We commission short pieces or provocations to stimulate debate, enable people to air their opinions and suggest solutions.
In response to the provocations by Peter Davies and Sándor Fülöp at the FDSD event 'A Future Generations Commissioner for the UK', Andrea Westall argues that we need to think beyond institutions in isolation. While Commissioners may have an important role to play, we need to be creative in developing governance structures that promote long-term thinking at all levels.
In this provocation, Peter Davies offers personal reflections on his role in the development of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales within the broader story of the journey of devolution – a journey that started with the duty to promote sustainable development in the initial Government of Wales Act. His role in this story begins in 2006 when he was appointed to the UK Sustainable Development Commission as Commissioner for Wales.
The imminent ecological crises and our consumer society's lack of receptivity to this bad news mean that an independent, authentic voice is needed to represent the interests of future generations. In this provocation, Sándor Fülöp draws on his experience as Hungarian Ombudsman to explain the necessity and powers of a future generations organisation.
In response to the provocations by Peter Davies and Sándor Fülöp at the FDSD event ‘A Future Generations Commissioner for the UK‘, Victor Anderson reminds us that there are a variety of approaches to safeguarding the interests of future generations. Our focus can be on any of the three different traditional branches of government in the UK: the executive, legislature, and judiciary.
The economy is an area of decision-making fiercely protected by experts and politicians from public participation. But public confidence in this closed policy community is waning and arguments for democratic participation in an area that so profoundly shapes all our lives are growing. Against this backdrop, the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) has launched an...
Charlotte Burns and Viviane Gravey argue that the EU Referendum debate in the UK has been "surprisingly quiet on the issue of the environment". They look at three options for the UK from the point of view of their impacts on participatory democracy, as well as point to the tension between participation and stable long term rules for environmental protection. They believe that the terms of the current debate are far too narrow. "National sovereignty is essentially a red herring that offers little in the way of genuine democratisation of environmental (or any other) policy area."
John Lotherington reflects on the ongoing debate about the impact of the community-led flood defences in Pickering after the town was sparred the flooding that hit large parts of northern England in late 2015.
Bronwyn Hayward argues that despite the New Zealand Government's attempts to reduce democracy after the 2010-2012 earthquakes, by suspending the Constitution and excluding local voices in decision-making, innovative citizen actions showed alternative, more imaginative and democratic responses to disaster recovery. One example is the Student Volunteer 'Army' who cleared mud and silt, and organised through Facebook.
Akiko Nanami argues that after the Fukushima tragedy, many women defied cultural expectations to protect their children, creating a women's collective movement through social media, the internet, workshops and petitions
Lori Peek draws on her work following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 where she interviewed disaster-affected children and youth across the United States. She found: "that by helping others, children and youth are able to contribute to their own recovery, as well as the recovery of those around them."