The future. What does it look like for you?
Do you imagine you will own lighter and faster computer devices? Drive a more efficient car? See more solar panels in your neighbourhood?
Perhaps you create a mental image of your children’s children, and wonder what their lives will hold. Will my grandchildren live under warmer conditions? What will they eat? How will they communicate – will there be more to life than the latest iPhone?
When governments think about the future, they need to think about people not individually, but as a whole.
Today South Australian Minister for Science and Information Economy, Tom Kenyon launched recommendations from a report Australia’s population: shaping a vision for our future. The report stems from a two day Think Tank held in July 2012 which picked the brains of more than 60 top young researchers working in science and other fields.
“Population is a critical issue for Australia and the Think Tank identified the need for a national grass roots discussion to inform future government policy, including on productivity, diversity in education, health and wellbeing, urban planning and use of resources”
said Dr Kristin Alford, Co-Chair of the Think Tank, futurist and my previous employer at Bridge8.
Proposed topics for national discussion include:
- Addressing gender inequity in paid work and family care;
- Creating transition pathways to retirement;
- Increasing migration intake;
- Emphasising learning of languages other than English;
- Introducing a ‘health and wellness rebate’ to help with the prevention of disease;
- Reassessing priorities for end of life care;
- Leveraging high-density urban environments for transport and health benefits;
- Strengthening the railway networks;
- Making mining royalties more uniform across states; and
- Speeding uptake of renewable energies.
From my own perspective, I think all of these are important and if addressed could improve the lives of my future descendants.
The question is, will the governments listen?
[image thanks to backofthenapkin on flickr]