"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster."
These iconic lines are very familiar to those of us who watched the Six Million Dollar Man in the seventies. We had just witnessed the moon landing and we grew up passionate about the promise of technology.
For decades, this kind of transformational technology remained the stuff of fantasy. We stopped letting our minds wander with thoughts of how our world might be changed for the better and we settled into being consumers. There we were, buying gadgets and upgrades of stuff that simply helped us lead the same kind of lives in a more efficient, expedient or faster way.
Over the past decade, however, technology truly has started to catapult us forward again and when technology meets social entrepreneurs, things get exciting.
Social Entrepreneurs are the people who are lifted by the thought that they are going to rebuild their lives and the lives of others: the “we’re going to make it better” people. Naïve, delusional, unreasonable, they are the ones who turn the world upside down and make the difference.
The thing is, we do stand at the brink of making things better than they were before. Technology has given us the opportunity to look around and find others. Communication on a scale we couldn’t have imagined when we were watching the bionic man (interestingly Steve Austin was the ultimate symbol of what we can achieve when we set our minds to it - an astronaut), has meant the birth of collaboration. Building a world from the inside out, from grassroots up, is how we hope to kick out a great deal of suffering and pain. We’re feeling the fresh air of hope and the boundless potential of opportunities that we have always believed were out there, but that we couldn’t access. Astronaut, six million dollars, rebuilding broken bodies…these were the stuff of fantasy for us, possible only for the elite. Not any longer.
A whole bunch of us have the technology. We have the capability to make the world better than it was before.
Better. Stronger. Fairer.
Stephanie Karpetas works with communities, businesses and public sector organisations,
helping shape and deliver programmes that make sustainable development feasible
and fun. Stephanie has recently set up Sustainability Connections
and is working on low carbon projects in Kent and Europe. She is a Co-founder
and Director of Action
Women! Community CIC