Theme: The Sound Barrier
When an aircraft travels so fast that it nears the speed of sound, it encounters the sound barrier, a rapid increase in aerodynamic drag, which makes it difficult to accelerate much more.
In a world that seems to be accelerating— culturally, economically, technologically—, “the sound barrier” represents a breaking point, one at which speed is neither necessary nor sustainable. We are witnessing a rapid overhaul of tradition in favor of progress, one that focuses on the aesthetics of futurism, and one that often leaves large swaths of our population to suffer and stagnate.
As multinational corporations, peddling ever faster food and faster fashion, lower the cost of some necessities, they increase the toll on workers and the environment. As social media becomes ubiquitous, so does the sale of personal data and the rapid spread of misinformation. As the world becomes more connected, our identities become less associated with place, and more defined by the online world adjacent to us.
This new age must be examined with a critical eye. Are we progressing towards a more accepting society, a more democratized economy, with technology that past generations could only dream of? Or is this a facade that only deepens inequalities and pushes us back in our fight for sustainability? To answer these questions, we must abandon the notion of simplicity, of traditional solutions, and open our minds to nuance and novelty.
At SHASMUN X, we invite you to ponder the nature of progress and change, question the systems we have long accepted as just, and seek solutions that fulfill the need for ethics and sustainability.
Secretary-General of the Executive Branch, SHASMUN X