Category Archives: SSI Alumni

Free Presentations from The Space Studies Institute

The Space Studies Institute is sometimes asked if we can provide pre-made Powerpoint presentations so folks can go out and correctly give new minds The High Frontier Concept.  Years ago, way before everyone had a presentation tool on their computers – and their phones – SSI used to do that, we’d work up a 15 or 20 minute talk and lend out the script and the heavy circle gadget of slides and folks would click through the bullet points at their Rotary Clubs or College halls; records show even many High School persons and even a few very advanced Junior High people used those offerings!

Following a ‘Think Tank’ session in the U.K. a few years back, we started being asked if we could give the script and slides away so it could be used, but we thought that it wouldn’t be all that special or effective since it was recorded at the session and it’s up on the SSI YouTube Channel for anyone to already find, and here it is:

 

Yes, I know, that starts with the obligatory Big Picture Of Earth In Space… like every darned Ted Talk about every topic imaginable seems to start with.  In our case, that Earth in Space image makes direct sense, but the Ted Talkers use it because it’s a cheap, fast tricksy way to try to make a connection to a wide audience.  I think it is way overused but I guess people think it still works.

The real fundamental need that folks asking for pre-made presentations think they have is for something adequate to share.  Over the years of SSI,  with the thousands of presentations that have been done by using SSI things, we have found that having a message come from the heart and with the current understanding of the person doing the presentation, is really the key to any message getting across.

A lot of people are under the impression that they don’t have it in them yet, or they have that funny part of that old Seinfeld episode in their brains about the fear of public speaking being higher on the fear list than DEATH! ;-).

But I have to tell you that the actual hardest part of it all is very easy to get over, that’s the part where you don’t have a starter, a common ground point that relates the other person’s current X to your Y.

Last week, right out in front of the Safeway, I was being introduced to a couple of new people.  My friend introduced me as “the guy that can relate anything to freespace 1 gravity rotating habitats.”  Yeah, no kidding, he’s not a Space Person and yet he used the words “freespace 1 gravity rotating habitats.”  It shocked me, but in thinking about it it’s because I’ve used those exact words in that exact order enough while he was nearby that they apparently stuck.

It’s a parlor trick, but freespace 1g rotating habitats are something that has been distracting me for a while now and I’ve found that other people – outside of the little tight space community – hear about them and they can kind of picture them pretty fast for themselves,  and it’s just odd enough that they get a little laugh and  ice starts breaking.  And what’s more, I have found that folks who don’t think about this stuff all the time can come up with angles that us Space People either hadn’t thought of or had forgotten were important.

Like I said, it’s kind of a parlor trick. And I have to admit, just to you, that I can’t always immediately make a connection between a person’s X and our Y.  But those times when I can’t do it right there occasionally turn into great stuck-in-traffic-time distractions and when I make the connection it gives me a chance to reconnect with the person, and that has once or twice resulted in a deeper relationship than just a later passing wave on the street.

Gerry O’Neill did the same kind of thing you know, he wrote about it at the end of chapter 5 of The High Frontier:

“I’ve devoted a good deal of this chapter to the less serious side of life in a space colony – not questions of economics and production, but of amusement and diversion. It seems appropriate to close with an account of one memorable lunchtime conversation: in the years before the topic of this book was well known, I had made a practice of challenging skeptics to name their favorite sports and then always pointing out that the sport could be better in space than on Earth. Finally someone named a delightful sport that, even in these uninhibited days, is carried on only in private. The skeptic instantly became a believer: can anyone imagine a better location for a honeymoon hotel than the zero-gravity region of a space community?”

When you can come up with a thing that you and another person have in common, you have the key to true human rapport.  Start with what they are interested in or, if you don’t know them well or at all, start with something widely in general, like Sports  – instead of A Sport.  The great thing is that unlike a MISSION TO MARS or robot taking pictures of the rings of Saturn, a Freespace 1-G Rotating Habitat will need to have just about everything we have now on the surface of Earth, including amusements and diversions along with plumbing and plants.  So if you start getting people to toss you their starting points you can probably come up with a connection or two, or three.

