The future needs… us

When imagining what could enable and ensure a sustainable future, the debate often gets bogged down into who has more responsibility? Some say that governments should be regulating more. Others say they should be regulating less. Consumers need to step up and demand more. But corporates should be doing the right thing and offering sustainable products as standard…

My vision of a sustainable future, is where all these institutions, organisations and communities are conscious of how they are a part of nature and society, their place in this complex system and how they impact upon it. Every party will bear responsibility. Every organisation will be complicit. No institution will do it alone.

But organisations and institutions are not enough.

A sustainable future will be enabled by the individuals, the people.

The future will have people that share a concern for our common future rather than a narrow concern for the present and just their own world. They will be able to think in systems, seeing the links between different parts of society and impacts, and understand the best levers to create change. They will be intelligent but also, just as importantly, emotionally intelligent and able to empathise with others. They will value diversity, have a sense of justice for others and for nature. The will be connected to nature and find inspiration and innovation in it. They will have a purpose and long-term vision of the future that they hold true to.

The future will have people who challenge systems and wonder at the needless waste being created, but also who have the guts to step up and try to do things in a different way.

The future will have people that take a pragmatic approach to life; that appreciates what life offers and ensures it is not taken for granted.

The future will have people that can create stories and romance around nature and how we connect. Their prose will continue to convince us of the importance of this connection.

The future will have people that work in corporates to hold that long term vision, and ensure decisions consider society and the environment.

The future will have people that dedicate themselves to motivating and inspiring others.

The future will have people who know how to overcome barriers and will never let their commitment sway.

The future will have people that steer business to have a purpose that solves environmental problems or lifts society up.

The future will have people that see the wonder in those that others overlook, that speak up and share that magic.

The future will have people that bring energy and enthusiasm to any challenge and smiles at adversity as a sustainable future needs positivity.

The future will have people that can see both sides of the story, and bring together a creativeness, humbleness with intelligence to be able to work towards mutually beneficial solutions.

The future will have people that are talented engineers that can work across borders, with a perspective on the world that is matter-of-fact yet optimistic and a strong will to achieve the change we need.

The future will have people that have a huge heart, that understand the challenges the world faces and the levers to change it.

The future will have people that bring a playfulness and humour, with a light step to guide us forwards.

The future will have people that can bridge countries and cultures and plan for a future that will be safer and more inclusive.

The future will have people that work tirelessly for equity, speaking for those who don’t have a voice and inspiring others to care.

The future will have people who are tenacious and will make sacrifices to transition a world to sustainability, throughout and despite all the politics.

The future will have people that are kind, ethical, hardworking and creative.

The future will have people that will connect communities back to nature and food with respect.

The future will have people that can inspire others to do something meaningful that connects their value to our society.

The future will have people that will make the natural, the simple and the ordinary — extraordinary, moving people’s hearts and minds.

The future will have people that do what they do and do it well, but they also do it for good.

The future will have people that are empathetic, emotionally intelligent and care about others and the greater good.

The future will have people that have strong morals and the bravery to live by them.

… luckily, I know many of these people already…

This is the Centre for Sustainability Leadership alumni from 2016. Now called Future Makers. http://csl.org.au/ I studied with this amazing group of people for 8 months. I was inspired, challenged, and reinvigorated and so glad to be a part of this tribe. If you;re in Australia I recommend this course — more aptly known as a life changing programme.