Monday, 12 March 2018


I spend a lot of time nowadays thinking about the future of our grandchildren and great nieces. This is not our world - it’s theirs and we are just looking after it for them for now .

What a bloody awful job we’re mostly doing. Brexit – crash there goes all the china! Trump being voted into office - ouch that’s our dog and cat both run over – fake road kill! The Italians veering to the right – Mussolini tortellini!

We ought to be ashamed of ourselves. We’re the caretakers of a wonderful world  who’ve gone to sleep, woken up woozily and then in a panic made a series of sloppy mistakes so serious that we’re going to go hoarse saying “sorry”.

We’ve created our world of walls that doesn’t listen enough (cover your ears darlings …. la-la-la-la ‘can’t hear you!’) is selfish, unjust and grumbly. Theirs is better. Luckily the youth we’ve let down so badly are here to rescue us.

Airbnb and Uber demonstrate the asset-sharing concept  but are grown so big the values which inspired them have drowned in dollars. Expect there to be new and more socially sensitive versions of ‘sharing’ to emerge. In Copenhagen public transport and car hire with businesses like “Let’s-Go” and “Car2Go” are so easy and cheap (around 30p a km) that no one wants to own a car.

It’s really very simple – friends share their possessions and our next generations will be much friendlier than we ever were.

Pendulums swing back so expect a resurgence of libraries in a modernised form (not those grim council-run places) communal centres of shared learning and inspiration.  Places where you can eat a simple meal, drink a glass of wine and quietly read for an hour in a comfy chair.

We are talking about a simpler less materialistic world with less emphasis on flashy possessions. Not good news for old fashioned retailers and superstores. But great news for foragers of food, fun and fashion. Minimalism sounds a bit too austere for what I have in mind - think Shaker-stylish rather than Puritan-shabby.

I see the arts as becoming more important because making art – poetry, pottery, painting or live performances are just so much fun. I foresee more people abandoning career ambition for a richer lifestyle. Denmark, the happiest country in the world, is happy not least because of its sense of social support, its freedom to make life choices and its culture of generosity.

One other thing will be people seeking is global experience. No longer is there or will there be an attitude of “my home is my castle” but rather “this world is my oyster”. So many 20 + year olds go to Athens, Istanbul or Barcelona for a weekend….less expensive than going to Leeds and more fun.

This will be their world. Why does it sound so much more fun and so simple? Because it will be.  Let’s applaud and help them get there.

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