Published: 30 November 2022
Sara Elias, Senior Policy Officer at Public Health Wales explains why we need to work differently to tackle inequalities
On 23 November 22, our Chief Executive Dr Tracey Cooper hosted a Wales Climate Week 2022 session.
Responding to a call for a new way of working in the Inequality in a Future Wales report, our session focused on a project that Public Health Wales (PHW) and the Office for the Future Generations Commissioner (OFGC) commissioned FLiNT to carry out.
The project, Communities and Climate Change in Future Wales, is designed to inspire and support others to involve lesser heard communities in long-term thinking.
Dr Genevieve Lively and Dr. Will Slocomb from FLiNT showcased how they used creative futures methods to involve communities that were often missing from the public discourse on climate change.
Thinking about the long-term can be difficult but their use of storytelling methods allowed participants to creatively explore their hopes and fears, exchanging thoughts and opinions in a safe, structured space. To find out more about what they learned, read the full report.
I spoke about turning stories into policies. By reflecting on what the findings mean for the way we work today. it’s clear that embedding all five ways of working is necessary to address the climate and nature emergency; from integrating our work to join the dots, to involving and collaborating with communities to find shared solutions and taking early action to prevent negative impacts on health, well-being and equality.
Reflecting the diversity of issues that were raised, our three panel members made insightful observations. Sarah Jones from Public Health Wales provided a fantastic overview of how the 20mph legislation can provide benefits for safer travel, community cohesion and local economies, leading us towards a virtuous rather than vicious cycle.
Next up, Patience Bentu from the Office for the Future Generations Commissioner spoke about the actions that Welsh bodies can take today to create a more equal Wales tomorrow, which underpins and support a healthier, prosperous, resilient, cohesive, culturally vibrant and globally responsible Wales.
Kim Mamhende closed with a reminder for us all to continue to give young people a seat at the table;
“My mission is for future generations to inherit a Wales that is fairer, more equitable and prosperous”.
Our Communities and Climate Change in a Future Wales project demonstrates the value of including lesser heard voices in discussions around climate change. The enthusiasm and passion that people have for ensuring that we tackle inequalities in our decision making today to support a more equal Wales tomorrow. The resources from this project have been made publicly available and we hope that this inspires you to talk to “need to be heard groups”, as one of the project participants put it.
You can find the project reports, along with methodological resources here.