The new issue of Positive News magazine is out now. Editor Daisy Greenwell shares her highlights, including Zimbabwe's friendship benches, the armed robber who became a triathlete, and the power of imagining a better future
It was at the ‘Big One’, an Extinction Rebellion march in April, that I discovered a man in a space suit addressing a large crowd outside parliament. He was talking about the future, and how glorious it was. He’d just arrived back from 2030 in his time-travelling machine, apparently, and wanted to let us know that everything had been sorted out.
Shell and BP had gone out of business, huge swathes of Britain had been rewilded, public transport was free, the banks were nationalised, and the birdsong … Well, it was deafening!
Hearing his words was like a cold glass of water on a burning hot day. The crowd was transfixed. It occurred to me how rarely we allow ourselves to really picture the future we want. For fears of jinxing it, perhaps – or creating a longing in ourselves so strong that it hurts. And yet that longing is vital in bringing that future into being.
And so the cover story for the new issue of Positive News magazine was born. We’ve imagined what positive headlines from 2050 might look like – all the progress that we could be reporting on if things turn out well – and talked to experts in their fields about if and how these changes could come to pass. Alongside we’ve interviewed the aforementioned time traveller who inspired the article, Transition Network founder Rob Hopkins.
Elsewhere in the issue we launch Developing Mental Wealth, a new series about mental health in the developing world, for which we won grant funding from the European Journalism Centre. For this first article in the series, we’ve been to Zimbabwe to meet the grannies whose low-cost therapy on park benches has proved more successful than traditional treatments for depression, and which is now coming to the most deprived neighbourhoods in London.
I hope our stories help you dare to imagine your own positive future on this Earth
We also share the story of an armed robber turned world champion triathlete who is training disadvantaged city kids in mountain trail running, hoping to help a new generation find a route to a better life. And we’ve learned how the concept of ‘matrescence’, like adolescence but for mothers, is opening up a new conversation about the bind of modern motherhood, helping to birth a new mothering culture.
All the stories in this issue are signposts towards possible futures that are being coaxed into being. I hope they help you dare to imagine the world that you want to help bring about; your own positive future on this Earth.