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Nature
Sustainable Development

thecamp – A Laboratory for a Sustainable World?

Twenty years after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, in June, 2012, the United Nations organized the Rio+20 international conference, with the aim of reviving international commitment to sustainable development, in particular in the areas of environmental degradation and world poverty.

Despite efforts to increase awareness among the general public, businesses and local government, the environmental indicators speak for themselves: the results are alarming. Greenhouse gas emissions have never been at a higher level, the loss of biodiversity continues and the deteriorating state of agricultural land is a threat to world food security in the medium term. We are a long way therefore from a green and fair economic model. In the run-up to the international conference, the Nicolas Hulot Foundation declared in one of its reports that, "With a chaotic contractual base and around 450 multilateral agreements on the environment (…) governance of the environment lacks efficacy."

After the Rio Agreement in 1992, there was a long-held belief that shaming consumers would be sufficient to make them reduce their energy consumption. In fact, back in those days, any discussion of energy issues was accompanied by the compulsory images of pollution from gas-spewing power plants and smoky automobile exhausts. Another dozen or so years would pass before it was realized that shaming (and its corollary "awareness") was not enough if energy efficiency was to be fully implemented.

At the same time, digital technologies were opening a new age in human history. Information and communications technology radically changed people's lives but also the way businesses and government functioned. Thanks to increasingly miniaturized and cheaper electronics, almost any object today can become connected. Our daily lives are proof of it: anyone with a smartphone and an app can reserve a table at a restaurant or call a cab that will come to pick them up where they are thanks to its geolocation system. The development of big data has allowed us to move from the Internet of data to the Internet of things and to begin to imagine the Internet of living beings.

In such a context, the processes of creativity and innovation, and the places they take place in, are increasingly diverse and ubiquitous. We are at the dawn of a new era for society, one in which the economy could be at the service of sustainable development.

If we want to overcome the challenges that this implies, we need to think and act differently. This requires disruptive ecosystems able to work on bringing about change in people and organizations. The mission of thecamp is to accompany that change and to provide the capability to create a more human and more sustainable world.

By placing sustainable development at the heart of each of its actions, thecamp shows that alternative solutions do exist and provide a different way of doing things. By inspiring the stakeholders of today and tomorrow, thecamp is enhancing economic, societal and environmental awareness.

Our actions cover three main areas:
— The offers presented and projects supported, which help the emergence of solutions having a positive impact on society;
— The "thecamp experience", which we would like to be an enhancer of awareness and of personal and collective transformation that inspires each person to become an stakeholder in change;
— The internal operations at thecamp, with uses and practices that reflect these ambitions.