Representation for Future Generations in Sweden – a summary of our work so far

Writ­ten with Signe Savén, who has been es­pe­cially in­volved in the full write-up.

Introduction

Fu­ture gen­er­a­tions don’t make it to the vot­ing sta­tion. Be­cause of this, their in­ter­ests are poorly rep­re­sented in cur­rent poli­ti­cal sys­tems. This post sum­ma­rizes some work we have done in EA Swe­den to bet­ter rep­re­sent fu­ture gen­er­a­tions in the Swedish poli­ti­cal sys­tem. The idea is to find ways in which the poli­ti­cal sys­tem can be tweaked or af­fected to bet­ter take the in­ter­ests of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions into ac­count. This can be done by things such as: mak­ing ad­just­ments to the leg­is­la­tive pro­cess, set­ting up an Om­buds­man for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, giv­ing rights to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions or hav­ing a Minister for the fu­ture in gov­ern­ment.

The idea is based on and in­spired by work that has been done pri­mar­ily in the UK start­ing in 2017 by among oth­ers FUSE (Fu­ture of Sen­tience, now a part of Effec­tive Altru­ism: Cam­bridge) and CSER (Cen­tre for the Study of Ex­is­ten­tial Risks), which for ex­am­ple lead to the for­ma­tion of the All-Party Par­li­a­men­tary Group on Fu­ture Gen­er­a­tions in Novem­ber 2017. The group con­sists of MPs in­ter­ested in is­sues re­lated to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, has a sec­re­tariat hosted by CSER and e.g. puts on sem­i­nars high­light­ing spe­cific global catas­trophic risks.

So what have we been up to? Fol­low­ing a similar pro­ject plan to the UK group, we have done re­search look­ing at differ­ent meth­ods to giv­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tion to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions in coun­tries around the world, e.g. by set­ting up Om­buds­men, grant­ing rights to fu­ture peo­ple and hav­ing com­mit­tees in the leg­is­la­ture tasked with pro­tect­ing the in­ter­ests of fu­ture peo­ple. We have also re­searched the Swedish con­text, in­clud­ing in­ter­views with over 20 rele­vant stake­hold­ers. Based on the above, we’ve de­cided on a num­ber of recom­men­da­tions, which we are cur­rently do­ing work to im­ple­ment.

Below, we’ll de­scribe the ra­tio­nale be­hind the pro­ject, the progress we’ve made so far, a brief de­scrip­tion of the re­sults of our re­search (full write-up here), our plans go­ing for­ward and some ad­vice to other groups in­ter­ested in do­ing similar work.

Contents

1. Pro­ject rationale

2. Progress so far

3. Sum­mary of our write-up

3.1. Cri­te­ria for suit­able in­sti­tu­tional tweaks

3.2. Recommmendations

4. Plans go­ing forward

5. Should other groups try to do the same thing?

6. Kudos

1. Pro­ject rationale

There is a large em­pha­sis on ba­sic re­search in the global catas­trophic risk-space, with e.g. ALLFED be­ing a no­table ex­cep­tion. This is plau­si­bly a good strat­egy in a space where we have lit­tle knowl­edge about what poli­cies will make a differ­ence and be­ing wary that some of them might even be harm­ful. How­ever, as we find out more about how to coun­ter­act global catas­trophic risks, there needs to be a way for the re­search to af­fect the be­havi­our of rele­vant ac­tors. So far, this has mainly been done by rais­ing aware­ness among those who are likely to de­velop the po­ten­tially harm­ful tech­nol­ogy – i.e. re­searchers and com­pa­nies. Another ap­proach, aimed at in this pro­ject, is find­ing ways for the re­search to af­fect policy. In par­tic­u­lar, there is a lot of value to ca­pac­ity-build­ing in this area: lay­ing the ground­works to be able to af­fect policy fur­ther down the line. Given the above, a pro­ject of this kind could have sev­eral benefits: di­rect im­pact by pos­i­tively af­fect­ing policy, ca­pac­ity build­ing by de­vel­op­ing net­works and skills in the area, in ad­di­tion to ex­plo­ra­tion value by learn­ing more about how to have effec­tive al­tru­ism and re­search on global catas­trophic risks af­fect policy.

