Tag Archives: LAUNCH: Beyond Waste

LAUNCH Borg: Collective Genius

“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.”

Star Trek Captain Jean-Luc Picard as Borg

Star Trek Captain Jean-Luc Picard as Borg

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.

Astronaut Ron Garan sharing orbital perspective at LAUNCH: Beyond Waste forum

Astronaut Ron Garan sharing orbital perspective at LAUNCH: Beyond Waste forum

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!

Impact rotations at LAUNCH: Beyond Waste forum

Impact rotations at LAUNCH: Beyond Waste forum

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.

LAUNCH Panorama of Beyond Waste forum

LAUNCH Panorama of Beyond Waste forum

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! 😉


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LAUNCH: Time to Stop Wasting

I’m flying high today. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy website hosted our LAUNCH: Beyond Waste blogpost authored by LAUNCH: Water Innovator and Astronaut Ron Garan: LAUNCHing Ideas for a Waste-less Tomorrow.

We’ve been refining LAUNCH over the last few years. This will be our fourth sustainability innovation forum. We’ve hosted LAUNCH: Water, LAUNCH: Health, and most recently, LAUNCH: Energy — all at the Kennedy Space Center. Now we’re moving from the east coast to the west coast. We’ll gather 35-ish thought leaders to hear and discuss ten game-changing solutions to the problem of waste at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory this July.

Waste is a huge issue for humans living on the planet, as well as those who live beyond the borders of Earth. In the developed world, we live in a throw-away society. We use a product (and sadly people, sometimes) and toss it when the newest model comes along. In the developing world, citizens take discarded objects, and give them new life. My daughter bought this soda can art from a market in South Africa.

South African Art: Plane from Recycled Fanta Can

South African Art: Plane from Recycled Fanta Can

To travel in space long distances, humans must take what they need for the journey. At $10,000/lb, we need to think long and hard about the essentials we send off the planet in our rocket-propelled biospheres.

We need creative minds to help think about designing a future with zero waste, and re-think waste in creative new ways to add redundant value.

LAUNCH: Beyond Waste is accepting proposals until May 15th. Be the change we need for a better tomorrow. Apply now at  http://challenge.launch.org.

Stop wasting time! It’s time to stop wasting.  

Let’s create a future with zero waste. I’ll leave you with a little Steve Miller Band….

Time Keeps on Slipping: Steve Miller Band

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Filed under LAUNCH, NASA, social entrepreneurship, space