International summits do not necessarily have the dramatic intensity to satisfy our appetite for spectacle. However, they do serve an important function for the dissemination of ideas which goes beyond appearances. This will certainly be the case with Rio +20.
Tolstoy's little-known short novel, Master and Man, holds the analogical key to resolving a critical issue of global economic justice. Tolstoy was regarded as a prophet in his own time, so why not in ours, too?
The U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio can be the take-off for the next industrial revolution driven by business and civil society. The conference can mark a change in leadership from a political top down process to a bottom up movement.
National governments have already agreed to hundreds of commitments to protect the environment and achieve a more sustainable future, yet many have deliver real change on the ground. The degradation of our planet continues.
Will this turn out to be another "Copenhagen moment" for the climate movement? With record levels of carbon emissions creating fears of increased warming, it's certain Rio +20 will present a moment for decisive action.