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"Sustainability requires that decisions be made - not in the distant future, but now."

Marlehn Thieme, Chairwoman of the Council

Facing Sustainability Award (2005)

How do people who care about sustainability look like? This was the question of this year’s annual communication project of the German Council for Sustainable Development. Every participant could take part with photos of a friend who works for human rights, or the neighbour who works on an organic farmyard, the professor who carried out exciting research projects on relevant topics or the politician who takes the fight against poverty and the protection of the environment seriously even when it is not the run-up to an election.

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Facing Sustainability Award

Photos – People – Stories of Sustainability

What do people who care about sustainability look like? This was the question of this year’s annual communication project of the German Council for Sustainable Development. Every participant could take part with photos of a friend who works for human rights, or the neighbour who works on an organic farmyard, the professor who carried out exciting research projects on relevant topics or the politician who takes the fight against poverty and the protection of the environment seriously even when it is not the run-up to an election.

Up to three photos could be sent in. Portrait photos or close-ups, but they could be accompanied by photos of objects or landscapes which have a direct link to the person portrayed. The different aspects of sustainability should be illustrated by showing the people who are working for a fairer future.

Just as important as the photo was the story of the people telling, how they are active for sustainability in economic affairs, social concerns or the environment.

In this international foto competition amateur and professional photographers of all ages have been invited to submit entries. 197 participants followed the call. 450 fotos have been sent – among these have been a surprisingly high proportion from foreign contries.

The German Council for Sustainable Development published a postcard book with twelve of the entries. The postcard book can be purchased for free via info@nachhaltigkeitsrat.de.

At the annual conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development on 6 September 2005 in Berlin there was released an exhibition with a choice of the 27 best works. The winners of the prizes of Jury as well as the public prize have been celebrated in the Facing Sustainability Award Ceremony.

For the Award Ceremony the Council has ventured an experiment. Forty pupils, mostly without any dance experience, developped together with the choreographer Volker Eisenach a production of the four winner fotos. Four weeks in advance, the pupils of Anna-Siemsen-School and Kepler-School from Berlin-Neukölln have been informed about the idea. What has been created, was an overwhelming production that was highly valued by the about 1.000 participants of the annual congress in standing ovations.

The choreographer Volker Eisenach is leader of the Faster Than Light Dance Company Berlin and known through the projects Education@Bphil of the Berliner Philharmoniker and the documentary „Rhythm is it“.

The project showed that education for sustainable development can be realized besides accurately defined syllabies and established methods.

The “Facing Sustainability Award“ was a contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and was organised in cooperation with the BLK Transfer-21 Programme.

Media partner of the competition was National Geographic Germany.

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