Luxembourg, 8 October 2020. – The accelerating race to the Moon poses challenges to fundamentally redefine social technologies on Earth, Jessy Kate Schingler, Director of Policy and Governance at the Open Lunar Foundation in San Francisco, said in a TED talk today. The Moon “can be a canvas for solving some of our biggest challenges on Earth”.
“What’s most interesting about the Moon isn’t the billionaires with their rockets or the same old power struggle between states. In fact, it’s not the hardware at all. It’s the software. It’s the norms, customs and laws. It’s our social technologies. And it’s the opportunity to update our democratic institutions and the rule of law to respond to a new era of planetary-scale challenges.”
“Where else but the Moon can we prototype new institutions at a global scale in a self contained environment with the exact design constraints needed for our big challenges here on Earth”, she said.
The Outer Space Treaty from 1967, Schingler said, altered two key ingredients of what the social and economic organization on Earth was based on: the requirement of free access to the Moon and celestial bodies and the fact that, based on that Treaty, the Moon and other celestial bodies cannot be subject to any national appropriation.
“This is crazy because our entire system today on Earth is built on the idea of sovereignty and autonomy.” Doing away with both, humanity could create conditions to define how it is required to share resources, work together, think beyond territories and borders and “set a precedent what consent could look like”. “It might be terrifying but not if we don’t dismiss the moment.”
The TED talk is available here and on the openlunar.org website.