San Francisco Bay Area delegates aim to build bridges with global organizations and entrepreneurs in Rio de Janeiro through a unique mobile innovation laboratory.
Bay2Rio+20, a group of Bay Area entrepreneurs, environmental activists and innovators, is launching the Innovation Bus to engage international groups in creating a recipe for innovation in sustainable urban development by bringing together innovators and experts in the areas of policy, design, entrepreneurship and urban planning. Bay2Rio+20 is hosting simultaneous events in San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro both during and after the Earth Summit.
The Bay2Rio+20 crew will be in Rio de Janeiro later this month to participate in “Rio+20,” the 20th anniversary United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as the Earth Summit. Bay2Rio+20 is dedicated to building lasting bridges by connecting Rio+20 attendees with innovators and experts here in the Bay Area. Using the new COZMOS community-building platform, representatives from governments, private corporations and NGOs can engage in an on-going global dialogue about environmental stewardship, social justice and poverty eradication in urban centers.
The Innovation Bus is designed to lay the groundwork for developing an international association of individuals and institutions interested in connecting ideas, sharing information and working to move the agenda of Rio+20 from the conference space into the real world. Bay2Rio+20’s mobile innovation laboratory aims to showcase work in the Bay Area while soliciting information about what innovative urban development is happening in other parts of the world. A further purpose of the Innovation Bus is to connect with “green favelas” and other people and organizations from Rio who care about sustainable development but are not going to the conference.
The Bay2Rio+20 Innovation Delegation plans to unveil the Urban Innovation Exchange (UIE) – a global laboratory for designing the future of cities while in Rio. At a basic level UIE is an online place for capturing the ideas and calls-to-action from Bay2Rio+20’s events, work and interactions from Rio+20. It is planned as a living document for urban innovators across the globe to communicate and highlight the work they are doing in their respective parts of the world. This work will be disseminated via blog, online discussion forums and visual captures of inspiration and work.
Bay2Rio+20’s information bridge is designed to foster dialogue with Bay Area entrepreneurs, professionals, advocate groups, or anyone else who would like to participate in the summit virtually. Local gatherings and activities before, during and following the 2012 Earth Summit will help build momentum and strengthen cooperation and economic development ties between Brazil and the Bay Area for later initiatives focusing on the 2013 Americas Cup, the 2014 World Cup, the 2016 Olympics and beyond.
The delegation representing the Bay Area at the summit includes James Hanusa, a Fellow at Global Urban Development and Green Economy Advisor at the Rio+20 Stakeholder Forum; Ryan Kushner, a social entrepreneur and design strategist and Amanda Ravenhill, founder of The Biochar Association and professor of sustainability at Presidio Graduate School. Greg Delaune, an urban planner specializing in technology and policy for sustainable economic development is the team’s lead organizer and is a representative from the HUB Bay Area. Sponsors include The Presidio Graduate School.