The 22nd century
Here is the 22nd century I think about, and work for at every waking moment:
In the 22nd century, national governments have dedicated themselves to grand economic programs that create jobs and new technologies while also restoring environmental balance. Clean energy, waste clean-up, plastic recapture and disposal, and scientific research usher in a technological renaissance unparalleled in human history. Old, toxic industries are shuttered and people retrained into jobs that provide dignity and worth.
In the 22nd century, there is a renewed commitment to human rights. Not just critical political rights like freedom of the press, assembly, religion and the right to due process -- but also to equally important social, economic and cultural rights, like access to education and health care. Discrimination on the basis of race, gender, and national origin (among other things) are seen as backwards and barbaric. Rich countries commit to building and assisting poorer countries so that all can flourish together.
In the 22nd century, countries have agreed to settle their disputes through peaceful means. Militaries exist, but empires do not. When disputes become intractable, countries submit the dispute to arbitration or through some other consensual process to avoid bloodshed. Diplomacy and dialogue become the hallmark of international relations. There is an species-intolerance to human rights abuses, and leaders who commit those crimes are held to account before a independent, neutral judge.
In the 22nd century, the global environmental crisis is addressed as best as possible. Through global treaties, governments remove human presence from wide swaths of the Earth to restore species diversity and to improve forest cover. Environmental clean up projects seek to remove plastic from the ecosystem. Carbon emissions are halted and carbon recapture technologies have mild but important success. Ocean temperatures and acidity levels are stabilized. People commit to dealing with inevitable consequences of climate change like rising sea levels and changes in weather, but they deal with it the best they can.
In the 22nd century, there is a deeper understanding and appreciation of democracy. Not just as a word that gets thrown about—but as a way of life. There is a realization that a free way of life requires basic dignity to all—including the dignities of human rights. Life is not about the never-ending quest to acquire more resources, but about the cultivation of the soul and the refinement of personal freedom through the pursuit of a Life's Work. Spiritual goals become intertwined with political goals; and concern for the common good is never far from the hearts of a citizen. There is a recognition that despotism and tyranny are never far away and there is a deep suspicion of people who create enemies out of others and who call for violence and war.
In the 22nd century, a unified world seeks to explore the stars. The same technologies that were used to help stabilize the Earth's climate in the 22nd century are retooled to permit ethical terraforming of other planets outside the Solar System. The abundance of the universe and all its resources ensures that the human race will never want. Haunted by the horrors of the past and a recent time when ignorance almost destroyed the species and the fragile ecosystem that nurtures it, humanity ultimately evolves into a space-faring race--unified and dignified.
This is the 22nd century I think about, and work for at every waking moment. Will you join me?