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Procuring well-being in Wales

Working in collaboration with Cardiff University, the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales has undertaken research and a Section 20 Review, to establish the extent to which the Act has been informing procurement decisions across the public bodies in Wales since 2016 (when the Act came into force).  

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Our Work

My role is to act as a guardian for the interests of future generations in Wales. I will challenge and support public bodies to think about the long-term impact of the things they do. My draft strategic plan sets out how I intend to do this.

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Building Back Creatively: A Poet in Residence for the Future

The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, Sophie Howe, in collaboration with Literature Wales and Wales Arts International, is announcing an exciting opportunity for an emerging poet to bring the Well-being of Future Generations Act to life.

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The best business is when people, planet and profit intertwine

The best business is when people, planet and profit intertwine

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Welsh leaders to attend One Young World global forum for the first time

Young leaders from all over the world will come together in London this week to discuss some of the biggest global issues facing future generations. From climate change to education inequalities, the future of work and media freedom.

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Commissioner supports call for the arts to be available on prescription by Arts Council of Wales

Alternative models for improving health and well-being is one of the priority areas for the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.

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How do we procure well-being?

A record number of online delegates joined the recent Cardiff Business School Breakfast Briefing to hear how the Well-being of Future Generations Act provides an opportunity to transform the way procurement is delivered in Wales. By moving towards an outcomes-based approach, we can ensure the £6 billion spent annually delivers the best outcomes across all four elements of well-being and helps to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being for current and future generations.

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Wales is leading the world on safeguarding the interests of future generations

The world’s first Commissioner whose role it is to act as guardian for future generations, Sophie Howe (Future Generations Commissioner for Wales) will be highlighting how Wales’ is leading the way on safeguarding the interests of future generations when she addresses the United Nations High Level Political Forum in New York this week.

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Kindness in Public Services

Recently the Future Generations Commissioner called for the Welsh Government to instil the value of “kindness” at every level of government and public policy in order to meet the requirements of the Well-being and Future Generations Act.

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New report reveals Universal Basic Income in Wales would cut poverty in half

Poverty in Wales would be halved if Welsh Government commits to a progressive Universal Basic Income (UBI), according to a major study commissioned by the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, Sophie Howe.

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Fair and Ethical Sustainable Christmas

At this time of year, there is a lot of pressure on us to buy gifts for those that we love, and we want to make it special. But have you ever thought that when you are buying something, that there are two people in the transaction? The person you are buying it for, and the person you are buying it from - the producer, farmer or worker.

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Movement for Change

Involvement is at the heart of the Well-being of Future Generations Act.

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Domestic abuse survivors at Future Generations Wales will get financial support to leave an abusive relationship

People working for the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales will be able to receive cash support to escape an abusive relationship, it is announced today.

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#TransportOctober Roqib Monsur nextbike Ambassador explains why cycling is the best way to get around Cardiff

Since the bike-sharing scheme launched in Cardiff earlier this year, I was one of the people that took advantage of the scheme and began travelling using the nextbike for my everyday travels across the city. After using them a few times, I started raving about it to my friends and family, or anyone who would listen, and getting them to use it too.

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Our obsession with exams is failing to equip young people with the right skills for the future, says Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

Education fit for the Future A White Paper For discussion Produced by Professor Calvin Jones in collaboration with the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

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Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015

The Well-being of Future Generations Act gives us the encouragement, the permission and the statutory obligation to make the changes needed to improve our social, cultural, environmental and economic well-being

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It’s time we looked at innovative ways of tackling the nation’s health problems

Like many parents, I supply my family with vitamins as we try to prevent the inevitable latest strain of winter cold or even flu. GP waiting rooms fill up and media outlets report the annual surge in waiting times or demand for hospital beds.

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Public Services Boards must rise to the challenge of decision-making for future generations

"Public Services Boards must rise to challenge of decision-making for future generations and the Welsh Government must raise their level of support and ambition for them to do so", said the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

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Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

The Future Generations Commissioner role, was established by the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 - a pioneering piece of legislation which is unique to Wales

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Statement on the Future Generations Report 2020

I am pleased to be publishing the first Future Generations Report.

