Can a 6 Minute Speech Change the World…Again?

If you search for “United Nations” in YouTube, the most viewed item is not a speech by President Obama or Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, or a PSA by Ban Ki Moon or UNICEF. Rather, it’s this 6 minute address to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, delivered in 1992 by a 12 year old Canadian named Severn Cullis-Suzuki. Her speech framed the challenges and stakes in the kind of moving way that no head of state could possibly achieve.

In less than one month, heads of state, civil society will meet for a 20 year update to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, otherwise known as Rio+20. Ground Zero for civil society and global participation at Rio+20 will be the Rio+Social conference on June 19.

The organizers of Rio+Social are asking folks to help build the speech with a tweet, facebook post, video or photograph, along any theme of sustainable development that addresses the theme “The Future We Want.”  Some of the selected contributions will be mashed-up in a crowd sourced six minute video that will be shown at the Rio+Social summit.  Here are details about the project:

As part of the lead-up to the June 19 meetings of Rio+Social, the 6-Minute Speech Project welcomes worldwide participation, so everyone can be heard as part of the Rio+20 dialogue. Global citizens are invited to contribute to the 6-Minute Speech by incorporating one of the following hashtags into their posts across multiple social media channels: # RIOPLUSENERGY; #RIOPLUSFOOD; #RIOPLUSCITIES; #RIOPLUSWATER; #RIOPLUSWORK; #RIOPLUSOCEANS; #RIOPLUS6mins; #RIOPLUSWOMEN; #RIOPLUSSOCIAL.

Contributions will be accepted from May 30, 2012, to June 10, 2012 and then compiled into a unique, crowdsourced speech that will help redefine “The Future We Want” and how we can achieve it. To participate in and learn more about the 6-Minure Speech Project, visit

Within Brazil, the 6-Minute Speech Project is implemented locally as part of a partnership with the Abril Group’s Planeta Sustentável and MTV Brasil. Brazilian contributions will be automatically entered in the worldwide pool of contributions for the 6-Minute Speech, and MTV Brasil will choose one person to participate in-person at Rio+Social.

The completed speech will be revealed for the first time at Rio+Social, an innovative partnership with the United Nations Foundation, Mashable, 92nd Street Y, Ericsson, EDP, LiveAD, Planeta Sustentável, and the Abril Group. Rio+Social is a groundbreaking event that opens the Rio+20 conversation to everyone through the nexus of social media, technology, and sustainable development.

Submissions will be storified for all to see.  Get your submissions in now!