1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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UNRISD at Rio: A Green and Fair Future

4 May 2012



Rio+20 is a crucial opportunity for the international community to rethink development from the perspective of equity and the environment. UNRISD will be there, actively communicating the findings of a year-long inquiry on the social dimensions of green economy and sustainable development. This inquiry has shed light on why social issues should be central in green economy debates, and what a social lens would reveal.

Economic, technological and institutional changes that currently form the basis of green economy strategies run the risk of reinforcing human insecurity and inequalities. Such approaches underestimate the unequal or detrimental social consequences of green economy policies, and neglect their underlying structural causes. A growing body of evidence points to the diverse social consequences of green economy policies, and suggests key elements for alternative approaches that can promote the combined social, economic and environmental goals of sustainable development.


Join us at one of our outreach events at Rio+20:
(dates/venues to be confirmed closer to the time, please check our website in June)
  • UNRISD panel on “The Social Dimensions of Markets in a Fair, Green Economy” at the biennial conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics
  • Workshop “Towards a Green Society? Participation for Social Change” at the People’s Summit: co-hosted with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES)
  • “Integrating the social dimensions of green economy into policy”, an event co-hosted with UNESCO and the International Social Science Council (ISSC).

Each of these events will engage with a particular constituency: academics; civil society; and national delegations, UN and major groups1 respectively.


1 Agenda 21, the outcome document of the 1992 Earth Summit, formalized nine major groups as the overarching categories through which all citizens could participate in the UN activities on achieving sustainable development. These groups are: business and industry, children and youth, farmers, indigenous peoples, local authorities, NGOs, scientific and technological community, women, and workers and trade unions.

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