Olav Kjørven United States
I care because our existence on this blue-green-white pearl of life in a vast awe-inspiring universe is both miraculous and beautiful. It is both our responsibility and in our power to allow future generations to experience this existence and to improve on it. No mission in life can be greater than to contribute to giving this future a chance.
My grandfather, a farmer in Norway, taught me by his example when I was a child that economic betterment, social responsibility and environmental protection had to go together. He didn't use or know the word sustainability, but he lived it.
My commitment is to keep trying to mobilize public awareness and engagement for the need for urgent action against climate change, and for seeing this challenge as intrinsically intertwined with poverty and inequality. We need to let values and scientific evidence guide us toward economic policy making for the long term, for a shared and more fair future. I believe children and youth can play a crucial role in helping us change the paradigm, if we give them a voice and role. We also need to construct more effective partnerships and movements around the most protracted and malign problems and challenges.
(Pour garder en authenticité, les témoignages des personnalités n’ont pas été traduits.)
Director, Public Partnerships Division
United Nations Children’s Fund
Helping plan and convene the Many Heavens, One Earth Conference at Windsor Castle, November 2009. Conference was hosted by The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip and attended by the UN Secretary General. It brought leaders from world religions together and at Windsor they announced multi-year plans of action to combat climate change and environmental degradation. These plans are now under implementation and many new plans have since been prepared and launched across the various religions and in different parts of the world.
My main spiritual achievement is probably to remain relatively open-minded, and hopeful about the future.