If we want to imagine a different future for development, we need to get rid of “used futures” – ideas that seemed good at one point in time, but are now no longer relevant and useful.
We also need to be aware and question lock-ins of the past. These are evident in the language of aid (beneficiaries) and space exploration (“colonizing Mars”), as is in decisions on where to locate development agency headquarters (in the global ‘north), which industries are prioritized for bailouts (those propping carbon intensive industries, or financial sector), whose knowledge matters (not indigenous), and patterns of (ethnic, gender, racial) discrimination in criminal justice, health, employment sectors.
What got us here? Is the system “stuck”? What can we do to question past legacies so that we can move beyond them, unlocking new possibilities?