change is now > #decidetogether
It’s becoming clearer every day that the Government isn’t capable of getting us out of the coronavirus mess, or preventing climate breakdown. They are more concerned with getting us back to “normal” as rapidly as possible. But it’s normal that is killing us. So as the UK lockdown begins to ease, we stand at the crossroads:
Prioritise health OR prioritise profit. We have a choice.
It’s time for a Citizens Assembly to decide together on how we should live and how we should prepare for further crises so this never happens a gain. As part of the coronavirus recovery, we demand a binding Citizens Assembly on how to rebuild our economy, our democracy and our future.
It’s April 2020. These are strange and terrible days. The streets are quiet, the schools are closed and the hospitals are full. COVID-19 has changed the way we go about our business in ways we could hardly have imagined a few weeks ago.
The new reality that we find ourselves in is grimly dystopian. Self-isolating, social distancing, losses of income and employment, fear of contagion – a London lockdown threatened.
But amidst the fear and the suffering and loss, there are hopeful things happening too: streets and neighbourhoods uniting in mutual aid, strangers looking out for each other, helping each other, making new connections.
So, when this is over, when things are back to ‘normal’, what will that look like? Will the New Normal be just like the old one? Whatever happens we can’t go back to the way things were before.
In early June, we (XRHF) were due to be holding – in partnership with the Lyric Theatre – a festival of ideas, Imagine2030. (Thanks to COVID-19, it will now happen in 2021.) Imagine2030 will showcase and explore ways of achieving a zero carbon Hammersmith & Fulham by 2030 (in line with the council’s pledge), from housing to transport to green spaces. The New Normal must be zero carbon. And let the New Normal be a distinct improvement on the old one: not just cleaner and greener, but healthier, kinder, less greedy, less wasteful – happier.
So let’s imagine the future. What will your street, your neighbourhood, your borough, look like? What lessons can we learn from the COVID-19 experience? We are using #buildbackbetter to talk about these things. Let us know what you think – firstname.lastname@example.org.
There have been many articles published over the last weeks discussing possibilities after this pandemic is over. Read this by Simon Kuper published in the Financial Times last week.
A fantastic TED talk by Tom Rivett-Carnac, How to shift your mindset and choose your future. Tom is the author with Cristina Figueres of THE FUTURE WE CHOOSE.
A lovely BLOG by Rob Hopkins (Founder of Transition Movement) When a resilient future calls by to see if you want to come out to play
A great podcast Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac from their GLOBAL OPTIMISM website
An article by Arundhati Roy in the FT: The pandemic is a portal.
KEEP A LOOK OUT FOR THESE POSTERS THAT MIGHT BE APPEARING OVER THE FIRST WEEKEND IN MAY.
SOME OF THE ‘PAINT THE STREETS’ ACTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN GOING ON AROUND THE COUNTRY