This profile was prepared when Rubens Born was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Under the aegis of the Vitae Civilis Institute for Development, Environment and Peace (VCIDEP), an organization that he founded in 1989, Rubens is forging a broad and diverse array of civil society organizations into networks and coalitions that increasingly influence environmental and development policies at regional, national, and international levels. Focusing on issues with important global dimensions, such as water management, the conservation and sustainable use of forest resources, and climate change/global warming, the institute is engaged in several mutually supportive activities. With the aim of strengthening the management of participating organizations and empowering their memberships, VCIDEP organizes seminars and workshops on such topics as strategic planning processes and human resource development and produces videos, books, and pamphlets for use in public education activities. In order to help the leaders and members of partner institutions keep abreast of relevant developments at the national and international levels, it sponsors symposia on important policy initiatives of the Brazilian government and on the state of play of international negotiations on global environmental issues. It also hosts cross-sector dialogues in which representatives of civil society organizations work with their private and public sector counterparts in devising joint efforts to address pressing environmental concerns.