Pro­jects of this sort come with risks of ac­tual harm that one should be wary of. Firstly, the pro­ject could be di­rectly harm­ful if it caused harm­ful poli­cies to be put in place. This could e.g. hap­pen given high de­grees of un­cer­tainty about what poli­cies will de­crease ex­is­ten­tial risk. Se­condly, a pro­ject of this kind could have nega­tive rep­u­ta­tional effects. If car­ried out poorly, effec­tive al­tru­ism or work on global catas­trophic risks could come to be viewed nega­tively by im­por­tant stake­hold­ers such as poli­ti­ci­ans. In short, it could lead to worse op­por­tu­ni­ties to pos­i­tively af­fect policy.

In short, the ra­tio­nale for go­ing ahead with the pro­ject was firstly that it seemed plau­si­bly valuable, es­pe­cially in terms of ex­plo­ra­tion value and ca­pac­ity build­ing. Se­condly, we thought that we had the re­sources to carry it out, both in terms of com­mit­ted mem­bers and in terms of con­nec­tions to or­gani­sa­tions and in­di­vi­d­u­als. Many x-risk re­searchers are Swedish (e.g. An­ders Sand­berg, Max Teg­mark, Nick Bostrom and Olle Häg­gström) and there are at least two Swedish or­gani­sa­tions work­ing ac­tively with global catas­trophic risks will­ing to sup­port us with ad­vice, ex­per­tise and net­works: the In­sti­tute for Fu­ture Stud­ies and the Global Challenges Foun­da­tion. Thirdly, the rep­u­ta­tional and brand risks to the effec­tive al­tru­ism move­ment in en­gag­ing with poli­tics are likely less se­vere in a small coun­try (only ~10 mil­lion in­hab­itants) where English is not the first lan­guage.

2. Progress so far

Since start­ing the pro­ject in Jan­uary, some of the main things we have done are:

  • Re­search­ing what ways of rep­re­sent­ing fu­ture gen­er­a­tions are suit­able in a Swedish con­text, look­ing at e.g. how fu­ture gen­er­a­tions have been given rep­re­sen­ta­tion in other coun­tries and pre­vi­ous at­tempts to do so in Swe­den. Based on re­search and in­ter­views with dozens of stake­hold­ers, rang­ing from poli­ti­ci­ans, to re­searchers and cam­paign­ers. See the ab­stract of the write-up of this work be­low and the write-up it­self here.

  • Found and acted on an op­por­tu­nity to do ob­ject-level work, pub­lish­ing this ar­ti­cle – with An­ders Sand­berg, Carin Ism, Max Teg­mark and Olle Häg­gström – in a Swedish news­pa­per ar­gu­ing for a lethal au­tonomous weapons-ban when we saw that there would be a vote on the topic in Par­li­a­ment.

  • Started work to com­mu­ni­cate and im­ple­ment our pro­posed changes. This has been done by putting on a launch event, or­ganis­ing and par­ti­ci­pat­ing in sem­i­nars, writ­ing an opinion piece about our recom­men­da­tions in one of Swe­den’s main news­pa­pers, and reach­ing out to and meet­ing with mem­bers of the Swedish Par­li­a­ment.

3. Sum­mary of our write-up

Below, we’ve cut out some rele­vant parts of the write-up: crite­ria used for de­cid­ing on what in­sti­tu­tional changes to recom­mend and our recom­men­da­tions. For de­tails about what has been tried in other coun­tries, a list of all the differ­ent changes we con­sid­ered and a his­tory of these kinds of in­sti­tu­tional tweaks in Swe­den, have a look at sec­tions 4-6 of our write-up.

3.1. Cri­te­ria for suit­able in­sti­tu­tional tweaks

When think­ing about what changes to the leg­is­la­tive sys­tem to recom­mend, we have taken the fol­low­ing crite­ria into ac­count.

Achievability

Achiev­abil­ity con­cerns the like­li­hood that a sys­tem is suc­cess­fully es­tab­lished. In­sti­tu­tions and mechanisms that are difficult to im­ple­ment are less likely to be es­tab­lished than those that are more easy to im­ple­ment. Difficul­ties can man­i­fest them­selves as com­pli­cated leg­is­la­tive changes (e.g. changes to the con­sti­tu­tion) that re­quire a lot of poli­ti­cal sup­port over time to be im­ple­mented, or costly ini­ti­a­tives that de­mand that re­sources be trans­ferred from already es­tab­lished in­sti­tu­tions to new ones. Estab­lish­ing a new in­sti­tu­tion can cre­ate a lot of op­po­si­tion from already ex­ist­ing in­sti­tu­tions, be­cause they may fear that their re­sources or man­date are threat­ened.

