APRIL 20, 2021
REFINING THE MESSAGE
CO-FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Coming to you live from a balcony overlooking Miami's South Beach I am pleased to let you all know that there is a sense of normalcy returning here... In case you were wondering - no, I am not here for work - it turns out very little rocket/space work happens on this beach - instead, I am here celebrating what was supposed to be my first wedding anniversary... and writing to you all. Ok, on to the rest of the update.
This week our Government Relations Director, @John Chwat, had his hands full as he initiated a special outreach to selected key Committee leaders and Professional staff in 12 House and 12 Senate Committees to consider the provision of the SPACE Corporation Act authorization in any legislation for the 117th Congress. Specifically, he was socializing that the SPACE Corporation Act could help address concerns on growing Chinese defense/space programs.
Specifically, we requested the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee leadership include the SPACE Corporation Act in their review of S.1260, the Endless Frontier Act. With that bill already looking to expand R&D in other sectors - the SPACE Corporation would be a natural fit for the new tools the Endless Frontier Act created.
We also made about a dozen different presentations to five US House and 7 Senate offices requesting sponsorship of the SPACE Corporation Act including follow-up visits with OK, WV, and AL delegations. We also followed up with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on the SPACE Corporation Act. We highlighted its importance in supporting NRO and NGA objectives for increased private sector innovations/investments.
Overall, as of today's date, we have 45 House Representatives and 35 Senators in early support of the SPACE Corporation Act.
The SPACE Corporation Act could help address concerns on growing Chinese defense / space programs.
WORKFORCE FOR THE FUTURE (W4F) DEVELOPMENT CENTER
We continued our talks with Amazon Web Services and several of their space-facing teams. Our talks centered around ways to integrate existing and planned classes, content, and certifications into our workforce development center initiative.
On that topic - we also had a call with the Akron School District's College and Career Pathways outreach director. While this call was in support of our upcoming trip to Akron for Conversations for the Future (C4F) - I personally was really impressed by the model Akron uses in exposing high school students to different potential career paths that goes way beyond traditional 'career' prep, which is normally just a euphemism for getting kids ready for non-college careers. I don't have enough time or space to go into all the details here - but suffice to say - a 4-year program of exposing kids to many different career possibilities and tailoring the rest of their coursework with practical applications for said career paths seems like a winning model.
First up on our operations side - we are excited to announce two new members -Voyager Space Holdings and Space Industries. Both of these companies are doing some impressive work - and we are honored to have them on board.
On the membership front - we have taken some early feedback from our board and are doing some tweaks over the weekend to better align the membership offerings with our initiatives and maximize the benefits to our members. As a warning - if you are getting this email and haven't been contacted yet about joining as a personal / business member - don't worry - I'll make it to you. We have several additional members in the pipeline and will look forward to welcoming them both here in this update - but also in our social media updates and joint press releases.
Not sure we have much in the way of 'other' news. Primarily in this category, we spent some time reconceptualizing topics and themes for our Conversations For the Future (C4F) series. We are trying to make sure this series isn't too hardware-specific and brings in voices from outside the space world too. We will do a similar exercise with our Infrastructure for the Future (I4F) webinar series in the coming days/weeks - so if you have ideas for topics for that - by all means, let me know.
Next week will be a busy one. Between a member-initiated partnership opportunity (stay tuned for this - as it is an exciting chance to be a part of an international moon mission), presenting at a Cubesat conference (@Paul F. Jurasin and I present at 1 pm Pacific on Thursday), and a handful of articles pending with publishers (one of which is about how being a submariner is good preparation for space life).
I think that should do it for this week - I'm off to find a drink!
CO-FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Tim Chrisman is a former Army intelligence advisor, security officer, and most recently, a CIA officer supporting the national space council and the Joint Staff of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He holds two master's degrees - one in Intelligence Studies, and one in International Relations and Affairs from American University. Tim is the author of the book Humanity in Space and of various articles about the expanse of our civilization in space.
Tim’s next challenge and mission is to create the backbone of America's next century in space. In 2020, Tim co-founded Foundation For The Future, a scientific education and public works advocacy foundation, dedicated to one goal: the creation of a space infrastructure administration. This will be a public-private partnership to create jobs in the new space economy, new opportunities for innovators, and ultimately space access for all.
MAY 4 - 5, 2021
ENERGY AND SPACE
If we power the 300 largest cities in the world, from space, we can power 40% of the global population with clean, limitless, and cheap, energy – forever. This changes everything; it has the potential to increase global GDP, literacy, education, advanced medical-access, democracy, communications, and to raise the standard of living for every human being. Space-based solar power is the energy infrastructure that can re-write our current chapter of climate change and even the future of humanity.
We look forward to having you join us at this event!
GOOGLE ADS SPECIALIST NEEDED
Who: Foundation for the Future Aerospace advocacy and nonprofit workforce development group seeking freelance Certified Google Ads Specialist
What: One-time project with ongoing maintenance - Looking for a Google ads wizard to advise on how to best spend a nonprofit's $10,000 monthly budget, execute campaign setup, and ongoing maintenance. Space industry understanding is helpful, but not required.
Why: Capture the attention of donors, educators/students, partners, and space industry professionals and to give them a clear, easy way to take action on our website.
When: Immediate Hire
Where: Remote, Google Suite
APRIL 20, 2021
REFINING THE MESSAGE
CO-FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
I've been told message discipline is the key to success in any marketing / political or other public-facing efforts. When I first heard this, I thought this must have meant just not contradicting yourself when talking. It turns out it is waymore than that. About 99% of this message discipline thing is repeating yourself verbatim until your ears bleed and you are sure you sound like a robot. The other 50% is not contradicting yourself, and the rest is making sure your message is actually useful.
As you might have inferred from this email subject and the above paragraph - a key theme this last week was our efforts to refine and refine the message we are delivering - and who our audiences are for each message. As part of this process, we are finding that there are a lot of places where we assume our audience knows about, will read about, or otherwise be 'sophisticated.' While this is a polite assumption - it is wrong - and we are working to ease access to our information and create softer landings for new supporters, potential members, and the general public.
But enough about that, you are here for the update - so let's get to it.
PROGRESS THIS WEEK
On Capitol Hill, we virtually met with 12 Senate and 8 House offices this week. We have continued our streak of improving our stats for pending co-sponsors. Pretty impressive, considering the current political climate. The quote of the week from the Hill “...(SPACE Corporation) is timely, a unique idea and an option that needs to be considered..."
We are continuing our work on the Executive Branch side and meeting with new and pending members of the Administration. We have focused largely on top-level leaders until now - and are looking to pivot a bit to include the senior staff to start building a coalition of support within the administration for the SPACE Corporation.
... SPACE Corporation is timely, a unique idea and an option that needs to be considered...
We have expanded our integration with space and space adjacent nonprofits to support our advocacy and educational efforts. This week, we joined the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, where I was nominated to the National Small Business Alliance Leadership Council as their space lead. I gladly accepted.
This week our operations team was knocking it out of the park. We finished up the conceptualization of our Conversation for the Future event for May, including coordinating our ground game with local schools and companies. More to come next week - but we are tying our event to the local public school system, a maker-space, a technical education/community college, and more.
We are excited to announce that Lee Steinke will be joining the F4F team as our C4F (Conversations for the Future) Event Producer starting next week. Lee has provided valuable "outsider's" feedback from our earliest conversations, and we're honored that she has stuck around since. Lee's expertise in business, leadership, a space-adjacent industry, and even the performing arts will make her a sharp (and creative) C4F lead.
C4F Event Producer, F4F
Next week is going to be another hot and heavy one - not just because the temperature here in DC is now above freezing permanently - but also because we have meetings with heavy hitters like Amazon Web Services and House/Senate Members; but also because we are in planning for events with the Akron Public School system, are talking with two launch providers for our crowdfunding campaign and have calls with at least two large potential members.
And that is just what we have on our calendars so far - I also plan on working out at least once, finding out one of my kids has broken something, and waking up at 2 am one day. So it should be an exciting week all around - and with that, I will bid you all adieu -
Until next week or I see you out there
APRIL 11, 2021
PATHFINDERS LEAD THE WAY
CO-FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
I never went to Pathfinder school when I was in the Army. Not so much because I didn't want to go - but because I was never qualified to go. Something about not meeting prerequisites or something like that. Not sure what that has to do with anything - other than to point out that I am not a Pathfinder - but am familiar with their missions. That mission is to prepare a landing area for a paratrooper landing. Or to put another way - they are first in - doing all the rough work of carving a path. I am talking about pathfinders here because the job is not one just limited to the military.
