Alvaro Cedeno believes that social innovation can and should bypass governments to solve public woes.

Costa Rica's ambassador to Japan, Alvaro studied law at the University of Costa Rica and holds master's degrees from the University of Tromsø (Norway) and Carnegie Mellon University (Australia)—including one in peace and conflict transformation—and has published a blog on the latter since 2006.

Alvaro's current passion is to heal our planet's wounded ecology, and he's intent on implanting a green growth agenda in our minds as a comprehensive solution to climate change. Conservation, he declares, can become a source of income. Costa Rica's national business model proves that, generating greater income as its natural habitat expands, and the nation is on track to generate 95 percent of its power needs from renewable resources by 2015.

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Comment by Evan O'Neil on September 3, 2013 at 3:27pm

You should ask Cedeno directly. He seems very accessible. I tend to lean toward supply -- the ethics, and the ecology, are best baked into the pie. But you also need some basic bio-education so that people/legislators understand and enact solid environmental regulations in the first place. Together the two forces can end up working like a ratchet for society, establishing new (invisible) standards with little risk of backsliding.

Comment by Evan Berry on September 3, 2013 at 2:14pm

My question for Ambassador Alvaro concerns whether ordinary citizens have the capacity to understand and internalize the complex bio-information "behind" each and every substance and activity that shapes their daily experience. It is not that I doubt the capacity of human individuals generally, but rather that I wonder about the extent to which we can master such massive bodies of knowledge and integrate them into our everyday decisions. Are the changes we want to be driven by demand (widespread bioliteracy) or by supply (environmental regulation)? 

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