Rod Roddenberry took the reigns of Star Trek over from his father when Gene Roddenberry passed. Instead of merely maintaining what was there, or allowing Star Trek to fall by the wayside, Roddenberry made a very interesting choice: to use the franchise to live up to the point of the show.

That is, he proposes to consistently aim toward the unity of all people, for us to care for our universe, and to hopefully see some of the struggles played out in Star Trek resolved in our lifetimes. That’s why the Roddenberry Foundation was created – to boldly go where no man has gone before, as we all work to better the world around us.

At Star Trek: Mission New York, Rod and his wife Heidi met a group of fans by the Roddenberry booth and passed out hats. On them was the hashtag #BoldlyBetter. Everyone who took a hat was made an honorary ambassador to the #BoldlyBetter campaign, and Rod and Heidi took a moment to address the small crowd of newly crowned ambassadors.

They explained that as Star Trek approached its 50th anniversary, it was important to take a look at what we were doing as people to try and live up to the ideals proposed by Star Trek‘s Federation. Our planet is important, people are important, and investing in the future was definitely important.

As a result of their convictions, they have worked with the Roddenberry Foundation to put money and resources into the agencies and people who look to make the world a better place. Since it takes many individuals coming together to make significant change in the world, the Roddenberry Foundation is reaching out to everyone to join the call and take part in building a bold and better future.

Tonight, on the 50th Anniversary of the originally release of Star Trek‘s very first episode, Rod will be joined by friends and strangers at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum to screen favorite episodes and discuss what he hopes to do with the foundation.

At Star Trek: Mission New York, he also indicated that there would be some sort of big announcement at the event, though he could not give us any hints as to what that announcement would be about. If I had to wager a guess, it may have to do with the complete re-vamping of the Foundation’s website, and from the sound of Rod and Heidi’s excited voices, I’d further theorize that they may be announcing a big change or new initiative for the group moving forward in light of Star Trek‘s 50th birthday, and continued success.

Whatever they decide to do, it is delightful to see Rod step up and carry the torch of what his father started, not just by continuing to push forward the entertainment portion of the Roddenberry legacy, but to capitalize on it and use it to make a bigger impact.

Stories have been an important part of human existence from the very beginning of time, and the story of Star Trek has inspired generations of people, young and old, to think about the present in light of future possibilities. Media and all of its facets continue to be an important force in the world, so when that media form is used for the good of people, it is a refreshing change from the usual status quo.

If you’re looking to get involved in the Roddenberry Foundation, you can find them on Twitter, at their website listed above (though it is being revamped), or by using the tag #BoldlyBetter on just about any social media platform. Be sure to tune into the events happening at the Smithsonian tonight to honor the 50th Anniversary as Rod prepares to delivery a big, surprise announcement.

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