JULY 19, 2021
LOOKING FORWARD INSTEAD OF BACK
CO-FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
I have spent this week reading the book The Power of Strangers, and realized I am really out of practice. So I tried chatting up some random folks when I went to a friends' retirement ceremony on Friday. No I didn't talk to everyone - but I sure thought about it. As I started to feel bad that I was missing more chances at practicing, I remembered the super important lesson in leadership I also learned this week:
"When you are leading you don't have time to look back. It is your job to look up and out".
As someone leading a team driving change - I don't have time to not talk to people. So my little inner critic was making this a huge deal. This is where we get back to the quote - I (and neither do you) - have time to look back. Recriminations aren't going to help tomorrow - and we can probably all spend that time better teasing out what next time will look like.
Looking ahead = winning | looking back = losing.
Ok enough moralizing lesson planning - let's get to this update - I've got exactly 13 minutes to finish this before my children demand my attention so let's see what we can get in that time.
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY SPACE CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (E.G. OUR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT) INCLUDED IN DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS BILL
We learned Wednesday that some of the legislative language we submitted to the House Appropriations Committee - Defense (HAC-D) made it into the draft Defense Appropriations bill (pages 59-60 to be specific). Here for the first time ever - the Defense Department required to develop a plan to develop a sustainable pipeline of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs able to fill hard-to-fill positions across the Department. The initial phase of this requires the Department to go through and study what exists and then phase two is to formulate a plan for what is needed.
The original text we submitted was narrowly focused on space - but the Committee saw this as an opportunity to broaden the language out - and in doing so we have sparked the first mention of blue collar workforce development in any Appropriations bill I have seen in at least a decade (yes I checked...and based on that I would bet this is one of the first mentions ever). Needless to say we are pretty excited about this - and will work with the Committee to draft a publicity strategy for this to help amplify both our win and how forward looking and strategic these Congresspeople are being.
WORKFORCE FOR THE FUTURE PILOT PROGRAM GENERATING INTEREST FROM SCHOOLS, COMPANIES and XPRIZE FOUNDATION
Last week we had calls with a number of different schools in Florida about participating in the pilot of our Workforce for the Future program, and followed these on with meetings with a handful of companies and even the CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation to discuss how best to implement this program.
You, too, can join us in developing the first nationally recognized space career certification program. We are seeking collaborative students, educators, and employers to help drive this initiative.
THANKS TO DEMAND, F4F SUPPLYING FURTHER ECONOMIC ANALYSES OF SPACE
A couple weeks ago we finished up our national economic impact analysis which looked at how the SPACE Corporation Act would affect the US economy over the next decade. Since then - we have had a number of requests to expand the analysis out to 2040/2050, to tailor the assessments down to city/regional levels and even to look at collaborating with other organizations to create a holistic look at the next few decades of the space economy.
Know anyone who might need one done? If you do - let me know - we are talking with a handful of cities in Texas and Ohio - and would love to be able to bundle a region together by including multiple cities in the same area.
FIRST ANNUAL F4F GALA & AWARD CEREMONY IN THE WORKS
If the stars align, our first annual gala and award ceremony will take place in the DC area this fall. Stand by for further details.
ON DECK THIS WEEK
Alright - next week looks a little bit like this - packed. We have meetings ranging from some space fusion startups to members of Japan's National Space Policy Committee. I'll also be at the National Security Space Association's Happy Hour - and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation's panel with Representative Beyer.
Uh oh - deadline is up - the barbarians are at my door - I better go deal with them - so I'll see you here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.
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.
JULY 12, 2021
SPACE WEEKLY: UNITY 22 EDITION
CO-FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
One of the things we talk about here, is how combinations of old things turn into novel new innovations - often when we least expect them. The landing of SS Unity 22 just now powerfully highlights that fact. From air launch to sweet seats, Virgin has finally figured out a way to combine space and luxury in a way that will appeal to many. They did this by looking at what was done, asking why it had to be so, and realizing that what once was required, may now be optional.
We recognize Virgin not only didn't demonstrate a new way to get to orbit - but also had a rough ride to where they are now. That said - they questioned why the standard way of doing things the whole way, and for that...we thank them.
Now - on to this week's update - which will likely be far less impressive than a billionaire riding to the edge of space and back.
WHAT’S THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE SPACE CORPORATION ACT ON YOUR STATE?
