In 2020, Climate and Health Alliance brought together over 100 thought leaders with futures experts for a Rewrite the Future Roundtable series to discuss possible alternative futures for Australia in 2030.
The resulting scenarios (Head in the Sand, Short Memory, Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, We Can Do This, and Our Island Home) describe the future we might expect from a range of different pathways.
Guided by futures experts, and drawing on the expertise of the thought leaders, four narratives seek to answer the question/s: What will Australia look like in a decade if: there is no [policy] change; marginal change; maladaptive change; or radical transformative change?
The elements of a preferred integrated scenario were also surfaced during a process of 'backcasting', i.e. how do we get to our preferred future? This informed the development of the Healthy, Regenerative and Just policy agenda as the roadmap to the preferred future.
The development of each of the scenarios considered the different social, technological, ethical, environmental, legal, ethical, and governance issues that might arise, and each scenario is accompanied by two case studies which describe the life of someone living in that scenario in 2030.
Two publications emerged:
- Australia in 2030 - Possible alternative futures
- Healthy, Regenerative and Just - Our vision for a better future
The Australia in 2030 scenarios aim to help decision makers and the wider community better understand the consequences associated with different policy choices, and to build consensus around a shared vision for a healthy, regenerative and just future for all.
The Healthy, Regenerative and Just policy agenda outlines the pathway, and the policies, we need, to get to the future we choose. A healthy, regenerative and just future is available to us. It is scientifically, economically, culturally, socially, and technologically feasible.
Some of the insights from our engagement in futures thinking remind us that:
- the future will likely be different in many respects from the present;
- the future is not fixed, but consists of a variety of alternatives;
- people (i.e. us) are responsible for choosing between those alternatives; and
- the policies, strategies and actions we choose can help us realise the futures we consider desirable and prevent those we consider undesirable.
Climate and Health Alliance urges decision-makers, fellow collaborators, policymakers, business leaders, civil society, influencers, academics, and the community to use the Australia in 2030 scenarios to provoke discussion, support conversations and dialogue, and to use the Healthy, Regenerative and Just policy agenda to guide policy and planning for the future.