We’re on a mission to co-create hopeful, sustainable futures. What about you?

The Hopeful, Sustainable Futures (hsf) project is an idea, a community, and a movement that aims to help the world create better, more equitable, and yes, hopeful, futures by disrupting short-term thinking and doomism with visions of transformative possibilities.

What if it was possible to create hopeful, sustainable futures by inviting people to imagine a better world?

We believe that this IS possible.

In this space, see how others are imagining the future, share YOUR vision in our Time Capsule, join us for monthly online gatherings and in-person events, tap into regular inspiration, and join a community of change makers who are turning their visions into tangible realities.

Think about this…

“Want a better world? Start by imagining what that better world will look like, its sounds, smells, tastes and textures. Make it seem so real that you start changing your environment to make it more tangible. Watch in wonder as others follow suit. In short, it all starts with a story.
―Suzanne Whitby

Sustainability catalyst, futurist, storyteller

Add your vision to our Time Capsule

We’re creating a digital time capsule filled with hopeful, sustainable futures, as envisioned by the people of planet earth.  We’re filling our time capsule with the imaginings and dreams and visions of a better world, one that will benefit present and future generations.

For the next five years (2024-2030), we will be inviting people from across the globe to share their idea of a hopeful, sustainable future with us, so that we can add it to our time capsule. From a few sentences to long-form stories, videos of community contributions and singer-songwriters in action, to artistic performances, photo stories, poems and everything in between, we want to know what a hopeful, sustainable future looks like to YOU.

The Hopeful, Sustainable Futures Time Capsule

Think about this…

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

―Buckminster Fuller

Resouces to help you imagine a hopeful, sustainable future

Sometimes it’s difficult to start thinking about what hopeful, sustainable futures might look like. That’s why we’ve put together some ideas to kick-start your creative thinking: from verbal prompts, visualisations of possible futures, and thought-provoking reading, we’ve got you covered.

What if…

Give your imagination a workout and ask yourself some “what if” questions to explore what a hopeful, sustainable future might look like to you.

Impressions of the future

Designers, artists, architects and other creative folk have turned their ideas about what a hopeful, sustainable future might look like into visual artworks. Use their work to spark your imagination!

A good read

They say that an image is worth 1000 words, but if you’re the type of person who needs words to imagine new worlds, then you’ll want to tap into our bookshelf of inspiring writers.

Think about this…

If you don’t like the way the world is, you change it…one step at a time.
―Marian Wright Edelman

Be inspired, stay hopeful

We have three free newsletter-y things that might be of use to you. We spend so much time immersed in the world of hopeful, sustainable futures and we come across so much interesting “stuff” that we thought it might be worth sharing. Perhaps we can save you some time! Perhaps we can make you think. Perhaps we can give you hope.

And perhaps it’s all a colossal waste of time – we’ll see. Sign up for one or all. Unsubscribe if they are too much or not useful. Easy!

 

Daily inspiration

DAILY
Every day for 365 days, you’ll receive something to inspire you to imagine and realise hopeful, sustainable futures. Short content, quick reads, all drawn from  wide range of diverse sources to keep you going!

The good news

MONTHLY
At the beginning of every month, we send out a curated note filled with good news that we’ve come across. 1-2 sentences per item, with a link to the original content. Get the overview or dive deep – the choice is yours.

hopeful, sustainable futures on Substack

OCCASIONALLY
At the beginning of every month, we send out a curated note filled with good news that we’ve come across. 1-2 sentences per item, with a link to the original content. Get the overview or dive deep – the choice is yours.

Think about this…

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
―Edward Everett Hale

Join our community

Join our free community on to receive invitations to monthly online gatherings on Zoom and other events, share ideas and inspiration, and receive occasional notifications about research and news.

Think about this…

“Every one of us can make a contribution. And quite often we are looking for the big things and forget that, wherever we are, we can make a contribution. Sometimes I tell myself, I may only be planting a tree here, but just imagine what’s happening if there are billions of people out there doing something. Just imagine the power of what we can do.”
―Wangari Maathai

Enironmentalist, politician, Nobel Peace Prize winner

Events

 

There are no events scheduled just yet.

Think about this…

“Nothing we do can change the past, but everything we do changes the future.”
―Ashleigh Brilliant

Courses

 

Coming soon.

