The Up Side of an Upside Down World

Like a lot of people, in the last couple of weeks I’ve felt the mixture of disappointment and indifference that UN climate change summits tend to elicit these days. With the failure of governments to come to a binding agreement on greenhouse gas reduction at Rio+20 and the silence of major media outlets in reporting on it, I took some comfort in the off-the-mainstream-media-grid stories. Youth leaders calling the situation for what it was and walking out of a summit that promised them no concrete solutions struck me as a good sign. It’s also heartening to see the debate about the effectiveness of local and national sustainability policies gaining steam.

Thanks in part to our partnership with Global Fund for Community Foundations, which supports community-based organizations (CBOs) with a commitment to bottom-up development, my Amazon Partnerships Foundation colleagues and I see the immense possibility of the sector to play a significant role in dealing with climate change, and turn the top-down paradigm of development on its head. At a time when all the world seems distracted by predictable celebrity divorces or bunker-building for the end of days, thinking about what communities can do and are doing to bring about meaningful change gives me hope.

Read more on our thoughts about how CBOs can help revolutionize development here.