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Newsletter - 02/2009
Dear Friends! 2 March 2009
Today, the World Future Council can celebrate a significant success of its climate and energy work: from March 1st, customers of Gainesville Regional Utilities in Florida are the first in the US to benefit from a Feed-In Tariff law promoting renewable energy. Ed Regan, Assistant General Manager at Gainesville Regional Utilities strategic planning unit, had taken part in a World Future Council fact finding mission to Germany in June 2008. A state-wide Feed-In Tariff law is now under consideration – and was discussed intensively at a workshop co-sponsored by the WFC in Florida last month.

The WFC’s efforts will hopefully be reinforced by a "Global Green New Deal" as it was called for by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in mid-February. UNEP demanded that one third of the stimulus packages planned for powering the world economy should be green investment – an estimated sum of 750 billion dollars, about one percent of global GDP. Green investment can turn financial crisis into opportunity: it creates jobs, promotes innovation, and enhances the wellbeing of millions of people – offering huge potential for countries in both the North and the Global South.

As WFC Councillor Chico Whitaker reports in this newsletter, the call "another world is possible" dominated discussions at the World Social Forum in Brazil. Turning the world’s economies "green and just" is the only way to save this planet for future generations – now is the time to make it happen!

With best regards from the Board of Directors and Secretariat,

Alexandra Wandel
WFC Development Director

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Councillor Prof. Rolf Kreibich...

...…is considered to be "the" representative of German-speaking future research.

To read more about Prof. Kreibich and his current activities, click here.

Notes from the Council
Chico Whitaker: World Social Forum 2009

From the 27th January to the 1st February 2009 the Ninth Edition of the World Social Forum took place in Belem do Pará, Brazil. As with previous events, it gathered tens of thousands of people - 150,000 in total, including 133,000 registered participants from 5,808 organisations representing 142 countries, and 15,000 young people accommodated in a youth camp.

They debated themes and proposals to build "another world", in 2,310 self organized workshops, seminars and other activities. The Forum lasted six days instead of five, as after the traditional opening march one day was devoted to the Amazon problems with the participation of indigenous people and considering all the ecological challenges of this region. Five state Presidents from Latin America were invited by participants, to present – in one naturally crowded session – their points of view.

All crises the world is now experiencing – especially the ecological and financial ones – were debated during the Forum and proposals for civil society action emerged to overcome the "civilisation crisis" the world is facing, if we want to have justice and peace in our future. In a change from other Editions – each one incorporates the experience of the precedents – it finished with 32 conclusions assemblies, with each one presenting its findings in the closing session.

Even though material conditions of such a huge event are never completely satisfactory for all, everybody took home plenty of energy and hope.

Chico Whitaker is WFC Councillor and Co-Founder of the World Social Forum.
To learn about all current councillor activities, click here.
Top upcoming Events
Parliamentary Hearing in Tobago, December 2008
March 14-15, 2009:
Climate Change and Energy Access: Parliamentary Hearing in Guyana

The WFC and e-Parliament will jointly organise a hearing for legislators from the Caribbean region on March 14-15 in Georgetown, Guyana. WFC Director of Climate and Energy Stefan Schurig will present policy instruments encouraging private investment in renewable energy, such as feed-in tariffs. The event is part of a series of workshops for parliamentarians from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries – aiming to improve governance on energy issues and energy access for the poor in those countries.
March 15, 2009:
Councillor Prabhu Guptara debates a New Global Deal for the Future

On March 15, WFC Councillor Prabhu Guptara takes part in a panel discussion on “Which New Global (Green) Deal for the Future?” in Berlin. The debate is hosted by the Allianz Foundation and features high-ranking participants such as Ulrich Beck, Robert Glasser, Sunita Narain and Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber. Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, German minister for economic cooperation and development, will welcome the guests. Read more about the event and register here.
Councillor Prabhu Guptara
March 28-30, 2009:
Future Finance Commission going public

