It all started with the artist Anders Persson in Söderhamn (who is among other things known for drawing the classical comic strip 91:an Karlsson). Reading about climate change and becoming father can be a powerful combination. In Anders Persson’s case, it led to a lot of rather scary thoughts about how little that had actually happened during all his years as active in the environmental movement.
In order to do what he could for his son, Anders Persson organised the first Future Week in Söderhamn, where he lives, in 2009. The idea was to make people learn, reflect and talk about the different crisis that humanity is facing, to show what is actually being done about it, and that global problems often have local solutions.
During this week, businesses, “ordinary” people and local politicians show what they do to make their society more sustainable. A few tasters from the program from one of the future weeks earlier this year: A woman opened her sheep farm to the public, showing how she produces meat and wool. People growing food together organised a potluck party with food, drinks and discussions about sustainable food production in the area. An expert talked about how the local area would cope with a major power cut. The municipal architect met locals to discuss how the area can be made more sustainable, both socially and environmentally, through its buildings.
Talking to the founder Anders Persson, he tells me the concept is spreading rapidly. This year there are Future Weeks being organised on about ten locations. The next ones (information in Swedish) are Sundsvall [map] and Örebro [map].
– The future weeks work perfectly as a lever in order to lift the ideas about transition, both locally and regionally. Now the next challenge is to fill the rest of the year with action too! Anders Persson tells me.