60's Space Race Today's Earth Race
In the 1960s the Space Race was the most important mover of culture and technology. The computer or smart phone you are using now is one of many “spin off technologies” from that competition. What if today the superpowers had an “Earth Race” to see who can achieve sustainability first? Can you imagine what technologies will “spin off” from such an endeavor? I can and I think you can as well. The silver lining of our current global crisis is it is affecting everyone; we are all in this together.
Recently I attended a venture capital forum sponsored by Space Florida and the keynote speaker was American astronaut Winston Scott. Winston’s answer to my asking what it was like in space for him, explaining that as a kid I found that watching the space launches was one of my most amazing experiences. I asked him “What was it like for him looking back on the earth?” His answer was, “Home, our only home and we have to take care of it.” And as he continued describing his feelings I wondered if every world leader was launched into space to see the earth, would they would get it?
Well, we all can see the earth from space thanks to that “spin off technology” from our own homes anywhere on this planet. We can also see all the suffering and foolishness across this earth and we see the innovation and ideas that are out there making a difference. That night, after emerging from the forum in Coral Gables, I wandered into one of my favorite book stores, Books&Books, and met the author Joseph Cirincione who had just left a meeting at the White House about nuclear Proliferation to give a talk about his book Nuclear Nightmares (it can be ordered from the bookstore). As he talked he said “The two major security threats to the world are the bomb and global climate change; both will take some new thinking. Both will take the vision of a shared earth, a shared humanity and an attitude of making it better for the next generations.” I believe the Paris accords was the start of that shared vision. I had gone to the meeting to network with venture capitalist for my living filter technology and came back with some wisdom and inspiration.