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Pressure mounts on UK Government to follow Welsh Government and back the Well-being of Future Generations Bill

More than two thirds of the public want the Government to consider future generations in policy-making – according to new research - and the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales is backing a campaign for a UK-wide law that protects tomorrow from the actions of today.

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Black History Month: “I felt that if we sit and watch the television and shout when we see injustice, it doesn’t help anyone. If you go out and put your head above the parapet, then a little change makes things better for people.”

“I grew up in Conway in St Lucia, and I had the most wonderful childhood - growing up in the Caribbean - playing ‘Ticky Tock’ with these nice little stones, going on the boats and by the beach."

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Future-proof your planning with easy-to-use tool

A new easy-to-use guide will help public bodies to think and plan better for the long-term, by keeping a clear vision and taking future trends into account.

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Inspiring the Well-being champions of the future - the 2021 Future Generations Leadership Academy

After the success of the 2020 pilot academy, the Future Generations Leadership Academy has returned in 2021 to inspire the next generation of Welsh leaders.

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#TransportOctober Community Transport and Future Generations – Llyr ap Gareth, Community Transport Association UK

The international community faces huge challenges of climate change and dwindling resources. The Well-being of Future Generations Act (Wales) argues that if we hope to tackle those big questions, engaging in a sustainable way with local policy will be critical. I want to shine a light on how some of those local and global policy challenges link together through the lens of community transport.

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It takes a village...

I’m fortunate to have a job where I see lots of people doing lots of amazing things (occasionally the reverse too) but a project that I visited whilst in Austin Texas as part of the US Embassy’s International Visitor Leadership Programme last week has got to be up there with one of the best

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Areas of Focus

In order for the Commissioner to have the most impact, she decided it would be best to dedicate resources to a few areas in more detail.

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Homes fit for the Future: The Retrofit Challenge

The purpose of our work is to estimate the total funding needed for the decarbonisation of homes in Wales, identify funding gaps and suggest approaches to addressing these gaps.

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A Future Fit for Wales: The roadmap to a shorter working week

I am calling on the Welsh Government to launch a shorter working week trial.

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Advice and Assistance

As well as providing advice on my areas of focus, I also respond to requests for advice and assistance, using the criteria below.

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#TransportOctober The “joy” of electric cars in rural Wales by Neil Lewis

My wife and I drove UP to the Farm Shop for breakfast in Cross Hands- half the charge had gone-will we be able to get home.... What have I done?

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Future transport in the capital city - guest blog by Councillor Caro Wild

Cardiff is a really exciting place at the moment. We have a young and fast-growing city, with jobs being created, houses being built and a billion pounds worth of regional rail infrastructure on its way. There’s a real buzz about the capital city.

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Meeting Nimrod Wambette during Fairtrade Fortnight Megan Jones-Evans, Deputy Head Girl, Llanfyllin High School, Montgomeryshire

During Fairtrade Fortnight, we, sixth form pupils from Llanfyllin High School were the audience of a Fairtrade assembly ran by Ffion Storer Jones of Montgomeryshire Federation of Young Farmers Club (YFC) and Nimrod Wambette; a Fairtrade coffee farmer from Uganda.

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‘Don’t let young people down’, says Future Generations Commissioner as she launches Manifesto for the Future with 11-17-year-olds from Wales, and urges politicians to act now on climate and inequality

Wales’ political parties must act now on the urgent priorities of the nation’s young people, the world’s first Future Generations Commissioner has warned.

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Self Reflection Tool 2019

In 2018/19, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales trialled a method of monitoring and assessing progress towards the well-being objectives set by public bodies – one of her duties according to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

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Three Horizons Toolkit

A new easy-to-use guide will help public bodies to think and plan better for the long-term, by keeping a clear vision and taking future trends into account.