Sustainability

Apart from be­ing es­tab­lished, a sys­tem must be main­tained in or­der to be able to have benefi­cial effects on policy-mak­ing. Sus­tain­abil­ity is the prop­erty to re­main op­er­a­tional over time. In or­der for in­sti­tu­tions and other mechanisms of a sys­tem to be sus­tain­able, wide sup­port, both pub­li­cly and across the poli­ti­cal spec­trum, or con­sti­tu­tional en­trench­ment, are im­por­tant fac­tors.

Im­por­tant fac­tors to con­sider are whether the in­sti­tu­tion man­ages to cre­ate sup­port for it­self or if it might cause its own de­struc­tion (Caney 2016). Fur­ther, le­gi­t­i­macy, and power in pro­por­tion to per­ceived le­gi­t­i­macy, are im­por­tant fac­tors. In­sti­tu­tions that have re­ceived much power early on have not lasted long, sug­gest­ing that soft-power mechanisms are prefer­able, at least ini­tially.

Effec­tive­ness

Achiev­abil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity are nec­es­sary con­di­tions for a sys­tem to be able to have any effect on policy over time, but they are far from suffi­cient. Once they are in place, it is cru­cial that the sys­tem is effec­tive, that is, that it af­fects policy pos­i­tively. In or­der for a sys­tem to be effec­tive, it must have the power to in­fluence policy. This power may have been for­mally del­e­gated to an in­sti­tu­tion (e.g. the power to veto new leg­is­la­tion) or may be have been ob­tained in­for­mally (e.g. by the me­dia).

To en­sure effec­tive­ness, the pro­posed sys­tem should ad­dress the causes of poli­ti­cal short-ter­mism. Such causes in­clude ig­no­rance of the fu­ture, elec­toral and eco­nomic de­pen­dence, type of perfor­mance in­di­ca­tors and au­dit­ing du­ra­tion, and me­dia cov­er­age. Short time-frames within these ar­eas tend to spill over and make poli­tics short-sighted as well. In ad­di­tion, there are sev­eral as­pects of hu­man na­ture that causes us to be bi­ased in policy-mak­ing. For in­stance, we of­ten fail to de­tect creep­ing prob­lems, we are more likely to take ac­tion if a vic­tim is iden­ti­fi­able, we re­spond more to vivid risks and tend to ig­nore things that are not in front of us, and we tend to be prone to pos­i­tive illu­sions. In ad­di­tion, we have a ten­dency to pro­cras­ti­nate and may fall for temp­ta­tion, weak­ness of will or self-in­ter­est (Caney 2016, in In­sti­tu­tions for Fu­ture Gen­er­a­tions). A sys­tem that aims to rep­re­sent fu­ture gen­er­a­tions should in­clude mechanisms that cor­rects for these causes of short-ter­mism.

Ac­cess to nec­es­sary resources

In ad­di­tion, for a sys­tem to de­liver benefi­cial policy, it must have ac­cess to nec­es­sary re­sources. This in­cludes suffi­cient fund­ing as well as rele­vant in­for­ma­tion and ex­per­tise. In or­der to cre­ate benefi­cial policy, differ­ent policy-ar­eas must be suffi­ciently un­der­stood, which makes ac­cess to sub­ject-mat­ter ex­perts and high-qual­ity re­search es­sen­tial. Given the low ma­tu­rity of re­search into GCRs, this crite­ria be­comes par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to us. This ac­cess could be ob­tained by em­pow­er­ing a spe­cific in­sti­tu­tion to carry out and col­late rele­vant re­search. Fur­ther, it is im­por­tant that new policy is able to re­spond to changes and is made rele­vant. To fa­cil­i­tate this, it is im­por­tant that the sys­tem is trans­par­ent and al­lows in­put from all stake­hold­ers to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion.

3.2. Recommendations

The ini­ti­a­tives we pro­pose are pre­sented be­low, each fol­lowed by a brief ex­pla­na­tion. The recom­men­da­tion is not that one ini­ti­a­tive be im­ple­mented be­fore the next one is started. Rather, we would ex­pect that sev­eral recom­men­da­tions be pur­sued in par­allel.

