In May of 2014, a seven-person delegation of Network 20/20 members traveled to Iran at the invitation of the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), a think-tank associated with Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The delegation met with government officials, academics, artists, entrepreneurs, members of the media, nonprofit leaders, scientists and others, both formally and informally. The aim of the visit was to improve communications among emerging leaders in Iran and the United States, and to identify areas for future collaboration.
One theme that emerged was the threat of climate change and the extent of environmental degradation occurring within Iran’s borders and throughout the region. Representatives from Iran’s Department of Environment recommended specific areas – air pollution, water management, and desertification -- as areas where they would like to work with experts from the United States in an urgent effort to mitigate these environmental threats. Network 20/20 was asked to play a catalytic role in setting up an exploratory meeting between Iranian and American environmentalists, a role Network 20/20 plans to move forward with once sanctions against doing so are lifted.
Two short reports resulted from the visit to Iran: Iran’s Next Green Revolution: Turning Catastrophe into Collaboration; and Iran Remembers “Made in USA”: What if Sanctions were Suspended or Eliminated? Both reports were widely disseminated and well received.