Laura Billings is “fascinated by human nature and relationships; in love with the sprawling layers of London; passionate about the power of collaborative imagination and action; and driven by the desire to create genuine human experiences. Currently putting it into practise by farming in a shop in Hackney; encouraging people to share their Mindapples; supporting primary school breakfast clubs and editing the Community Lover’s Guide to London. Amazed by the smallest things, excited by potential and harbouring a secret belief there’s nothing we can’t do if we do it together.” She blogs for Thriving Too, and shares her photos on flickr.
?!X: What’s the Future You Choose?
LB: The Future I Choose is one where profit is not the bottom line and our value as people is not defined by the objects we own, but how we treat each other and the world around us.
?!X: What’s a ‘think’ to create this future?
LB: My ‘think’ for this future is a book called Hand Made, edited by Tessy Britton. It is full of examples of creative people-led projects that are all striving to make new connections and improve their communities. I recommend you read it and imagine how your town might look with all of them… I was so re-energised and inspired by the can-do attitude – it’s positively infectious.
?!X: What’s an ‘act’ to create the future you choose?
LB: My ‘act for this future is to choose to be actively part of where you live. Introduce yourself to your neighbours, support your local shopkeepers, smile to people on the way to the tube, invite your friends over, find out what’s going on and get involved… I’ve had great bbq’s with neighbours and been there to help when they were locked out, and have shopped at the same green grocer for 7 years (he even let me leave with everything when I forgot my wallet one time). About a year ago I turned up to help an urban farming hub in Hackney, and now run events and activities there. I’ve made a ton of new friends, and together we’ve created a welcoming urban green space. A place feels more like home when you know people’s names.
Find volunteering opportunities near you through do it.
?!X: What’s a ‘vote’ to create the future you choose?
LB: I have various supported or worked for different causes including ChildLine, Oxfam, Amnesty International, Soil Association, Greenpeace, and others. But my ‘vote’ for this future is Mindapples – the 5-a-day for your mind. It’s a campaign working to make looking after our minds as normal as brushing our teeth. My future is one where we treat each other and the world around us well – so we should start with ourselves! Vote by practising your 5 mindapples.
?!X: Future Soundtrack – What song would you take with you into the future?
LB: Radar Detector – by Darwin Deez
?!X: Can you share with us up to 5 weblinks that you find interesting and inspiring?
Follow Laura on Twitter @LauraBillings
Inspired to tell us The Future You Choose? You can here.