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Our future is open:
love is radical

In January 2024 we embarked on a remarkable journey with a group of young people from all countries of the UK and many different backgrounds; a voyage of discovery into a future imagined by and for young people and future generations. Together with leaders from Paul Hamlyn Foundation and as part of Kinship Discovery, we explored the challenges facing young people in the UK today, the glimmers of hope we want to keep in our sights, and a beautiful future animated by seven kinds of love. Follow the crew’s journey and hear their story of the future they dream of in this powerful encounter.

Made by Jo Barratt with Iris Andrews, Lily Piachaud and Gemma Mortensen. 

The wonderful young people whose voices you hear are Amira Hayat, Charli Ivy Perkins, Dami Fawehinmi, Ella Greenway, Felix Miller, Gage Oxley, Halima Ali, Jason Wong, Kaya Birch-Skerritt, Lilia Hakem, Nathan Holmes and Nirushan Sudarsan. Their fellow crew members on the journey were Cassie Robinson, Moira Sinclair, Jane Hamlyn and Olivia Gable of Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Special thanks to Ruth Ibegbuna and India Morgan of Northern Soul for so lovingly co-creating this journey with us.


The people I speak to in our generation, it’s always really progressive in the sense that they want to make a better world, not just for themselves, but they want to leave it in a better place than they were given it. 

Our generation is so similar, yet so varied and dynamic. 

People are starting to feel more of a need to use their voice.

My generation, they seem very open and willing to break cycles that previous generations have been stuck in. 

And our refusal to sit back and allow injustices to take hold. 

Their openness to listening and questioning and trusting their own intuition. 

People can purposely seek out others with shared lived experiences.

I feel like there has begun to be more of a move away from following the crowd and from doing what everybody else is doing.  

I see small daily acts of kindness a lot more than I do in the wider population. 

A lot of us are able to express ourselves in terms of style but also emotional and just having more of an ability to basically just get deep with each other.

Generally feeling comfortable in our skin. 

It does feel like the world is on our shoulders. 

There are people who are lost. 

Most are just worried about, you know, whether they will ever be able to pay off their university debt, whether they’ll ever be able to like own a house, that type of thing. 

There isn’t much to look forward to.  

The older generation, they never have our interests in mind.

If your view doesn’t really align with what is, I guess, the common view, especially on social media, then it’s like you’re vilified and there’s no sense of like you can actually debate something or, you know, just say, well I’m not actually sure about this, can we talk about this? Maybe this is an alternate option? It often feels like there’s just one answer.  

I think we’re often so eager to have a voice and to stand up and fight. And we don’t really give time to reflecting, to listening and investigating. 

It’s so easy to be sucked into a place you don’t want to be, or waste hours of your day doom scrolling because it feels better than going out and doing something that’s worthwhile.

I think we have become disconnected to the beauty in life because of all the struggles. 

I think sometimes we need to take a step back and realise that we can’t fix everything. 

One star, I guess, that I feel is really important to turn away from in the times that we’re living through is over productivity for me. I think we live in a very, very capitalist world that tries to drain you of all of your resources. Giving your money, giving your time, your energy, your patience to the world. 

Not believing in ourselves and stopping to pull up the ladder so that means we help other people when we get opportunities and put the ladder back down.  

I feel that we really need to be more creative to reimagine our futures. 

I think we assume things about people and we might not even know that we’re doing it. 

Not understanding differences between cultures, religions, people. We need to appreciate what everyone brings to the table. 

We want to be turning away from a fear of the unknown. The fear of not being quite sure where we’re going, the fear of curiosity and exploration and joy.  

On a wider scale, like, the nations of the world need to acknowledge colonisation, but also acknowledge and, like, root out neo-colonisation as well.

A lot of the negative thought processes or like, whatever used to justify some of the bad stuff in the world, bad stuff that human beings are doing in the world, sort of like a derivation of that. 

Another star that I think is just so important to turn away from is losslessness and apathy towards where we’re from and our culture and our heritage because ultimately it’s not something that we want to celebrate. 

The idea now that it’s all about me and it’s very like individualistic in the sense of like we don’t really care for each other as communities anymore. 

I suppose it’s inevitable that eventually some sort of change will happen.  

The future feels different and every time I think about it, the people I speak to, the people in my family on exciting journeys on their own, and that feels really energetic and feels very hopeful. 

It feels like more people are starting to understand what we need to do as a community rather than as an individual.

