sarahkeenihan

Day 116. The future

In December 2012 on December 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm

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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]

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