by Dr Colin Hudson, Facilitator, Future Centre Trust

In 1994 Barbados took a huge step forward in its development as an independent nation when the island hosted a United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. Barbados enjoyed the dual honour of carrying out its duties with distinction and simultaneously became the smallest country ever to host a Global Conference.

A parallel activity to the Global Conference, The Village of Hope, saw some three thousand Barbadians plus a number of overseas contingents create exhibits which discussed environmental problems and their suggested solutions. Exhibiting under the slogan Horror and Hope, nearly 300 displays attracted 45,000 visitors to think about the sustainability, or otherwise, of our future.

So successful was The Village of Hope that many people urged that the concept should be expanded to a movement pivoted around a permanent exhibition. As a result, plans are well underway to establish Barbados as a global role model for sustainable development. Leading figures in diverse and widespread countries have already advocated that those ideas conceived and developed here in Barbados should be implemented as soon as possible in their own countries.

A group of concerned citizens formed The Future Centre Trust, under the Patronage of the Governor General, her Excellency, the late Dame Nita Barrow, to take Initiatives of Hope. Dr. Basil Springer, a well known business man is the Chairman. Dr. Colin Hudson, the Coordinator of the original Village of Hope, is Facilitator of the new project. With the support of the Barbados Government, the Future Centre Trust is establishing working partnerships with the island's existing organisations. In particular, the Trust aims to set up a spectacular, self-financing exhibition centre, which citizens and visitors alike can invest in their future.

Expected to attract at least 250,000 visitors annually by the year 2000, this Future Centre will include exhibits by wisdom groups drawn from all sectors of society, as well as displays by young people, a Job Centre, an Intellectual Property Centre, Library-Reading Room/Internet Terminal and a Shop where persons can purchase all the necessary information and tools for helping them to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. Add to this a Supermarket modelled on the Davis Co-op in California which eliminates needless packaging (and reduces prices) and you have a true Centre of Hope.

At a time when so many are preoccupied with 'doom and gloom', Barbados joins with other bold initiatives which provide tangible hope for all those who stand urgently in need of ideas and measures to heal the world. We are impressed by the SITC operation and the excellent first issue of "Islander". The Future Centre Trust looks forward to networking with parallel activities, especially on islands, including exchanging exhibits.

Persons interested in supporting our venture or finding out more information are asked to contact

Dr. Colin Hudson
The Future Centre Trust
Edgehill, St. Thomas
Barbados, West Indies
Tel: (809) 425-2020
Fax: (809) 424-0075