Now is the time to create the future that we choose for the world. As we stand in 2012, many of the ideologies running our world systems have failed. Some of us fear there is no other belief system that has enough strength behind it to succeed. Yet, we have a plethora of solutions and ideas amongst us that could lead to a brighter future, argues Think Act Vote in their book 'The Future We Choose'.
In the UK today, less than one per cent of the electorate belongs to a political party. So how are the other ninety-nine per cent expressing their values and shaping their future lives and communities?
Like the majority, I am not a member of a political party, although I have spent many weekends at political conferences trying to be part of that conversation. The one per cent speak a very particular language, and it is one that many people I know find intimidating, aggressive or disingenuous. When you think about what an election is, on a simple level it is an opportunity for each of us to express our view on the future we choose. But elections are not so frequent and democracy has to mean more than putting an X on a ballot paper. So where is the conversation for the other ninety-nine per cent?
For the past two and a half years, I have been asking thousands of people to share their visions of the world that they want to live in and their ideas of how to create it through my work with the radical think tank I founded, Think Act vote. Our new book, 'The Future We Choose' brings together over 200 forward thinking voices, from the general public mixed in with those well known, from fashion designers to historians, campaigners to presenters. The book revolves around 'The Futures Interview', which also asks for a Future Soundtrack and five all time favourite weblinks. We did this to create a new conversation around democracy and how we create the future we choose.
'An idea that could send a transforming fire to the future.' says Author and Poet Ben Okri in support of the book.
The Future We Choose features contributors including Wayne Hemingway, June Sarpong, Kriss Akabusi, Katharine Hamnett, Lynne Franks and Dan Snow sharing their answers to these questions. It is a personal, political exploration of what we value, and how we can live these values in our every day lives. It aims to provide a space for the reader to stop, think about the world they choose to live in and how we then create it. Input was gathered from music festivals, social media and the corridors of parliament. The forward is written by James Parr, setting us a challenge for 2012. It ends with an afterword by campaigner and activist Sam Roddick, who poignantly encourages us to believe that anything is possible.
The project began with a fashion design competition back in 2010 in the run up to the UK general election. I thought: If politics were a fashion brand, you wouldn't wear it. So wanted to use creativity to create a community around the choices we make for our future.
The book was previewed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during the Rio+20 Earth Summit with an event at the Hub Culture Pavilion. Being in Rio at this time made it clearer than ever that it is us as individuals and communities that need to lead the positive change, we can't rely on governments to look after our future especially in terms of sustainability. And we know that we can't rely on corporations. That leaves us, and we know that how each one of us lives makes a difference to the future. Let's have the courage to live by our values and create the future that we choose for the world.
In the UK, we launch the book officially on Wednesday 25th July with an event at The Arch Gallery in East London. This will bring together many of the contributors for an afternoon of talks, workshops and live music. You can follow this event with #TFWC
The Future We Choose is supported by a variety of people including Tim Smit from The Eden Project who said, "I feel a new form of democracy stirring and it is exciting and vital. Go make a difference I say. Read this book and start now."
Attend the London launch event - Think Act Vote presents The Future We Choose \\ Pop Up Radical Think Tank and Book Launch Party
Order your copy of The Future We Choose - A Collection From Think Act Vote, here.
Follow Amisha Ghadiali on Twitter: www.twitter.com/amishaghadiali