Designing the Future
On Being Human
Designing the Future
Cover: Still by Antony Gormley. Photograph: Stephen White
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Image coutesty: Our Future Planet
A co-operative global experiment to redesign civilisation.
The realities of our present world result from past events and decisions, some of which are rooted in our evolutionary history, some in day-to-day economic choices. But many of these events and decisions came to pass without the knowledge that we possess today. As a result, our societies have become unjust and our planet damaged. We live in the shadow of climate change, ecosystem deterioration, mass extinction, economic crises, immense poverty, suffering and inequality. These are the main features of human experience for most.
This world is our only and beautiful home, but many people feel that their future has been imperiled by decisions from the past that no longer apply to the present. The future is still being created by decision-making that is fixed within the competitive, industrial/military paradigm by those who have vested interests other than the common good.
So this is where you come in. As planetary citizens we can all now go beyond ‘business as usual’, by pooling our collective dreams and ideas and imagining a new kind of future. We can build it inside the existing system, using the worldwide web as the operating system, so that when the time comes for a new, truly democratic, open-source system of governance, there will be a blue-print ready and waiting.
This ideal is Our Future Planet. In this place, every person has dual citizenship: everyone is a citizen of the old, unequal, unsustainable present, but is also a citizen of a new, just, sustainable future. Every citizen of our future planet has the right, and the duty, to help design it, and to help make it real. Here, every idea is valued against the only thing that matters – the health of the future.
But this isn't a game: if everyone participates in envisioning a better world, then the old ways will become unsustainable in the knowledge of the new, and a different kind of society will grow-up within the husk of the old one.
Those involved in Our Future Planet are not activists focusing on the negative: they are trying to create a new world that embodies a positive vision of the future. Through planetary citizenship they aim to individually and collectively make that vision a reality.
There are four easy steps to becoming a citizen of the future:
1. Ensure that you are informed by recognising, understanding and taking responsibility for what’s going on in our present planet.
2. Inspire yourself and others by creating a positive vision for the future, and propose, adapt and implement ways of living that vision and co-operating with other to help achieve it
3. Connect with others who have mutual interests and complementary skills, or find people with the skills you need to develop and deliver ideas
4. Bring your thoughts to life both individually and collectively, by creating personal actions and taking part in projects to induce lasting change.
Begin now by becoming a planetary citizen.
Our Future Planet is an online community that allows you to share ideas, design your future and create global change in the real world. Join the network and become a planetary citizen at www.ourfutureplanet.org