Andrew Gaines

I think there is only one thing. Young people will have hope when they see that society as a whole is passionately committed to transitioning to a life-affirming global culture, rather than continuing on our present course of ecological self-destruction and societal breakdown.

How would they know that this commitment exists?

Just as in wartime everyone speaks about the war, so people everywhere would be talking about transitioning to a life-affirming global culture. Politicians would affirm this as our goal (rather than economic increase). They would justify policy decisions on the basis of their contribution to evolving a life-affirming culture. Both NGOs and businesses would frame their work as a contribution to the Great Transition to a life-affirming culture. The media would regularly report on improvements in environmental indicators (while noting how much more we have to do).

However, for the vision of transitioning to a life-affirming global culture to have practical meaning, people need to understand what is involved and how they can contribute to the transformation within their own sphere of influence. The changes needed to pull us out of our current ecological nosedive are massive. The article Understanding Whole System Change explains what is involved, and gives examples of practical action at every level from childrearing to industrial design to global governance.

How might we act to make hope realistic for young people?

By each of us communicating through our networks to inspire mainstream commitment to transitioning to a life-sustaining society… and helping people we know think through what is involved.

Each of us can do this through our own initiative. There is no need to join – or form – a massive organisation. Seeing what is needed, we can just get on with the job. Ready-to-use communication tools are at (aka Inspiring Transition).

It’s time to think big. Although none of our networks are huge in absolute terms, when we include friends, clients, business colleagues and their extended networks the combined networkof the whole environmental/progressive/consciousness movement is huge.

The ultimate test of effectiveness

Ultimately, the test is: are we living within planetary boundaries? Have we evolved a society that does its best to take care of people, communities and the environment?

If so, the question of hope would not even arise. Let’s go for it!