A. En­sure that there are suffi­cient means to im­ple­ment and achieve the Cli­mate Act and Agenda 2030 (the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals)

To achieve the am­bi­tious goals, lead­er­ship from gov­ern­ment, par­li­a­men­tary an­chor­ing and con­crete ac­tions are re­quired. To sup­port this, we pro­pose a Fu­ture Com­mis­sion in the Swedish Par­li­a­ment (Riks­dag), whose first task is to mon­i­tor the im­ple­men­ta­tion of both the Cli­mate Act and Agenda 2030. The hope would be that the body would be used go­ing for­ward do­ing other work as well.

This pro­posal seems like it can be im­pact­ful by sup­port­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Swedish Cli­mate Act and Agenda 2030. How­ever, we also think it is a good pro­posal even if one is pri­mar­ily con­cerned with GCRs. This is be­cause such a Fu­ture Com­mis­sion could po­ten­tially be used to put tech­nolog­i­cal risks on the poli­ti­cal agenda, and be­cause it al­lows us to get sup­port from a wider range of stake­hold­ers who are more in­ter­ested in Agenda 2030 and cli­mate change than tech­nolog­i­cal risks.

B. Estab­lish an Om­buds­man for fu­ture generations

The Chil­dren’s Om­buds­man was es­tab­lished be­cause chil­dren lack the op­por­tu­nity to pro­tect their own in­ter­ests. The same ap­plies to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. An Om­buds­man for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions is needed to mon­i­tor the work of gov­ern­ment, par­li­a­ment and all au­thor­i­ties to take into ac­count the in­ter­ests of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions and to pro­pose new leg­is­la­tion that pro­tects their in­ter­ests.

A State Om­buds­man for Fu­ture Gen­er­a­tions would help en­sure that the in­ter­ests of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions are prop­erly taken into con­sid­er­a­tion, both in the leg­is­la­tive pro­cess and when it comes to im­ple­ment­ing and en­forc­ing new policy. The role of the Om­buds­man would be to in­ves­ti­gate, pre­sent opinions, and pro­pose leg­is­la­tion, not de­liver bind­ing rul­ings, which makes it a soft power in­sti­tu­tion. In car­ry­ing out its work, the Om­buds­man would help with con­tin­u­ous agenda-set­ting, thereby helping the sys­tem to be­come self-sus­tain­ing.

An Om­buds­man needs a le­gal base to work from. Such a base could be made up of in­ter­na­tional treaties or con­ven­tions, legally rec­og­nized rights of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, or other leg­is­la­tion aimed at pro­tect­ing fu­ture gen­er­a­tions (Beck­man & Ug­gla 2016). We are cur­rently un­sure about the strength of the man­date re­quired and whether man­dates with this strength cur­rently ex­ist in Swe­den. The Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals might form such a ba­sis. Another can­di­date is the Swedish con­sti­tu­tion which holds that “the pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions shall pro­mote sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment lead­ing to a good en­vi­ron­ment for pre­sent and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions” (The Con­sti­tu­tion of Swe­den, Ch. 1, §2). We ex­pect to be­come clearer on this point over time.

In gen­eral, we think the ar­gu­ment in favour of an Om­buds­man for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions has pub­lic ap­peal, mainly since the rhetoric seems effec­tive and be­cause peo­ple have a good un­der­stand­ing of the func­tion of Om­buds­men. It is there­fore easy to cam­paign on. Fur­ther­more, we think that an Om­buds­man would be benefi­cial in im­ple­ment­ing policy re­lated to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. How­ever, cre­at­ing a new Om­buds­man is likely poli­ti­cally difficult. They tend to last for a long time, but sel­dom be cre­ated. All in all, the Om­buds­man scores low on achiev­abil­ity, but high on sus­tain­abil­ity, effec­tive­ness and ac­cess to knowl­edge.

C. Create a cross-poli­ti­cal net­work for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions in the Swedish Parliament

To move im­por­tant fu­ture is­sues onto the poli­ti­cal agenda, we pro­pose that a cross-poli­ti­cal net­work is es­tab­lished. Such a net­work would help cre­ate wide poli­ti­cal sup­port, which is key for both the achiev­abil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity of other in­sti­tu­tions and mechanisms that we recom­mend should be de­vel­oped and es­tab­lished later. It would also have pos­i­tive on­go­ing im­pact on agenda-set­ting, aid­ing in en­sur­ing that fu­ture is­sues re­main a rele­vant topic of con­sid­er­a­tion.

