#Unmissable: Why we need to take a trip to space, before it’s too late…

So, check this out, I recently read that; from the vantage point of space, there are no lines dividing nations, no geographical subdivisions, no flags or racial divides or disputed territories — there is only Earth.

And in the short film “OVERVIEW,” produced by Steve Kennedy as part of the Planetary Collective series, we learn that the experience of earth-gazing and viewing the planet from outside of itself is profound in a way. This interestingly goes far beyond the observation of atmospheric beauty.

I learned that by transcending our atmosphere, astronauts are able to experience a distinct cognitive shift that is commonly referred to as the Overview Effect.

As opposed to looking up at a blanket of bright blue, they are able to see our entire planet wrapped in a thin tissue layer — our atmosphere. It’s this great awareness of the interconnectivity of all terrestrial life that brings out an urgency to preserve it.

While we view a picture of Earth from afar and see an unified globe of existence, it is far more difficult for us to apply that same perspective at the ground level. We often forget the manmade state lines, boundaries and life threatening conflicts going on around us. And miss the effects of racial discrimination, religious wars and extreme poverty, that have such a big effect on the planet we all share.

Watching this short documentary some how reminded me that, our many cultural differences should be points of pride. Instead they have been grown into points of contention that are “ill-conceived to address the the challenges of a hyper-connected world,” as Jason Silva puts it in his YouTube video, ‘The Big Picture.’

So, let’s take a step back and view the big picture.

If, due to todays connectivity and technological advancements, we are increasingly able to witness the world through others’ eyes, shouldn’t we also be able to gain the empathy and understanding needed to develop that strengthened worldwide community?

Even though we as individuals may never get to experience the view of Earth from space, this increase of connectivity just might be able to provide us with a more terrestrial version of the Overview Effect in which we recognise our frailty and see beyond our nationalities, our dogmas and our politics.

Just as Frank Kent, the author who gave name to the Overview Effect, states it plainly, “This idea is key to our survival: we have to start acting as one species with one destiny.”

And maybe one day we will acknowledge that every individual is a key component in Earth’s social and environmental ecosystem and strive to protect the Earth and one another, not as one group helping another but as one global tribe without borders.

Thinking about it, yeah that would be the dream.


Marco Lemcke is a London-based, interdisciplinary Creative, who works on various projects for both traditional advertising- and digital-agencies, as well as individual clients. Find out more at: www.marcolemcke.com