When I was younger, my future felt very, very clear and there was a narrative and there was a journey and there was a path at least, even if the path felt difficult to navigate. Whereas now it kind of feels like this, some wilderness. And so I want to get to a point now where the future feels tangible and hopeful and exciting.

The biggest challenge is our lack of faith in the future. I think that’s probably what we need the most. Things will shift and what we have been taught that is normal will hopefully become abnormal and that’s kind of uncomfortably exciting if that makes sense.  

The future is going, it’s going to happen anyway. And so it’s sort of what we do every day that actually makes an impact on the future we’re going to have. 

We’re taking charge of our future. 

Society needs to do better and believe young people and believe that we have, you know, just as much to put into the conversation and to create change. 

A lot has happened in our world these past couple of years. To me, it is unsure where we are headed, but something needs to change and that’s what I’m here to figure out.  

Life is uncertain for everybody, to some extent. I think it’s the way you interpret it, and what you do about it, and your mindset towards all of it, that will make a genuine difference. 

We are in a place of complete decision, and I suppose there is that fear of looking back and thinking, I’m now too far gone, I can’t return until something is resolved. There is such a landscape, and such a seascape that we can venture into and it’s kind of exciting to think we could go anywhere. 

With this lie that how we feel is wrong, or isn’t important, or that we need to shrink ourselves and let others speak because they know better than us, or they know more and they have more to offer.  We should amplify the wisdom that lives in all children. If that was the foundation under everything that we built and we created we would have such a beautiful world and such a beautiful future. 

Amplify marginalised voices. It’s important to also try and get rid of the idea that there are marginalised voices. I think if we can amplify everyone and bring everyone to the same kind of level where everyone is understood and able to interact and connect with each other, then we’ll be better connected. 

I feel like the most important star is to never forget about community. I feel like we cannot get anywhere without community. Believing in yourself and others. I think everyone has something good to bring to the table. 

The idea of challenging yourself, taking yourself out of your comfort zone. Because from that, I think only beautiful things are a result and a consequence. 

The meaning of life should be to live it, live it fully, and appreciate the connections we build rather than getting caught up in made up systems by humans. 

Especially in our lives today and the many distractions that we have.  

Get curious about your shame and welcome it home. Because we’ve been so caught up in pretending that it doesn’t exist and that we don’t feel that, it’s only grown in each and every one of us. It only gets bigger, we only feed it when we, when we don’t get curious about it. 

We’re all intrinsically interconnected and therefore we all impact each other. 

So often we’re ready and easy to remove the difficult emotions from ourselves. And I think actually, some of the harder ones, some of the difficult emotions, like grief,  loss, falling out of love, of all of those anger and pain, I think is actually really, really quite useful. And so, for me,  you know, why remove them? 

Change is a really violent thing, and it should be a really violent thing, like, otherwise significant change doesn’t really occur.  

I think it’s time for a new generation to be radically bold and imaginative in not just, you know, taking that baton that’s been passed down by other generations and our ancestors, but actually that we take that baton and make it our own, forge a new identity. 

Because the future that the young people are creating now is in a, it’s a creation that is happening because we feel it and we want it.  

Maybe it’s just delusional, but if you’ve got a positive attitude towards what’s going to happen, even if you, even if you just slightest bit of you realistically just feels like, oh no, it’s not going to happen. If you, if you do act as if like things are going to work out, they most likely will, to some extent, something will go right. 

If I could have a billboard, I would say stay open to truth, to new possibilities, daunting experiences, and to joy. 

I would probably put like, the young people, your voice matters, or maybe like a load of quotes from young people who have done really amazing things to act as like inspiring that we can do it too.

Let’s value our relationship with people and nature productivity.  

Live and act in service to yourself, to your neighbours, to your land and to your values. That’s my message. Thank you.  

Love is radical. And love is radical because at the core of everything that people do, like activism, or even things like cooking for people, or, you know, it’s all about bringing people together because you love them. And I think we move away from the actual idea of love because there’s so many different definitions of it. But, if you love something, you’ll look after it and you’ll protect it. And you wouldn’t want to hurt or destroy it. 

Love is where you go. Love is where you find it. 

I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t want a billboard on every street in the UK because I feel like that message and that call to action should be innate, it should be intrinsic, it should be spiritual, it should be passion. I think the need for a billboard, the need for a billboard has passed.