Rethinking society from the ground up – Foundation Earth

One of the most promising aspects of the recent Rio+20 Earth Summit are the creative juices that have been triggered to define new, viable solutions – or identify existing ones for that matter – to redirect the course for the future of our planet.  For Rio+20, Foundation Earth introduced The Economic Rethink: Who does it well? report card to assess what countries are doing some things right for our planet.  The report defines criteria for creating a “deep green economy” and assessing the status of necessary societal shifts in three key areas:  Economy, Ecology, and Equity.

Rights of Nature is defined as an Equity measure.  The first report reflects who is doing well on each of the 16 criteria and how does Brazil, Rio+20’s host country, compare.

Economic Rethink logo by Foundation Earth

The following excerpts are from The Economic Rethink:

The most important environmental or human rights policy is economic policy. That means changing the very basis of the failed system that created the problem. We need a deep green economy – not a green-washing economy. We must ecologize the economy. We can select where it is good to grow, but we must also select where to de-grow. Page three highlights societal shifts in the economic, ecological, and equitable areas to help us think about getting it all right.

Imagine people living without waste, with basic needs met, and in sync with the planet’s nourishing web of life. In our current maddening reality, it can be difficult to picture and achieve this better world. To start, we must help under-consumers (the malnourished and wanting) move up to a sustainable level of consumption while we assist over-consumers (the wasteful and indifferent) down. We must protect the remnants of wild nature and allow for damaged land, water, and sky to heal.

We reviewed more than a dozen scorecards that grade nations on their performance. In this report, we call attention to a short but meaningful list of shifts from around the world that begin to add up to what is necessary to save and restore our planet. We also looked at Brazil, host to global leaders at the June 2012 Rio+20 conference. How does Brazil (or your country) measure up? Remembering that the changes must be commensurate with the scale of the problems at hand, Brazil has a long way to go. Additional material, including footnotes, is on Foundation Earth website at We welcome your suggestions.

Imagine again for a moment: if every country made the changes suggested herein, we would be well on the way to a more socially just and ecologically sensible way of living – in just one generation. We hope this helps you picture a meaningful shift to a better world.

To view Foundation Earth’s Rio+20 Report Card visit The Economic Rethink: Who does it well?