Cross-poli­ti­cal net­works are not reg­u­lated by law and can take differ­ent forms. Some are or­gani­sa­tions with their own statutes and in­ter­nal rules, whereas oth­ers are more loosely ar­ranged. What unites them is that their mem­bers come from differ­ent poli­ti­cal par­ties. This means that there is a lot of free­dom when it comes to es­tab­lish­ing such a net­work, which leaves it open to us to con­sider what kind of role we want to have. Based on our in­ter­views, these net­works are com­mon, but since they are not reg­u­lated it is difficult to know how many there are, what they do and what im­pact they have.

In the United King­dom, a cross-poli­ti­cal net­work – the All-Party Par­li­a­men­tary Group on Fu­ture Gen­er­a­tions – has been up and run­ning since the fall of 2017. From what we have heard, that group is do­ing well. It has, how­ever, been pointed out to us that there is a differ­ence in the amount of power that the par­li­a­men­tar­i­ans in the United King­dom have com­pared to the par­li­a­men­tar­i­ans in Swe­den. But since it is up to the net­works how they are or­ganised and how they op­er­ate, we feel that a cross-poli­ti­cal net­work is a good way to have im­pact at a low cost.

Fur­ther, we pro­pose that the In­sti­tute for Fu­ture Stud­ies takes on in­creas­ing re­spon­si­bil­ities with re­gard to fu­ture is­sues, and take on a role similar to CSER in re­gard to the All-Party Par­li­a­men­tary Group on Fu­ture Gen­er­a­tions. The in­sti­tute already car­ries out re­search on fu­ture is­sues. With in­creas­ing re­sources it could take on a broader role and serve as a think tank to the par­li­a­ment, car­ry­ing out and col­lat­ing re­search on a wide va­ri­ety of fu­ture is­sues. We also think that it would be valuable if the in­sti­tute could be­come a per­ma­nent body con­sid­er­ing pro­posed leg­is­la­tion.

In sum­mary, a cross-poli­ti­cal net­work seems to score high on achiev­abil­ity, medium on effec­tive­ness and ac­cess to knowl­edge, and po­ten­tially low on sus­tain­abil­ity.

D. In­crease the fo­cus on fu­ture is­sues through­out the leg­is­la­tive process

Through­out the leg­is­la­tive pro­cess, con­sid­er­a­tion should be given to the effect new leg­is­la­tion has on fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. This can be done e.g. by re­quiring com­mit­tees to take into ac­count the in­ter­ests of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions when cer­tain kinds of de­ci­sions are made or in other ways amend­ing the pro­ce­dures of par­li­a­men­tary com­mit­tees. We think do­ing so could be im­pact­ful, since it would main­stream think­ing about fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. How­ever, de­ter­min­ing what changes are ap­pro­pri­ate is very difficult, given the com­plex­ity of the leg­is­la­tive pro­cess and the con­straints (mainly in terms of time in the Swedish con­text) of par­li­a­men­tary com­mit­tees. This can be done by re­quiring that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion (utred­ning) that pre­cedes a new law takes a fu­ture per­spec­tive and eval­u­ates the con­se­quences for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of the is­sue at hand, by es­tab­lish­ing a new body to rou­tinely re­view pro­posed leg­is­la­tion (re­miss­in­stans) with re­gard to the in­ter­ests of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, or by re­quiring that the in­ter­ests of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions be taken into ac­count in all re­ports from the par­li­a­men­tary com­mit­tees (ut­skotts­betänkan­den).

E. Sup­port from civil society

Poli­ti­ci­ans need sup­port from cit­i­zens who want poli­ti­ci­ans to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for long-term challenges. We need to show sup­port not only for poli­ti­cal promises to take cer­tain ac­tions, but also for the im­ple­men­ta­tion that fol­lows from such promises.

We be­lieve that there is a gap that we can fill here. There are dis­cus­sions about policy is­sues that quite closely al­ign with the cause ar­eas or is­sues that long-ter­mist effec­tive al­tru­ists might be par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in that are cur­rently not pushed for by civil so­ciety. For ex­am­ple, notic­ing that a ban on lethal au­tonomous weapons was be­ing voted on in the Par­li­a­ment, we could with quite small means write an ar­ti­cle for Da­gens Samhälle one of the more wonky Swedish news­pa­pers with Max Teg­mark (FLI), Carin Ism (Global Challenges Foun­da­tion), An­ders Sand­berg (FHI) and Olle Häg­gström (Chalmers Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity). We will likely keep do­ing similar things in the fu­ture.

