A Future Generations Changemaker 100 Event

By WCIA volunteer, Meg Russell

On 5 of June Wales’ new Future Generations Ambassador, Derek Walker, hosted a future generations changemaker event, inviting 100 ‘changemakers’ to Grangetown Pavilion.

Individuals were encouraged to discuss the main issues facing Wales’ future generations and solutions. After 7 years of having this independent office, Wales remains the only country in the world to have a piece of legislation specifically protecting future generations.

The legislation encourages sustainable social, economic, environmental and cultural  sustainability within Wales. The Well-being of Future Generations Act requires public bodies to work sustainably – providing for current generations while also protecting the needs of future generations.

WCIA staff and volunteers met with individuals from the Trussell Trust, Transport for Wales, Cardiff Civic Society and individuals from locally run community clubs like ACE Cardiff, an afterschool club in Grangetown.

The issues that came up for these organisations varied, with Transport for Wales concerned with “environmental governance” within Wales while the Trussell Trust shared the rising urgency of food poverty in Wales.

Staff from ACE Cardiff mentioned issues regarding the future of children in Wales and felt more children in Wales needed access to technology and the internet at home, particularly within urban areas facing poverty. Cardiff Civic Society brought up the need for increased engagement within communities in Wales through new community projects and the creation of outdoor spaces. 

WCIA staff and volunteers flagged the need for a more globally responsible Wales, which could be driven by improvements in global citizenship education in lifelong learning.

“This would give current and future generations the competencies to create a more sustainable Wales and build thriving international relationships,” said Chief Executive of the WCIA, Susie Ventris-Field.

The topic of third sector funding was also heavily discussed, with the: “Availability of core funding in decline,” and issues of duplication highlighted.

Participants discussed the increasing importance of keeping organisations on the ground. Many agreed on the need for long term funding by lengthening budget cycles to create a more sustainable third sector economy. 

By the end of the event, a clear leading solution to a more sustainable Wales was a reduction in short-termism. Other key solutions included increasing the accessibility of public transport, particularly in rural areas, encouraging community engagement and addressing the ways in which public bodies spend their money through more collaborative investment helping to bring organisations together.  These solutions are interesting as three of the five ways of working implemented in the legislation are ‘long term’, ‘involvement’ and ‘collaboration’. 

Derek Walker, and the rest of the team working on the Well-being of Future Generations act have visited a number of locations in Wales to hold  ‘changemaker’ events which allow the people of Wales to have a say in what needs to be done to continue striving for a socially, economically, environmentally and culturally healthy Wales.

If you would like to contribute your ideas, there is a live survey: