When a group called The World Future Council -- doesn't that name just beg to be capitalized? THE WORLD FUTURE COUNCIL! There, I feel better already -- releases a report called Policies to Change the World and it winds up in your possession, you really only have two responses: assume that the nut-jobs have your home address and it's time to move again, or assume that this is an important document worth examining.
In this case, the second approach would be the right one.The World Future Council is actually a serious group packed full of gravitas and the grey eminences of the sustainability movement. I had the pleasure of dining with co-founder Herbert Girardet at Balaton, and he's a brilliant guy full of interesting ideas, with a very long track record of helping to imagine urban sustainability.
The Policies report, edited by Miguel Mendonca, is a tour through some of the most archetypically successful sustainability and social change policies. Here you'll find information about Danish wind policies, urban agriculture, participatory budgeting, Barcelona's solar laws, congestion taxes, Bogota's transportation innovations and the movement to ban land mines. It's like a reunion of some of Worldchanging's favorite ideas.
But it's more than that. We here at Worldchanging aim at sharing the essence of solutions, we hope in such a way that it inspires you to learn more, adopt the solution in some way or apply similar ideas in your own field. We aim to inform your thinking.
Policies, on the other hand, is all about practice: how does the thing actually work? How could it be implemented? It's a policy report, with everything that implies: footnotes, charts, background notes, discussion of outcomes and phrases like "general awareness-raising benefits."
This is an extremely useful thing to be. We need a lot more of this work done. Policies makes a huge contribution to the debate about how to build a better future.
You can download a PDF of the report here. If you're interested in how things work on the ground, it's really worth a look. We look forward to the The World Future Council's next efforts.
It seems that big problems are getting bigger;that we need to focus on local issues, local concerns, and local utopian enactments. It is true, as the WFC document states, that CFCs were eradicated via international agreement - but is seems less likely this time. Would we be better off telling people how to make hemp life jackets? Carbon is not being sequestered, and the forests are becoming, rapidly, history.