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Future Generations Commissioner makes Hay on Wye debut

Sophie Howe, the newly appointed Future Generations Commissioner for Wales will take to the stage at this year’s Hay Festival. The session on June 3rd at 7pm on the Starlight Stage is called “Jane Davidson talks to Sophie Howe on ‘the single most important piece of legislation for the last 20 years?” and will focus on the new Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act which came into force in Wales on April 1st 2016.

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The Shape of Things to Come

A radical, ground-breaking culture change is essential if public bodies are going to provide better service provision, now and for future generations. That’s the key message at a collaborative event hosted by Wales Auditor General and Future Generations Commission today.

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Shaping Accountability in Wales for Future Generations

A radical, ground-breaking culture change is essential if public bodies are going to provide better service provision, now and for future generations

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First delegates of the Future Generations Leadership Academy announced

The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales is pleased to announce the names of the first cohort of young people to participate in the Future Generations Leadership Academy.

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Welsh Government budget must signal a change in direction to reset our economy

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed deep structural inequalities in our economy and society including wage poverty, health inequalities, racial disparities, food poverty, job insecurity and imbalances in quality of housing. At the same time climate and ecological breakdown is escalating, and we risk exacerbating all of these challenges if we go back to the way things were.

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Black History Month: “I believe it’s important to remember that we, as Black people, don’t need to wait for one month out of the year – we can be celebrating each other at any time.”

“All my life I have wanted to become a doctor, however in my second year of studies, when I started plugging myself in to different communities and meeting different people through networking, I realised there was so much to do. And impacts to be made in so many ways."

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Procurement

Public bodies in Wales spend over £6 billion each year procuring a range of goods, services and works; this represents nearly a third of total devolved Welsh annual expenditure, and it is estimated that over the next decade Welsh public services will spend over £60 billion.

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Horizon Scanning

Should your organisation do it and, if yes, how?

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Future Generations Commissioner for Wales announces paid leave for staff fleeing domestic abuse

To mark International Women’s Day, Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales has announced a new staff policy that provides support and paid leave to staff who are victims of domestic abuse so that they can leave the abuse and secure safe accommodation.

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A Fit for the Future Programme for Government

We have the opportunity to create a better Wales for current and future generations.

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Well-being in Wales: what I found when responding to Public Services Boards’ (PSB) draft assessments of well-being in 2022

Given the unprecedented challenges we’ve faced over the past couple of years, I want to acknowledge the commitment Public Services Boards (PSBs) have demonstrated in working together to prepare their 2022 well-being assessments.

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Climate change – our obligations to future generations

What I’ve learnt about climate change since becoming Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, earlier this year, is quite simply frightening. There is no doubt that it’s the greatest challenge facing future generations and action is urgently needed across the public sector to reduce our emissions and its impacts.

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Commissioner challenges plans for £1.1bn M4 relief road

Proposals to build a £1.1bn road to ease congestion on the M4 fail to set out how it will meet the needs of our future generations who will be burdened with paying for it,” says Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.

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Working together to build the Wales we want

In my role as the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, I have found an increasing interest over the last 6 months, from different sectors and indeed different countries to the Well-being of Future Generations Act and the work of our Office.

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Culture and Welsh language is essential to help tackle Wales’ biggest challenges

“Public services, as the largest employer in Wales, have a huge contribution to make in developing and enhancing cultural well-being. Culture is the lifeblood of a vibrant society, expressed in the many ways we tell our stories, celebrate, remember the past, entertain ourselves, and imagine the future. Our creative expression helps define who we are, and helps us see the world through the eyes of others."

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Commissioner urges Welsh Government to create a system focused on well-being by investing in preventative social care

Commissioner urges Government create a system focused on well-being by investing in preventative care

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Radical vision for Wales needed to create future-fit jobs, says Future Generations Commissioner in her plan for new government

Thousands of new ‘future-fit' jobs could be created if the new Welsh Government embraces a radical vision for Wales, according to the Future Generations Commissioner.