4. Plans go­ing forward

Go­ing for­ward, we are plan­ning to:

Keep push­ing our mes­sage

  • Con­tinue find­ing MPs that are sym­pa­thetic to our cause and that po­ten­tially could be­come part of a cross-poli­ti­cal net­work.

  • Hold sem­i­nars and host events (e.g. a de­bate about the fu­ture with rele­vant youth poli­ti­ci­ans).

  • Get no­ticed more in the me­dia (e.g. con­tinue to pub­lish in the big news­pa­pers).

Put our­selves in a bet­ter po­si­tion to do more good in the future

  • Build a coal­i­tion with im­por­tant ac­tors (or­gani­sa­tions and in­di­vi­d­u­als) to en­sure that this be­comes more than an effec­tive al­tru­ism pro­ject. We don’t think we’ll be able to suc­ceed in this cam­paign alone.

  • Col­lect sig­na­tures, e.g. from pub­lic figures.

  • At­tract more peo­ple to the pro­ject core team to in­crease ca­pac­ity (fo­cus­ing on re­cruit­ing for spe­cific roles).

  • Up­date our com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mes­sag­ing strate­gies, along with our brand (mainly vi­sual).

Con­stantly eval­u­at­ing our work to find ways to improve

  • Set spe­cific goals against which our progress can be eval­u­ated.

5. Should other groups try to do the same thing?

Be­fore car­ry­ing out your own pro­ject of this sort, there’s a num­ber of fac­tors to con­sider. Firstly, there’s been quite a bit of dis­cus­sion re­cently about the use­ful­ness of di­rect work among lo­cal groups (e.g. here, here and here). Se­condly, there are the risks men­tioned above that need to be taken into ac­count.

In sum­mary, if you’re con­sid­er­ing em­bark­ing on a similar pro­ject, we would give the fol­low­ing ad­vice:

  • Don’t get started with­out talk­ing to ex­perts within rele­vant com­mu­ni­ties (e.g. x-risk re­searchers and peo­ple at effec­tive al­tru­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions). Car­ry­ing out a pro­ject like this, and es­pe­cially reach­ing out to poli­ti­ci­ans, could turn out to be harm­ful.

  • Make sure you have the ca­pac­ity to carry out the pro­ject. This in­cludes hav­ing a group of peo­ple ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing out the pro­ject (e.g. with strong so­cial skills, pro­ject man­age­ment, un­der­stand­ing of the is­sues and good judg­ment), hav­ing ac­cess to ex­perts (much like the pro­ject in the UK would have been difficult to carry out with­out this, ours would have been difficult with­out ac­cess to e.g. the In­sti­tute for Fu­ture Stud­ies) and hav­ing poli­ti­cal con­nec­tions.

  • Con­duct cheap tests. If we were to do the pro­ject again, for ex­am­ple, it may have been a good first step to gauge the in­ter­est among MPs more be­fore get­ting started.

  • Lo­cal con­text is re­ally im­por­tant. Though there seems to be some gen­er­al­is­able con­clu­sions – e.g. that be­ing ad­ver­sar­ial of­ten proves coun­ter­pro­duc­tive – lo­cal con­text will have a large im­pact. We think we un­der­es­ti­mated the im­por­tance of the lo­cal con­text.

6. Kudos

Ku­dos to the pro­ject team, Signe Savén, Robert Shep­herd, Emil Waste­son and Denise Fer­reras. Ku­dos es­pe­cially to the peo­ple at CSER and FUSE who set up the All-Party Par­li­a­men­tary Group on Fu­ture Gen­er­a­tions, among oth­ers Beth Barnes, Natalie Jones, Lord Martin Rees, Tildy Stokes, Si­mon Beard, Julius Weitzdörfer and Mark O’Brien. Thanks also for es­pe­cially helpful com­ments and feed­back from Robert Höglund, Carin Ism and Ste­fan Schu­bert. Thanks also to our ex­pert group An­ders Sand­berg, Olle Häg­gström, Kristina Pers­son, Bir­gitta Englin, Ste­fan Ein­horn and Karim Atahualpa Je­bari.