“Resistance is futile!” The Borg, Star Trek Next Generation
We are the LAUNCH Borg, the Collective Genius for a Better World. For all you Trekkies out there, you know what I’m talking about. For those of you non-Trekkies, the Borg is a fictional collective of multiple species connected together by a “hive mind.”
In Star Trek Next Generation, the Borg assimilated populations by force, absorbing their collective intelligence. At LAUNCH, we have no need for force. Folks come to us by choice to participate as innovators, LAUNCH Council, and non-traditional partners. We assimilate ideas and expertise through associations within our extended network — the collective genius (think hive mind) — in order to support transformative innovations and propel them into the world to solve intractable problems.
We concluded the LAUNCH: Beyond Waste forum last weekend at the Jet Propulsion Lab in California. I’m still processing all the conversations (as well as pictures) from the event. I came away energized and renewed. LAUNCH is a brain feast for me — an opportunity to talk about what if, and why not, and let’s do it. New ideas bubble up and collaborations are born. The atmosphere of generosity by all the participants is, quite frankly, humbling. One of our new LAUNCH team members from NIKE told me LAUNCH filled him with hope for the future. And that’s what it’s all about.
Together, we can make a difference!
We asked our LAUNCH Council and Innovators to provide feedback on their experience at the conclusion of the LAUNCH: Beyond Waste forum. Here are a few quotes:
- “LAUNCH plays an important role in society”
- “best investment of time to connect with future collaborators, best example of true collaboration, inspiring to be a part of selfless, genuine desire to help launch these ideas and change the world”
- “this is the most work fun I’ve had in YEARS!”
- “intense and rejuvenating”
- “inspiring, creative, bold with the potential for real impact”
- “energizing, optimism, game changing things for the world”
- “amazing brain food”
- “the most transformative and impactful weekend”
- ”phenomenal, soul food, humbling”
- ”youthful enthusiasm matched with high intellect and professionalism–usually one gets two out of these three”
- ”the conference for a new millennium”
- “one of the highlights of my life and career so far”
I’m so thrilled to be a part of LAUNCH. Not only can we promote innovative solutions for the problems facing humanity, we can offer our NASA problem-solving expertise and potentially pick up unexpected solutions to long-duration human space challenges. We have an opportunity to demonstrate the relevance between the extreme environment of space and constrained resources on Earth, while creating new ways of conducting public-private partnerships that other government agencies can follow.
Cool story: One of our LAUNCH partners told me that when asked by the airport customs official why he was coming to the US from Indonesia, he told him all about LAUNCH and how NASA’s challenges in the extreme environment of space mirror our struggle with extreme resource constraints on Earth. Score! He’s telling our relevance story for us. Such a fab validation for non-traditional outreach approaches, like LAUNCH. His circle of influence is outside any we could touch through our normal space network.
The quote below from Nader Khalili really put LAUNCH in perspective for me.
“My quests became more meaningful when my goals met with others’ needs and goals. And I became more important, in my own heart, only when I reached the others, as a drop of water becomes important only when it reaches the sea.” Nader Khalili, Racing Alone
The nine innovators associated with LAUNCH: Beyond Waste are but a drop of water. But, when connected to the sea of resources through the LAUNCH collective genius, the innovations collectively expand their potential impact toward solving the problems of humans living sustainably within constrained and finite resources available on (and off) this planet.
LAUNCH: Collective Genius for a Better World — or — LAUNCH: Better than Borg!