New crisis – New opportunities

by Lembit Öpik, Asgradia’s Chairman of Parliament

The world is gradually returning to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic. But it is not the usual normal we were all used to. We are finding ourselves in a new reality. We still fear the invisible killer may get us. We see thousands of people grieving the loss of their loved ones. We see companies filing for bankruptcy and people looking for a job. The past several months reminded a war – but is there a glimmer of hope? Can we compensate for the losses and use the crisis as a new opportunity? Lembit Öpik, Asgradia’s Chairman of Parliament believes that we can in fact turn problems into an opportunity and Asgardia’s philosophy of unity can help a lot.

How can the ‘Great Depression 2.0’ be utilized?

The obvious economic problems caused by the current Covid-19 outbreak will destroy some companies and open space for others. At an individual level, millions are suffering economically, and that’s a problem that will be with us for years. If we’re smart as a species, we will use this time to ‘upgrade’ from the old, out of date systems, like pointless travel when a quick digital meeting will work, and each country doing its own thing against a global problem. SO, the best thing we can learn from all this is to think globally and act locally. Asgardia already does that, simply because we are a planet-wide community. Our economy requires success everywhere and that is a lesson that the earth might want to learn about health policy, social policy, and scientific endeavour.

Every serious crisis brings out the best in us

The greatest scientific progress in human history has always come during wars. Those are very hard times for people, and it can bring out the best in us. I’m sure that millions of people really will suffer now because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s hard for most of them to make a collective difference because they haven’t got the power or resources to do it. But those in charge, and those offering a vision, can help here. I believe Asgardia, as a society, can find a way to inspire a better way of thinking. This is, for me, work in progress. And for some the situation will feel hopeless. I know what that feels like because in my life I’ve been there myself. Those who can need to help those who can’t – and that’s not about a ‘hand out’ - it’s about a ‘hand up.’ Maybe we in Asgardia can find a way to play our part in creating hope and a vision in this sense – and that’s something I’m spending time considering at present.

Asgardia’s philosophy is a good answer to post-COVID challenges

We can only influence the views of those who are open to ideas and suggestions. For them, we can say ‘what can we learn from this – and what does it tell us for the need to act as one humanity and one community?’ Asgardia’s motto has never been more relevant. Many won’t be interested in this sort of philosophy. But for those who are, we can do what humans do best – turn a problem into an opportunity. We need to think carefully about the current mindset of communities around the world and see what Asgardia can offer those looking for some kind of a way forward. That’s a very practical step. Asgardia’s representatives and I are thinking especially about our Asgardian Members of Parliament and Mayors, need to reach out and share our belief that we’re better together, stronger when we solve world challenges as a group, not as hundreds of individual groups. That sort of thinking leads naturally to Asgardia’s philosophy for our society in space. It also opens the door to something you can’t measure in numbers, but you can feel: inspiration. Dreams make life so much more meaningful, and this is a time that we really need that picture of the future. And I am sure Asgardia can play a key role in that. Space is, after all, inspirational.

Think of how you can apply your talent  

The best thing we can each do is focus on our own specialisms, whether that’s science, finance, communication, or politics – and then share our thinking and actions with those who are looking for some way forwards here, some hope. That means we have to be personally proactive, and not wait for Asgardia Headquarters to call and ask us to do something. Enrico Rizzato, one of our AMPs, recently phoned me and said he was trying to get us coverage in the Italian press. That’s exactly the sort of thing I mean. He just got up and got going with this idea. We can all do that. Look inside, see what you’ve got, and share it on with the outside world. Asgardia is the most inspirational community I’ve ever been involved in. We owe it to planet earth to share our inspiration and get our fellow earth dwellers to look up instead of feeling down. It’s how we, collectively, get to space. That’s worth fighting for, isn’t it?