About the Long Future Foundation
The Long Future Foundation is an Australian non-profit that is focussed on sharing the enlightenment that comes from understanding the Long Future.
Long Future's mission is to Understand and Protect our Home Planet for a Long Future.
The Objects of the Long Future Foundation are:
- Identify and develop world-leading ideas about the synergy between humans and the environment.
- Create innovative and popular projects that communicate these ideas to the public, policy makers and super-empowered individuals.
- Help shift the normative values of society in order to bring about an abundant global ecosystem and a Long Future for the humans.
The Long Future Team
Healthy and flourishing natural systems on our planet are essential to the very survival of the human race, and every other species living with us. These natural systems have contributed enormously to human prosperity, but this has been at a cost.
We may have increased economic capital, but it has been at the expense of natural, and also social capital. If our economic activities continue to grow unfettered, and we continue depleting natural resources at the current rate, life on earth faces certain collapse. We have created artificial systems that are now totally out-of-sync, and fighting with nature’s systems.
The natural systems of Earth have moderated safe climatic conditions, and provided freshwater, food, disease control, materials, waste disposal, and clean fresh air – the oxygen that we consume in every breath.
Despite this, the way that we humans have conducted ourselves on this planet now has the appearance of a destructive war on nature. Driven by a feckless desire to continue growing GDP this battle grows in intensity year in, year out, even though it is a war that we can never win. Amory Lovins, founder of The Rocky Mountains Institute, puts it another way that should make sense to business leaders:
“Today we have a temporary aberration called “industrial capitalism” which is inadvertently liquidating its two most important sources of capital input – the natural world, and properly functioning societies. No sensible capitalist would do that…..”
And yet we continue. Few people have grasped what we stand to lose if this war agains nature continues; we humans face extinction in the near term. The problems that we face are complex and deeply rooted in our established economic, social and technological systems, otherwise known as business as usual (BaU).
Information is readily available on this subject through the peer reviewed science journals, blogs, popular fiction and even the mainstream media. The Club of Rome drew our attention to the Limits to Growth in 1972.
But we have largely ignored these warnings. Just like Anthropogenic Global Warming and consequent climate change the evidence is clear and present, but there is huge opposition to changing our current economic paradigm. Too many vested interests fear that change will deprive them of profit, and these vested interests continue to fund and support the dissemination of doubt about the science and the growing evidence of massive risk to society of BaU.
Fortunately, we don’t have to continue with BaU. We have time to pivot, transform, and implement new models of behaviour, commerce, and technology that will not only repair our damaged Earth, but create an abundance of natural and societal wealth. And the good news is that business can lead this change, creating vast new opportunities and new sources of community wealth.
This is not only possible, but highly desirable because when we partner with a healthy global environment, and create better functioning social fabric, we will all benefit. There will be less illness, better amenity, more human connectedness, security, greater happiness, and satisfaction from renewed purpose in life.
Long Future will seek these outcomes by connecting the desire, the resources, and the researchers to find alternative, and regenerative solutions to our big global challenges.
There are many statistics that swirl around my head, but there is one that consistently leaves me more breathless than the rest. Scientists tell us that human activity - burning fossil fuels and heating the planet - has resulted in the death of 40% of the world's phytoplankton.
Most have never heard of phytoplankton. These are the tiny plants that float around in the ocean. They play a crucial role in providing half of the world's oxygen, carbon sequestration and climate regulation, and producing the clouds that water our crops. As the basis of the marine foodchain, they also feed our seafood.
Simply put, if there are no phytoplankton, there will be no people. It's that simple. And yet we humans have unwittingly knocked-off 40% of them; and the actions that caused this, we continue, unabated.
What on Earth are we thinking?
The global sustainability crisis - that threatens human extinction this century - is beyond a line item on a balance sheet. It is not going to be fixed by engaging a non-executive staff member to attend a CSR workshop once a year. What we humans have done to this planet - and what we continue to do - transcends business, and deserves to be viewed as a profound spiritual imbalance; a form of mental illness that is exacerbated by an economic system that views 3-5 years as 'long-term', and seeks endless growth using finite resources. Fortunately, this mental illness is cureable by a healthy dose of science and common sense, as delivered in the Long Future Executive Briefing.
Amongst other skills and interests, I am a fiction-writer, a novelist. As such, I know that to keep an audience engaged, it is necessary to have an antagonist (the bad-guy), and a strong plot with a clearly defined beginning, middle and end.
In this case the bad-guy is any industry that stands in the way of the humans enjoying our birthright - the Long Future. The beginning of this story is your attendance at a Long Future Executive Briefing. The middle is what you decide to do as a result. And the end, well... that could be several milllion years from now.