Conversations that matter: Desmond Tutu pins hopes on youth

Desmond Tutu says young people see “sustainability” as a “system that will ensure the well-being and prosperity of the planet they will inherit” — and not just a word. Photo by: Anne Elisabeth Scheen / Miljøverndepartementet / CC BY-NC-ND

World leaders participating at the upcoming U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development may want to follow Desmond Tutu’s footsteps: Talk to the youth.

In an opinion piece for the Huffington Post, Tutu said the “positive vision” and “relentless energy” of young people have filled him with hope. He said the youth, at least those he had talked to, sees “sustainability” as a “system that will ensure the well-being and prosperity of the planet they will inherit” — and not just a word.

The Nobel Peace Laureate and chair of The Elders has expressed his dismay at world leaders who do not seem to prioritize poverty and the threat of climate change. He is concerned at the current state of the Rio+20 negotiations, which many fear may end up in “complete collapse.”

He wants to believe future leaders — today’s youth — will be “bolder,” have a “more global” outlook and make decisions “for the common good.”

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

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