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World Fair Trade Day

As a country not only have we led the way by becoming the first Fair Trade nation the Well-being of Future Generations Act make us the first nation to legislate and place the sustainable development principle at the heart of decision-making to improve our economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being. 

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#skillsseptember - A Ddylai Robotiad Siarad Cymraeg? (Should robots speak Welsh?)

During the Summer, we hosted our first event at the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay. The subject of debate was, 'Should robots speak Welsh?' Here are the reflections of Meilys and Indeg who sat on the panel. 

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Guest blog by Sarah Stone, Executive Director, Samaritans Wales - Local action saves lives

One of the early conversations I had when I first joined Samaritans was with an organisation with which we were working in partnership to train staff and raise awareness.

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Future Generations Commissioner for Wales – July Newsletter

As the summer holidays begin and many of us look forward to spending time with our own future generations, we’re reminded of just what well-being really means; spending time with loved ones, a bike-ride in the sunshine, or simply taking a well-earned break, it’s important to take stock of what’s already been a busy 2019.

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Decarbonisation

Decarbonisation is a cross-cutting issue central to all our work and vital for future generations.

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A voice for future generations across the world is crucial says Future Generations Commissioner for Wales at UN summit, New York

A voice for future generations across the world is crucial says Future Generations Commissioner for Wales at UN summit, New York

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World's Largest Lesson 18th - 25th September 2017

As we start the new school year, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a very special upcoming date in the global calendar, which will provide you with an opportunity to introduce the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals to children and young people and unite them in action with others around the globe

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Wales needs to explore paying everyone a basic income – open letter to First Minister

Wales should explore paying everyone a basic income to study how it could improve lives for generations in the future, the First Minister is being urged.

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It is an undeniable truth that we are failing to tackle climate change quickly enough says Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

n response to the Extinction Rebellion Cardiff five-day protest to highlight the need for urgent action to tackle climate change, Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales said:

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The Scharmer U Theory and the Development of Welsh Education (for Adults in the Community) – Dafydd Rhys, Adult Learning Wales

The late and pioneering Arfon Rhys is to be thanked for introducing me to the Scharmer U Theory in 2007. Broadly speaking, this theory of ‘change’ states that individuals, who are responsible for introducing change, must take a number of mental and preparatory steps before they are in a position to implement new strategy to its full potential.

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Cardiff Council vote to divest pensions from fossil fuels is part of a growing movement in Wales

In response to Cardiff Council's vote to divest pensions from fossil fuels Thursday, 18th July, Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales said:

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Black History Month: “There is so much Black history that people just don’t know - it’s time to start learning.”

We’re celebrating Black History Month #proudtobe with stories from Black people across Wales on lessons Black history can teach us about the future.  Here, Jessica Dunrod, 32, author, translator, and education and inclusion consultant, from Cardiff, talks about the importance of representation and why complacency is one of the biggest threats to future generations... 

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Better public transport and ‘major reduction’ in emissions plan welcomed by Future Generations Commissioner

A new transport vision for Wales’ future that prioritises public transport and active travel is a positive step towards shifting the nation’s travel habits, says Future Generations Commissioner Sophie Howe.

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Wales leading the way with Future Generations Legislation - UN plans to adopt Welsh Approach

Wales is leading the way to protect future generations, the United Nations has said.

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Education Fit for the Future in Wales Report

The Education Fit for the Future in Wales report, authored by Professor Calvin Jones (Cardiff Business School) in collaboration with the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, is a White Paper for discussion that calls for us to match the skills needed in the future with our education and qualifications system in Wales.

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Future Generations Commissioner for Wales calls on Local Authorities to divest from fossil fuels

With £1bn of Pension Funds investment in Wales being spent on fossil fuel based companies, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales calls on Local Authorities to demonstrate how climate risk is being incorporated into their current and future fund's investment strategy.

