How we’ll transform more stories into action

Sensemaking / How we’ll transform more stories into action

Anna Simpson, Editor of Green Futures, explains why we are seizing a new opportunity to connect future shapers across the world with crucial information about change.

By Anna Simpson / 17 Jul 2014

“Change is the only constant in life.” So said Heraclitus, some 2,500 years ago. And yet change is also a stubborn mule, as failures to set and meet much-needed global carbon reduction targets show. For 18 years, Green Futures has sought to inspire change by showcasing innovations for a sustainable future and leading the debate on best practice to take us there. And with some success!

In April this year, for instance, we featured the transformation of the Estero de Paco canal in Manila, thanks to a collaboration involving Filipino organisations and the Scottish solutions provider Biomatrix. We published a beautiful double-page photo of the project on the magazine’s centre spread. In May, I received an email from a board member of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, telling me that they were keen to use a similar approach in Mumbai, where slums border the mudflats.

This is just one example. Our July 2013 cover feature ‘Global land plan’, inspired a member of the Sustainable Sourcing Advisory Board for one multinational to pick up the phone to a Forum sustainability advisor to discuss the need for a global governance system for all land-using sectors, and the limitations of commodity-specific certification schemes.

Each time I hear such anecdotes, the gratification I feel is mixed with a slightly frustrated sense of urgency. Our extensive collection of sustainable solutions, alongside analysis of the routes to scale, seems to me a powerhouse of relatively untapped potential.

Now, we have the opportunity to transform it into a valuable online resource. In collaboration with Forum’s forthcoming Futures Centre, headquartered in Singapore, we are building a vibrant online platform to connect future shapers around the world with crucial information about change. We will delve into complex topics, bringing together communities to discuss the challenges, the solutions and, crucially, what to do about them.

In January, we will launch this platform together with the first annual edition of a new Green Futures Compendium. This will be a collector’s item, a stunning publication designed to tell you how the greatest changes each year have transformed the future.

There’s a section in the July edition of Green Futures – which is the last as our readers know it – dedicated to celebrating its achievements and the change we’ve witnessed over its lifetime. Since the first edition in 1996, global communities of sustainability practitioners have emerged. More than ever before, governments and business strategists the world over recognise the importance of thinking long-term and integrating sustainability into decision-making.

Our mission, as part of the Futures Centre, is to be the interface between a sustainable future and the people who can build it. We hope you’ll join us on the journey.

You can read more about our new direction here.

Photo credit: Galen Fulford Biomatrix Water

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