The Elders
Desmond Tutu

Dear friends,

I’m writing to let you know of an important new project of ours that has just begun. It is called 'Elders+Youngers' – and we would like you to be part of it.

Over the coming weeks my fellow Elders Gro Brundtland, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Mary Robinson and I are hosting an online, global debate with four ‘Youngers’ – Esther, Marvin, Pedro and Sara – a fantastic bunch of young activists from Nigeria, China, Brazil and Sweden.

We are debating the very future of our planet. What kind of world do we want for our great-great-grandchildren?

Many of you will remember the first Earth Summit in Rio precisely 20 years ago, when a new idea, ‘sustainable development’, echoed around the world. Like all great moments in history, it carried a simple call: for a new global system that serves both planet and people.

Since that moment, however, too little has changed.

In five weeks’ time world leaders will once again meet in Brazil for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

It is, without a doubt, the most important meeting of world leaders this year.

We want to make sure the voices of future generations – those that will inherit this planet – as well as all global citizens, are heard loud and clear.

So, in the weeks preceding the conference, we Elders and 'Youngers' are debating some of the most urgent issues facing humankind today – and looking for possible solutions.

We want to hear from you too. Can we find a way for every one of us to enjoy the fruits of this bountiful world we share – in a way that also guarantees the well-being of the generations to come?

Join us to define a common future: world leaders in Rio must hear that the time has come for change.


Much love and blessings,

Desmond Tutu

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Join the debate

Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu leads the latest discussion: 'Is sustainable development a luxury we cannot afford?'

Gro Brundtland and Pedro Telles

Join Gro and Pedro as they debate: 'People, profit, environment – can we balance them all?'


Join the discussion on Facebook


Tweet @TheElders using the hashtag #EplusY


Meet the Youngers

Sara Marvin

BLOG: Meet the Youngers: Sara

VIDEO: Meet the Youngers: Introducing Marvin

Esther Pedro

VIDEO: Meet the Youngers: Introducing Esther

BLOG: Meet the Youngers: Pedro