Monday, January 31, 2011

Fourteen Challenges After Direct First Contact

Direct First Contact with an extraterrestrial civilization would present a unique set of challenges in the months and years following a First Contact event. A stunned reaction of relative quiet would be expected in the initial days after the event, and yet it will not last long. World leaders will have to respond quickly.

1. There will be a need for increased cooperation between nations in response to First Contact. Some nations may need support, to avoid slipping into protectionism and isolationism.

2. The rapid change in perspective could prompt knee-jerk reactions from institutions and organizations.

3. Some nations could experience unrest and governmental erosion.

4. Some institutions could disintegrate under the pressure of change.

5. Safe, progressive change for institutions will need to be actively promoted and nurtured.

6. New institutions will need to be created to respond to new needs.

7. World leaders should support individual, bureaucratic and corporate creativity to respond to new demands and opportunities.

8. There will have to be diplomatic, governmental, and scientific frameworks built to support cautious change.

9. World leaders will need to curb excessive self-interested reaction and power grabs by both individuals and organizations.

10. The valid concerns of many groups will have to be addressed in the wake of First Contact, including extremist groups. All segments of human society should be part of the dialog.

11. Transparency will need to be the hallmark of all endeavors After First Contact.

12. Affordable access to information technology should be treated as a human right. It will be critical to human growth and development After First Contact.

13. If extraterrestrial information is shared with humans, the sciences will need to re-organize and find ways to respond to the new challenges created by those scientific revelations.

14. Higher education systems worldwide will have to re-organize and find ways to quickly respond to change in many academic areas.

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