[Do not publish] The Green Economy: SEED's activities to help accelerate the transition

SEED Symposium:

On 15th April 2011, nearly 200 people gathered in Pretoria to explore the role of social and environmental enterprises in shaping the Green Economy. The SEED Symposium on The Green Economy: Accelerating the Transition, brought together start-up entrepreneurs, government leaders, international organisations, research institutions and the private sector in one of the first international meetings on this challenge. Through keynote presentations, guest speakers, panel sessions and discussion, Symposium participants explored two central questions:

  • Whether and how these enterprises - other with only one or two owners or employees - could accelerate the transition to the green economies in their countries and regions.

  • What they might need on the way of support and enabling conditions from their governments.

The Symposium was a benchmark event in a larger, multi-year programme of work by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Green Economy Initiative and the SEED Initiative, largely supported by the European Union (EU), to foster the Green Economy and to encourage the growth of socio-environmental entrepreneurship in Africa.  Embedded in this programme of work is the SEED award itself.

Throughout the Symposium, the SEED winners showcased their products and services in an open marketplace and contributed to the discussions. This created the first real platform for SEED winners to share their ideas and experience , and to network with each other. Following the Symposium, the winners also met for a full day in their own workshop to explore further common success factors, challenges and discuss solutions and opportunities.

The participants reconvened in the evening for the International SEED Award ceremony where the 2010 SEED Winners were recognised for their innovation in sustainable entrepreneurship by Jerry Liu, VP Communications, Hisense, and Achim Steiner, UN Under Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director.


The Green Economy Coalition

Furthermore, SEED has now also become a member of the Green Economy Coalition (GEC). GEC is a diverse set of global organisations and sectors, from NGOs, research institutes, UN organisations to trade unions, that together encourage, promote and help accelerate the transition towards a green economy, which is a resilient economy that provides a better quality of life for all within the ecological limits of the planet.

Through mobilising a global civil society movement on a green economy; GEC builds a shared understanding of a green economy in different economic and cultural contexts, and influences decision-makers to bring about that vision.

Over the last year the GEC has supported a series of national dialogues in Brazil, India, Mali and the Caribbean which helped understand the dimensions of a green economy on the ground. The dialogues  enabled them to build a unique understanding of the challenges, barriers and opportunities of a green economy in a range of contexts.

Read more about the Green Economy Coalition here.