Jaques Fresco, an inspiration to many and the founder of The Venus Project, recently passed away due to complications related to Parkinson’s disease, aged 101. Fresco is best known for his innovative ideas and blueprints for a sustainable society. The Venus Project, for instance, rejects the current models of mass consumerism and self-destruction and, instead, offers a new model for a resource-based economic system.
Fresco holds many titles, which include educator, architectural designer and concept artist. However, his role as a “futurist” is what has won him the most recognition. For years, Fresco has envisioned the world running on a socio-cooperation which utilizes the methodology of science and the advancements in technology which utilizes the most energy efficient systems ever conceptualized.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in the 1920’s, Fresco experienced first-hand the hardships of The Great Depression. The experience benefited him, however, as growing up around poverty, war and devastation is what influenced his later work in life. For much of Fresco’s young life, he pursued a career in structural design. Later, he worked in a variety of fields. For example in 2942, Fresco served in the army as a technical designer and produced up to 40 designs a day. By age 32, he created the Trend Home, mostly built of aluminum and glass, which gained him access to Hollywood. In the 1950’s, he created and directed Scientific Research Laboratories in Los Angeles. Afterward, he worked as a creator and a designer of science fiction models and special effects.
Throughout his life, Fresco wrote about and lectured on topics such as sustainable cities, energy efficiency, natural-resource management, cybernetic technology, automation and the role of science in society. In an ideal society imagined by Fresco, the monetary system would be terminated. In fact, when he was alive, Fresco envisioned the world developing to a point where the level of production is high enough scarcity no longer exists. In result, anything one would need would be available without a price tag. Explaining his vision, he stated:
“People don’t really want money, but rather they want access to things when they need it, and people in a society of abundance… will really no longer begin to store and accumulate [unnecessary] things.”
Like John Lennon, Fresco was a dreamer. However, his ambitions have affected and inspired many. As a result, he will be missed. Activists can honor his legacy by advocating for equal access to goods and services, and by promoting the idea that abundance and equal opportunity for all is not out of reach.