This initiative was born out of the XPRIZE Visioneers competition, when I was co-leading the Empathy Team sponsored by the Roddenberry Foundation. XPRIZE is an innovation engine which partners with world-class sponsors stemming from the tech, business and philanthropic world.
I had the immense privilege of working with the Roddenberry Foundation, while being incubated by the XPRIZE. Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek. He once said Star Trek was such an iconic TV show because humanity had an enormous hunger for brotherhood. Seeing humans and aliens collaborate with one another was inspirational for generations who lived in a world where humans alone can be alienated from one another, because of the difference of skin color, gender, age, religious belief.
OUR LAST BATTLEFIELD
In the famous Star Trek episode “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”, the Enterprise meets the last two survivors, Bele and Lokai, from a planet torn by civil war, and who are still eager to destroy one another on board of the ship. The reason? One has a half-white, half-black face, and the other the exact same facial motif, but reversed.
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
In this episode Enterprise looks back on the great advancement of humanity towards peace and unity that has taken place.
Chekov: There was persecution on Earth once. I remember reading about it in my history class.
Sulu: Yes, but it happened way back in the twentieth century. There’s no such primitive thinking today.
We have a lot of work on our plate to make this statement true; that’s why I founded Equality Lab.
READY FOR THE 23RD CENTURY NOW
Recently acts of reciprocal violence based on racial tension have cast a gloom over the landscape of US society. Worldwide, countries like France and Germany have suffered from multiple acts of terrorism based on religious divides.
Evidence-based studies outline the landscape for a polarized and divided society fractured by biases and prejudice linked to race, gender, age, sexual orientation, political orientation and religious belief – yielding violence and social unrest.
This non-profit aspires to invert this deadly polarization of societies across the globe, which breeds violence and hinders individuals from unifying their intellectual and emotional forces to thrive and produce an abundant world of prosperity.
Gene Roddenberry stated that one of the founding concepts underlying the show Star Trek was to think beyond the divides of mankind and to respond to the public’s hunger for brotherhood:
We believed that the often ridiculed mass audience is sick of this world’s petty nationalism and all it’s old ways and old hatreds, and that people are not only willing but anxious to think beyond most petty beliefs that have for so long kept mankind divided.
Equality Lab’s mission is to leverage emergent technologies to overcome the various divides that are fragmenting our society to feed ‘humanity’s hunger for brotherhood.’ As Gene Roddenberry puts it, “the much-maligned common man and common woman (…) are ready for the 23rd century now, and they are light-years ahead of their petty governments and their visionless leaders.”