I have lots of excitement in my life; maybe a little too much sometimes because I never seem to have enough time to adequately quench all of my curiosities. I am still trying to find a clear direction for my blog beyond the writing prompts and I think I may have found it with yesterday’s prompt.
There have been several prompts centered on this idea of what the future will be like, as an educator, the obviously concerns me greatly. I want to make sure I am preparing my students for a world that will exist in the future, as well as one they can be a functional part of.
Yesterday’s prompt: Describe an idea city of the future, elicited quite a lengthy response from me. This has happened several times in regards to topics of this nature because I feel rather zealous about The Venus Project, a non-profit organized around the idea of creating a sustainable future where humankind and the biosphere can coexist with each other.
How do the Youth Feel About This?
Sadly, our youth has become very nihilistic, at least here in the West. They have heard about climate change, nuclear proliferation, lived through a pandemic, and have been warned that we could all be vaporized any second in a nuclear conflict.
As a result, they have become very cynical, in general about the future. The Venus Project connected with these students (at the end of the year might I add) in a very relatable way. Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows are tireless advocates of the ideas contained within, not for personal gain, but literally to save the world from itself. This message is sorely needed for the youth of the world if they are to find a better way forward. Individuals must be hyper-active in politics in the future to counter the influence of corporations and billionaires.
How did this Fascination with The Venus Project Begin?
I found this topic years ago as an acillary to a student’s recommendation to watch the film, Zeitgest Addendum (this is free on youtube and is quite a journey, although I do not agree with all of it) years ago. That is when I learned of Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows, their work on The Venus Project and the rationale behind it. I started showing their documentary in my classroom on Earth Day and it absolutely blew my students away. I began taking two days to cover the documentary and made an accompanying slideshow tying in global poverty/income inequality in subsequent years.
Then a partnership with the junior college opened up, including a small grant for Earth Day related projects, so I started having students make model cities of the future based on sustainability. I used the money for supplies and supplied gift card prizes for the best three projects It was usually later in the year, and these were sophomore classes, so some of the projects were pretty fanciful, but some were absolutely incredible.
Student’s must believe we can solve these problems or they will continue the cycle of nihilism.Tweet
I eventually stopped doing the project because I switched subjects. My new strategy became dropping breadcrumbs for the students, throughout the year, ending the class with the documentary, Future By Design (“free” link minus your opportunity cost) and a discussion. Not every student grasps the significance of these ideas, but many do, making it very worthwhile. I always welcomed alternative viewpoints and in fact encouraged them because theories must be tested to hold validity, but the fundamental principals still stood up.
- Using Technology to Produce to Abundance Instead of Scarcity for Profit
- Dropping Marginal Cost to Near Zero for all Items Humanity Needs (Food, Housing, Shelter, Transportation, Information, Education, etc)
- Engineering products/homes/transport to be as efficient as possible, having the lowest carbon imprint possible
- Utilizing machines/robots to do this work including Artificial Intelligence
- Giving all of mankind the change to fully self-actualize in regards to travel, education, positive environmental interactions, and space exploration
- Exploring the Oceans for Resources (We know more about the moon, then the deepest parts of the ocean)
- Building Sustainable Cities in the Sea to help deal with overpopulation
In my opinion, young people/students need to hear this message so that they will continue to actively engage in seeking solutions to the systemic problems we have now such as: poverty, crime, social injustice, environmental justice, technical problems, climate change, demilitarization, and engineering. Without a strong desire to fix these problems, we will be underutilizing our human capital, which could be disastrous. Student’s must believe that we can solve these problems or they will continue the cycle of nihilism.
In summation, I find this topic very exciting and engaging and it looks like I wrote another long blog post here so maybe I am finding my niche!
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