Being a Good Ancestor
Being a good ancestor is caring about our futures even though they don't exist, accepting that we have the power to shape those futures and using that power wisely today.
When I was running workshops I sometimes offered an exercise where I asked people something like:
Imagine you are in the same room, in the same job, in 10 years time (say 2032). The world has changed and your organisation is closing down. You are meeting to reflect on what went wrong over the past ten years. What advice would you give yourself in 2022 to avoid the closure?
This is quite difficult to do because it's asking us to think backwards and reflect on the challenges we need to address today but which we may be ignoring. Some people loved it, some people hated it. The point of this exercise is for people to reflect on their responsibility for future generations - that is, that every decision, every action we take today puts something into the downstream leading to our futures. It's a responsibility increasingly recognised now because of the impact of climate change and the likely consequences for our descendants and the planet if we don't act now. Accepting this responsibility is …