Los Futuros Alternativos que no quieren que conozcas

With all that is happening in the world today, it is difficult to imagine a better future So, is the only thing left for us a bleak and apocalyptic future, and should we lose all hope? No! Because right now, in the present, alternative futures are already being cultivated…

Growing the Alternatives: the other futures How do we know if a society is improving and heading towards a wonderful future… or getting worse, leading to ruin? For many years, we have used GDP to measure the prosperity of countries and guide our governments’ decision making.

However, Gross Domestic Product is an indicator that only measures economic growth, which is coupled with increases in energy and resource use ignoring aspects like wellbeing, unpaid work, equity and the limits of nature. Furthermore, placing the emphasis on GDP

assumes that the only good economy is one that is constantly growing by extracting and accumulating profit, rather than an economy that meets the needs of people and the planet. The concept of infinite growth began when the economist Adam Smith proposed

that profits should be reinvested to generate more profits in an endless cycle, oposed that profits should be reinvested to generate more profits in an endless cycle, supposedly creating wealth for all of society. But Growth of GDP depends on energy and resource use, so infinite growth would only be possible

If the planet’s resources were infinite. The consequences have been disastrous. The exploitation of nature and pollution of ecosystems have brought about the climate crisis, the extinction of species, environmental degradation and have also led to social conflicts.

The extinction of species, environmental degradation and have also led to social conflicts. If we continue down this path, the future that awaits us will be hostile to all forms of life. Those with economic and political power want to convince us that there is no alternative

to the current dominant economic model. Low income countries still need growth to improve people’s lives, but high income countries don’t. Is there a solution? Of course there is! For starters, while some areas should stop their growth right now, like fossil fuel extraction and those which depend on

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Deforestation, there are sectors we need to keep increasing like renewable energy, ecofarming, or public health. And in fact there are many possible alternatives, some of which could be our future, but they actually already exist in our present and need to be promoted and widely shared. Here are some examples:

The commons: A governance model that brings power back to the people and includes a huge universe of bottom-up commoning initiatives flourishing around the world, a way for people to organise together to meet their needs and enhance their resilience.

Slow Circular Economy: a production system that slows down the rapid production and consumption of new goods and prioritises high quality, durability, repair, product reuse and sharing. This model reduces extraction of resources and energy and gats rid of planned obsolescence. Economy for the Common Good and other alternative economies

An approach that puts basic human values such as dignity, solidarity and justice, along with ecological sustainability and transparency above the need for individual or corporate profit. Cooperatives: A business model for organisations in which members share ownership, decision-making, and benefits, promoting equality and

Collaboration. This model redistributes wealth and power and tackles inequality. Progressive taxes. A model in which those with higher earnings pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than those with lower earnings. It reduces poverty and improves social services and resource redistribution. To move in this direction, governments, companies,

Communities and organisations should base their actions on these nine principles that envision the landscape for an alternative future. We can draw inspiration from concepts already held by Indigenous and local communities, such as Buen Vivir in Latin America or Ubuntu, which in the

Nguni Bantu language means «I am because you are.» What would it be like to live in such a world? Imagine… You wake up to the gentle caress of the first rays of sunlight streaming through the window. On your way

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To work, you see how buildings are built from reused materials and integrated into the hillside, harmonising with the landscape. Invasive adverts pushing the latest thing have been replaced with beautiful hand-painted murals. You walk along tree-lined streets, where accessible public transport and bicycles move freely. The air

is pure and clean, and the sound of traffic and sirens has gone. Now you can hear birdsong and children playing. You stop to read a newspaper headline which says“CO2 levels continue to drop”. You also read about a climate emergency in

another city, but all the people are safe and have been rapidly assisted. That reminds you of friends you have in different parts of the world, each living in a community with their own customs and goals, without trying to impose their ways onto other communities.

You arrive at your workplace, a community garden that trades products and services with neighboring communities. You and your teammates make sure the food is delicious and accessible, as the common good economy drives life, and everyone contributes

According to their abilities and receives what they need. Yes, you don’t always agree with your colleagues, but they are all kind and passionate, so you work together to find solutions and build consensus, because decisions are made democratically

And they know their work serves a purpose. In the evening, you visit a recreational centre. While you have fun exercising, others read, play instruments and paint. Access to sports and the arts is as fundamental a right as access to healthcare.

As night falls, you feel tired but fulfilled. You go to sleep thinking about the train trip you’ll take next month, where you can have fun and explore other cultures. In this future, every day is an opportunity to live in harmony with the world around you.

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¡Lo logramos juntos! ¡Gracias!

And if all of this seems utopian, there are real life examples where people are already building these futures today: The community pantry movement in the Philippines, which emerged during the pandemic, where people share food and essential resources

To help those in need. The model went viral, leading to the creation of more than 6,700 community pantries. The Dayak of Sungai Utik, an indigenous people in Indonesia, who refuse to sell their land in the Borneo rainforest. They fight to preserve their culture, territory, and practise sustainable natural resource management.

The Cecosesola cooperative in Venezuela, a prominent example focused on the production and distribution of food, offering collaborative financial, medical and funeral services while prioritising solidarity and participatory decision making. And many others such as the «Power the pedal» community and the «eco–Swaraj» movement in India, «Cooperation Africa,» an organisation

Promoting cooperatives across the continent, and the «Articulação no Semiárido Brasileiro,» a network reviving the economy and the environment through rainwater harvesting in Brazil’s semi-arid region. If the dominant socio economic model were a concrete slab, these movements are the weeds that sprout from the cracks. Instead of

Concentrating on profit and infinite economic growth, they prepare the ground for a forest of possible futures to grow, where we live within the limits of the biosphere, ensuring wellbeing and the unlimited abundance of life, cooperation and peace. Greenpeace International has collected stories that show such

Realities are possible in a document called «Growing the Alternatives» where you can learn how these futures are being built! We invite you to visit it from the link in the description. ¡Curiosamente! Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent, creative confrontation

for a green and peaceful future. Its commitment to sustainability, justice, and accountability aligns with broader movements seeking a fairer and more equitable world. Alternatives are there, we just need to grow them!

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Written by d2jma

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