In healthy democracies, people and communities are powerful: Futurist Pupul Bisht at UN

| Updated: September 21, 2021 7:53 pm

We are at an inflection point but a breakthrough can be achieved if we are willing to open up the future, I really believe that this approach is the only way forward that offers us any real chance to walk the talk on leaving no one behind said Pupul Bisht at the United Nations General Assembly.

Pupul who holds a Bachelors degree in Graphic Design from NID, Ahmedabad presented a vision for the future through folklore stories at a conference organized under the Sustainable Development Goals Moment n the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Pupul, 29, is a multi-disciplinary foresight practitioner. She founded Decolonizing Futures Initiative in 2018 that is the first non-Western science of futuristic analysis through Kaavad folk storytelling. Through it, she was selected for the Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Award.

Pupul said in the UN General Assembly, “When it comes to the SDGs, success during this decade of action is going to depend on our ability to capture people’s imagination.” She added, “The world truly needs today are new stories, new narratives that have the power to break the spell of the old ones.”

Talking about the future participatory approach, she said, “It begins by acknowledging by futures for all cannot be and should not be imagined by few.” Pupul added, “It is an approach to decision-making that is embedded in long-term thinking that centers specifically the lived experiences of the communities whose futures we seek to improve.”

She believes that traditionally, governments have seen citizens as mere beneficiaries and when we look at them that way, we render them powerless. But in healthy democracies, people and communities are powerful, therefore governments need to see them as partners with whom to create a future in real-time.

“It is really a great way of creating a sense of ownership in citizens in a shared vision of a positive future which I think is critically necessary if we want to create the kind of bottom-up collective action that is truly needed to meet the 2030 goals,” says Pupul.

Pupul participated with civil society leaders from 30 countries around the world. Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Secretary-General of the UN Development Program, Achim Steiner and Melinda Gates.

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  1. Dr M S Bisht

    Well said, in a democratic system and tradition it is the collective vision and psyche of people which forms the core of the system and the true spirit lies in the inclusiveness of all its elements in terms of the individuals belonging to a spectrum of social, economic,ethnic and religious groups.True devepment can’t be compartmentalized or differentiated.This needs to be promoted and propagated with a global perspective without the discrimination of developed vs developing or underdeveloped.

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