Thursday 12 December 2019 Madrid, Spain
While protesters were pondering how best to make their point as the Friday evening deadline for the negotiations approached, the conference halls were still thronging with business executives and representatives of corporate groups. Many were hosting receptions, cocktails and dinners for financial backers, institutions and government officials.
There seems to be an atmosphere of business as usual despite the many protests and pressure from civil society. For more information, you can read this overview by the Guardian.
Side event in the Chile Pavilion
Sonja and Carolin welcomed the panellists in the Chile Pavilion for a side event called “The Future We Want through Mobilizing Different Knowledge Traditions”. In a new partnership of the Brahma Kumaris and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability and the University of East Anglia were hosting this event to bring different knowledge traditions and perspectives together. A special welcome was given to Gonzalo Muñoz. He is one of the Climate Champions from Chile.
He said that’s it’s not easy to digest the fact that we are running out of time and there is still not yet enough action. So where are we failing in communicating the sense of urgency? What stops us from solving the problem? Interestingly at end, he mentioned that we have lost the ability to connect to our soul and its inherent intelligence.
Carolin raised the question as how different “knowledge traditions” can help to create the future we want? Sister Jayanti touched upon the cycle of time, in which nothing stays the same forever. The influx of energy needed now is the ancient wisdom of the east. Ximena emphasised the important of including the experience of the elders in the decision-making process. Mark stated that we need to gain civil courage to collaborate between the traditions. Golo highlighted the importance of inner transformation but also the need for lifestyle change and the use of clean technology.
Other side events attended by BK:
Shantanu participated at an Intergenerational dialogue between the leaders of all the UN Climate bodies and Youth representations.
The High level event “UN head of Organisations Leadership Dialogue” was attended by Shantanu. It was the first time Executive Secretaries from UNFCCC, UNCCD, UNCBD, FAO, GEF, UNEP and UNDP came together to show that the climate is a global issue and that we need collective actions.
Civil Society Forum
In the late afternoon, Golo gave another talk at the civil society forum in the Complutence University. Around 15 people attend the talk entitled “Transition to innovative and clean technology demands a new mind-set“. The Talk was streamed live onto the internet and ended with a powerful meditation and a hand out of blessing cards.
Evening Christmas dinner and feedback
The team got together for a delicious early Christmas dinner and shared lovely memories and experiences. Everybody appreciated the warm welcome of the Spanish family and the professionalism of the green team.
The queue for coffee in the German Pavillion:
People are busy:
Hundreds of talks every day:
One out of many pavilions: