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WEEKEND UPDATE

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Deep Thoughts During a Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman

May 23, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 6 mins...1593 words

Team SPACE,  💃 🎶 🥂

Yesterday my wife and I went to an event in Ballston (a neighborhood here in northern Virginia). I say it is an event, because I am not sure if it was a festival, a block party, or what. But the point is that there were multiple restaurants who each had live music going all afternoon. There were also little booths with stuff in them, but I don’t know what they were selling (other than the one that had mocktails…which is another story).

This event was way better than we thought (it was something like 95 here yesterday - and we went with very low expectations for how comfortable we were going to be). The food was good, the music was fun, and it was just nice to be out and about (working from your basement all week gets old).

I'm bringing this event up because when we first got there was a trio of ladies who were dressed like several of the sisters from the new Disney movie Encanto who were singing songs from the movie. These ladies were REALLY into their act. They had the mannerisms down (yes I have seen the movie more than once - I have two young girls), they were dancing and the singing sounded pretty close to the original.

But the real stars of the show were a pair of little kids.

There are tons of poems, stories and even songs about people getting lost in the music. And to be honest - while I like songs - I didn’t really understand what ‘getting lost in the music’ was.

I now do.

This pair of little girls had become lost in the music. They sang with abandon, danced knowing that they were the greatest dancers in the world, and looked at these trio of actors/singers with an adoration normally reserved for gazing upon a deity.

I’ll be honest - it made me a little uncomfortable. Not because they were having fun. But because I wondered if I was supposed to be like them. I want to believe that what I am doing - being all ‘adulty’ is the correct thing. Afterall - ‘growing up’ is the culmination of childhood. So, wouldn’t being an adult be the better state of being?

I don’t have an answer to that question - I will continue wrestling with it - but I suppose wrestling with these sorts of things is what prompts emotional growth (hopefully).

While I continue to ponder these deep thoughts - let’s get you all to the rest of this week’s update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: It is time to comment on NASA’s Moon to Mars strategy

More Details: This week we began to craft comments on NASA’s Moon-to-Mars strategy (or is it their objectives - I suppose it is the same for our purposes - we still have comments). Specifically, we have comments related to advantage of commercial partnerships and acquisition models which will make sure that the Moon-to-Mars program is sustainable. Our full response is here, and if you have thoughts / comments on it - please feel free to send them my way and we will incorporate them into our final letter to NASA.

Other Outreach: In other outreach news - we met with a handful of lobbyists and local leaders to discuss how space could be a key enabler for what they are doing. At least one of these conversations is going to lead to a bigger project that we will update you on in the coming weeks / months.

Future Outreach: Next week we are finalizing our response to NASA’s Moon-to-Mars strategy, we’ll be meeting with a couple Congressional staffers to talk about the FY2023 budget, and will be working with Space PAC to formalize Congressional engagement plans.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: May’s C4F was one of our best events yet

More Details: Last week’s Conversation’s for the Future was a great time. How great? Well 4,400 people tuned in on Thursday. Our speakers included executives from Sierra Nevada, the Space Force Association, and directors from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Great work @April and thank you to all our speakers!

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: We are planning three in-person events for the fall.

More Details: After two years of being exclusively virtual - we are stacking events this fall. As of this week we are now up to one event a month from September to November (and will probably add one in December too - just to round the year out). We’ll be live in D.C., Vegas and Austin.

All of these events are opportunities for companies to get visibility to a different crowd.

  • Go deeper: Here in D.C. we will have upwards of 30 Congresspeople planning on coming. In Vegas we will be with the ASCEND team. In Austin it is going to be leading space thinkers.

  • Interested in hearing more (since I’m being intentionally vague here)? Let me know. Sponsorship options start at $850 (no need to avoid talking about that)

Other Other Stuff: We are continuing our spring membership drive - and this week we added a couple more companies to the list of pending members, bringing our total current and pending members to 56. Just to put that in context - the Commercial Spaceflight Federation has just over 100 - so we are on a roll!

Thanks for sticking it out all the way to the end. I know it may take you less time to read this than it takes me to write it (yes I am making an assumption about your reading speed - apologies if it is wrong) - but I am still grateful for each of you taking the time to keep up with what we are doing.

