Let’s make 2022 the year that we believe in flourishing futures

© Elaine France

In 2021, when I asked educators, humanitarians, business leaders and impact investors if they believed that we could make the radical changes needed to protect the planet by 2030, they said no.

They didn’t believe that we could.

That’s the IPCC Report[1] timeline, by the way.

I was shocked, because we’re supposed to be the ones who believe that we can. Surely, that’s the whole point of what we’re doing on a daily basis?

However, it’s always good to know where the great chasms are in achieving our race to zero, so that we can manage them.

At the same time, it was an epiphany moment for me, about the problem that I’ve always been ‘in-love’ with: that people don’t believe they can create flourishing futures.

“Well then,” I thought, “I need to do something about that…”, which, to be honest, feels a bit like Frodo setting off to Mordor.

My question to you is, “Do you believe that we can make the radical changes that we need to make?”

What do you hear, when you ask yourself this question?

I know that you believe the science and I know that you believe that we should, you’ve told me so; but, what about the doing of it? What’s stopping you from acting with urgency today?

If we haven’t won our own hearts and minds on believing that we can act, we won’t win the hearts and minds of the people in our communities, who want to live well, in peace. They need to know how greener futures are going to fulfil their needs for wellbeing, education and livelihoods. They want to feel safe and heard and respected.

The choice we must make — to believe — is a daily practice of learned optimism. I’ve used innovation and entrepreneurial challenges for many years now, to do that, to ignite those starting points in communities. It thrills me every time people start to believe in their ability to make change happen.

Starting now, believing that we can, has to guide us on the paths of innovation that we’re walking: our heart-felt intention in what we design, create, reform, restore, must be about flourishing as a planet and a society.

These lines from the Jena Declaration on Sustainability[2], published in 2021, capture this:

“…with our body we are ourselves an integral part of nature, and we also incorporate it into our practices in specific ways, depending on what we are doing. This premise inverts the perspective on sustainability from a nature-society opposition to a society-nature interdependent relationship.”

Believing that we can take action needs to go hand-in-hand with a recognition gained from walking into our own hearts, that all of us and all of this exquisite existence is worth saving.

I think like me, that you believe this to your core.

When we’re looking back from 2030, just 8 years away, let’s remember 2022 as the year that we empowered ourselves and our communities, to take a leap of love into being fully human in the Age of the Anthropocene; where we embraced our interdependence with nature and the planet that quite literally breathes us.

Where we recognised that we were ‘of’ it, not outside of it.

Let’s remember it as the year that we won hearts and minds for the planet because we chose to believe, in our respective professions, and engaged our communities in believing that they could create flourishing futures too.

In my heart, I believe we can. I believe 2022 has the potential to be an excellent year. A defining year. The year that changes everything.

[1] https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/#SPM

[2] https://www.thejenadeclaration.org/

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Passionate about unfolding flourishing futures through love, creativity, ideas and entrepreneurship. You can find me at https://www.flowinaction.org

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Elaine France

Elaine France

Passionate about unfolding flourishing futures through love, creativity, ideas and entrepreneurship. You can find me at https://www.flowinaction.org

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