If the idea of Terraism and the terraistic association were good promoters of change into the right direction, why does this association not already exist? Why do I write a manifesto about the association and not just found it and make it happen? What are the stumbling blocks and risks? Good questions. Here are some answers:
Does the idea have a chance?
Can a terraistic society become strong enough to make a difference? Greenpeace, Amnesty International and Asgardia are very scalable. The more people participate, the better. But even if only a few participate, they make a small contribution for a good cause. It cannot go wrong. In the case of the terraistic association, there are some concepts that only work if a critical mass of members is reached. A good example are the collective actions. They only work if many companies in a particular industrial sector participate. Otherwise, the companies that commit themselves to the principle of e.g. no more child labor in their own company and in their supply chain would end up at a disadvantage. Only if a significant number of companies join in, will there be enough pressure in the market to move suppliers. Some other ideas, such as the patent pool for socially critical and peacekeeping technologies, need at least sufficient financial resources to make a difference in the market. It is therefore fair to say that some aspects of the terraistic association can only be launched once a critical financial mass or number of participants has been reached.
All or nothing?
Does the association only make sense over and above a certain threshold? Certainly not. As described, the association will also have goals and initiatives that are comparable to other non-profit organizations. The more of them, the better. Even a small beginning makes a difference. Planetary protection and public relations for education, terraistic philosophy and ethics will be meaningful at any scale. In some areas it will depend more on the quality of members and actions than on quantity. Who starts a constructive and goal-oriented dialogue with the Catholic Church on contraception? And above all, how is it conducted and with whom? Clearly, neither quality nor quantity is an excuse to put the issue on the back burner.
How should something like this be founded?
The association has a good chance to become strong quickly if social influencers get enthusiastic about the idea. It needs role models, who can embody and promote the ideals of Terraism in the public: Barack Obama, Richard Branson, Bill Gates could be such role models – but of course also younger social media influencers. Just take a look at the movement that Greta Thunberg started within a few months. In any case, there is a need for a few experienced public relations professionals. The desirable chance for rapid growth will be increased if at least some of them can focus on the topic professionally and full-time from the beginning. A relevant financial foundation or donation to the future association, or a re-dedication or expansion of an existing organization, could help to achieve this.
How does it start?
One of the new aspects is that in addition to natural persons, states, companies, and non-profit associations should also be members. With the nations, which are part of the problem, it will certainly be somewhat difficult in the beginning. Whoever takes the reins would have to invite and convince CEOs of major corporations and representatives of large existing non-profit organizations right from the start. A possible crystallization point would be, for example, the World Economic Forum in Davos. A global claim and communication channel are open right away via the corporations and joining non-profit organizations. Another interesting question, for example, would be whether Asgardia is prepared to make the transition from a technology-oriented and fun-driven organization with good effects on people’s sense of connection to a full-time world saver. It would also be conceivable that other non-profit organizations would join forces to cover partial aspects of the described association and found a kind of terraistic umbrella organization.
In whatever variant, the team of founding members would need to work out a charter and coordinate it among themselves before they approach the public in a media-effective action. Of course, there are other ways. Since it is high time for a change, speed and size are values in and of themselves. Founding the association just with a couple of friends in a coffee shop in Erlangen has such a low probability of becoming effective that I prefer to invest my limited time in essays like this one. When the seed comes up, I will be there.