Gov 2.0 Hero Day

In celebration of Gov 2.0 Hero Day, I want to highlight a few visionary ROCKet stars at NASA: Robbie Schingler, Nick Skytland, Chris Kemp, Astronaut Mike Massimino, Astronaut and Innovator Ron Garan, and Sean Herron.

Robbie SchinglerRobbie Schingler: Chief of Staff, Office of Technology at NASA Headquarters. I met Robbie a few years ago in a Communications workshop. He was working at Ames at the time. Robbie is a powerhouse for change. He is the catalyst for much of NASA’s most innovative Gov 2.0 incubator projects: CoLab, OpenNASA, 2007 Participatory Exploration Summit, OpenGov, LAUNCH:Water sustainability forum, and Random Hacks of Kindness. Robbie tirelessly works to insert collaborative processes that can bring about social justice. Twitter: @schingler

Nick SkytlandNick Skytland: Project Manager, Johnson Space Center. I first met Nick at the 2007 Participatory Exploration Summit that Space Operations Mission Directorate and Innovative Partnership Office sponsored out at Ames. Nick is another energetic creative visionary at NASA. He and Robbie have teamed together for multiple Gov 2.0 collaborative projects including CoLab, OpenNASA.com and Random Hacks of Kindness. Rumor has it that NASA astronauts consult Nick on how to use Twitter effectively — but you didn’t hear that from me. He’s the Powerpoint Communications King. With a few simple words and pictures, he makes clear how social media can change how we do business at NASA. For me, Nick’s main claim to fame was snagging the @NASA account back in 2007 and holding it until the agency was ready to adopt Twitter as a communications tool. Twitter: @skytland.

Chris Kemp and Steve WozniakChris Kemp, NASA Chief Technology Officer for IT at Ames. Indefatigable is the word that comes to mind for Chris. I met Chris at the same Communications workshop where I met Robbie. Chris is a whirlwind of change. Through Chris, our office collaborated with Microsoft to use it Photosynth as a tool to share our on-orbit mission images of the Space Station and Shuttle. He worked with Google to bring about Google Moon.He’s best known outside the agency as Mr. NASA Nebula for the cloud computing initiatives he’s championed. Twitter: @ChrisCKemp

I’m always on the lookout for game changers — ideas, technology, people.

Robbie, Nick and Chris are passionate, energetic change-agents. Through the last few years, these three guys really taught me a great deal about the endless possibilities for change that social media offers. We’re lucky to have them at NASA.

Astronaut Mike MassiminoAstronaut Mike Massimino: Mike agreed to try out Twitter as the first astronaut to take social media in space with him during the STS-125 Hubble Repair Mission. He paved the way for all the other astronauts and many NASA folks to follow. Because of his thoughtful, poetic and often humorous tweets, he became a celebrity practically overnight. He has three times the followers the @NASA account does. He’s a Gov 2.0 hero because he caught the vision of social media and expanded to YouTube segments about space with his Behind the Scenes series. Twitter: @Astro_Mike

Astronaut Ron GaranAstronaut Ron Garan: I met Ron through NASA’s LAUNCH:Water sustainability forum last March. Ron’s Manna Energy water filtration and carbon credit model was selected as one of the ten innovations to present to a group of 40 international thought leaders. What is amazing about Ron is his humility (remember that he’s an astronaut) and passion for making the world better for those who experience the inequities in access to food, water, and basic necessities of life. Through Manna Energy, Ron worked in Rwanda on his own time to bring clean water and sanitation to over 300 schools. Twitter: @MannaEnergy

“Since the Kyoto Protocol was established, only a very small percentage of the carbon market has benefited developing areas; with Africa seeing only 2.5%. We believe economic sustainability and large scale success can be born from an innovative development model that leverages the emerging global carbon credit market and integrates advances in renewable energy, water purification, and other renewable technologies into a comprehensive and compelling offering.” —Ron Garan, Director, Manna Energy Ltd.

