As Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, Sophie Howe’s job is – put simply – to make tomorrow a better place. Wales is currently the only country in the world to employ someone in such a position, which was created after the Welsh Assembly passed the Well-being of Future Generations Act in 2015. The trailblazing legislation requires all Welsh public bodies to ensure that the decisions they make today don’t compromise the Welsh citizens of tomorrow.
From councils and national parks to the health service, all are legally obliged to consider the long-term social, cultural, environmental and economic wellbeing impact of their decisions, in a non-party political way.
“All those things might sound obvious and straightforward, but what we have is a system that has, for decades, been constructed to do exactly the opposite,” explains Howe, a mother of five. “My job is to try and unpick that.”