I’m so excited to have the new book The World We Made by Jonathan Porritt. Imagine the world in 2050. That is just what the author of this book did. Based on 40 years of environmental activism and developing sustainability perspectives Porritt offers us a desirable scenario. The story is told through “Alex McKay, a teacher who looks back from 2050 to tell the story of how we got from where we are today (in a pretty bad way, environmentally) to a much better place in 2050” (Porritt, 2013).

The world we made is a story that discusses global issues alongside providing local solutions. It is not a sci-fi scenario as such, as the key events, predicted technology breakthroughs and lifestyle revolutions seem to follow quite credibly on from current facts, figures and trends in terms of e.g. energy, climate change, agriculture – food and water, politics and security, travel etc. I love the timeline starting from 2014 to 2049, with important events such as ‘the internet wars’ from 2021-2030. The story is made all the more riveting due to the personal narrative, in the style of a memoir, which engages on an emotional level. On the same time line some personal events are added such as in 2021 when Alex McKay is in his “third year of university” or 2023 – he got married!

What is especially clever too me, is that the book shows plenty of  images. By “photoshopping the future” readers are guided in an envisioning process in which they just might connect better with the issues at stake, and well, imagine an attainable future… The book is a gift for all of us who spend time and efforts in trying to convey the state of the world (from a sustainability perspective) – of what is predicted to come and how we just might be able to curb our fate by using our imagination alongside empathy.  Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) said: “Plan for the future because that’s where you are going to spend the rest of your life”. I’m taking stock from this book and imagining, after all “seeing is believing”.