But the story isn’t over. Ron is training for a six-month mission on Space Station beginning March 2011. He’ll launch on Soyuz from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Right now, he’s in Star City, Russia training for his mission. His training is conducted in Russian. Next he trains in Japan. Then back to the Johnson Space Center. He’s my Gov 2.0 hero because he has an amazing vision for a unique interactive social media presence during his training and space travel. He wants to share space — virtually, AND shine a spotlight back on Earth and the needs on our planet. We’re working on pulling together a really cool virtual space place where we can all gather to celebrate his life off-planet, and projects that make life better for those living on-planet. Stay tuned for more details in the near future. Twitter: @Astro_Ron

Astro_Ron in Sokol Spacesuit

Sean HerronSean Herron, Syracuse student and NASA intern. Sean worked with me in the Space Operations Mission Directorate and Robbie on Open Gov issues. Sean is someone to keep watch for in the future. He is fluent in social media and helped shape NASA’s Open Gov Plan with Robbie Schingler. He started a blog on the NASA People site to offer insights on his experiences at NASA. He was our voice on the LAUNCH:Water twitter account, and so much more. Sean gives me hope for our future. I hope he goes on to get his graduate degree then comes back to NASA for a long and fruitful career. Twitter: @SeanHerron

Yes, I notice that I’m only highlighting men. We have a number of game-changing women in leadership in the IT arena, but I don’t travel in their circles. I hope others will celebrate their Hero-ness today, as I celebrate these Gov 2.0 Guys.

Thank you Robbie, Nick, Chris, Mike, Ron and Sean for leading the way to NASA’s future in the Social Space Frontier!

Cross post on GovLoop.com.

8 Comments

Filed under astronaut, federal government, leadership, NASA, OpenNASA, social media, space, water

8 responses to “Gov 2.0 Hero Day

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Gov 2.0 Hero Day « Bethbeck's Blog -- Topsy.com

  2. Gretchen Curtis

    I have had the pleasure of working with Chris Kemp, Robbie Schingler, Nick Skytland and Sean Herron and could not agree more with your sentiments, Beth. It is wonderful to see so many smart and dedicated people working hard to make a difference and breathe new life into the Agency. So much has already been achieved and there is much more to come. Thank you Gov 2.0 heroes!

  3. Pingback: Gov 2.0 Hero Day « Bethbeck's Blog « Social Computing Technology

  4. Pingback: Gov 2.0: Group hug and Gov 2.0 Hero Day

  5. Beth:

    Its too bad that some of your nominees (Schingler, Skytland) go out of their way to exclude (or avoid inviting) taxpayers from official NASA events that they participate in officially. But since this is all about Gen Y we can never be critical of them, now can we?

    • bethbeck

      Keith,

      Can we communicate better? Absolutely. It’s not what NASA does best, though we’re getting better over the years. I appreciate the spotlight you focus on us. We can always improve.

      Some NASA-sponsored events are small due to budget considerations, or simply because we’re trying something new and need to work out the kinks before we make a big splash. Some events we can’t tell the world about because of political constraints from the White House or internal NASA politics. What can seem like a simple decision from the outside can be painfully contorted and convoluted on the inside. It’s our culture.

      As to Gen Y, I appreciate creative thinking and learning new tricks of the trade–at any age. Brain vitamins for me! I like to find good people/things and celebrate them. In our culture, we navigate enough poison-spiked walkways and steel-tipped arrows at every corner. I do what I can to help fresh new ideas succeed. I am ever-thankful for those at NASA who gave me cover when I tried something new.

      We need to have coffee. Seriously.

  6. Beth these folks constantly do this. I let you know – again and again – and they still do it – and you fund them (right) and only speak of them in glowing terms when indeed they still have a long way to go. RHOK – zero PR. NEEMO – selective engagement with some – not with others. Eventually this behavior will become self-limiting for others who actually seek to make government truly open instead of the “closed openness” that is being practiced.

    You constantly offer excuses – but never solutions.

  7. Pingback: » Gov 2.0 Hero Day Luke Fretwell

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