On June 22, 2010, at UNESCO in Paris, the International Council for Science (ICSU) held a Visioning Open Forum on “Institutional Frameworks for Global Sustainability”. The atmosphere at the forum was somber and the scientists were quiet and intense.
Johan Rockström opened the forum for scientists “to air their views” with a call for scientists “to reform our own structure”. “We have put ourselves in this position,” he said. “There have been great advances in science. As scientists it is fundamental that we move towards institutional frameworks to support research for a more sustainable world.”
He spoke of the vision of the “task team”, of “something profound and new”, of an “historic opportunity”, of “a turning point”, “an Apollo like endeavor to serve society”, “stronger engagement in communication and capacity building”, that is “more true to societal needs in the world”, to “avoid the risk of prophecy so daunting”, that is “not incremental but a step change”.
At scientific forums Rockström is a very serious man in a grey suit and white shirt. A whole conference can go by without a smile. But to get the urgency of the issues across to the public he wore a black shirt and used a beach ball to represent planet Earth. He even fell off the stage to get his message across.
If you only watch one video about what is happening to the planet and its people this is the video to watch.