This report captures the main outcomes of the Earth System Governance Hakone Vision Factory, held 27-29 September 2011, in Hakone, Kanagawa, Japan. 

The issues and political dynamics in the 21st century are different from those in 1945 when the institutions in the United Nations were founded. Today’s problems are characterized by temporal, spatial, and sectoral interdependencies, complexity, as well as uncertainty. While incremental changes have enabled certain progress towards sustainability, the current system governing sustainable development is no longer sufficient given the number, impact, interdependence and complexity of problems associated with global change. Governance for sustainability requires transformative reforms with clear vision. The 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) could be a charter moment—the beginning of a reform process leading to transformative change of sustainability governance.

The Hakone Vision Factory proposes principles and recommendations to guide this transformation clustered around three interrelated issues: Aspirations, Actors, and Architecture.

This report is a key product of the Earth System Governance Project’s initiative on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development and International Environmental Governance contributing to the process leading to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) – www.ieg.earthsystemgovernance.org.