Can we build socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable societies?

Zlatko Lagumdzija, Wim Kok
Event date
Event time
Blavatnik School of Government
Radcliffe Observatory Quarter
Woodstock Road
Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

Join former heads of state as they present their work on sustainability and social inclusion, in an event co-hosted with the World Leadership Alliance - Club de Madrid.

It is generally assumed that current approaches to development and the environment are unsustainable and perhaps incompatible. Yet efforts to change direction have so far been piece-meal and of limited effect. Many people do not feel personally connected to the challenges or feel helpless in front of the magnitude of the problems, while powerful sectors have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. It is therefore not surprising that the UN in adopting Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals described it as "transformative", but is the world ready for this paradigm shift and willing to support it?

The members of the World Leadership Alliance - Club de Madrid, former Presidents and Prime Ministers, have been exercised by this challenge for some time and as part of its efforts convened a Working Group representing very diverse interests to consider the link between environmental sustainability and a shared society – one where everyone has a place within society and can play an active part in its well-being.

The Group concluded that our existing systems are not fit for the purpose of protecting the planet and achieving sustainable development; an inclusive, participatory shared society is necessary to build the public commitment and engagement that will be required to protect the planet; and that those directly affected by environmental degradation must be involved in efforts to address the problems. They also highlighted that environmental protection is necessary to meet the needs of marginalized communities.

This session will consider these ideas, and, more importantly, consider how the shift to a new Shared Societies Approach can be brought about through good governance and sound policies and practices which will ensure that we are able to "realise the future that we want for all".