Intergenerational Fairness Criteria | Round Tables – London, 17 April 2019

Intergenerational Fairness Criteria Round Tables | London, 17 April 2019

Together with the FDSD, the School of International Futures (an organisation that helps policy-makers, business leaders and communities make strategic choices, manage risk and become future-ready) is hosting a Round Table on Intergenerational Fairness taking place on the afternoon of 17th April. We hope this will be the beginning of an innovative experiment towards a...

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Taking the Long View | February 2019

In this issue, we focus on the loudening call for citizens to lead a new approach to decision making that can steer our democracies towards a greener, fairer future.

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Call for applicants to join our board

FDSD is a London-based think tank that explores the critical links between flourishing democracy and sustainable development. Through research, advocacy and dialogue, we build the evidence and make the connections needed to secure fairness for all and a healthy environment, now and in the future. Trustees play an active role in the organisations’ activities, including...

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A call to do politics differently—Blog by Peter Davies

A call to do politics differently

The 2015 Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act requires public bodies in Wales to incorporate public involvement in their decision making. The explicit emphasis on engaging the public reflects the strong views expressed in the national conversation of 2014 that shaped the legislation that “a lack of engagement between the community and the decision makers resulted...

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Extinction Rebellion and democratic renewal—Blog by Graham Smith

XR and democratic renewal—blog by Graham Smith

2018 witnessed the emergence of a dynamic, new climate change movement—Extinction Rebellion (XR). The use of mass civil disobedience has a long democratic heritage and makes a significant contribution to democratic culture. But XR has other ambitions to renew democracy: one of its key demands is also democratic reform: “a national citizens’ assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.”

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Promoting public involvement in Wales | Blog by Bethan Smith

Promoting public involvement in Wales | Blog by Bethan Smith

Bethan Smith is Goal Convenor for Involvement, Office for the Future Generations Commissioner, Wales. . . . Through the 2015 Well-being of Future Generations Act, all devolved public bodies in Wales are legally required to put sustainable development first; that is, to consider the long-term impact of their decisions and “to act in a manner...

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Lord John Bird calls for Future Generations Act for the UK

At the inaugural Well-being of Future Generations Commissioner for Wales' Annual Lecture, The Big Issue founder and crossbench peer, John Bird, called for the long-term thinking approach pioneered in Wales to be rolled out across the rest of the UK. As a prominent anti-poverty campaigner and keen supporter of the work of the first Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, Lord Bird spoke about the importance of tackling today's crises, as well as working to prevent tomorrow's.

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With democracy becoming an endangered species, is sustainability in peril? | A reflection by Sara Parkin, November 2018

With democracy becoming an endangered species, is sustainability in peril? | Sara Parkin, Nov 2018

In 2008, Sara Parkin wrote a ‘provocation’ for the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development: “Are Political Parties getting in the way of the sort of collaborative democracy we need to tackle sustainability? If so, what can we do about it?” Ten years later, she revisits her thinking "in the light", she says "of the corruption of our current democratic systems".

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All parties for tomorrow: A new APPG for Future Generations

A new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Future Generations, launched in January 2018, aims to raise the profile of future generations amongst UK parliamentarians and others. . Chaired by Daniel Zeichner, MP, the new group will “​raise awareness of long-term issues, explore ways to internalise longer-term considerations into decision-making processes, and create​ ​space​ ​for​ ​cross-party dialogue​ ​on​ ​​combating​ ​short-termism​ ​​in​ ​policymaking.”

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Partnership and participation: Welsh plans reflect FDSD priorities

When the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales put out a draft strategic plan for consultation last year, FDSD submitted a response emphasising the need for effective partnership and public engagement. We are delighted to find that the newly published final plan includes a strong emphasis on both themes.

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Will the Future Blame Us? Bringing Future Generations into Today’s Politics | London, 19 April 2018

The FDSD and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries are delighted to invite you to a joint evening event on 19 April 2018 in London. Bringing together experts from the policymaking community with academics and those from the actuarial profession and elsewhere in financial services, the interactive evening will examine the potential legislative levers for encouraging the explicit consideration of intergenerational issues in policymaking, including consideration of those not yet born.

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New APPG for Cross-Party Dialogue on Future Generations

An All-Parliamentary Group for Future Generations has just been set up in the House of Commons with the aim to “raise the profile of issues affecting future generations in Parliament and explore ways to institutionalise representation of future generations.” It is chaired by Daniel Ziechner, MP.

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Harnessing democracy and engagement for sustainable prosperity

As environmental crises become ever more severe, calls for authoritarian solutions are reappearing: Democracy, so the argument goes, has proven to be too slow to respond to urgent threats. In this paper, Marit Hammond and Graham Smith respond to this charge by revisiting the role of democracy within a transition to sustainable prosperity.

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Improving data flows to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

FDSD responded to the consultation by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on their proposed approach to measuring and reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the UK. The provision of adequate data on our progress towards the SDGs (both within the UK and our impacts internationally) enables people to be able to hold Government to account, as well as to provide an information baseline and meaningful targets to inform the development of policy and practice by government, the public, civil society and business.

