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Flickers of the Future – imagining a positive future for people and planet


by Natasha Parker, Head of Post-Consumerism

4 min read



As part of our work funded by KR Foundation, Global Action Plan and MTV launch a digital campaign imagining a people and planet-positive future


The future, re-imagined

When we think about the future, many of us immediately conjure up images of the high-tech dystopias we’ve seen on our screens. We see Wall-E wheeling through mountains of rubbish, men in spacesuits setting up home on another planet, or the last few humans eking out an existence in grim post-apocalyptic wastelands.  


The more we understand the facts about climate and ecological breakdown, the more it can feel like these dark tales of the future may well come true.  


But what if we do make the radical changes required to avert climate catastrophe?  What might life look like then?  


It can be hard for us to imagine this other future, but the evidence is mounting to show that a planet positive future is a people positive one too. We need to re-think the way we eat, travel, work, consume, share and relate to each other – and this brings endless possibilities to create a better world than the one we currently inhabit.  


We want to bring these exciting possibilities into our imaginations to fuel our hope and drive our action to make this better world a reality.  


So in 2019 we ignited Flickers of the Future – a movement which uses creativity to help us imagine a more positive sustainable future.  


Inspiring creative content

With a little help from our creative industry friends Richard Curtis, Bafta Albert and Carnival films we set out on a mission to inspire creative content that uses expert insights into how living sustainably can make us happier as well as be better for the planet. 


The first stage of the Flickers of the Future movement was the Flickers of the Future competition where over 100 young writers submitted their ideas as to how positive visions of the future could be made compelling TV drama content. 


The three young winners; Amy Harris, Jack Stanley and Bethan Moore are now busy pitching their ideas to TV executives and we hope you will see their ideas come to life on screen soon! 


Amy, Jack and Bethan are also sharing 60 second clips of new ideas featuring a more positive and sustainable future with millions of MTV followers. The idea which the MTV audience engages with the most will then be made into a short animation and shared across the MTV channels.  


Alongside this, the Flickers of the Future movement is launching a new Instagram channel which will pair insights from sustainability experts and futurists with talented young artists and creatives to inspire us with what a sustainable future might mean for our everyday lives.  


Going forward, Global Action Plan will be working to encourage creatives across the broadcast industry to start thinking about how this story of a greener, brighter future of hope can feature in entertainment, fiction or comedy. 


Many broadcasters are starting to catch on that youth audiences want to see the climate crisis they care so deeply about reflected on their screens. Indeed, our 2020 survey highlighted that 77% of young people would like to see environmental issues featured in drama programmes more.   


We hope these “flickers” of a more sustainable world can inspire us all to imagine and create a better future, where all people and planet thrive together.  


Join the Flickers of the Future movement on Instagram at #flickersofthefuture 



VISIT THE flickers instagram channel

DOWNLOAD THE full press release