Crowdsourcing sustainability — is that even possible?

Well that is what Jacob Scherr — Director of Global Strategy & Advocacy Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) — is hoping for. The UN is holding a conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this June, it’s called the — United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.  The Conference — also known as Rio+20  — is designed to address that various sustainability issues that affect our planet.

“At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet to get to the future we want.” –Rio 2012

Now while addressing global sustainability is a monumental task — the benefits are, well, monumental. And while the 190+ governments agree that a solid global sustainability plan will lead to a more prosperous future — the governments agree on little else. There have been a number of informal sustainability meetings, at the UN headquarters in NYC. Unfortunately, these meetings have produced more frustration than actual value.

So what seems to be the issue — not surprisingly it’s impossible to negotiate a single sustainability plan for the entire planet. And Scherr explains that negotiations did not work before so he is not surprised, that negotiations are not working now. Scherr continues explain that the United Nations must think outside the box — and create a new platform.

This new platform would be the foundation of all global sustainability goals. This platform will not only encourage stakeholders but hold them responsible for actions taken or the lack thereof. And Scherr states that this new work process is — crowdsourcing.

I am simply giddy thinking of what the crowd can address — global warming, clean energy, preventing pollution, reviving the World’s oceans and so much more. I am hopeful that the UN takes a serious look at this work process and that the international organization leads the movement.

What are your thoughts on the possible use of crowdsourcing all global sustainability goals?