps, but familiar questions keep emerging…

Our day was very intense, with around 300 participants from business (primarily), government, civil society, a youth organization and plenty of media! We ran worksessions asking business leaders to look at existing technologies, and asked them why they are not being used more, or at all – and we came away with some barriers and actions to scale some of these technologies – this was within the timeframe of 2012. We had a second stream examining 2020 – exploring what we need to be doing in 2020, and examining barriers and enablers – also asking – what do we need to start doing now so that we are ready to move to a 2 tonne CO2/person life in 2050. We also had a stream examine what this lifestyle might look like, and had them work on avatars to begin to realize what it will mean to live in a 2 tonne CO2/person world.

Finally, we had a separate CEO stream with 22 CEOs – primarily from the energy sector – but some from the consumer products sector, examining two potential scenarios for 2020 – one in which business has failed to mobilize, and the other where business has taken a leading role in reaching set emissions targets. There were some very clear messages coming out of this session about what business wants from the negotiators in the Bella Center. Primarily (and not surprisingly) they are asking for a predictable, long term price on CO2, as soon as possible. From this will follow investment, and changes in consumer behavior, driven by business, government, and more importantly, from the consumers themselves. It was noted, of course, that business is pushing on full stream in the mean time, but they insist that they can do a lot more if given the right signals.

There were a series of interesting comments coming out of the closing plenary, and Nik Gowing did a masterful (as usual) job of facilitating a very complex and interwoven conversation. We will be posting the output of the session at some point in the coming week and will send the link out as soon as it is ready.

Suffice to say, business is emerging as a very strong player in addressing the climate crisis, although they are very clear that they cannot address this crisis on their own. There were strong calls for new models of public private partnerships – which we also heard in our session in Berlin with the Berlin Civil Society Center. All the parties are saying the same things – and it’s exciting to see that there is a very strong call to act now – business is very aware that this is not something we can put off until tomorrow. We are very much looking forward to see where we can go next with all this.

In addition to creating many graphics inside the event today, we will be feeding the outputs and content to our friends at Bigger Picture, who are inside the Bella Center with the WWF, and have a full team of scribes documenting the events inside the negotiations. You can see some of their work here:

More later after we’ve finished cleaning up the space – there are some wonderful photos we are looking forward to sharing! Make sure to check out flickr account!

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