Carla’s parents are from Colombia and moved to the US for better economic opportunities. She has two older brothers and her mother stays at home to look after the children. Carla’s father works in construction. Her name means "a free spirit".
DATE: 2024
AGE: 4
After the intense floods in winter, a long, dry summer returns to Los Angeles. The fire season starts early leaving a permanent smog over The Racket.

The election divides the country. Trump talks about freedom. But freedom for who? Freedom to carry guns. Freedom to pollute. Freedom for wolves means death to sheep. But he says it as it is: the elite take everything.

The media says Antarctica has passed a tipping point. Sea levels may rise at least two meters within 100 years. Within hours this story is overtaken by a Trump tweet.


Societies continues the same destructive course. Inequality deepens and temperatures rise, putting social and ecological stability at risk. Wellbeing declines globally, and it takes until 2100 to eradicate extreme poverty.
DATE: 2035
AGE: 15
Droughts and wildfires have become more intense in the Los Angeles area, for several months of the year, the air quality is so bad it is risky to go outdoors.

“Mom, do you remember before the fires?”  

“I can’t. It was so long ago. Years now.”

“You know what I heard today? That in the Bubble the schools filter the air. The kids are actually in a bubble!”

“If I had one wish it is that you were in that bubble too, dear.”

Intense heatwaves regularly engulf the western US. Outdoor work, like Carla’s father’s, can be deadly. The country is like a tinderbox in other ways, too. Society is breaking down.


“We ain’t all in the same boat. They’re in The Bubble. We’re in The Racket.”

“I can’t understand. They say we live in the richest country in history. Yet I work 60 hours a week and still I’m living paycheck to paycheck. I can’t afford health insurance and paying off loans.”

“There’s a guy living in The Bubble with a trillion dollars. A trillion! That is a conspicuous failure of a society right there.

There is no trust. Not after the Pig flood. P.I.G., Pine Island Glacier. Went off like a champagne cork they said.

That was the last straw. The politicians don’t care about us in The Racket.”

“Well the city is spending billions to keep the Pacific at bay. They say they can’t afford to save everywhere. Guess which parts are sacrificed? The Racket, where we can’t get insurance. Screw this.”

“When I was a girl I was told I was a free spirit in the land of freedom and opportunity. I had all these dreams. All my life I have felt trapped. Stuck on the bottom rung with people above me standing on my fingers.”


Giant Leap

By enacting 5 extraordinary turnarounds, temperatures are stabilised below 2°C. Inequality and social tension falls, and extreme poverty is eradicated  by 2050.
DATE: 2035
AGE: 15
Carla’s parents receive an annual check thanks to the Universal Basic Dividend, and save it for her education.

“It’s here! The Citizen’s Fund letter. Wow. $6000 this year. Straight into your university fund, Carla. This is freedom.”  

“And mom, you finish your degree this year. I am so proud of you.”

The Citizen’s Fund is a universal basic dividend created from fees paid to use the global commons and public goods.

Something miraculous happened in the US. The country came together in solidarity to face a shared threat. The country said no to the co-existence of extreme wealth and extreme poverty. The rich are taxed fairly. The changes mean democracy now really does work for the greater good. Everyone benefits from a stable society.

California reached zero emissions first. There are still fires. The air quality is not always good.  

Everyone in the US, even those in the Racket, now have free healthcare, free education, affordable universities and economic security through the Citizen’s fund.

“When the Pig hit we were OK. We were safe. Not everyone, but it could have been much worse.”

The American dream is now possible for all Americans. There is a sense of community.

“Proud to pay taxes! This is my investment in my society for my freedom.”

“I tell the grandkids about The Racket. They don’t believe it ever existed. It did!”  

“For my whole life I have had economic security, access to the best health service in the world and the opportunity to be a lifelong learner. I truly believe that women have the same rights and freedoms as men.”

“We became the land of the free when we’d exhausted all other possibilities.”


Follow the stories of Ayotola, Carla, Samira and Shu as we see their lives unfold under both The Too Little Too Late and Giant Leap scenarios.