• [Translate to en:] Die Sustainia-Community lädt ein
Donnerstag, 15. März 2012

Sustainia: A Sustainable Virtual World Is Born

Sustainia is the name of a new virtual world on the Internet. Unlike the forgotten hype of Second Life, however, it is completely sustainable. Sustainia shows how mankind could live in 2020 if the sustainable technologies available today were widely used.

There is already a date for the settlement of the new world: Sustainia, a virtual model of the earth, is supposed to be inhabitable before the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which will take place in June (’Rio+20’). The project is supported by some of the largest companies in the world and prominent advocates of sustainability from politics and science.

The idea of the virtual world was originally developed by the Danish think tank Monday Morning, while companies such as Microsoft, IKEA, General Electrics, and UBS use its implementation to advertise themselves and their commitment to sustainability. Unsurprisingly, the Global Compact, a United Nations business initiative, is part of the project as well. The only non-profit organization to support Sustainia is ‘R 20 – Regions of Climate Action,’ which was created in 2011 by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. This organization, dedicated to climate protection, cooperates with local governments all over the world to establish low-CO2 infrastructures. The ‘R’ is short for region, while ‘20’ stands for the year 2020.

Schwarzenegger and other celebrities presented the fundamentals of Sustainia in Geneva on March 7. The model is similar to the virtual 3D world ‘Second Life’ and it will also be populated by avatars able to explore Sustainia on our behalf. For this purpose, presentations of energy, transportation and environmental protection technologies are planned. When Sustainia is launched, 100 sustainable solutions from businesses and organizations, the so-called Sustainia 100, will be showcased. The best idea will be awarded a prize at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil.

According to the project’s website, Sustainia aims to be “a clear demonstration of the society we can create if companies, scientists, politicians, and civil society move in the same direction.” The fact that the goal of sustainable development has not been achieved as consistently and quickly as necessary is also due to a lack of tangible visions. Sustainia seeks to provide these concrete and realistic visions in the area of sustainability.

When the idea of Sustainia was introduced in Geneva, former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, whose UN commission of the same name decisively shaped the concept of sustainable development in the early 1990s, urged that the switch to sustainable development approaches be made fast, pointing to a form of participation. “The sharing of positive experiences between citizens and consumers and with businesses” may constitute a major contribution to this process.

Schwarzenegger added that the time for talking was over, for “it is now time to act.” Businesses, institutions, and individuals making an effort to find ’green’ solutions to future problems have become the new action heroes, he said. They should thus be supported and celebrated.

Source: German Council for Sustainable Development

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