We’ve spent centuries thinking about our planet – and each other – from an extractive, ‘dig and gig’ standpoint. It’s a mindset that sees our natural world and its inhabitants as “resources to use up and then discard”– and it has left us with a legacy of devastating climate crisis and rampant social inequality.
Building a better future is about more than just blue sky thinking: it calls for an entire paradigm shift. For the status quo to change, we need a collective turn towards what writer and activist Naomi Klein has described as a ‘care and repair’ ethos. We must urgently move into a society-wide repair mode, argues Klein, in order to mitigate the damage: It is our collective duty ”to repair our relationship with the earth and with one another.”
This responsibility is not just the reserve of politicians and activists. Klein points to the pivotal role that artists played in the remaking of society in the New Deal era. Through both realist and utopian art, the writers, photographers, and painters of the time helped to render a new vision of the world: one rooted in a deep sense of connection to our planet, and to all of those with whom we share it.
Smiley has always been a beacon for defiant optimism.
At this crucial moment in history, we are inspiring people to imagine, reflect, and manifest better futures.
In collaboration with author Phoebe Lovatt and a diverse array of visual artists we are sharing visions, thoughts, and philosophies on the future in an effort to inspire people with more positivity, creativity, and brighter, big-picture ideas.
Welcome to the #SmileyFutureProject.
Words by Phoebe Lovatt Artwork by @SelfCareVisuals