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The Space Race

Few events in history have captured the imagination as much as the Space Race. I believe it contains part of the answer to the question, "how do we get there?"

Photo of An Old Friend
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By peaking into the not-so-distant past, we can observe several elements at play. Here are three:

  • Political Will. In a 1962 speech, Kennedy declared that "we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." Note the clarity of purpose, and deadline. Could the Space Race have occurred without strong political will?
  • Competition. The Space Race fostered intense competition between countries, on a massive scale. Competition brings out the best in us.
  • Organization. Such a clear goal and purpose sparked collective action, leading to unprecedented increases in spending on education (particularly in math and science), research that contributed to spin-off technologies, as well as (unintentionally) to the birth of the environmental movement.

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Photo of Ashley Jablow

Kirk, I'm loving this analogous thinking! It's already got my brain churning on how we might leverage these lessons for our own movement toward businesses that act as agents of world benefit.

Photo of An Old Friend

Thanks Ashley. Yeah, the Space Race contains some great lessons for us to study and learn from; it was always my favorite exhibit in the museum. :) I think this period illustrates the awesome synergy that can develop through the interplay of government (political will), education, enterprise, and innovation.