For Christmas, I want to build a better world

If only crystal balls were real. But they’re not. Crystal balls are what baddies in fairy tales use to see what’s in the future. We’re not baddies.  

And we’re not living in a fairy tale. This is real life. As the festive season edges closer (how many more sleeps?), this time of year is often about reflections. About what was and what could be.

Visions of a new era are always enlightening and can be a little bit inspiring – if you’re into that sort of thing.

We’re into that sort of thing.

The recently published Stories from 2030, is the second book in a series from the Vision 2100 Project and it’s all about visions. Written by visionaries. Eighty-two storytellers share stories of

restlessness, disruption, conflagrations, faraday tents, mythmakers, bubble-worlds, local nomads, transformation, resilience and the power of the exponential.

The Visions 2100 Project was launched at the COP21 conference in Paris in 2015 (COP stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. COPs are global climate summits convened by the United Nations). In the first instalment, Stories from your Future, the 80 contributors told of their hopes and fears for the long term. The stories were challenging, amazing and sometimes heart-warming. But ‘vision without action is merely a dream’ so the hard work of action must accelerate.

The 82 contributors to Stories from 2030 are doing the hard work. Collectively, they work on identifying risks, harnessing finance, developing or deploying solutions and driving government action. They are the people that are driving the critical actions of this decade. In their stories they address climate justice; collaboration across countries, companies and communities; adaptation of cities and economies, of ecosystems and biodiversity, of health and wellbeing. They tell what you can do to help. Contributors are from business, innovation, finance, journalism, politics, storytelling and the environment.

Stories from 2030 was launched at COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.

One of our Economic Development team members wrote her visions for each of the books. Her visions are about a world where our economy is harnessed to make change. To make things better than they were before.

Below is an extract from Stories 2030, written by Tina Perfrement, called Rebuilding a Thriving City.

It’s written from the perspective of a mother who is writing to her 23-year-old son. The year is 2030. She’s explaining the progress of economic transformation at home. Her son is working in The Hague as an intern for the United Nations.

Dear son

I have been thinking of the time, 10 years ago, when you were so cross that the ‘adults of the world’ were being so slow to act on climate change. We have taken great strides since then and now that you too are an adult, I wanted to celebrate some of that success with you and acknowledge that we still have so much more to do.

Your old hometown, Geelong, now has more than 305,000 people living here. With 10,000 of them living in the centre of the city. Trees cover a quarter of the land Geelong sits on and the centre of the city is becoming an urban forest. Twenty per cent of water used by our residents is recycled and creative industries make up 10 per cent of the workforce.

You’ll be pleased to hear that only electric vehicles can get roadworthy certificates and their technology is used to power our homes. Businesses producing clean technologies have grown over the last 10 years too. They are the biggest employers in Geelong and to acknowledge this we’ve established Geelong as a Cleantech Centre of excellence.

The clever and creative students at Deakin University have inspired autonomous vehicle transportation, more green spaces, and the city centre of Geelong stretching into Corio Bay, through their Vital Signs work(1). If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have so many green rooftops which will soon be accessible by new, fan dangled, commuter drones, and our Centre of Excellence would never have happened.

We’re all driving the circular economy agenda by transforming the way we do things, matching consumption with production in a regenerative, renewable and circular way. We started by applying circular economy principles to solar panels. Now these principles influence every product we buy. I’m looking forward to helping grow the emerging service economy in the future too.

My declaration to you, my son, is that we’re striving to make Geelong better than it was before. And yet, while there are miracles on all sides, we still need compliments to keep us happy. That’s OK.  Sometimes we need acknowledgement to feed our sense of self and know that we’re heading in the right direction. Celebrating how far we’ve come helps us rejuvenate and re-energise our actions.

My hope for the future, the one that you and I and our ancestors will occupy, is that we keep going. That we learn what works and pivot when it doesn’t. COVID-19 taught us that we can do hard things(2).

Tina’s Visions 2100 contribution had the same title and described a thriving Geelong in 2100. A city that is a ‘prosperous place known for its collaborative and innovative approach to economic regeneration’.

Happy festive season everyone. No matter where you are – there’s much to look forward to. In the wise words of Maya Angelou:

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.


#climateaction #cop26 #glasgow #storytelling #transformation #disruption #future #storiesfrom2030

Page last updated: Monday, 16 October 2023