Home > What Could Possibly Go Right? Interview Series > Episode 16: Jane Davidson: Fairness to the Future

September 29, 2020

Jane Davidson is the author of #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country, the story of why Wales was the first country in the world to introduce legislation to protect future generations. She is Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. From 2000-2011, Jane was Minister for Education, then Minister for Environment, Sustainability in the Welsh Government. www.janedavidson.wales

Jane shares her thoughts on “What could possibly go right?” including:

  • The desire to take out short termism from politics, and encourage every country to factor future generations into their thinking.
  • The Brundtland Commission’s definition of sustainable development is important in making sure future generations can meet their own needs, through our actions in the present.
  • That Wales’ Well-being of Future Generations Act makes it the only country in the world to have put the Sustainable Development Goals into law.
  • The bringing of four pillars into decision making is key for sustainable development – social, environmental, economic and cultural.
  • The exciting sense that Britain has returned to loving nature during this time of COVID.
  • That you need visioning, truth telling, learning and loving to inspire positive change.

Listen to host Vicki Robin’s reflection of her interview with Jane Davidson here.


About Jane Davidson

Jane Davidson is the author of #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country, the story of why Wales was the first country in the world to introduce legislation to protect future generations. #futuregen is published by Chelsea Green. 

She is Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

From 2000 – 2011, Jane was Minister for Education, then Minister for Environment, Sustainability in the Welsh Government, where she proposed legislation to make sustainability the central organising principle; the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act came into law in 2015. She introduced the first plastic bag charge in the UK, and her recycling regulations took Wales to third best in the world.  She created a Climate Change Commission for Wales, the post of Sustainable Futures Commissioner, and the Wales Coast Path. 

In education, she piloted major curriculum changes, the Foundation Phase for early years, the Welsh Baccalaureate and integrated Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship into the Welsh Curriculum. 

Jane is a patron of the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) and Tools for Self Reliance Wales (TFSR Cymru).  She holds honorary fellowships from IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), WWF, CIWM (Chartered Institution of Wastes Management), CIWEM (Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management) and an honorary doctorate from the University of Glamorgan. She contributes regularly to international expert events. She is a RSA Fellow and in 2017 was guest faculty in the Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership programme at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  

She lives on a smallholding in west Wales where she aims to live lightly on the land.

Connect with Jane
janedavidson.wales | Facebook | Twitter


Download the transcript here.