Think about this…

“The Indian writer Amitav Ghosh also said that the climate crisis is a cultural crisis, and thus a crisis of imagination. ​​If we cannot imagine it, tell it, be culturally immersed in it, how can we face it? How do we reconcile these three dimensions: the climate crisis, imagination, and hope? And if we succeed in reconciling them what can that lead to?”
―Stella Levantesi

Why bother imagining hopeful, sustainable futures?

We humans are storytelling creatures. We tell ourselves stories about who we are, what other people think about us, what matters to us, what we hope and dream of, how the world was created and what the future might look like.

In fact, it’s been said that we’re made of stories.

The glorious, and terrifying, thing about stories is that the can be self-perpetuating. If we can imagine it, we can become it.

When it comes to the future of humanity and the future of our planet, the stories are pretty dire. We’re bombarded from all sides by stories of catastrophe and doom and gloom. Sometimes it feels as if we’re living in the book of revelations, or a horror story with no redeeming ending, or as if we’re soon to be characters in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

If we only hear stories of doom and gloom, then we don’t have much to fight for or live for.

So what if we started imagining new future? What if we started creating new stories, stories of how our homes and cities and societies and futures could look if we were able to imagine the best possible futures? And what if, instead of just telling stories, we used those stories as our goals, then identified practical actions to help us get from where we are now to where we want to be?

If this sounds crazy, let me tell you right now that it’s not. This technique is used by some of the largest, most successful companies in the world as part of their growth strategies. This process of strategic visioning and future storytelling is used to work backwards to identify practical steps, potential problems, and pathways to success.

And it’s not just businesses: there is a wealth of research that shows that stories have great power, and that creating future stories that function as future visions or goals is an effective way to instill hope, remind us that we have agency, and move us from thinking and caring to taking tangible action.

The Hopeful, Sustainable Futures project is all about providing tools and resources to help anyone, anywhere tap into their imagination, envision better futures for current and future generations, and take steps to make those futures real.

 

Think about this…

The best way to predict future is to create it.
―Peter Drucker

Get in touch

Think a conversation might be useful? Want to know more about what we do, who we are and how we can help you move from where you are now to where you want to be? Get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

4 + 15 =

Think about this…

“Narrative imagining — story — is the fundamental instrument of thought. Rational capacities depend upon it. It is our chief means of looking into the future, or predicting, of planning, and of explaining.”
―Mark Turner

Cognitive scientist, linguist, and author

How did the hopeful, sustainable futures (hsf) project start?

Well, hello there! I’m Suzanne Whitby and a few years ago, I started to get a bit frustrated with all the “doom and gloom” messaging around climate change, the environment, society and the world at large. I know that we humans do love a good moan, but if all we do is moan, we miss not only the good things that are already taking place, but we miss the opportunity to be strategic in creating the world we want.

As an oral storyteller, I know that stories matter. I’ve seen this in action as a performer, and I’ve also seen the power of stories at work in my role as a sustainability catalyst, futurist and communicator. In my academic research, I am interested in how to shift people from thinking, understanding and caring to action, and guess what? Stories have a significant role to play in change behaviour and driving action.

I created hopeful, sustainable futures because I believe that if we want a better world, we need to be able to tell better stories. And once we have the vision, we can start working backwards to work out what actions we need to take to turn vision into reality. The project offers resources, ideas, inspiration and community to support future makers and change catalysts.

Enjoy!

Think about this…

“Nelson Mandela taught me this: hope survives wherever people come together.”
―Gordon Brown

Bio

Suzanne Whitby is a sustainability catalyst, futures thinker, storyteller and communicator who helps individuals, communities and organisations co-create hopeful, sustainable futures that are good for people, good for the planet and that lead to sustainable prosperity.

She combines her international experience and her skills as a communication specialist, storyteller, facilitator, trainer, and experience designer to bring people together to provoke thought, prompt discussions and encourage impactful action. She puts her superpowers to good use in her sustainability-centered businesses, which include SHIFT, SciComm Success, and her communication consultancy, Whitby’s Sustainability. She is the founder of klimafit and Nachhaltig in Tirol in Austria, and creates interactive walking experiences at Ways to Walk.

As a PhD candidate at VU Amsterdam, she studies the intersection of the senses, stories and (land)scapes and their role in encouraging pro-environmental action and sustainable behaviours.

Learn more at suzannewhitby.com, or connect with her on LinkedIn, Mastodon, Blue Sky and Instagram.

Suzanne Whitby | Sustainability catalyst, futurist, communicator | Co-creating hopeful, sustainable futures