What would you say if someone asked you to describe your vision of the future?  Be honest, did your first thought include flying cars?  That was the challenge put to us by EDIT, the Design Expo of the Future, which took over an abandoned factory in Toronto from Sept. 28 to Oct. 8 to showcase the best and brightest of what innovation and design has to offer our planet.

Our answer to EDIT’s challenge was soon clear: to show a vision of a clean and sustainable environment that also includes that key ingredient in making this picture a reality – you.

Our aim was to show how people power and the choices that we all make as individuals can lead to a brighter future. So, we worked with Montreal-based artist Carlos Santos to create a visually intriguing and interactive mural.

People Power: Mural designed for Environmental Defence by artist Carlos Santos
#ChangeisatHand – just add you


By touching your hands to the hand prints for “choose cycling,” or “choose energy efficiency,” your body forms the necessary link that lights up the mural, quite literally lighting up this vision of the future. Pretty cool eh?

People Power

People power was also the theme of a presentation by Environmental Defence’s Executive Director Tim Gray, who joined a panel of industry leaders at EDIT’s Climate and Environment roundtable.  Tim talked about how community movements have helped to bring environmental policy and sustainability into the political mainstream, both on a local and national stage.

You can watch the full recording of the roundtable discussion below (Tim Gray’s talk begins at 32.40):

Without people power where would we be? Well for a start, the Ontario Climate Change Action Plan wouldn’t be anywhere as strong; there would be more smog and less renewable energy, fewer bike lanes, and more oil pipelines. Frankly the future would look a whole lot less bright.

Luckily we have the opportunity to choose a cleaner and more sustainable future.  We can choose to walk and cycle more, to use renewable energy, and to drive electric vehicles.  With people power, we can all help this vision of the future can become a reality – and maybe someone can finally invent that flying (electric) car.