The Futures Project challenges Santa Cruzans to imagine just and sustainable futures for our community and beyond. The idea is to think beyond current actions and campaigns to envision the kind of world we’d like our children and grandchildren to live in. Beginning at a meeting in Sept. 1, 2016 at 7pm in the Live Oak Grange, we’ll be talking boldly about our visions for the Santa Cruz County of 2050 and then talking about what it would take to get there. Here are the slides for the short introductory talk for the Sept. 1 meeting: “Beyond climate change: visions for a just and sustainable future”.
To get things started, we’re asking people to read some of the proposals that are already emerging for these kinds of futures. A number of such ideas have been collected by the people associated with the Next System Project. Here are some interesting examples:
“The Next System Project: new political-economic possibilities for the 21st century”, Gar Alperovitz, James Gustave Speth, Joe Guinan, March, 2015.
- “Commoning as a transformative social paradigm”, David Bollier, April, 2016.
- “Toward democratic eco-socialism as the next world system”, Hans Baer, April, 2016.
Future visions are also being considered in other venues. The US-Canadian eco-socialist network System Change not Climate Change is discussing various proposals. Here are three of them.
- “Education in 2050: taking back our schools”, Sandra Lindberg, August, 2016.
- “Residential construction in 2050”, Matt Andrews, August, 2016.
- “Shorter working time changes everything”, Eugene Coyle, August, 2016.
Even more ambitiously, scholar activists at the University of California Santa Barbara are organizing a conference on “The World in 2050: Imagining and Creating Just Climate Futures”, to take place online between October 24 and November 10, 2016. From the call for proposals:
Unlike either the justifiably pessimistic critical discussions or the unrealistically optimistic policy approaches that increasingly confront (or ignore) each other around the climate crisis, this conference will depart from our present ground zero by asking participants to experiment with perspectives on the multiple possible states of the world in mid-century and work back toward the present in an attempt to imagine, envision, enable, and collaboratively find or create some of the pathways to a more just – or just less worse – outcome for humanity by 2050.
Here’s a local proposal that will be turned into a presentation for the conference (as will the proposals of Lindberg and Coyle linked above):
- “The end of property”, Michael Gasser, August, 2016.