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. And with youth movements building across the world, alongside a reduction of the voting age here in Wales, policymakers can no longer ignore their voices and their hopes for a better future.
As Future Generations Commissioner for Wales I want to amplify their voices and call on the next Welsh Government to commit to creating a better Wales – a radical and brave manifesto for future generations.
Countdown to the Senedd Elections 2021
The 2021 Senedd Elections provides Wales with the opportunity to create the future we want. It’s also a significant election, as it allows 16 and 17 year olds the opportunity to vote for the first time.
We are living through difficult times. From the devastating loss of lives, pressures on public services, isolation from loved ones and the potential for long-term damage to the economy, jobs and livelihoods. Never has the need to think and plan for the future been so relevant. Many of the findings and recommendations in my ‘Manifesto for the Future’ seek to highlight how we can do that better. In every crisis there are two phases: the first where you respond and the second where you learn. To be successful you must have both.
In May 2020, I published my statutory report – The Future Generations Report (The Report), which sets out the progress made by public bodies towards meeting their duties and my expectations under the Well-being of Future Generations Act. The content of The Report is drawn from my involvement with over 5,000 individuals and organisations in Wales.
“When politicians fail to look beyond the next election – or even the latest tweet – they are neglecting the rights of future generations.” – Roman Krznaric
This document includes the key recommendations I believe political parties should consider within their manifesto work. You can check out the list in the drop down section below.
The full Future Generations Report (and its recommendations) should be read in conjunction with this document. The recommendations highlighted within this Manifesto contribute towards achieving all seven well-being goals.
As we countdown to the election – join the movement and promote the Wales we want.
Please use the hashtag #OurFutureWales in your social media activity.
The 48 Recommendations
The 48 Recommendations
- Invest in nature and prioritise funding and support for large-scale habitat and wildlife restoration, creation and connectivity throughout Wales.
- Invest in better ways to connect and move people through improving digital connectivity, active travel and public transport.
- Develop an economic stimulus package that leads to job creation and supports the decarbonisation of homes.
- Invest in skills and training to support the transition to a better future, creating new greener jobs.
- Invest in the industries and technologies of the future, and support for businesses that will help Wales to lead the low carbon revolution and lock wealth and jobs into local areas with investment in the foundational economy.
- Be transparent in showing the carbon impact of all Government policies and spending decisions.
- Invest in responding to the Climate and Nature Emergency. Commit to increasing spend year on year.
- Develop a food system strategy for Wales linking together all parts of the food system from farm to fork.
- Establish nature recovery targets on land and sea including the completion of the protected site network.
- Ensure people can access natural green space within 300 metres of their home.
- Commit to greening your communities by delivering 20% tree canopy cover in every town and city in Wales by 2030.
- Require green infrastructure to be delivered as part of every new development and Welsh Government funded schemes such as school improvement, community and health facilities etc.
- Establish a National Wellness System to improve the nation’s health and reduce demand on services.
- Appoint a Minister for Prevention and top slice budgets to spend on preventative policies.
- Set out a plan for responding to future trends* in ways that reduce inequalities rather than perpetuating them. *such as increasing automation, our ageing population and climate change.
- Set challenging targets for recruitment of women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and disabled people across the public sector.
- Create Race Equality Strategy to tackle the inequalities experienced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in Wales.
- Make tackling childhood adversity a priority and set out a national strategy to empower all key public services to deliver effective, sustainable and evidence-based early intervention.
- Make school exclusions a thing of the past.
- Establish a national vision for Wales to become the most eco-literate and globally responsible nation in the world.
- Set clear ethical guidelines for public sector pensions in Wales including commitments to divest from all sources of harm, fossil fuels, pollutants, goods driving, deforestation oversees and arms.
- Building on the Nation of Sanctuary, recognise people who are displaced in the context of disasters and climate change as refugees and advocate for them to be offered the same protections offered to refugees.
- Establish a national vision for lifelong learning.
