I’m so excited to share this issue with you. As you can see from the cover, we went all out with the systems change theme. We were stirred by this provocation of what it means to radically pivot, and gave ourselves the challenge of tearing up what we have always done with our design and create space for a new aesthetic to emerge – one that offers a different interpretation of the stories we tell. We’ve had a great time being in that playful, experimenting phase, and it’s compelled us to continue evolving Dumbo Feather over the coming months. Our mission is the same: to share stories of extraordinary people creating a hopeful future. We’d love to hear from you with any feedback.
Part of the spark for our systems change theme was the Earthshot Prize, an initiative of Prince William and the Royal Foundation which had its inaugural event last year. Designed to help repair our planet in the next decade, it takes inspiration from John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot, and the capacity for human ingenuity and collective action to bring about rapid, wide-scale change. As I write this, Russia is invading the Ukraine with horrific force, there are floods taking homes and lives in New South Wales, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just announced that the risks and impacts associated with climate change are appearing faster and more severe than previously predicted. None of this is easy to look at. All of it requires us to make some big changes collectively, and fast.
It’s never been clearer to me after being immersed in this issue that the multiple crises we face – from ecosystem collapse to the breakdown of democracy to abuses on human rights – are connected, and that the whole must inform how we solve for them. For me, that’s about remaining tethered to a vision of the world in which all systems are supporting life, and detangling some of the problems I’m proximate to with the skills I have and the power I hold as a consumer and citizen. For others, it might look different.
A hero of ours here is Buckminster Fuller, who said: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” This issue is full of incredible endeavours doing just that, and even if I am personally not able to ‘build a new model,’ I sure as hell can put my weight behind it. We need ingenuity across all sectors – from manufacturing to media, governance to economics – and we need to collectively shape a culture that enables our current systems to change. I hope the pages that follow help you to see just what’s possible.