During the past two years, our office has also hosted several international meetings and attended several international conferences.

These include, Prof Jonathan Boston, Olivier Cadic (French Government Senator), Peter McKinlay (New Zealand Local Government Think Tank), a delegation of Chinese Mayors, Mark Ruskell (MSP Scottish Green Party) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Diplomats.

 

The office of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales
The office of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

In May 2018, Professor Michael Moore (Australia) wrote an article on the Well-being of Future Generations Act. The Commissioner met with Prof. Murray at a meeting of the Inter-Action Council in Edinburgh.

Sophie Howe speaking to a group
“… without vision, without inspiration and without aspiration, failure to manage the present will cost us the future. It has been done. It can be done. The Welsh have taken the step. The ACT can make a similar choice. Environmental impact assessments have demonstrated that it can be done in Australia. Now it’s time to seek equitable social, economic and environment sustainability.” Professor Michael Moore | Former member of the Australian Central Territory Legislative Assembly and an independent minister for health in the Carnell government.
“The legislation (Well-being of Future Generations Act) is remarkable in terms of its breadth, its coverage and ambition. There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world at this point. Though there are elements of it in a number of jurisdictions. I am enormously impressed with the amount of work the Commission has done in a very short space of time to seek to give expression to the legislation and to make it work. It seems to me that the Commissioner, Sophie Howe has led a very strong team of people, who have no doubt worked extremely hard and to have been very innovative in the way that they have approached the task of seeking to give expression to the Act. I think in ones language you would say, “one would take ones hat off.” I’m sure that Wales is going to be one of the lighthouses on the horizon that will be shining a beacon that will be of relevance to many many other jurisdictions…” Prof Jonathan Boston | Professor of Public Policy at Victoria University (Wellington, New Zealand)
Sophie Howe with Professor Jonathan Boston
Sophie Howe with Professor Jonathan Boston
Peter McKinley
Peter McKinley at the office of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales
“From a New Zealand perspective, (the Well-being of Future Generations Act is) a fascinating illustration of a process that seems to believe that determining and promoting well-being is not just a National Government responsibility but inherently involves councils, other public body entities and very importantly the community itself. This is how it should happen in New Zealand. When you think about well-being its inherently about people and communities. That is what, from my perspective most important about the Welsh approach. The Future Generations activity here represents to me an extremely worthwhile example of how you can bring together national government, local government and communities in determining what are aspects of well-being that matter and how best to realise those. I’m really excited with what I’ve seen around the developments so far.” Peter McKinlay | Director of Local Government Think Tank

Recently we delivered a key note speech via video message to The Fifth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians in Azerbaijan by invitation of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

“I wish to thank you most warmly for your participation in the Fifth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians entitled Promoting sustainability, protecting the interests of future generations that took place in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 14 and 15 December 2018. Your insightful and compelling presentation on what parliaments and young members can do to establish and strengthen bodies for future generations was a valuable contribution. It astutely set the tone for rich and constructive debates and helped shape the Conference’s discussions and conclusions. Your personal involvement in the Conference was invaluable in contributing to its success and to the wider parliamentary youth empowerment agenda. I would like to thank you once again for your meaningful contribution towards the realization of objectives that we both hold dear.” Martin Chungong | Secretary General Inter-Parliamentary Union

We are also very proud of the work we are doing here in the UK to advocate on behalf of the Well-being of Future Generations Act. We often address conferences and attend meetings with UK organisations and individuals. Most notably, the Founder of the Big Issue and Cross-bench Peer Lord John Bird has shown to be strong supporter of the legislation. In his speech at our Annual Lecture last year, he re-enforced his support for the Act. You can listen to his speech here.

“… I believe what you are doing in Wales is one of the most profound changes that has ever been made. I want to help the (Well-being of) Future Generations Act to go all over the place. I want it up there. I want it up there in Scotland, I want our friends in Ireland to be doing it, I want our friends in France, and Italy, and Germany doing it because we owe it everybody, wherever they come from. The work that is being done here (in Wales), by the Commissioner down here is gold dust. It has to be propagated about and it has to go mainstream… Lord John Bird | Founder of the Big Issue and Cross-bench Peer at the House of Lords

International Visitor Leadership Programme

September 2017: During the Commissioner’s visit to the US in 2017 (as a member of the US State Department funded International Visitor Leadership Programme) she visited several US Cities and Towns.

“… We’re very interested in all of the sustainability initiatives that we’ve been hearing about today happening in Wales the (Well-being of) Future Generations Act sounds like a very exciting move that I hope we can emulate here in Austin. I feel like we are a city that’s doing a lot around sustainability but the fact that Wales has recognized future generations is the way to speak about why we’d be doing sustainability, why it’s important. I think it’s brilliant, so I hope we can keep up our sharing of information…”Lucia Athens | Chief Sustainability Officer (City of Austin, Texas)