The Tomorrow People

The Future Generations are who we design, plan, build and manage the built environment for. But how can we be sure we are doing it right? What are the next steps? This update follows on from last month’s explanation about CEWales’ work on the WFG Act.

The work with the Future Generation Commissioner’s team is evolving at a pace. We are hoping to see some trial projects begin soon that test construction processes against the seven well-being goals set out in the WFG Act – each of which can be connected to construction. At the heart of the work is the conviction that the framework for achieving these goals and making the right changes in behaviour already exists. We cannot burden the industry further. So, the mission of CEWales is to clarify exactly how to meet the WFG Act obligations and develop practical tools, methodology and guidance.

What else is going on? Our G4C group in Wales has formed a working group focussing on the WFG Act and Paul Maliphant, Development Director at Mott McDonald in Cardiff, has been acting as a roving ambassador for CEWales reaching out to public sector client groups and the supply chain making people aware of the need to align with the principles and goals of the WFG Act. In an interview to Business Insider he said:

“We must do everything we can to ensure this planet remains habitable by the human species and support communities and society to thrive," he said.

"If you look at the Future Generations Act, the goal at the top of the list is prosperity, which recognises wealth creation in the context of the challenges we face; there is a legal mandate in Wales to deliver the UN sustainable development goals."

Now, the Act requires public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other, and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change.

But Maliphant believes the construction sector should also be on the list.

"Constructing Excellence in Wales, with me, intend to volunteer the construction sector in Wales to act as the 45th named client under the act, so on behalf of the construction sector, we will develop wellbeing objectives for the sector and mechanisms of how we measure progress.

"We need to go back and think about the why and how we think about construction. I have asked people to come up with a different definition of construction, which is purpose driven.

"I challenge people to ask themselves why we build and that has got to be to support people to thrive. If we are not building something for the betterment of human society, why are we building it?"

He added: "We have an opportunity to lead for the world and say there is a better way of working."