SOLUTION AREA

Imagining futures

By imagining desirable sustainable futures, we can create pathways for transitioning to more healthy, just and joyful lives. Yet, positive imaginative visions of sustainable living are lacking. We need to be inspired and delighted by alternatives that are different from our present and that are also strategic and smart. Through foresight, we can be empowered to act in the face of uncertainty.

The power of foresight

Imagining sustainable futures is a powerful catalyst for transformative change and for creating the world we want to live in. Visions of futures are deeply contested, reflecting competition over differing narratives of what’s possible, and thus are an arena where our imaginations are shaped. Unfortunately most current visions and scenarios of sustainable futures are technology-focused, dystopic or expert driven. They fail to reflect varieties of possible futures and to inspire broad-based action.

A wider palette of possibilities is needed that understands the political economy of sustainability transitions that reflects knowledge from disciplines and practices that contribute to sustainable living.

This includes visions by artists and community builders, as well as those engaged in non-monetary but regenerative practices. The capacity for foresight is critical, particularly in times of uncertainty and change.

Compelling visions of alternative ways of living can draw as much from traditional knowledge and indigenous practices as from new scenarios of possible future everyday lives. Many people live lives today within the Earth’s ecological means and provide compelling examples of how to live sustainably. By imagining desirable sustainable futures, we can create pathways for transitioning to more healthy, just and joyful lives.

A key Beacon partner in this solution area is the Global Action Plan UK.

Find out more in this Beacon briefing on Imagining Futures – coming soon! Fall 2020.

The Beacon is led by One Earth and Hot or Cool, with generous support from the KR Foundation