What has happened to social vision? Has it disappeared? Is it true that defeat destroys the imaginary and the alternative? Is it true that politics requires hope? Is there hope left? How do activists keep going in moments of despair and challenge? For several months we talked with contemporary activists about their visions of the future. These include participants in the women's, labour, Indigenous, gay and lesbian, refugee, peace and environmental movements. Some of our confidants are well known; most are not. Some have elected to use their own names; others have claimed anonymity. They span a range of ages, experiences, and ideologies. Sometimes they confirmed the verities of received academic wisdom; more often they contested the accepted truths of the lecture hall and the sociological treatise.