As long as people have been gazing into the night sky, we’ve wondered: “what’s out there?” When we learned those stars were other suns with other worlds around them, we wanted to go there. Even today, with no starships at our docks, the allure is strong. It is in our science fiction. It is in our folklore about alien expectations. It is in our soul to wonder about our place in the Universe. Getting there is another matter, which includes both technical challenges and human factors. The implications on society are potentially profound. How will humanity’s views change when the first habitable world is discovered? Or if extraterrestrial intelligence is detected? Starflight will enable humanity to advance beyond our solar system, opening vast opportunities never before possible.
Why Pursue Starflight Now? Interstellar flight is a human journey. While the ultimate benefit is the continued survival of humanity, the immediate reason is for creating benefits in the attempt.
- It is hoped that this pursuit will give people something positive to work toward.
- Conquer frontiers together, instead of conquering each other
- A challenge so provoking as to bring out our best
- A neutral venue to responsibly solve contentious societal questions (world ships: sustainable population limits, governance, life purpose, etc.)
- Technological spinoffs from revolutionary pursuits instead of just innovations
Session Chair Rhonda Stevenson is President and CEO at the Tau Zero Foundation, and an experienced serial entrepreneur, with several successful businesses under her belt, including franchise, agriculture and youth leadership endeavors. With a background in aviation and working experience as an environmental chemist, she brings copious amounts of knowledge and experience with regards to business operations, production efficiency, due diligence, quality control, executive management and leadership. Forging successful relationships that would typically not be possible, Ms. Stevenson excels at establishing symbiotic systems, and incorporating density and efficiency within those systems.