The WFC intensifies its Future Finance programme: in early March, the WFC will present the first draft of a position paper to be published and sent to parliamentarians and other target groups before the G20 meeting on the financial crisis in April. In order to widen the perspective of the statement and to utilise the Council’s diversified expertise, all Councillors are invited to participate and send their proposals on how to change the current financial system. The Commission will come together in Egypt shortly before the G20 meeting, from March 28 to 30.
To read about all upcoming WFC-events, click here. To learn more about the WFC and WFC projects, visit our website at
Top events in the last weeks
WFC Councillor Nicholas Dunlop and Dirk Hendricks in front of a mirror at Solucar PS10 close to Seville
January 28-30, 2009:
Sun Seekers - with EU Parliamentarians on a Solar Fact Finding Mission in Spain

Following the activities of the WFC-administered European parliamentary group on Supergrid issues, five Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) went on an excursion to Spanish solar thermal plants to discuss the potential of concentrated solar power within a supergrid concept with experts and representatives of the renewable energy industry.
The group was accompanied by WFC Councillor Nick Dunlop and the Director of the WFC EU Liaison Office Dirk Hendricks who co-organised the trip together with the offices of Rebecca Harms (MEP, The Greens/EFA) and ESTELA.
The MEPs visited four 50 MW solar thermal power stations. Fascinated by the functioning of the solar plants, MEPs Avril Doyle (Ireland, European People’s Party), Rebecca Harms (Germany, Greens/European Free Alliance), Sirpa Pietikainen (Finland, European People’s Party), Francisca Pleguezuelos (Spain, Socialist Party) and Pilar Ayuso (Spain, European People’s Party) agreed on further activities to promote the supergrid idea in Europe.
February 3, 2009:
Successful Workshop on Feed-In Tariffs in Florida

On February 3rd in Tallahassee, the World Future Council co-sponsored a feed-in tariff workshop that was organized by the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy (FARE) - more than 250 people participated. Randy Hayes represented the WFC at the event. Executives from Q-Cells, Phoenix Solar, Solar World and SMA stressed the direct correlation between job creation and the implementation of a feed-in tariff policy mechanism in Germany and throughout Europe. Florida is currently one of ten states to consider such a mechanism, which goes by many names such as Renewable Energy Payments, Feed-in Tariffs and Renewable Energy Dividends. The conference also had a special focus on Gainesville, Florida, the first municipality in the United States that introduced a feed-in tariff policy structure.
PACT - the WFC Online Tool-Kit for Feed-In Tariffs
WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull
February 6-8, 2009:
WFC Councillors Count von Sponeck, Prof. Dürr and WFC Founder von Uexkull at International Munich Peace Conference

WFC Councillors Count Hans-Christof von Sponeck and Prof. Hans Peter Dürr were the patrons of this year’s International Munich Peace Conference. The conference on “Global threats for peace – civil answers“ took place from February 6-8. Traditionally, it is conceived as a counterpart to the Munich Security Conference. WFC Founder Jakob von Uexkull gave a keynote speech at the Peace Conference, highlighting that creating a sustainable and peaceful world needs the commitment of all citizens. You can read his speech (in German) here.
February 23-25, 2009:
Global Leaders Congress 2009 - From Crisis to a Just and Sustainable World Economy

Bianca Jagger, Chair of the World Future Council, spoke at this year’s "The Rights and Humanity: Emergency Congress" in London, where leaders from the public, private and civil society sectors met. They developed guiding principles for building sustainable financial institutions and a new global economic paradigm giving equal importance to economic stability, social justice and environmental responsibility. WFC Campaign Manager Dr. Maja Göpel was a member of the drafting group which produced recommendations of the congress to be fed into the G20 reform process prior to the meeting in London on 2 April 2009.
To read about all recent WFC-events, click here. To learn more about the WFC and WFC projects, visit our website at
How to support us
To successfully continue its work, the World Future Council depends on partners and people willing to support its projects. If you are interested, please contact the World Future Council’s Director of Donor Relations, Lars Knöpke. You can read more about ways to support us here.

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Contact: World Future Council, P.O. Box 11 01 53, D-20401 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49 (0)40-30 70 914-0

The WFC gratefully acknowledges funding from the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Dr. Michael Otto/otto GmbH and Co. KG, GLS Bank, Foundation Third Millennium, Schweisfurth Foundation, and our other generous donors.