When we interviewed people for our Open Minds trailer we met a wonderful diversity of people, among them Dr. Carmenza Robledo. She's a climate expert at Helvetas, one of Switzerland's largest and most experienced development organizations. The Helvetas vision: "A world in which everyone lives in a self-determined way in dignity and safety".
Dr. Robledo has been looking at the interdependency between natural resources, climate change and society for the past fifteen years. In this clip she talks about society's capacity to solve problems. Human beings tackled challenges before the advent of the industrial revolution with one solution after the other. She says that we're a great species and we can invent many things - the question today is an ethical one. Who is willing to look at the basics, who is willing to carry the burden of development, who is willing to think ethically first. Human beings, she says, have fought for freedom and for many countries in the world, that freedom is reality today. But with that freedom comes responsibility.
I like what she says and what she says may sound idealistic to some, it may sound downright socialist to others. Her wish for a better future for all of mankind is a world "where we perhaps individually have a little less, but altogether have more." We're all very much willing to think more sustainably, to act on it, too. We're also willing and comfortable to help out and to give to good causes ... but the moment it comes to "having a little less" for the benefit of others, the moment people notice an impact on their personal life - how many are still willing to stay on board? Imagine a middle-class family in Western society. Would that family be willing to forgo their summer vacation, or not turn on the heat for a month, or miss out on Christmas presents ... to help the greater good?