Dhaka, 2050

Samiha was born in 2020, at the dawn of a decisive decade for humanity.

How has her life unfolded since we took a Giant Leap?

It’s getting light outside, and Samiha takes a deep breath and smiles before she starts to get up and ready for the day. She’s been sleeping so soundly recently, since the latest city ordinance pedestrianizing her once noisy street came into effect. It’s 2050, and Dhaka is almost unrecognisable now that Samiha is in in her 30’s. The streets are quieter, the air is cleaner. The city’s flood defences have been recently refurbished, so even when the rains come, she feels safe. ​

It wasn’t always like this. When Samiha was a very little girl, she had nightmares. She remembers her parents’ tired, worried faces as they watched the news, heard words like ‘flooding’, ‘catastrophe’, ‘evacuation’. People talked about the Pig, the Pine Island Glacier, some far-off place where melting ice flowed into the oceans until eventually it reached the low-lying shores of Bangladesh. She remembers sulking because she couldn’t play outside, and her mother suffering terrible asthma attacks on high-pollution days.

But Samiha also remembers when things began to change: as a teenager, her parents were offered job at a new solar power plant. Her mother began taking her out to the newly opened public parks, breathing more easily. She remembers the tears of pride in her mother’s eyes when they moved into a comfortable new house – part of a new development co-designed by the residents when the Racket slums were upgraded. As she grew up, there was a feeling of momentum, of possibility: at dinner times, her father would tell her how this was the biggest revolution the world had ever seen. Governments were coming together. The protests against inequality were working. It was time for a change. ​

The sun is up, and as she arrives at the community centre where she volunteers, Samiha looks around at the children and smiles. They’re playing in the centre’s lush green urban garden. Their parents will be back at midday and they’ll share a lunch before joining a neighbourhood tree-planting initiative – since the Citizen’s Fund started paying out a Universal Basic Dividend, she’s noticed that parents are spending more time with their children and taking part in community activities.

Samiha knows all too well that her story might have ended very differently. Back when she was born in 2020, social unrest driven by skyrocketing inequality, mass migration forced by extreme weather, and deep distrust in government were on the brink of becoming the norm. Samiha knows how precious today is. She looks around the community centre, the children playing in the garden. Laughing, well-fed and full of energy, breathing fresh clean air. She remembers: this story could have ended so very differently. But we were brave.

Samiha is living in the Giant Leap scenario: one of two possible science-backed scenarios for our planet outlined by Earth4All. In her story, society pulled together and made a dramatic shift for the benefit of all. But it could have been Too Little Too Late, the scenario in which we do not take sufficient action and are faced with the dire consequences.

The good news? We get to choose how the story ends. Read the stories of the four girls in both scenarios, find out how to get involved, or enter our Stories of the Future Creative Challenge and write your own future story.

Get creative!

We told Samiha’s story – now it’s your turn. Read our interactive storybook, then imagine the future of a character in your country. Write, film, draw or paint your vision and you could win prizes and be published in our digital magazine!

Read more stories

Meet Ayotola, Carla, Samiha and Shu in our interactive storytelling tool and discover how their lives change if we stay on our current path, or take a Giant Leap.