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Decentralised Development Cooperation—the new driver for SDG implementation

Development cooperation isn’t only a matter between national governments anymore, a recent article by Stefano Marta and Aziza Akhmouch from the OECD finds - collaboration proves to be rather successful between local and regional authorities in different countries too. The process known as “decentralized development cooperation” has become a real driver for regional self-determination and active development work – in particular with regards to the SDGs.

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Time to reach beyond the ‘elite’ | Blog by Simon Roberts

Widespread public participation is important not only for working out the best ideas to tackle complex problems or effectively implement change, but also to create agreement for major transitions in society or the economy. Simon Roberts, CEO of the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol wrote this blog earlier in 2017, summarising a longer paper that argues that otherwise populist reactions against the ‘liberal metropolitan elite’ can undermine efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

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Participation and foresight on openDemocracy

The last week of April, FDSD Trustee and Director of the School of International Futures, Cat Tully, was invited to guest edit openDemocracy on the theme “Participation and foresight – putting people at the heart of the future”.

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Audit Committee report on Government’s lack of ambition on SDGs

The House of Commons Audit Committee recently published its report Sustainable Development Goals in the UK. The Committee is critical of the Government’s lack of ambition in embedding the SDGs. Throughout the report, the Committee refers to recommendations from the evidence provided by FDSD, particularly on the need for Cabinet-level leadership, partnership working and transparent reporting.

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A Future Generations Commissioner for the UK? Watch the video!

On April 11th, FDSD, in collaboration with the the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) and the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), organised an event to discuss the potential to establish a UK-wide Commissioner for Future Generations.

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Trump, sustainable development, and the J-curve

The election of Donald Trump as President of the Unites States, and his early actions as President - so reminiscent of his reality TV performances, but now with real and potentially destructive impact – have significance for the whole world, but they are of course the latest iteration of a populist trend which has been growing across the developed world....

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Welsh Water – a different way of doing business

Peter Davies is an FDSD Trustee and Chairs Welsh Water’s Customer Challenge Group. Where I was born in Pembrokeshire in south west Wales, 61 years ago, our water came from a well. Piped water arrived only after my father dug a ¾ mile trench to connect to the mains. The majority of people around the...

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Integrated Management at local scale to achieve global Sustainable Development Goals

Dimple Roy is Director, Water, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). When it comes to safeguarding the future of our natural habitats, natural resources, livelihoods, and economies for future generations, we now have the guidance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are a set of seventeen aspirational ‘Global Goals’ aimed at ensuring all countries...

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Local authorities should involve local community groups much more in climate resilience

The Urban Heat project has released its final report highlighting the distinctive and largely untapped potential of the local voluntary and community group sector (VCS) in the developm ent of local climate resilience and emergency response. On the basis of three local participatory action research case studies, the report provides a range of ideas –...

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Taking account of intergenerational fairness | New IFoA Bulletin launched

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) has launched the first in a series of bulletins on intergenerational fairness. Focussing on the risks to financial stability posed by climate change, it seeks to raise risk awareness among decision makers of not considering long-term implications of societal, environmental and technological changes. In order “to raise the...

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Prosperity without Growth – Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow

A new edition of Prosperity Without Growth – the landmark work by Professor Tim Jackson – was launched on 19 December at the University of Surrey, at an event which also celebrated his appointment as 2016 Hillary Laureate. The publication of Prosperity without Growth in 2009 marked a critical intervention in the sustainability debate. Tim...

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Environmental Audit Committee critical of Treasury’s short-termism

Early in November, the House of Common’s Environmental Audit Committee produced a damning report on the Treasury’s influence on sustainability policy in the UK. The Audit Committee was able to marshal considerable evidence that “the Treasury has ridden roughshod over other departments’ objectives, changing and cancelling long-established environmental policies and projects at short notice with...

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Piketty’s call for a new political discourse on globalization

In a recent article for Le Monde, Thomas Piketty argues that unsustainable development – a pattern of globalization which has boosted inequality and so undermined communities and social justice as well as the environment – has brought about the recent democratic upheaval seen in the election of Donald Trump. He argues that in any trade...

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For the Next Generations | Paula Tiihonen

To mark her retirement as the Counsel for the Committe for the Future in the Finish Parliament, Paula Tiihonen brought together a group of significant thinkers and doers for an international seminar on ‘Work for the Next Generation’. A report bringing together contributions from the seminar has now been published. FDSD wishes Paula a happy...

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The courts, the government and air pollution

  This week we have seen the UK government lose twice in the courts – once on air pollution and then on Article 50 to formally start the Brexit process. While there are voices questioning why in a democracy the courts should be able to overturn government decisions, the judgement on air quality highlights the...

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Our submission to the EAC’s Global Goals in the UK inquiry

Andrea Westall is an FDSD trustee, Strategy and Policy Consultant and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Open University. In September 2016, FDSD submitted our thoughts to the UK’s Environmental Audit Committee in response to their Inquiry into the domestic implementation of The Sustainable Development Goals in the UK. We argued that the SDGs provide...

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