We finished a complete 50-state analysis of the economic impact of the SPACE Corporation Act over the next ten years. If you want a copy of your states' analysis, let me know, and I'll get it over to you. We are working right now to build a web page to hold all of the state papers/graphics, so for now, we can do the old school communication method of emailing documents....like we are some sort of cave people. firstname.lastname@example.org
How did we do this analysis? Oh well - mainly math. Here are more details about our methodology and top line assessments and also here. But suffice to say, we used standard economic multipliers based on new infusions of long-term capital.
From here, we are taking this analysis on the road. We have contacted a few local communities to start discussions about making this analysis even more granular for their communities and including a roadmap for them to use on how to prepare a workforce for inclusion into this brave new economic frontier.
Do you know someone in your state, county, or city leadership who would be interested in us doing a custom analysis for them? Can you make an introduction?
HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL USING F4F AS A CASE STUDY … AND OTHER ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENT
This amplification is increasing on the academic side as well - this week, I had calls with Professors of space economics at Middlebury College and the Harvard Business school - both of whom were interested in the SPACE Corporation idea. The Harvard professor was so interested he asked if it was ok if he used the Corporation as a case study for his class in the fall. So we will be working with him in the coming days to help make sure he has all the information he needs for that, and I will start the process to find out how we can begin telling Congress that the Harvard Business School likes the plan.
We also had several network-building calls with Columbia University and a handful of different workforce development organizations, including Center on Rural Innovation.
DID YOU KNOW? TIDE IS MAKING A DETERGENT FOR SPACE
That’s right, Tide is making a detergent for use in space? I remember reading about that a few weeks back - well, this week, I met the woman responsible for making that happen. She is a pretty cool person, and I look forward to figuring out how to amplify her work.
SUPPORT OUR WORK BY BECOMING A MEMBER OR NOW ON PATREON
Our membership drive is in full swing, and now we have a new way to support our work.
This week we launched our Patreon crowdfunding site. From here, we will develop some custom content for supporters and give them early access to some of our videos/events. We have heard from some of our regular C4F attendees that we needed a donation page with social proof of being a major 'branded' site.
Relatedly we are up to five more companies joining our membership ranks this month - we want to be able to highlight them all adequately - so look for us to mention new ones either at C4F, our newsletters, or elsewhere. There are still a handful of you left on my list of people to pitch membership to - so if you haven't heard from me yet either the email went to your junk or I am about to get to you.
WATCH CONVERSATIONS FOR THE FUTURE - THRIVING IN SPACE
Don’t forget to register for our monthly event series C4F! This month’s topic, THRIVING IN SPACE, will primarily feature experts who focus on the future of space habitats, food solutions, health implications, and the everyday magic of living in space.
BRINGING PEOPLE AND IDEAS TOGETHER, IT’S WHAT WE DO
One of the best parts of doing that thing we do...namely bringing people and ideas together, is how we get to see not only the best come out. This week we had some return the favor. Some early supporters of ours from the WEX Foundation helped connect us to some of the Texas Senate delegation and are working on getting us access to at least some of the House Members from there. This combined, with some of you all volunteering to be local spokespeople for the economic analysis we just finished for all 50 states, means that all of our voices are amplifying each other.
ON DECK THIS WEEK
This week will to be pretty packed, starting with meetings with the University of Central Florida and the leadership of the XPRIZE Foundation. The middle of the week is filled with C4F, and at the end of the week, I will be headed to Savannah for one of my oldest friends' Army retirement ceremony. I'll be back here just in time to jump into two panels for CosmoQuest-a-con and a call with one of the leaders on Japan's National Space Council next weekend.
Alrighty - that should about do it - time to go see if the sun is still out so I can pretend I will get enough Vitamin D to maintain my strong bones.
Until next week or I see you out there.
JULY 04, 2021
SPACE WEEKLY: JULY 4th EDITION
CO-FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
So, I am supposed to start anything I do on the 4th here, referencing America, Independence Day, or Red, White, and Blue. But I am not a fan of 'doing the same thing' as everyone else - so let's take a slightly different track here, namely hope and inevitability.
Why those two? Well, July 4, 1776, is widely portrayed as either a moment of great victory or a singular event in history where a new nation was birthed. Imagine my surprise as a kid when I found out that we did NOT live under laws enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, which was signed that day. Instead, we lived under a Constitutional republic - whose signing date was....varied (since not all the states ratified it at the same time). So the 4th was a super sweet day. We could all agree that people signed a document that was a big deal. And it was - but it was a big deal because that signing was not anything more than a declaration that those original leaders were 'in this together’. They were publically tying themselves to the Revolution and thereby ensuring they couldn't back down later. That is to say, they hoped for the best.
