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Sophie Howe


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Civics, Health

Resource Type

  • Videos, 5 minutes, 24 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, Europe


Downloadable MP4/M4V

Lessons on Leaving the World Better Than You Found It

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  • This TED video is delivered by Sophie Howe, the world's first "future generations commissioner," who discusses what Wales is doing to ensure that they leave the world a better place for future generations. 
  • Students will learn about the big and small changes the country of Wales is making to positively impact the well-being of their current population and that of future generations. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video will get students thinking about the types of changes that can be made and the people who should be involved in planning decisions. 
  • This introduces the idea of a more holistic approach to solving problems and making decisions. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • You may want to use closed captions or the read-along transcript for students learning English or with hearing impairments. 


  • Health classes could use this resource as a way to think about the impacts of these changes on the health of residents, the metrics of well-being, and what changes their own community could make to improve well-being and overall health.
  • Civics classes could use this resource to consider what changes their government would need to make in order to begin governing for future generations and for the common good. 
  • As an extension, have students draft a policy for their school, community, state, or country that they believe would positively impact the well being of community members. 
  • Other related resources include this video apologizing to future generations, this interactive resource about solutions to climate change, and this video about improving lives for those impacted by climate change. 
Scientist Notes
This 5-minute TED talk is given by the world's only "future generations commissioner" from Wales. She is in charge of holding public institutions within Wales accountable for demonstrating how they are protecting the health and well-being of future generations with regards to climate change, pollution, and development. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.6.6-8 Describe the roles of political, civil, and economic organizations in shaping people's lives.
      • D2.Civ.10.6-8 Explain the relevance of personal interests and perspectives, civic virtues, and democratic principles when people address issues and problems in government and civil society.
      • D2.Civ.12.6-8 Assess specific rules and laws (both actual and proposed) as means of addressing public problems.
      • D2.Civ.13.9-12 Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
      • D2.Civ.14.9-12 Analyze historical, contemporary, and emerging means of changing societies, promoting the common good, and protecting rights.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.6-8 Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.
      • D4.6.9-12 Use disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses to understand the characteristics and causes of local, regional, and global problems; instances of such problems in multiple contexts; and challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address these problems over time and place.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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