A Future Generations Commissioner for the UK
Evening Discussion with Peter Davies and Sándor Fülöp
London, 11 April 2017
Government decision making is often short term, failing to account for the impact on future generations. In policy areas such as climate change, social care, infrastructure and pensions, long-term considerations are often overlooked as short-term political dynamics take priority. A small number of nations are experimenting with a novel political institution to promote the long-term interests of future generations: Commissioners and Ombudsman for Future Generations. The most recent example is the Commissioner established in Wales in 2016.
This event explored the potential to establish a UK-wide Commissioner for Future Generations. We heard from two speakers who have intimate knowledge of the work of Commissioners and Ombudsman around the world: Peter Davies, formerly the Sustainable Futures Commissioner in Wales and Sándor Fülöp, formerly the Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations of Hungary. Provocations were then offered by Andrea Westall (FDSD) and Victor Anderson (CUSP). These were followed by discussions amongst the audience on the opportunities and challenges to introducing a Commissioner at the UK level and/or within the nations of the UK, building on the pioneering work of the Welsh Government.
The evening was organised in collaboration with the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development (FDSD) and the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD). A video recording is available below. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to work on the topic, share examples, or want to keep in touch about similar events in the future.
The FDSD produced further reflections on the outcome of the meeting and continues to advocate for new forms of democratic governance that challenge short-termism and the failure to account for our impact on future generations. Visual minutes of the meeting were created by Raquel Durán.