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Future Generations Commissioner for Wales welcomes Welsh Government Climate Emergency declaration

Following today’s announcement by the Welsh Government of a climate emergency, Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales said:

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#Skills - Geography: It’s Importance in Today’s World - Maddie Emery

As we continue our work exploring the skills we will need for the future, we asked Whitchurch High School student, Maddie Emery, about her favourite school topic and why it’s important to her. As Maddie makes important decisions around university courses and writes her personal statement, we asked her to share her thoughts on what she wants to study in the future and why… Geography: It’s Importance in Today’s World

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#skillsseptember - To Bacc or not to Bacc?

The deadline for responses to the Welsh Government on the status of the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification is TODAY and you can find more information here.

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We can end fuel poverty with £15bn retrofit investment plan for our homes, says Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

Fuel poverty could be eradicated in Wales by 2030 if Welsh Government commits to a long-term plan to improve the efficiency of our homes, says the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.

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The Media Must up its Game on Climate Change

Stories about climate events are becoming more common across our news channels. Floods, migration, crop failures, public health – the impact of climate change is wide and varied. Perhaps this incremental increase in climate change activity will lead to more coverage where environmental stories compete for air time on our radio and tv news outlets and in newspaper columns.

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Public bodies in Wales are failing to innovate towards a prosperous Wales

Almost a quarter of people are living in poverty in Wales, only 1% of apprenticeships in Wales are filled by disabled people and future working trends suggest that 65% of jobs at risk of becoming automated are those done by women.

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#SkillsSeptember - Tackling the changing world of work

At Nesta we have spent a lot of time over the last few years thinking about the future of the world of work.

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Well-being in Wales: the journey so far

Since April 2017, councils, health boards, national parks, fire and rescue services, Welsh Government and national organisations, such as Natural Resources Wales and Sport Wales, have been working towards a collective 345 objectives.

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Providing advice to Public Services Boards as they plan together for well-being 

Over the last few months, the leaders of public services across Wales have been using the recently published local well-being assessments to understand how they can contribute to the social, environmental, economic and cultural well-being of people in their areas. 

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Expert help wanted to shape communications fit for the future

Can you help the Commissioner review and develop her communications approach to fit with her forward looking agenda?

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Home is where well-being begins

The links between tackling our housing crisis and the nation's health are growing.

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This must be a budget that reflects the requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations Act

In response to the Welsh Government’s detailed draft budget published today, Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales said:

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Budget process and preventative spend

Finance is one of the corporate areas for change in the Statutory Guidance issued by Welsh Government on the implementation of the Act.

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Planning for people's well-being

Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales has welcomed the new Planning Policy Wales, which she along with her team worked with the Welsh Government to ensure that the policy embodies the Well-being of Future Generations Act and contributes to each of the seven well-being.

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Urgent Universal Basic Income, a four-day week and a well-being economy - Future Generations Commissioner’s plan to reshape Wales after coronavirus

Wales urgently needs a Universal Basic Income to help the country deal with the effects of COVID-19, Future Generations Commissioner Sophie Howe says.

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What I will do in the next 12 months

The Well-being of Future Generations Act is about bringing change to people’s lives and changing behaviours. This is complex, takes time and is a real challenge…

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Big Moose chosen as Future Generations Commissioner for Wales' Staff charity of the year

The Cardiff based social enterprise coffee shop that provides employment opportunities to the homeless has been chosen by the team members of the office of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales first official annual charity.

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Taking account of the Well-being of Future Generations Act in the budget process

The Commissioner has also published advice to Welsh Government with 10 recommendations for they should build on the progress they have made in the draft budget this time around to take more ambitious and transformational steps from 2019 onwards.

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Growing with Trees – reconnecting with nature by Nigel Pugh, Woodland Trust

To nurture a tree, is to nurture your own sense of environmental responsibility, whilst reconnecting us to our immediate natural environment, wildlife, nature, and to all future generations.

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#PlanningMarch - Insights into the skills and mindset of a planner by Phil Williams

Having spent over 40 years as a local government planner, I am now a planning director in my own consultancy practice.

