A REALISTIC AND OPTIMISTIC
VISION OF WHAT THE
WORLD CAN BE
Most days we are bombarded with dystopian visions of future calamity through the media and general conversation. The unprecedented pace of anthropogenic change certainly does raise valid and vital concerns about the future of our planet. But if we simply continue on the paths we are on, such visions run the real risk of becoming self-fulfilling.
People choose their actions based on their view of society and their expectation of the future. If our only views are negative, we’re likely to steer towards a negative future.
We need stories about the future that paint a realistic and optimistic vision of what the world can be.
A good Anthropocene is likely to be radically different from the world of today, involving fundamental change in human-environment relationships, changes in values, cultures, worldviews, and even the power and gender relations influencing social norms and behaviour. But envisioning a future so different from the world of today, while obviously appealing, is also incredibly difficult.
We aim to help the global community develop inspirational visions and stories, with the potential to be key components of transformations to sustainability, helping to shape the very reality that they forecast. We do this by looking to the emergence of new thinking, innovative ways of living, and different means to connect people and nature that already exist.
As threats to society and nature are highlighted, many people are increasingly engaging in strategies to create a more just, prosperous, and ecologically diverse world – what we call a “good Anthropocene”. We propose that we can develop better scenarios by starting with those emerging innovative ideas, ways of living, and transformational projects. We call such concepts Seeds of Good Anthropocenes.
In this project, we are:
Collecting seeds of Good Anthropocenes
To date, we’ve collected over 500 such seeds. We house information about them in a database that includes information we need to understand how seeds are established, grow, spread, or inspire change elsewhere.
Using Seeds of Good Anthropocenes to develop novel, radical, and realistic positive scenarios for the future
We imagine how a handful of Seeds might together face critical challenges of the Anthropocene and thrive. Because the Seeds are diverse, scenarios created from them more easily represent a diversity of views of what a Good Anthropocene might mean and a diversity of pathways to get there. And because the method starts from small changes of today, we can better think through the pathway of change needed to reach a desirable future, including what needs to be amplified for the seeds to grow, and which aspects of the world of today need to be diminished or even destroyed to make new growth possible.
Using Seeds of Good Anthropocenes to learn about how transformation happens in different ways around the planet
With a diverse database of information on over 500 seeds, we are uniquely placed to study transformation in a way that goes beyond case studies to understand the patterns behind transformative projects and ideas.