Future generations are the generations of people to come in the future, after the currently living generations of humans. The future generation is contrasted with current and past generations, and evoked in order to create thinking about intergenerational equity. The moral patienthood of future generations has been argued for extensively among philosophers, and is thought of as an important, neglected cause by the effective altruism community. The term is often used in describing the conservation or preservation of cultural heritage or natural heritage.
The sustainability and climate action movements have adopted the concept as a tool for enshrining principles of long-term thinking into law. The concept is often connected to indigenous thinking as a principle for ecological action, such as the seven generation concept attributed to Iroquois tradition.