Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

What is the role of the Commissioner?

The Commissioner’s role is to be the guardian of future generations. This means helping public bodies and those who make policy in Wales to think about the long-term impact their decisions have.

For example, if we know that around 35% of jobs in the UK may disappear as a result of robots, artificial intelligence or computers, what’s that going to mean to you, your children and your grandchildren?

We know that we’ll be living longer, but are we going to be living healthy, active lives or are we going to be living lives with long-term illness and health conditions?

Public bodies really need to be focusing on how their decisions are going to impact in the long-term, and working together to prevent problems occurring, recognising that no single public body can respond to some of the big challenges that need to be addressed.

We’ve all got a part to play in constructing the Wales that we want to see in the future.

Read the Commissioners strategic plan here

By 2050 our population in Wales will grow to 3.5m and the proportion of people over 75 years will have doubled

Who is the current Commissioner?

Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.

Sophie took up post in 2016 and has led high profile interventions around transport planning, education reform and climate change challenging the Government and others to demonstrate how they are taking account of future generations.

Described by the Big Issue Magazine as one of the UK’s leading Changemakers, her interventions have secured fundamental changes to land use planning policy, major transport schemes and Government policy on housing - ensuring that decisions taken today are fit for the future.

She has represented Wales at the UN the OECD and on a number of International Forums including Chairing the Network of Institutions for Future Generations.

Listen to Sophie Howe’s Radio 4 ‘Four Thought’

What are the Commissioner’s powers and duties?

Her general duties are to:

“Promote the sustainable development principle, in particular to act as a guardian of the ability of future generations to meet their needs and encourage public bodies to take greater account of the long-term impact of the things they do.”

“Monitor and assess the extent to which well-being objectives set by public bodies are being met.”

She can:

  • Provide advice to Public Bodies and Public Services Boards
  • Carry out reviews into how public bodies are taking account of the long-term impact of their decisions
  • Make recommendations following a review

The purpose of my organisation has been defined as to:

Highlight Issues

Highlight the big issues, challenges and opportunities facing future generations

Support and Challenge

Support and challenge public bodies to think about the long-term impact of the things they do

Work Together

Work with others to drive the changes needed

Walk the talk

Walk the talk – be the change we want to see in others

Contact the Commissioner