It’s easy to be gloomy about the future.

Dystopias are ten-a-penny.

It can seem harder to imagine a society transformed for the better. Challenges to business-as-usual are dismissed as ‘unrealistic’, ‘impractical’ – and it’s never quite the right scheme for this neighbourhood, is it? But to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown, the IPCC report (2018) called for ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes to every aspects of society’. Business-as-usual is not an option!

So here, to inform and inspire, are some resources from visionaries and experts, daring not just to dream but to offer practical pathways to a zero carbon future.

(click on the images for more information)

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Rob Hopkins calls for an unleashing of our imaginations to revive communities and the planet. If any book captures the spirit of Imagine2030, this is it! 

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Film maker, Damon Gameau, imagines the low-carbon world that his daughter may grow up to enjoy in 2040. But this is no utopian dream: all the innovations are happening somewhere now.

Project Drawdown explores the many technologies and policies - from smart thermostats to engineered carbon sinks - needed to achieve drawdown (i.e. greenhouse gases declining) by 2050.

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Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, architects of the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, set out their super-positive manifesto for change.

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The Guardian asked four architects/designers to envision a post-pandemic city. Check out the ‘garden street’ imagined by Foster and Partners – and ask: why not?

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In this book, Chris Goodall (an economist working in energy technology) explores the actions, policies and technologies needed for a zero carbon UK.

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In this book, Paul Chatterton, Professor of Urban Futures, draws on new ideas adopted in cities around the world to offer a radical manifesto for the sustainable city.

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Radio 4 series, in which academics, writers and imaginative types like Jarvis Cocker share one radical change they’d like to see in the post-coronavirus ‘new normal’.

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From Copenhagen to Bogota, Charles Montgomery shows how cities designed for people rather than, say, cars or corporations, can make us healthier, saner and happier. 

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Imagine is a free newsletter from the excellent online journal The Conversation, exploring what a future beyond climate change might look like. Subscribe here!

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The website of Rob 'From What Is to What If' Hopkins has blogs, videos – and his podcasts, From What If to What Next, in which guests explore a ‘what if…?’ question.

A Message from the Future II is a short film by Naomi Klein, Molly Crabapple, Opal Tometi and Avi Lewis imagining transformative 'years of repair' after the pandemic.