Updated: Jun 11
Pictured: Galaxy Class USS Enterprise-D by Andrew Gavrilov
The Star Trek universe has long been a source of inspiration for science fiction fans around the world. The optimistic vision of a future where humans have overcome their differences and work together to explore the galaxy has captured the imagination of generations. While some may view this as a mere fantasy, there are many who believe that a Star Trek-like society is not only possible but achievable within the next century. In this article, we will explore some of the key elements that would be required to create such a society.
1. Eliminating Poverty and Inequality
One of the central tenets of the Star Trek universe is the absence of poverty and inequality. In the show, humanity has eliminated the need for money, and everyone is able to pursue their passions without fear of financial ruin. While this may seem like a pipe dream, there are steps that can be taken to move us closer to this reality.
A Universal Basic Income (UBI) is one solution that has gained popularity in recent years. This would involve providing every citizen with a basic income, regardless of their employment status. This would help to eliminate poverty and provide people with the financial security they need to pursue their passions. Additionally, we need to work towards creating more equitable societies, where everyone has equal access to education, healthcare, and other basic necessities.
2. Advancing Technology
Another key feature of the Star Trek universe is the advanced technology that humanity has access to. From warp drives to replicators, the technology of Star Trek is truly awe-inspiring. While we may not be able to replicate this technology exactly, there are many areas where we can make significant strides.
Advancements in renewable energy and battery technology can help us to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and move towards a more sustainable future. Additionally, the development of advanced AI and automation can help to streamline production processes and reduce waste. Finally, the development of advanced medical technologies can help us to cure diseases and extend human life expectancy.
3. Promoting Global Cooperation
In the Star Trek universe, humanity has overcome its differences and works together to explore the galaxy. While this may seem like a lofty goal, there are steps we can take to promote global cooperation.
International organizations such as the United Nations provide a platform for countries to work together on issues such as climate change and global poverty. Additionally, initiatives such as the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals provide a roadmap for countries to work towards a common goal. Finally, technological advancements such as the internet and social media can help to break down barriers and promote cross-cultural understanding.
4. Embracing Diversity
Another key element of the Star Trek universe is the celebration of diversity. In the show, humanity has moved beyond racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination. While we still have a long way to go in this area, there are steps we can take to promote diversity and inclusivity.
Education is key in this regard. By teaching children about different cultures and perspectives, we can help to create a more tolerant and accepting society. Additionally, we need to work towards creating more diverse workplaces and promoting diverse representation in the media.
5. Investing in Space Exploration
Finally, no Star Trek-like society would be complete without space exploration. While we have made significant advancements in this area, there is still much to be done.
Investments in space exploration can help us to better understand our universe and our place within it. Additionally, the development of space-based technologies such as solar power and asteroid mining can help us to address some of the challenges we face on Earth, such as energy scarcity and resource depletion. Furthermore, space exploration can inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and astronauts, encouraging them to push the boundaries of what is possible.
In the Star Trek universe, humanity has eliminated poverty, hunger, and disease, and has achieved a post-scarcity society where resources are abundant and freely available to all. Achieving such a society is not an easy task, but it is one that we can work towards using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). The UNSDGs are a set of 17 goals aimed at creating a sustainable future for all by 2030. While the goals are ambitious, they represent a roadmap for creating a better world for all people.
You can find out more about the UNSDGs and where we are in achieving them (circa 2018) in these two great talks by Michael Green:
In addition to the UNSDGs, in recent years the concept of Doughnut Economics has gained traction as a new approach to sustainable development. Developed by economist Kate Raworth, Doughnut Economics challenges traditional economic models and argues that our current economic system is not designed to meet the needs of both people and the planet.
To achieve a sustainable economy, Doughnut Economics argues that governments, businesses, and citizens must all play a role. Governments must use policy levers to shape the economy in ways that prioritize social and environmental goals, while businesses must adopt more sustainable business models that consider the interests of all stakeholders. Citizens must demand change from governments and businesses and adopt more sustainable consumption habits.
Doughnut Economics offers a vision of a more sustainable and equitable future, where economic growth is no longer seen as the sole measure of success. By embracing this new approach to sustainable development, we can create a world where everyone can thrive within the planetary boundaries.
You can find out more about the Doughnut Economic Model in this brilliant talk by Kate Raworth:
Building a Star Trek-like society may seem like a daunting task, but it is not impossible. Achieving the UNSDGs and implementing systems like the Doughnut Economics model is critical to ensuring a Star Trek-like society by the next century. While the goals are ambitious, they represent a roadmap for creating a better world for all people. By working together to achieve these goals, we can create a world where resources are abundant and freely available to all, where technology has advanced to the point where almost anything is possible, and where society is egalitarian, peaceful, and just.
In achieving these goals and implementing the doughnut economics model, we can create a future where humanity has overcome many of the challenges we face today. While there will undoubtedly be obstacles along the way, we must remain optimistic and committed to creating a better world for future generations. The future is in our hands, and we have the power to shape it in a way that reflects the values and aspirations of the Star Trek universe ensuring we can all live long and prosper.
If you want to join the wider conversation around creating a better society in Lincoln join us for our second TEDxBrayford Pool Salon of the year, People, at Lincoln Grandstand. Click on the image to book tickets.