Arnold Schwarzenegger stood me up

Mićo Tatalović

Mićo Tatalović
Deputy news editor, SciDev.Net


The last few days have been a far cry from the sunny Rio of the last week; our punctual driver’s impeccable scheduling; and relaxed conference sessions.

The other day, our car broke down as we were stuck in heavy traffic and we had to walk a mile to the conference as VIPs were fast-tracked to the first day of Rio+20 summit. It felt like a war zone with heavily armed police-and army-personnel summoned to protect the heads of state. Yet the worst danger seemed to have been the Vegans for Peace protesters who gave out free breakfast and lunch outside the conference centre (which I somehow managed to miss).

But all that was easy to endure because I had plans to see Arnold Schwarzzeneger in the evening. The appointment was for 8pm at the Copacabana Palace, where he was to launch an online database of 100 chosen and scalable innovations for sustainable development – the Sustainia100.

So interesting was the prospect that I decided to pull out of a dinner I organised for fellow journalists.

Yet just an hour before the event I got an email: “Tonight the Sustainia100 is launched at a fully booked event. Unfortunately without attendance of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has cancelled his participation in Rio+20.”

I returned to dinner where I was teased: Arnie had stood me up.

Although perhaps I would have understood Sustainia a bit better if I’d went along to the launch.

Sustainia says its solutions, coming from 56 countries represent sustainable innovation in areas such as city planning, energy, fashion, water and waste management, high-tech and transportation.

“Sustainia is a new approach to a way how we communicate about sustainability,” says its executive director, Laura Storm.

But for a communication tool, they don’t seem to communicate very well: it is pretty hard to pin down exactly what Sustainia is, what it does, or what exactly these 100 solutions are and how they can be scaled up. Maybe I am missing something – but feel free to have a browse around their website and leave comments below if you manage to figure out what this of solution actually is.

You leave comments and I’ll be back.

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This blog post is part of our coverage of Rio+20: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. To read news and analysis on Science at Rio+20 please visit our website.

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