"You say Goodbye & I say #HelloSpace”

September 15, 2130: An inhabitant of District 8 discovered in his grandmother’s attic a notebook from his ancestors, dating from the 2040s. This priceless discovery plunges us back into the “dark times” when survival was a daily fight. A real time capsule, this notebook talks about a small group of engineers, located in District Hope.

 

 

Today, we know this group as the “HelloSpaciens”, and we celebrate their innovations every July. Nor have we forgotten that it’s thanks to them that we once again have grass in our gardens and water coming out of our fountains. In 2018, these men and women had left documents specifying the dozens of innovations that would, 22 years later (and five years after the big climate crisis), save our planet. Because it was only in 2040 that these documents were found and used.

What do we really know about this small community of engineers to whom we owe so much? Not really that much, especially in comparison to all that they left us. We do know that, to stimulate an innovation culture, Thales Alenia Space’s Innovation Cluster (with a first Innovation Center opened in 2015), organized multidisciplinary workshops to brainstorm on solutions for specific problems, including sessions dedicated to ideation, design thinking, lectures and competitive hackathons. In an ironic instance of foreshadowing, the 2018 edition of their #HelloSpace event focused on sustainable development.

This touching testimonial reminds us how important innovation is – much more than just ideas written down on paper or an iPad…

 

January 12, 2040, 17:35

 

 

The heat is once again suffocating, at least 45°C in the shade of the few trees left in the park near our house. It’s unbearable, and our little girl fainted again. I had to go buy some water at the store two kilometers south of the city, where they sell a six-pack for 50 euros. Unbelievable: it was just 25 euros a few months ago! When oil prices skyrocketed, it was okay: at €300/barrel, I could always find an alternative. I take my bike, and I can always fix a flat if needed. But water is another kettle of fish! For everybody, but especially kids and old folks.

Nobody can take it any more. There were uprisings in District 5, north of the city. Journalists didn’t even really mention it, however, because the authorities didn’t want this anger to spread to other districts.

 

 

I ran into Jean, who was in waiting in line at the dispensary on Street 15. He told me not to lose hope, that he was in contact with a small group of Positivists who were trying to find the stock of archives in District Hope south of the city, since these documents could save us. Perhaps they could preserve life on Earth that’s fast disappearing, with people fleeing in smugglers’ deadly  spaceships headed to the Moon or Mars. But Jean seemed confident, and I thought I could see the same small glimmer in his eyes that was there before our world turned upside down. I hope that what he said is true, and that this heritage from the “Old Days” could save us. He didn’t really know much about these archives, but the group working in District Hope had managed to decipher bits that were promising. The author of these documents was a group of employees from Thales Alenia Space, who got together to come up with innovative and sustainable solutions. Perhaps the epilogue to their last meeting in 2014 will come in 2040.

I dream of seeing grass grow once again in our garden, and our little girl running through it, I dream of seeing water once again spouting from our fountains… and especially I dream of real meals again instead of the spiruline capsules given to us by the dispensary. Rats, I better stop writing, the curfew has started, those dust storms that cut off all sunlight started a week ago, and the electricity will be cut off in five minutes. But I’m sure that Jean is right and that the future will look brighter.

Marc D., inhabitant of District 8