THE KARDASHEV SCALE: On what scale is your civilization, country, company and you?


The scale was originally designed in 1964 by Russian Astrophysicist Nicolai Kardashev who looked for signs of extraterrestial life within the cosmic signals.

It was based in the classification of three 03 classes, each with a level based on the management of energy:

·       Type I     (10^16 Watts)

·       Type II     (10^26 Watts)

·       Type III    (10^36 Watts)

Othernastronomers have extended the scale to Type IV (10⁴⁶ Watts) and Type . These additions consider both access to energy and the amount of knowledge to which civilizations have access.(1)

The Watt unit actually comes from the surname of the engineer and mathematician James Watt (1736-1819) , a scientist who did an important job creating the steam engine. The Watt or Watt symbol is the power unit of the International System of Units. Its symbol is W. It is the equivalent of 1 Joules per second.

If we look at the Kardashev type I scale, ancivilization on that scale has managed to use all the solar energy it receivesnfrom the sun or 10¹⁶ Watts, in other words 10, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 Watts, without any doubt a very big ammount of energy. With this level of energy, we could controlnor even modify the climate, hurricanes, tides, etc. At this scale our present civilization is still thousands of times smaller in scale in terms of energy production and therefore could not be classified as one Type I civilization, we are still far from managing that capacity.

Our civilization can be classified as a type 0.6. (2)  A type 0 civilization only uses the energy and raw materials it extracts from organic matter and natural resources such asnwood, coal or oil. It is really primitive compared to Type I, II, III, IV, Vncivilizations. We observe how the phenomena of global warming, tides, tsunamis, earthquakes, cyclones, tornados destroy everything in their path without human beings being able to control the course of these or at least to predict them.  Maybe in the span of a century we could become a type I civilization if we learn to live in peace and harmony between humans and nature. Humanity is in a very delicate balance because there is no guarantee that everything achieved as ancivilization can be perpetuated in order to become a type I civilization.

Our present planetary Internet system could be classified as a system that could be called type I if we could make a parallel with the Kardashev scale. Similarly we could apply it in parallel to an economic system that emerges to handle economies in large clusters or blocks globaly, for example the economy of the TPP cluster (Transpacific Association Agreement). Some companies or economies would be of the type I scale.

A civilization reaching level I status according to the Kardashev scale still does not have the capacity to expand at the level of its solar system or its galaxy system.  This is not the case of a type II civilization that has managed to emerge to exploit all the energy of its sun ornsolar star. The Death Star for example is a fictional space station within the universe of the film Star Wars (3), that could be constructed by a civilization in the scale of type II of Kardashev to emulate the sphere of Dyson, a hypothetical megastructure proposed in 1960 by physicist Freeman Dyson, in an article in the journal Science called “Search for artificial stellar sources of infra-red radiation.”

The sphere of Dyson is basically a spherical shell of astronomical magnitude, with a radius equivalent to that of a planetary orbit around a star, which would allow an advanced civilization to take full advantage of the luminous and thermal energy of the star.(4) Type II civilization would have the power to control large-scale processes such as deflecting comets, asteroids or diverting glacial processes on a planetary scale or even the global warming process in which we are immersed.

A type III civilization achieves impressive developments managing to handle energies billions of billions of times superior to the energy capacity that is being managed in our planet Earth. Somehow it has managed to expand beyond its solar system and has learned to use the energy of its galaxy system. Somewhere in the galaxy there could be a civilization that has merged with its technology to expand its radius of action to the entire galaxy. Someday with the advances of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence AI our civilization could reach the status of this level of advanced civilization.

What would a Type IV civilization still have to achieve? Make use of the energy of the entire universe. A civilization of this kind would have full power to manipulate space and time. From there type V civilizations would reach such a power compared to that of a divine being or God.

The logic of the same scale could be extrapolated for the case of countries, organizations or even yourself. At what level of the scale you can handle information, energy or even your personal brand and what actions you could take to change your scale or sphere of action? Many professionals look for solutions to problems based on the scale in which they find themselves but do not do the impossible to change the scale of their sphere of action.

“Suddenly in the span of a century we could become a type I civilization if we learn to live in peace and harmony between humans and nature.”



2. Michiu Kaku, Parallel Words.

3. Star Wars is a series of films belonging to the genre of the epic space opera and produced by Lucas Film.

4. Dyson sphere, Wikipedia

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Fernando Jimenez Motte

World Wide Expert in Science and Technology and Product Management. Courtesy Instructor for UCF, USA, FL. Professor and Researcher at PUCP and USMP. Former Director of Electrical and Telecommunications Engineering Career at UPC.

Former President, Vice President and Director at NAP Perú appointed by Telefonica Empresas. He reported results in Telefónica Empresas in the order of a $140 Million dollars in the Telecommunication Sector as a Product Manager.

His passion for Product Management, Product Development and scientific innovation have led him to a successful career dedicated to obtaining outstanding results. He did a Ph.D Course Work in Electrical Engineering at Florida Atlantic University, USA, a Master in Electrical Engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School, CA, USA, Project Management and Manufacturing Cost Strategies at the California Institute of Technology, Caltech, USA.

As a worldwide expert, he has been recognized by the Gerson Lehrman Global Group GLG and the Society of Industry Leaders Vista Research USA. Member of International Neural Network Society INNS. Recognized in the prestigious publications “2000 Outstanding Intellectuals” and “100 Top Professionals from IBC and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering at the global level. MIT Technology Review Jury innovators under 35 for Europe and Latin America.