And that is the start of a conversation.  And a conversation is sometimes more profitable than being on some stage and projecting a sermon down at a bunch of fidgety people who can smell the fingerfood in the back of the hall.

Ok, you get the point, make making connections a game. It’s fun for the other person and it gets your brain a-rolling down the track. After a while you won’t need to ask anyone else for their canned slides, you’ll already have a pocketful of connections already worked out and you can walk into most any group and link their X to your Why.

Try it!

Tasha, Jeff and Gerry

Jeff Bezos accepts the Gerard K. O’Neill award from Space Studies Institute co-founder Tasha O’Neill at the National Space Society ISDC in Los Angeles.

Tasha O'Neill, Jeff Bezos and the Gerard K. O'Neill Award.  NSS ISDC Los Angeles 2018

From our personal talks before the ceremony and from his heartfelt words to the attendees at the event, we want our SSI Associates to know: He truly “gets” The High Frontier Concept.

 

Update Thursday May 31st 2018:  

Space Studies Institute co-founder and Senior Associate Tasha O’Neill sent us this link to Alan Boyle’s Geekwire chat with Jeff Bezos which took place just after he accepted the Gerard K. O’Neill award last Friday night at the NSS ISDC in Los Angeles.

https://www.geekwire.com/2018/jeff-bezos-isdc-space-vision/

Here is a link to that on the SSI Announcements page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpaceStudiesInstitute/posts/971465493023029 .

Remember, even if if you don’t have and don’t want a Facebook account, you can visit the SSI Facebook page to see the latest fast bits of information.  Just use the url:  https://www.facebook.com/SpaceStudiesInstitute and move the popup that asked you to log in, all of the posts are viewable without having to sign up for anything at all.

Breakthrough Discuss 2018

SSI Senior Associate Dr. Heidi Fearn and Senior Advisor Jeff Greason join the Progress in Novel Space Propulsion panel at Breakthrough Discuss 2018.

Breakthrough Discuss was an invitation-only conference held April 12th and 13th at Stanford University featuring a who’s-who of advanced Space biology and physics topics. The conferences was co-hosted by Stanford University’s Department of Physics, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, NASA Astrobiology Institue and NASA Ames Research Center.

The complete video is uncut and includes long stretches of blank space, such as for the lunch break, but you can scroll through it and the video link we placed below should begin at the start of the Progress in Novel Space Propulsion session (6 hours 17 minutes into the 7 and a half hour video).

see the breakthrough Discuss agenda at: https://breakthroughinitiatives.org/events/discussconference2018

Will you be at the ISDC?

From last week’s members only SSI eUpdate:

This year, the National Space Society, one of the largest Space Advocacy organizations on our planet, will be featuring two awards of direct interest to Space Studies Institute Associates:

Jeff Bezos, Founder of Blue Origin and Founder and CEO of Amazon.com will receive the Gerard K. O’Neill Award for Space Settlement and Professor Freeman Dyson, a dear man with credits to Science and Humanity – and SSI – far too numerous to name, will be receiving the Heinlein Award.

A very exciting fact that isn’t yet on the NSS pages is that Space Studies Institute Co-Founder Tasha O’Neill will be doing the presentations to Mr. Bezos and Professor Dyson.

Everyone involved in Space knows that the NSS knows how to put on a show and the ISDC is always THE place to meet old friends and make new Space relationships.

We encourage you to look at your calendar and set aside May 24th-27th 2018 for this year’s once in a lifetime event.

Read the press release on this year’s Gerard K. O’Neill Award here: http://space.nss.org/jeff-bezos-to-attend-national-space-society-conference-to-receive-award/

And on Professor Dyson’s Heinlein Award here: http://isdc2018.nss.org/team-member/freemandyson/

Freeman Dyson and The High Frontier
Freeman Dyson and The High Frontier

Ok, let’s list the Professor’s credits: http://www.sns.ias.edu/dyson

And let him encourage you to enjoy some summer reading: http://www.nybooks.com/contributors/freeman-dyson/