What they couldn't know is that their experiment had the air of inevitability. The U.S. was founded an ocean away from great powers - meaning that maintaining the colonies would be costly and likely impossible in the face of a hostile local population. And since the Revolution began with the unification of peoples of disparate backgrounds and cultures, united only in their belief that they should determine their destiny - it was inevitable that those people would not seek to expand and grow. In fact the most surprising part of American history is that in the 20th Century, we stopped expanding. We finished our continental expansion, and after a fairly short dabbling in island colonization, we decided our place was leading instead of owning. That is not a typical sentiment from a great power. And as inevitable as America's rise was, its' lack of empire was not.
Now, as we near the 250th anniversary of this fancy founding day (in 2026) - the question is: will the U.S. continue to lead into the next frontier - or will we be forced back into seemingly hardwired human instincts for domination? I know America will reach for the stars....that much is inevitable, but I hope we will choose to lead...
Alrighty - monologue concluded - let's get to this weeks' update.
NATIONAL SPACE SOCIETY (NSS) AND BEYOND EARTH INSTITUTE EVALUATE F4F’s SPACE CORPORATION ACT
The SPACE Corporation Act underwent multiple evaluations from economic and policy groups - and came out the other side better.
This week the Beyond Earth Institute hosted a live workshop to evaluate the SPACE Corporation Act, where I presented the Act and answered questions for about an hour and a half. The next day we got a 14-page assessment of the SPACE Corporation Act from the National Space Society (NSS) written by their policy committee and signed by Michelle Hanlon.
Both evaluations agreed there are tweaks needed to the Act as written - some of which we have been looking at for quite some time. Others - like adjustments to intellectual property rights and limits of liability were outside our expertise and seem to be great considerations. We are working with both groups now to ensure we have a clear understanding of their recommendations and exploring how we can ensure an updated Act is able to be the best version it can be.
Most importantly for us and our effort - both groups highlighted how much potential the Act has. The NSS said it best - so I'll just put their words here:
Overall, the SPACE Corporation Act offers an exciting potential to be a part of a large bipartisan effort to advance the commercialization of outer space. Foundation for the Future has done an impeccable job of not only bringing this issue of commercial space development to the forefront, but also laying a foundation for a successful entity. The National Space Society feels that with the few modifications suggested above, the SPACE Corporation can accomplish its mission. The NSS whole-heartedly supports the corporate mission of spurring commercial space development. Removing the uncertainty of cyclical American politics from space funding is crucial to increasing investment from the private sector. Foundation for the Future’s SPACE Corporation Act is the backbone upon which a domestic commercial space industry can flourish. Through a collaborative effort, the NSS is confident the SPACE Corporation can adequately balance both public and private interests in a way that prevents bureaucratic delay and the dominance of minority interests. It will be the National Space Society’s great pleasure to assist in this effort however it is able to.
WORKFORCE FOR THE FUTURE IS GAINING MOMENTUM AND EXPANDING ITS REACH
This week, we had meetings with leaders from Barclays, Concre, Bridgewater, and Astrohub, just to name a few. Most of these are the beginnings of long-term conversations about ways to support existing programs or form joint ventures, mainly focused on expanding workforce development in the space sector. @Ashley Williamsalso finished creating a survey that will be sent around in the coming days, which looks to crowdsource additional ideas about how we can ensure this program is effective, inclusive, and sustainable. We also met with the team at Cal Poly to begin a research project into possible career fields in the space sector and what a training pipeline for those careers could look like.
WATCH ME DISCUSS ALIENS (THE UAP REPORT) ON BOLD TV
I think I covered most of the cool stuff above - but I suppose Aliens are also cool - so here is the link to the interview I did with David Grasso from BOLD TV about the recent UAP Report published by the Director of National Intelligence.
REGISTER FOR CONVERSATIONS FOR THE FUTURE - JULY 13 & 14
Short week next week - but we are finalizing the last minute details for our July Conversations for the Future, finishing up our state-level economic analyses, and meeting with economists from Harvard Business School and Columbia University. I'm sure I'm leaving a ton out - but let’s leave it there for now, and I'll get to the BBQ I'm late for.
HOW CAN F4F MEMBERSHIP BENEFIT YOU?
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I see you here next week unless I see you out there sooner.