What would you put in an Interplanetary “Community-in-a-Box”?

Kick-starting conversations on building vibrant, sustainable communities in space

Andrew Maynard
Oct 14, 2018 · 4 min read
Image for post
Image for post
What would you put in an interplanetary “community-in-a-box”?

A Box of Possibilities

Some people may approach this question from the perspective of asking what we can learn from over 10,000 years of recent human history about what works, and what doesn’t. Others may look at the psychology of group dynamics; others still the challenges and opportunities of developing working partnerships with increasingly smart machines, building novel economic and political systems, or even exploring what success actually means in community building. Some people may even think about what the very concept of a box might mean here — whether this is a physical volume, a virtual resource, or even a metaphor for what’s in the collective heads of a group of space pioneers.

Into the “Box”

So what would you put in this “box”? Would you put in it a ten-step program for building an egalitarian society? Would you add a library of academic tomes on philosophy, economics, and government? Would you include art, and if so, what sort of art, and for what purpose? And how about works of fiction, whether novels (graphic or otherwise), movies, or otherwise? How would you prime users of the box for navigating the social complexities that always occur when people get together in any numbers— especially under extreme conditions? Would you include a template constitution, or maybe a whole portfolio of them? How about how to deal with issues like death and disease, or mental health? And what would you include that addresses education, and how to get it right?

Getting the creative juices flowing

Over the next few months we’ll be publishing a series of thought-pieces here from experts in a wide range of areas, but all responding in some way to the question “what would you put in an interplanetary community-in-a-box, and why?” So please bookmark and follow us, and come back often to see where we’re at.

Interplanetary Community in a Box Project

Kick-starting creative conversations around off-world…

Andrew Maynard

Written by

Professor in the @ASU College of Global Futures & Author of “Films from the Future” & “Future Rising” Writes about the future. http://therealandrewmaynard.com

Interplanetary Community in a Box Project

Kick-starting creative conversations around off-world community-building

Andrew Maynard

Written by

Professor in the @ASU College of Global Futures & Author of “Films from the Future” & “Future Rising” Writes about the future. http://therealandrewmaynard.com

Interplanetary Community in a Box Project

Kick-starting creative conversations around off-world community-building

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store