Where is the science fiction about ending poverty?

Illustration for article titled Where is the science fiction about ending poverty?

Science fiction is full of inventions that become reality, like killer drones and 3-D printers. So maybe if we wrote more social science fiction about innovations that could help end poverty, those would become real, too. That's what the founder of microcredit believes, anyway.


Top image: DairDair/Flickr.

The Nobel Prize-winning inventor of microloans, Muhammed Yunus, received a lifetime achievement award at Oxford, and told the gathering he'd like to see people speculating about society the way science fiction speculates about technology. According to AlertNet/Trust.org:

"Science follows science fiction, but we don’t have social fiction, so society doesn’t move as much,” he noted... If more movies, television series and other media could be created to help people envision better future societies, “I bet we’ll create the societies,” he said.

Yunus pioneered the microcredit revolution when he realized he could help a woman in Bangladesh pay off the loansharks who were keeping her in a "slavery" relationship, with just the change in his pocket. So he's in an interesting position to call for more social speculative fiction, which comes up with other innovations, similar to microloans.


How did the earth society in Star Trek come about? Isn't there some sort of arrangement whereby nobody earns an income, everyone is employed.. or something? Sorry, I'm not completely familiar with that aspect of Trek. And... where are the comments? Has my computer misunderstood the internets signal again?