Sci-fi movies such as Blade Runner, Interstellar or Tron, near-universally present the future of human civilisation as a cyberpunk world that is technologically advanced, yet dark, desolate, corrupt, and quite frankly depressing. Given this depiction, it’s easy to forget about the future to fight for…

The dystopian world of Blade Runner is one in which rich and powerful corporations have dominated society and decimated the environment.

In Interstellar, humans are abandoning a dying earth that is not able to support and sustain its inhabitants.

Even Disney depicts a frightening future with its cute yet cautionary tale of WALL-E.

This isn’t just movies, these representations have come to dominate futurist pop culture from TV shows like Altered Carbon to video games like Cyberpunk 2077.

Altered Carbon (left) and Cyberpunk 2077 (right)

These vivid but imaginary realities are not too far off where we are today…

One way or another, the world will experience drastic change in the coming decades. Climate change is no longer a problem for future generations, it is already happening – the dramatic wildfires and floods we have seen in recent years are just the beginning. Power and wealth are continuing to consolidate at the top, and emerging technological disruptions could work to accelerate this further. Our environment, economies and societies are hanging delicately in the balance between unprecedented global prosperity or collapse.

Clearly, we need to enact radical change, and do so rapidly, but why aren’t we?

Part of the problem is the inability to imagine a future of technological, ecological and social harmony. Inaction on climate change can be, in part, due to the depressing, overwhelming and dystopian direction in which we are currently heading. This eco-anxiety can make people feel powerless and paralyse action.

If we persist in thinking that positive change is impossible, we will prove ourselves right. We need a positive vision. We need to fight the nihilistic resignation of climate grief. We need SolarPunk!

SolarPunk is an imagination of a realistic utopian world. It is one where technology serves to enhance human experience and sustainability rather than define it. It aims to evoke optimism, individuality, and a rebellious spirit. It can be used as a tool to imagine and inspire a future of ecological harmony and social justice.

The world is waking up.

We are moving into a new phase of invention and solution creating.

We are on the brink of SolarPunk.

Bjarke Ingles making solarpunk happen – hedonistic sustainability

Categories: Future


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