I salute the team of students who developed For Future Generations. An effective collaboration on such a complex project is a true accomplishment.
The guide is easy to follow. It's beautifully "designed" and has real eye appeal. It's been carefully researched; the facts are presented clearly. And the personal stories add interest and support for the arguments. The language is clear and there's a positive tone that gives the reader a sense that the approaches are valid. These are all real strengths.
What's missing, and why is this important? This guide doesn’t offer opportunities for people to roll up their sleeves and explore the root causes of the problem before they try to find solutions. It documents the challenges, but it doesn’t invite people to express their own views about why the challenges exist and how these challenges have affected their lives. Before considering a range of approaches, it’s important for participants in a dialogue to come to an understanding of why this matters to each of them. That’s what gets them invested in solving the problem. That's when they discover that they have a voice and that it matters.
A second concern is that, while there are pros and cons listed under each approach, there are no “probing questions” provided to help people deliberate and dig deeper into the possible solutions. Given the opportunity, everyday people can and will solve problems together. They just need some tools to open up the discussion. (Perhaps the facilitators had a set of questions to work with?)
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: For Future Generations does an excellent job of teaching, but there's little opportunity for people to add their own opinions to the mix. It doesn’t say: "Come on! WE can do this! What do YOU think? Let’s look at the challenges from all angles, consider the options, and come up with some solutions, together.”
Relevant to all walks of life
Covers a variety of perspectives
Uses clear, uncomplicated language
Promotes discussion of trade-offs
Shows a clear path to action