17-year-old Brittany Trilford from New Zealand addressed world leaders at Rio+20. “In this moment, I am all children, your children, the world’s three billion children. Think of me for these short minutes as half the world. I stand here with fire in my heart. I’m confused and angry at the state of the world and I want us to work together now to change this.”
She spoke for the sons and daughters of the human family who are frustrated by an uncertain future. Current development models have not ensured everyone’s well-being, nor have they cared for our earth. The world’s children demand a paradigm shift.
The world is looking for development models that encompasses the breadth and scope of the human experience. New trends, such as the “green economy,” reflect the departure from isolated economic growth for more comprehensive, balanced and sustainable perspectives. Development must consider the spiritual and social dimensions of humanity, and it must preserve everyone’s shared heritage, the rich resources of the earth.
Moments like Rio+20 are reminders that more is needed than material goods and services for better lives. As sustainable development is defined, there is a need to clarify humanity’s direction and create the future that all of humankind wants to see.