For inspiration – A story from 2030 – Phoebe Tickell

This is from the excellent Rob Hopkins podcast From What if to what next – Episode 69 – “What if every institution ran imagination activist training?”

Phoebe Tickell, of Moral Imaginations, author of imagination training, describes what she finds in 2030:

Well, I just decided to walk back from Camden Town towards Camden Council, where I look up at what used to be the huge and dominating Google building, and I look at the Camden’s People’s Republic. The ex-Google building is full of local residents and amazing how in 2025, Google talked to all of their employees and the employees started to realize that their real role in life was not to gather all the imagination resource and spend it on profit but actually to decentralize it and distribute it and share it with the community. And so now you have all of the ex-global employees supporting residents of all ages, you’ve got children, you’ve got elderly people being supported both by Camden Council staff, but by these ex-Google employees too.

So imagination is now at the heart of Camden Council. And there was a big collective decision to redistribute what we called the imagination resources of Camden and put them into the hands of the residents. And as I walk along the canal, I hear the unfamiliar sound of otters as they’ve been reintroduced back into the canal. Just looking about you can see a huge amount of greenery. And we stop for a second because it’s time for the daily period of silence, where we let the more than human world take over and we can hear bird song and we can hear all sorts of sounds of creatures that are slowly being reintroduced into the rewilding of Camden. When we think back to 2022 we didn’t realize it but actually the air used to be quite polluted. And so now, you know, we can see much further, and we can see buildings far, far away, we can see into the distance and we didn’t even realize what we were missing out on. But now the air has got this kind of glittering clearness and clarity and it’s just wonderful.

In the central plaza we just look here to the right we can see here a group of people who are mid-Citizen’s Assembly. They are gesturing towards imagined futures and making decisions together about what the future of Camden should be. I still remember in 2027 when we abolished the old party politics and turned everything into a local democratic system, such a radical, radical moment to remember.

And I just love when I walk past these Citizen’s Assemblies, I love hearing the diversity of voices of all people of all ages, different cultures, everybody has got space and a place at the table to debate the future and to make decisions together.

Camden is a wonderful safe place to be, flourishing, and full of creativity and life.

Photo credit: Camden Lock: 5477687 from Pixabay; Beech trees and sunset: @beatricegroves1

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