A Dream of Utopia – Part 1
If you take a look at the news today it would seem that our world is falling apart in more ways than one. Ecologically, our effect on the planet has reached such extremes that life that has existed for millennia both above and below us is now ceasing to exist. The corals are turning white and dying, the ice caps are melting and running into the sea, the air is poisoned with the smog of city living and factory waste and the very animals we share our planet with are disappearing at an unprecedented rate. Experts from around the world have confirmed that we are not approaching but in fact in the midst of another great global disaster – the Anthropocene extinction.
Economically we are also in dire times, with global inflation constantly on the rise and wages not proportionally reflecting this, future generations will find it nigh on impossible to afford luxuries like vehicles and houses. The abominable distribution of wealth continues to remain an unjust and imbalanced scale, as the estimated costs of clean water, food, and education for the entire world could all be covered by a single billionaire.
Technologically we seem to have reclined, reveling in the handful of innovations that have pushed us forward in the last couple decades without continuing to push boundaries. Thanks to the internet and consequently smartphones, we now live in an interconnected society but we seem to have stopped there. Thanks to the omnipresent corporations that now control everything from multiple brands, technology patents, and lobbyists the flow of new groundbreaking inventions is under tight control as they ebb out the slowest and most profitable upgrades to the public.
As our current natural resources dwindle, our monetary system fails all those who don’t sit at the top of the pyramid and our greatest tools remain in the hands of those same few, how can we ever expect to progress? What can we do to dig ourselves out of this hole that has systemic failures?
Our current future only leads to our demise, but it isn’t our only option. Enter the progressive thinkers of the Venus Project. Created by outspoken futurist and self-proclaimed social engineer Jacque Fresco, alongside artist and designer Roxanne Meadows, this not for profit organisation aims to solve these exact problems. Their people centered design approach envisions a utopia not unlike the solarpunk aesthetic of science fiction, however the philosophy and available application of these ideas is far from fictional. Thanks to concepts put together by Meadows herself, The Venus Project proposes practical, technically sound and globally sustainable alternatives to the way that the world runs currently. Surrounding the idea of a resource-based economy rather than one that revolves only around money is just one of the revolutionary ideas that they have put together in designing the blueprints for a very plausible utopia. One of their biggest hindrances however is getting people to leave their dated or even current ideas about society at the door and opening their mind to what the future could hold.