Contemporary Carlowitz

I was invited by the “Rat für nachhaltige Entwicklung” and the “Bertelsmann-Stiftung” to a three day conference in Berlin about sustainable development. I gave a short presentation on “Intergenerational justice concerning social ressources”. Later we formed groups and wrote a paper about how the German government can rethink their sustainability strategy. My teams’ idea was:

  • Traffic lights on every product that indicates how sustainable the product was manufactured and how “fair” the involved people are paid from their employer.

The traffic light is an easy to understand sign which works fine for this purpose. As a first step we want to generate a database with open access (open data) with all the sustainability data for products. It is quite pie in the sky, I know, I know. But it still is a great idea.

There were 50 young adults (from 18-30) with different and heterogenous backgrounds (engineers as well as economists or philosophers) and we worked a lot on our ideas.

We later pitched the idea to Klaus Töpfer, Jeroen A. Bordewijk (retired senior VP of Unilever), Marlehn Thieme , Aart De Geus and Caspar Von Blomberg. They really liked the idea, but said it would be a ton of work and a long road to go.

Our ideas and thoughts are going to be part of a study done by an expert group who will review the German sustainability policy. Some of our group are going to present our ideas at the Bundeskanzleramt in May (not to Mrs.Merkel unfortunately, only to Mr.Pofalla, but still it is great).

Check our the website of the confernece HERE!

You might hear from us in the future. Stay tuned. I might post some pictures lateron as well.


Update: A group just made a blog. Please check it out here. ImPulsDerZeiten