RIO+20: SEED and UNDESA join forces at the Partnership Forum on 20 June 2012

Partnerships are considered one of the most participatory and effective mechanisms to implement sustainable development and enhance international cooperation.

A Partnerships Forum will be organized at Rio+20, which will consist of highly dynamic and interactive sessions to highlight the significant contributions of partnerships to the implementation of sustainable development.

On 20 June 2012, SEED and UNDESA will present the first session: Delivering Sustainable Development at the Entrepreneurial and Grassroots level: challenges, lessons learned and opportunities.
This session will 'examine the role and elements of a new mechanism for budding entrepreneurs and grassroots partnerships to provide better-coordinated support at the global, regional and national levels. A platform for social and environmental entrepreneurial partnerships to report on progress towards their goals and for showcasing outstanding contributions will also be explored'. Follow the event live and chat to share your views here.

Key Issues Expected to be discussed:

  1. The role and contribution of SMMEs to sustainable development, including to youth employment.
  2. The enabling factors and barriers for social and environmental SMMEs.
  3. The types of partnerships that social and environmental SMMEs need - academia, civil society, media, government.
  4. The possibility to establish a more effective mechanism for collecting and showcasing experience/ evidence on successful sustainable development partnerships involving entrepreneurs.
  5. The exchange of information on 'who does what? and on ways to collaborate among stakeholders.
  6. More relevant reporting mechanisms for entrepreneurs to showcase and inform on their work in implementing sustainable development.
  7. Relevance of launching a collaborative platform to better coordinate support at the global, regional and national levels for entrepreneurs and grassroots partnerships.


  1. Recap the last 10 years: lessons learned and challenges in the ability of partnerships to deliver sustainable development.
  2. Look ahead to the next 10 years: enhancing the contribution of entrepreneurs, grassroots initiatives and other relevant stakeholders in delivering Rio+20 outcomes.
  3. Discuss what spurs how entrepreneurial and grassroots partnerships and how they are constituted, what resources are needed during that process,
  4. Focus on the needs of policymakers to share their experience in creating enabling conditions, frameworks, laws and incentives for SMMEs in their countries, and discuss what a platform for collaboration among policymakers might include
  5. Consider how to bring together, for use by policymakers, the showcasing and evidence of the contributions of SMMEs to the goals of sustainable development, which could support the review of certain MDGs in 2015.
  6. Discuss the development and launching of an enhanced platform which would help to identify areas for effective partnerships engaging entrepreneurs and grassroots initiatives as well as facilitate the access to capacity building institutions and funders (including all awards/reward and recognition opportunities). Such a platform should be accompanied by a tailored mechanism enabling partnerships to report on their accomplishments and needs. This could also serve to provide an evidence-base for policymakers for the delivery of sustainable development by Small, Medium and Micro-Enterprises (SMMEs) post-Rio+20.

SEED will also participate in the final session of the partnership forum: 'Partnerships contributing to the Future we want', This session will offer the opportunity for a forward-looking reflection, concrete guidance, and visionary perspectives on how partnerships can be best positioned to facilitate and expedite the implementation of agreements at Rio+20 as well as contribute to the post-2015 development agenda. The SEED's Executive Director, Helen Marquard, will provide insights SEED's achievements, what social and environmental entrepreneurs need to scale up and SEED's plan for the future. You can also follow this session live here.

Relevant resources:

  • Full description of session 1: Delivering Sustainable Development at the Entrepreneurial and Grassroots level: challenges, lessons learned and opportunities.
  • SEED-DESA Session 1 - Concept Note
  • Programme of session 1: Delivering Sustainable Development at the Entrepreneurial and Grassroots level: challenges, lessons learned and opportunities
  • Full description final session (5) at the Partnerships forum
  • SEED's Executive Director speaks about the importance of partnerships