What we saw with the Fox’s Field forest garden project, is that the power of illustration to create the future we want is no small thing.
It matters which world we think is ending, and it matters what we tell each other is worth doing in such a time.
In all the work I’ve done over the last couple of years on the importance of imagination, I keep coming back to how vitally important it is to create space for the imagination, what I call ‘What If spaces’, whether in our own lives, our organisations or our communities.
It is my belief that we will create the future we long for only because we are able to master the art of telling the most compelling stories. Stories that are delicious, irresistible, mesmerising.
What would a city where people, children, goods, tools, food and so much more are moved around the city in a fossil fuel-free way, and in a way that promotes health, clean air, and conviviality, actually sound like? I’d always wondered.
Transition Southampton used seed funding to work in three very different parts of the city. Rob Hopkins spoke to Clare, Liz and Si from the group to find out how they used enticing ‘What If?’ questions and built on existing connections to help local people imagine a different future for their neighbourhoods and what emerged from the project.
Though fictional, the book raises a very real question: Can the human capacity to imagine alternate climate futures actually help generate new, more hopeful realities?
That there’s… In my dream world just one gathering that’s only about imagination. What are we dreaming into the world? How do we imagine our work will be of service to the future?
So how can we attend to this great change that is happening among us? How can we make the birth as painless as possible? How can we ensure that the culture that results is truly healthy?
What if, as climate activists, we were to respectfully adopt that concept of “I’ve been to the future. We won” and build on it.
And so I leave Glasgow not optimistic or pessimistic, but infinitely more determined. And feeling like the power, the flow, the surge of Friday and Saturday’s tsunamis will carry us forward. I feel it at my back, I feel it in my stomach, and I will feel it forever.
We are living through the dawn of a new phase in human history. We are about to make our relationship with the Earth the most important aspect of our lives.