Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

Amidst the current turmoil, there have been sparks of creativity and talk of the world emerging greater than it was before. In many ways, this is most important for the youth to embrace and that is exactly what Junior Landcare Australia’s ‘What’s in your backyard?’ campaign has shone a light on.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Junior Landcare asked children across Australia to grab a camera and snap photos of the flora and fauna in their backyard and describe why it was important to them.

Winner winner

After receiving nearly 3,000 incredible entries from children across Australia, 7-year-old Jarrah McGauran and his stunning image of a camouflaged moth won the competition.

Junior Landcare’s ‘What’s in Your Backyard?’ campaign encouraged the next generation to get out into their gardens, onto their balconies or even look outside their window to take in the nature right on their doorstep.

Supported by Junior Landcare ambassador and gardening guru Costa Georgiadis, the campaign aimed to help kids appreciate their environment; to understand biodiversity, where their food comes from, Indigenous perspectives and waste management.

The future

Once COVID-19 is over, it’s inevitable that the world’s gaze will turn back to the pressing issues that have been hiding in the bush for the last few months. Climate change will be at the top of most peoples lists. Campaigns like the ‘What’s in your backyard?’ campaign is the type of action that communities ought to take to further educate their youth on global happenings.

Viewing the future, through a financial and political lens, post-COVID life poses huge questions for the structure of many of the western economies. The Conversation puts forward four possible futures for the world.

To help us visit the future, I’m going to use a technique from the field of futures studies. You take two factors you think will be important in driving the future, and you imagine what will happen under different combinations of those factors.

The factors I want to take are value and centralisation. Value refers to whatever is the guiding principle of our economy. Do we use our resources to maximise exchanges and money, or do we use them to maximise life? Centralisation refers to the ways that things are organised, either by lots of small units or by one big commanding force. We can organise these factors into a grid, which can then be populated with scenarios. So we can think about what might happen if we try to respond to the coronavirus with the four extreme combinations:

1) State capitalism: centralised response, prioritising exchange value
2) Barbarism: decentralised response prioritising exchange value
3) State socialism: centralised response, prioritising the protection of life
4) Mutual aid: decentralised response prioritising the protection of life.