In the past several years, I noticed something that was a great concern for the younger generation. A generation who grew up when climate change has already begun, and the biodiversity loss already acute, would naturally want to do something to fix that. However, I also noticed that the only jobs that they can think of with which to do so, is something related to environmental conservation.
So, some of them actually do pursue this. But in a world of crises driven by structural unsustainabilities, we have realised that this will – at best – only be a rearguard action. And others, whose gifts and interests are not in conservation, believe that the jobs they will do have no relevance to sustainability (or worse, be part of the problem). That the other jobs are only in those very structures driving the crises of our time.
This is far from the case.
A future sustainable world is still a fully-functioning, complex human civilisation. Re-making the world will require construction of new, more sustainable alternative structures from finance to law, governance to security, industry to agriculture. We will need people to construct them, and defend them. Remnants of the current structure that can be made sustainable need people to adapt them as well.
Jobs that are fundamental will continue to exist as they have ever since humans invented complex civilisation – farmers, teachers, doctors etc. Future ways of living will require engineers, designers, marketers, economists, accountants, lawyers, etc. to create and sustain them.
Some specialisations will fade, but new specialisations will replace them. An offshore wells engineer may become an offshore wind engineer. A circular economy will require someone to design the logistics of packaging return. Real estate and civil engineering has as much contribution to ecosystem restoration as rangers and conservationists.
But I remember that when I was 18, I didn’t know anything about what jobs are out there. So I’ve decided to create this series as a place for hope and imagination, as well as allow you to see everyone who is needed to make the future sustainable.
We will not need so many conservationists, if every other job is sustainable.