- Establish and fund a shared national mission for education bringing in the skills of business, third sector, community activists, older people and the youth services sector to be a core part of delivering the requirements of the new curriculum.
- Establish an education levy to fund this approach and broader implementation of the new curriculum.
- Introduce assessment based qualifications at age 16 that focus on diversity and are centred around pupils and not exams.
- Explore opportunities for a shorter working week.
- Pilot a Basic Income.
- Apply well-being economics in all policy decisions, funding arrangements and interactions with the public, private and voluntary sector.
- Ensure Wales’ cultural agencies collaborate and act to address the climate and nature emergencies.
- Establish a Creative Participation Income.
- Develop and fund ‘cultural corridors’ across Wales that encourage public, private and voluntary sectors to connect cultural and creative sites, programmes and institutions.
- Create 20 minute neighbourhoods to ensure people can access key services closer to home; creating healthier, greener & happier communities.
- Make broadband a critical public service.
- Adopt a placemaking approach for all community policy and funding decisions.
- Make housing a human right.
- Set a national target for modal shift to enable people to adopt low carbon modes of travel.
- Introduce free public transport for young people in Wales.
- Allocate at least 50% of capital transport spend on improving bus and train services.
- Encourage innovation in developing intergenerational housing and communities.
- Require all publicly funded housing developments to be carbon neutral.
- Introduce a ‘Real Life Fast Track’ programme within the Civil Service and Public Sector to involve broader perspectives and experiences in policy development.
- Make knowledge and expertise on the interests of future generations a key requirement of at least one post on every public sector board.
- Create a long-term vision and strategy for the Welsh public sector of the future.
- Promote kindness at every level of government and in public policy and financial decisions.
- Establish a ‘Ministry of Possibilities’ and engage the brightest and the best from all levels of government and public service to collaborate alongside private sector and voluntary sector together, to create innovative solutions to current or future challenges.
- Appoint a Minister for Prevention with responsibilities for taking a whole-government approach to investment in prevention.
- Provide clear guidance and leadership to other public bodies on how they are considering and applying the Well-being of Future Generations Act in their procurement activities.
Young People’s Vision
Our vision for the Wales we want is set out in the Well-being of Future Generations Act – our seven well-being goals for Wales. Working with a range of organisations I asked young people in Wales to tell me what’s important to them as they interpreted my Future Generations Report. Their ideas are exciting – and political parties should set an ambitious approach to match their expectations.
As the Guardian for Future Generations, I have been keen to involve young people in my work and acknowledge their voice in the current cultural, social and political landscape, especially as 16 and 17 year olds will be voting for the first time next year. We believe their involvement is crucial to ensuring that young people’s voices are heard and to ensure that the voice of future generations are represented. We acknowledge that the Future Generations Report in its current format is not the most easily accessible or engaging for young people so we have worked with a number of organisations including Avant Cymru, Disability Arts Cymru and the Wales Federation of Young Farmers Clubs to develop a young person’s interpretation of the report, the key messages and what they need for their future Wales in a way that’s relevant and engaging for other young people, and focusses the minds of decision makers.
We have been grateful to work with organisations that have appreciated the importance of this work including Children in Wales, Diverse Cymru, EYST (Ethnic Youth Support Team), Urdd, Gypsies and Travellers Wales, who have used their networks to bring together a diverse group of 30 young people from across Wales.
We have been overwhelmed by the response and dedication of the young people taking part in the three workshops to digest the 800 page report. They have challenged me and the team on the content and the language used which has made us consider the way we will communicate in future with all audiences.
As an office, we understand the importance of ‘culture as a mechanism for change.’ Wales is unique in its recognition of the importance of ‘cultural well-being’, and as an office, we are keen to highlight just how vital the cultural sector is to people’s lives, and how it can be an effective way of telling stories and inspiring change, none more so than with our future generations. As such, young people chose the method that they wish to have their voices heard, and composed their responses through song, art, and poetry, which we are pleased to share with you.
We are very excited to further develop their work and share their ideas with you over the coming months.