What world do you hope for?

Amid social and environmental injustice, the need for meaningful action has never been greater. Explore your own hopes and dreams for this beautiful world, and develop ideas about how you can put your values into action.

Activity: The future that I dream of

Imagine into the world you want to live in.

We live in a big and complex world that is full to the brim with wonder and love and life. Let's explore together the kind of future that we would like to inherit.

  • Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a marine biologist in the United States, asked a curious question recently: ‘What if we get this right?

    What a beautiful question! What would a world that was ‘right’ look like? Close your eyes and imagine your dream future world. One that is healthy and vibrant and abundant. A world in which everything is just and fair. Take a walk around in it. Notice city, and rural landscapes, human and wild settings. Notice what is happening for different groups of people, and for the environment.

    • What do you see in this future?

    • How is it different to the world as it currently is?

    • What would need to change?

  • You might like to draw your dreamscape with labels to explain what you dream of, and what might need to change.

    • The world that we live in is created by our shared values. Look at your dreamscape. What values would be needed in the world you imagine? Share your ideas with someone else.

    • What is within your control?

    • What can you become active about?

Sunrise in Edisto Beach, South Carolina, 2018. Photo by Drew Beamer / Unsplash

Activity: A letter to the future

Write a letter to the future and publish it for an audience.

  • In August 2022, Pirate & Queen, with The Spinoff, asked five extraordinary people to write a letter to the future and read it aloud in front of a live audience. Each of the letter writers approached the same task very, very differently. Patrick Gower, for example, wrote to the future about some of the ways in which he hoped the world would be different:

“I better make the most of this and give you a to-do list.

Can you please, please ‘Break The Internet?’

“I don’t mean ‘Break The Internet’ like the saying goes when something goes viral. I actually want you to break the internet. Like break it.

“So we have to throw it away and start over. Or properly fix it.

“I want the internet to be used for making our lives better again, not making them worse. Not spreading hate and lies that makes human nature worse than it already was. Things that are meant to take us forwards into the future should not take us backwards. So break the thing.

“And while you are breaking the internet please make it easier to send attachments and print remotely.”

Emily Writes, on the other hand, wrote a imaginative piece about community and connection, and about how in the future, when it really matters, we will all come together to support one another:

“And we called our loved ones further away and put the phone on speaker so we would all be together just one more time and we said: ‘I love you I love you I love you’.

“We slow danced for a bit and the kids – adults now – they loved it. Loved watching us. They talked about how we used to dance on each other’s feet. They lifted their kids into the air, and they screamed in delight, and we watched, and it was as if we were overflowing. As if for the first time we could see the stars.

“And we tiptoed away and whispered to our long-gone loved ones, to the sky – hey, we’re coming soon. Be ready for us please. Be gentle with us please.

“We held hands and still we weren’t afraid. We were grateful. Grateful that our love had made us a family and now we’d leave this place as a family.

“We laughed and each played a favourite song and one by one the grandkids fell asleep. And we kissed their flushed cheeks and we marvelled at their perfection, and we said things like ‘you have been the very best thing’. And our friends were with us, and we said thank you for being all that I’ve ever hoped for and needed and more and I love you, I love you, I love you.

“And we didn’t think of how there was no time left. We just thought about all the time we’d had and how lucky we were to have it.”

  • Discuss the features of both of these excerpts. What questions do you have? What do you like about each of the ways they have imagined the future? Write your own letter to the future. There are many ways to write a letter to the future, you might like to:

    • write to the future as if it was a friend, or maybe write to your own future self

    • write to the future, as if it is waiting to receive your letter right now, or you might like to imagine you are writing to someone who will read it many, many years from now

    • pretend to be someone else, or write as yourself.

  • You could write about:

    • the kind of world you hope for and the ways in which you think you will belong in it

    • the ways in which you imagine life will be different in the future

    • living in the future and writing a letter back to us, who are living in the past.

  • Begin by brainstorming ideas about what you could say to the future. Try to think of the big things and the small things – the gargantuan, planetary concerns that you might have, and the microscopic minutiae of living your life well too. Infinity and cereal choices!

  • Once you have thought of the things you could say in your letter to the future, create a plan, draft it and then edit it with a friend. You may want to:

    • publish your letter online and share it with your community

    • send it to yourself, in the future, using the ‘Schedule Send’ option on your email

    • record your letter to the future as a voice note

    • have someone video you performing your letter

    • overlay your words on top of a piece of music that you like.

  • Find an audience for your letters to the future. You may want to perform the letter live, or create an exhibition online, or in real time to share your work. Make sure you provide a way for people to let you know what they thought of your ideas.

Extra links for the extra curious

Go down amazing wormholes with this curated suite of links.