The future in Bristol

The guys at Futurelab led an interesting discussion yesterday about futures, and specifically the near-term future in Bristol. Interesting first of all that more than a dozen people came indoors for this on a Saturday afternoon when they might have been idling by the harbourside outside the Arnolfini in the sunshine (well, the sunny folk did outnumber us slightly). But also impressive how detailed some of the ideas about possible and desirable futures which were elicited in an hour or so’s discussion.

We had a particularly good bit, I thought, on the future of food, stimulated by wondering what it might be like to be a farmer in the UK in 20 years time. It reminded me of one of the best answers yet to a question I’ve posed a couple of times – what would you want to ask someone from the future about their world? “Are there still supermarkets?” struck me as a fantastically good query, because it wraps up so many questions in one.

Me, I think supermarkets are pretty adaptable. I would try and avoid them but my bit of organic foodie, sustainable, locally source obsessed Bristol is laid out so that I actually walk through a Summerfield’s to get to the Gloucester road from my house. The result is that we kind of use it as our fridge. A good excuse not to keep a freezer in the house, though, so it supports one green choice…

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