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Sophie Howe


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


Science, Social Studies, Civics, Health

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.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking and Listening (K-12)
      • SL.6-8.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
  • Social Studies
    • Civics & Government
      • Civics & Government 1 (D2): Students understand the basic ideals, purposes, principles, structures, and processes of constitutional government in Maine and the United States as well as examples of other forms of government in the world by comparing how laws are made in Maine and at the federal level in the United States.
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