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Green Infrastructure

A catalyst for wellbeing of future generations in Wales - a special report by Wildlife Trusts Wales

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Taking Wales Forward Programme for Government provides new opportunities

As the First Minister highlights, this is an opportunity to take a new approach. I am encouraged the Welsh Government recognises the need for new ways of working to make the most of its contribution to improving the wellbeing of people – today and in the longer term

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Re-Energising Wales: Decarbonising Transport in Wales

This paper is one of a series of reports being launched as part of the IWA’s ‘Re-energising Wales’ project, which in early 2019 will deliver a plan to enable Wales to meet its projected energy demands entirely from renewable sources by 2035. The report highlights a number of practical steps that can be taken to overcome Wales’ challenges.

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Future Generations Commissioner urges Welsh Government to deliver on a green recovery budget

Sophie Howe says we have  a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to reset Wales’ economy and is calling for “visionary ideas and transformative investment” in the nation’s recovery plan. 

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Next Welsh Government budget is an opportunity for a green and just recovery from the pandemic

I recognise the significant challenges that the Welsh Government has faced in the past year, and it is positive that the draft budget for 2021-22, published in December 2020, emphasises the importance of a green and just recovery.

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For Belle and Emmeline

This Sunday my daughter and I will be taking part in something significant. We will be joining thousands of women across the country marching to commemorate the brave women who came before us 100 years ago who marched, campaigned, starved and even died to get us the vote. 

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Well-being in Wales: planning today for a better tomorrow

The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (2015) requires Public Services Boards to publish a local assessment of economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being.

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If 2020 has shown that we can live our lives closer to home, how can we lock in the benefits for future generations?

The announcement back in March this year that the UK was going into lockdown was a shock to us all and created significant challenges as we navigated a new world which largely required us to stay at home.

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The Right Way: A Wales future fit for children

In this report we have worked together to consider how Wales’ commitment to internationally recognised children’s rights can work with the groundbreaking Well-being of Future Generations Act to meet children’s needs – now and in the future.

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Future Generations Commissioner for Wales joins Pope Francis, Chris Hemsworth, and Other Notable Speakers at the First-Ever Free TED Conference

Sophie Howe, will join Prince William, Pope Francis, Al Gore, and over 50 notable speakers at the first ever free TED conference this Saturday.

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Cardiff Transport Green Paper

In response to Cardiff Council's Transport Green Paper, published Wednesday, 21 March and the start of a city-wide conversation on big ideas that could shape the future of Cardiff's transport system.

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Big Ideas

We want to share inspirational stories about what people are doing to implement the Act, how it impacts on people’s lives now and in the future, interesting ideas from around the world

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The Future Generations Report 2020

This report sets out my assessment of progress made in implementing the Act within the first reporting period, i.e. the last three years

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Picture Your Future: A Participatory Photography Project on the National Nature Service (Wales)

Currently in Wales we have a major skills gap. This is only going to widen as we move to green technologies and green jobs. We know that if Wales is to be prosperous, we need our workers to have the skills for the jobs of the future.

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The People’s Platform

For centuries we have learnt and understood the world around us through the ancient art of storytelling.

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Fair Trade is winning at public policy

On a sunny day in June 2018, I was privileged to be invited to attend the Inaugural EU Cities Fair and Ethical Trade Award Ceremony, in Brussels along with representatives from 15 other EU countries.

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Manifesto for the Future

Our younger generations are calling out the failures of past decisions, and sadly, often decisions in the continuing present that fail to take into account their futures – embarrassing, perhaps, but necessary.

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Urgent action needed to protect communities from climate change

Stronger, more focused action is needed to protect communities in Wales from the risks of Climate Change, says Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.

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#ACEsDecember Are too many women being jailed in Wales?

In response to a BBC Wales story on the numbers of Welsh women in prison for non-violent offences, Sophie Howe commented on how the impact on children and young people and contributes to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

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Public sector must stop funding climate change say Welsh organisations and Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

Friends of the Earth Cymru, Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales and other environment, development and trade union groups are calling on all public sector bodies in Wales to stop investing in climate-wrecking fossil fuel companies. 

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