Editorial Newsletter
Future Generations Commissioners: from Wales to the UK?
July Newsletter 2017
The Office of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales has recently celebrated its first anniversary. To mark this important milestone the Commissioner, Sophie Howe, reflects on her first year of activity; and Anne Meikle, Head of WWF Cymru offers a perspective from civil society on this novel institution.

Should the model of a commissioner be adopted across the UK as a way of promoting long-term decisions? This was a question raised at an event organised by FDSD in partnership with the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity and the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster. Sian Lewis, FDSD Trustee, summarises the discussion.

FDSD trustees (and former Commissioners) Peter Davies and Sándor Fülöp kicked the event off with reflections on their own experience, with Andrea Westall (FDSD) and Victor Anderson (CUSP) broadening the debate to consider other options for challenging short-termism.
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The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales
- One Year On

Sophie Howe reflects on her first year in office in which engaging with public bodies and conversations with the broader public have been high priorities.
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WWF Cymru worked hard to lobby for a commissioner with independence from Government. Anne Meikle, Head of WWF Cymru, reflects on the pros and cons of this novel institution.
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A Future Generations Commissioner for the UK?

Sian Lewis, FDSD trustee, summarises the discussion at our event in April 2017 on how to better represent future generations in the UK.
FDSD trustee Peter Davies offers personal reflections on the development of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales – a journey that started with the duty to promote sustainable development in the Government of Wales Act.
Sándor Fülöp, FDSD trustee, argues for an independent, authentic voice for future generations to tackle imminent ecological crises and the failures of consumer society.
An Opportunity for Transformational Change: A Provocation on the Potential for a Future Generations Commissioner for the UK
FDSD trustee Andrea Westall suggests that a Future Generations Commissioner can’t be considered in isolation but as one of a range of options for embedding governance for the long term.
Victor Anderson, Research Fellow at CUSP, explores the executive, legislative and judiciary options for safeguarding the interests of future generations within the UK political system.
On April 11th, we co-hosted an event to discuss the potential to establish a UK-wide Commissioner for Future Generations. A video of the presentations and responses to audience questions can be found here.
Visual minutes of the meeting were created by Raquel Durán.


An Office for Future Generations is an independent institution designed to promote long-term interests in the political process. A few examples of such an office exist in countries such as Hungary and Wales. This report by FDSD trustee Graham Smith, first published in 2015, supports the development of such offices, but stresses the importance of considering their democratic characteristics.
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What do the election manifestos and Queen’s Speech tell us about the state of the constitutional reform debate in the UK and its relationship to sustainable development? Victor Anderson summarises his findings.

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:: Images ::
Tunnel - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Franck Vervial /
Giving Tomorrow's citizens a voice - CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 Linda Geßner /
Opportunity for Transformatory Change  - CC.0 David McEachan /
Interests of future generations in UK political system - CC.0 Hugo Sousa /
Democratic Case for Future Generations - CC.0 Irenne56 /
Constitutional reform © House of Lords (Photo by Roger Harris)
Copyright © 2017 Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development, All rights reserved.

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