With this special report, Prospect and Nesta have brought this thought experiment to life. Beneath the conceit lies a serious point. Political attention is fixated on managing the present. Political discourse, on the left and right, is often backward looking. Politicians rarely grasp the fundamental changes in science and technology, or culture and values, that are reshaping our lives. When they do, change is presented as a question of adaptation rather than of something we can actively shape.
At Nesta, we are focused on designing and testing long-term solutions to society’s biggest challenges, from net zero to childhood inequality to public health. This collection delves into the wider forces that are set to change our society, economy and environment, each tackled by contributors with deep expertise. For its part, Prospect has always championed bold ideas, especially those that cut across the political divide. In our first editorial back in 1995, we set out our stall for the magazine as “a home for those writers who see further into the future than the rest of us.”
A quiet space for pluralism in a loud world. The great social and physical infrastructure projects of the past were sparked by an initial idea. We hope that this collection contains the seeds of such inspiration, leaving you feeling that the future is more malleable than some might fear and providing grounds for sober optimism.