Want to know what influential young leaders are thinking about the problem of climate change? I did, and was fortunate to be tapped as a consultant for the Future Influencers community; an exclusive think tank of young decision makers dedicated to tackling the problems of global sustainability. Initiated and supported by Siemens, the social media-savvy Future Influencers debated the future of energy in the run-up to the COP18 UN Climate Conference which starts this week in Doha, Qatar.
Perhaps not surprisingly, their discussions have gravitated to how the Internet and social media can be used to influence policy and drive the quickened uptake of climate best practices globally. While the Internet has created an enormous archive of information about climate science, policies and impacts, we've learned that more data does not always lead to more action.
Net-natives like the Influencers see the Web as more than just a data bank. It can be a platform for connection and collaboration that can inspire action -- and maybe even a movement -- to overcome the international political logjam that has prevented the adoption of needed climate policies by governments around the world.
But success, according to the Influencers, will not come from millions "friending" some moniker like #EnergyRevolution. Real power lies in leveraging the virtual world to drive real-world events that bring people together in the flesh. It is this person-to-person interaction that fosters the inspiration and shared purpose that can then be sustained online.
The Influencers will be presenting their findings during the UN Climate Conference at the Climate Action Sustainable Innovation Forum. You can join through a live Harvard Business Review Webinar, where the Future Influencers presentation will be made available direct from Doha, Qatar. Hopefully the UN Climate negotiators will tune in.