As we advocate for the SPACE Corporation Act - we are acting as a pathfinder for this idea that space should be routine. And we are looking for other pathfinders to join in helping prepare the way in their state and local areas. And like how I 'didn't meet prerequisites' to be a Pathfinder in the Army - not everyone we interact with or who joins our merry band is meant to carve a path. In fact we don't want most to be said finders; we need an overwhelming body of support and that comes after we find the perfect 'first'.
I'll transition into this week's update now - but suffice to say - this week's priority is Identifying and recruiting state pathfinders. Want to be one? Know one? Let me know.
"As we advocate for the SPACE Corporation Act - we are acting as a pathfinder for this idea that space should be routine."
PROGRESS THIS WEEK
First off - mainly because it is related to the topic of the week - we had a fantastic call with leaders of Kent, WA's economic development team. Most of the call was a readout of each others' activities since our earlier calls; but towards the end of the call we were talking about the need for a lead advocate / organization in Washington. I explained how I knew that for the most part local governments couldn't and shouldn't be the ones' leading advocacy. In part this is because these governments are supposed to be responsive to the interests of their citizens, and in part because the people in these governments don't have the bandwidth to do trailblazing work. That is the job of a pathfinder, and in the case of something like the SPACE Corporation Act, a pathfinder probably ought to be a business alliance, a major corporation, or high profile individuals. I told the Kent team that we would find them just such a pathfinder. Because, and this is something I reiterate to most schools and governments I talk with, we want to ensure we are building a network that has staying power. Part of this is providing political cover, part is ensuring bridges aren't burned, and part is making sure timing is right.
As a result of the recent Blue Marble Week trip to Scranton, Pennsylvania - I had a followup call with their Chamber of Commerce Workforce Dev Lead. She mentioned how between our two calls she had been to a meeting with the rest of the Chamber leadership and Representative (Cartwritght)'s Chief of Staff. This CoS had both heard of our SPACE Corporation Act - but indicated the Representative was supportive of our efforts on the Hill. For those of you outside the Beltway - having a Congressperson's Chief of Staff remember you and speak well of you is the high school equivalent of a varsity high school football player telling someone that he knows you (and that you are his favorite chess club member). Back to the story - during my follow-up call I was informed that I had the attention of the local Chamber - and they would provide what assistance they could in connecting us with businesses and schools.
... we want to ensure we are building a network that has staying power. Part of this is providing political cover, part is ensuring bridges aren't burned, and part is making sure timing is right.
Now I am sure many of you have heard or said such things to people - and often it is just platitudes - or at best you hope there is no 'assistance' requested. However, in Pennsylvania any offer of assistance is completely legit. Within 24 hours I had calls or in-person meetings with multiple college presidents, two of which agreed to join our Workforce for the Future initiative. One of these schools, Lackawanna College will serve as the state lead for the workforce development network, and over the next few week we will work with them to begin collecting what space-related educational offerings exist in Pennsylvania.
I mentioned last week - our Alabama allies are proving to be the perfect blend of excited and connected. Both the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and MGMWRX were active in talking about and advocating for the SPACE Corporation Act and a nationwide space-focused workforce development plan. It is hard to overstate how important a state Alabama is in the space community. If you know people in Alabama who would be interested in helping the existing group please let me know and I'll tie you in with the team out of Montgomery.
Finally, we need your support to help identify people, companies or organizations in Wyoming and New Mexico, who would be interested in supporting our efforts. Please contact me if you know anyone. Both those states' Senate delegations are primed to join us, however we need to sell them on the local benefits to constituents / businesses.
We are nearing completion on our first scholarship announcement. In case you missed it - this first one will be to a student at Langston University. Our stretch goal is to have a scholarship offered in half of the states by the end of this year - and all 50 by the end of '22. What is the criteria for said scholarship? Well - we have told teachers and administrators that they have flexibility in who they choose - we just want someone who is both excited about space AND is the opposite of a stereotypical space 'person'. We have kept this broad so that we get a broad range of students - and I'll admit - as a recovering internet troll the criteria of 'anti-stereotype' is bringing me more joy that I think it is supposed to.
SIR RICHARD REQUESTING OUR GRAPHENE REPORT
Oh and - since I don't know where else this should go - turns out Sir Richard Branson had a question about graphene in space last week...and the report (Include link to report.) that @Adrian Nixon and his team did for us was given to said Sir. I was sure to let the Nixene team know that we were willing to come present the report to Sir Branson -- I am really not sure what I, a Boston Tea Party member, am supposed to call British aristocracy in mixed company...
I think that about does it - in no small part because my plane is about to take off so I need to turn my phone onto airplane mode.
Until next week - or I see you out there