See you all back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

How Many Has This Been? A Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●May 16, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 8 mins... 2143 words

Team SPACE,   

I really should have done some math before I started this update - but as I am wont? want? (I'm not sure which one) - but as I am apt to do (there we go) - I did not.

This will be something like my 90th Weekend Update - or 100th - like I said - I should have done some math. And in the lead up to writing this I was talking with Katie (for you who are new here - she is my wife) - about how I am going to need to figure out a plan for when we are in France later this year.

A few weeks back I wrote one a Weekend Update from the Bahamas - and that was…. frustrating. Not because it was interrupting something - but because the internet was so bad. I have become completely spoiled by my gigabit internet here in D.C. and when I was stuck with DSL on the cruise ship - that might as well have been hell on Earth.

The point is - I don’t know what the internet situation is going to be in France - and so I’m trying to figure out what I should plan on doing.

Katie asked why I didn’t just skip writing the update one weekend.

Now my first reaction was shock that someone was suggesting that I not do something that I have done for 90 (or 100) weeks in a row - just because I was going to be on vacation. However, I quickly realized it was a legitimately good question.

Why do I feel like I have to do these updates every weekend? Oh sure - there is a utility to doing them. And most weeks I really enjoy writing them. But if I am out of the country on a vacation - is that not a good enough excuse to skip a week?

The voice in my head that is normally associated with pride and self-worth suggested it was not - but maybe - just maybe I should not be listening to that voice here.

Maybe - instead of writing the 100th or 110th update in a row one week in August - I will let the streak lapse - and start over. Maybe then, with that new streak I can relook how I do this - and what should change.

Or maybe I can just enjoy a single week’s break for the sake of taking a break.

Or maybe I’ll just keep doing what I am doing and write this regardless of rain, sleet or snow.

I guess we will have to see. And by then I will have to figure out how many of these I have written.

But that is then - for now let’s get to the rest of this update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: A big new plan is taking shape

More Details: This week - in talks with some of our partners - the idea of building a partnership with the Committee on Foreign Investment in U.S (CFIUS) began taking shape. This would take the form of us assisting them in their efforts to screen foreign investment in the U.S. We have begun initial outreach to the leadership of the Committee to determine their appetite for a public-private partnership that will help speed their evaluation process along.

  • Go deeper: This would work through the creation of a 'CFIUS Whitelist Certification’ whereby we conduct the due diligence of investment funds to determine the level of foreign involvement, and mirroring CFIUS’ guidelines, then certify that the investors are ‘clean’ (or whatever term you want to use). This wouldn't be an official designation - it would be done in partnership with CFIUS so as to ensure credibility - and also meant that when/if there was an investigation by the Committee - a lot of the due diligence would already be available.

Other Outreach:

In other news - we got tentative approval for our Fiscal Year 2023 Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) request for ~¾ of a million dollars. While this request still needs to be approved by the full Congress - it was approved by Senator Kaine and is being added to his list of projects that he wants funded.

  • What's next: Our request now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee for final eligibility review. After that it will be added to the bucket of CDS requests from all of the other Senators and added to the FY2023 funding bill(s) this fall. We expect that none of those will pass until after the election - so we won’t see any of the money until next winter/spring - but it still represents a huge win.

Future Outreach: Next week we will be continuing our ‘drip’ campaign with Congressional staffs - keeping them as ‘warm’ leads for our long-term legislative priorities and seeking avenues to support our members with their projects. We will also be connecting with some friendly lobbyist groups from other industries (including the group that lobbies for Grey Goose and other liquor brands) to find ways to coordinate our efforts and expand the base of companies interested in space.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: You can do a lot with 90 minutes of Board time.

More Details: We had a working session of our Board of Directors this week, focused on adapting our messaging and value proposition to better reflect what our target members need. We also worked through a potential menu of fundraising ideas that are different from the traditional donor appeals. Whether that looks like contests or a pivot to endowment hunting, there were a ton of useful ideas, at least some of which are going to be built out over the next few months.

Other Operations: Also this week - we finalized our Conversations for the Future schedule (yep that is next week) - if you haven’t registered you should do that here. We also had calls with a couple local communities about supporting their workforce development programs

Future Operations: As I mentioned - next week is C4F that we are co-hosting with the Space Force Association. We also have a handful of workforce planning calls. But mostly just C4F.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: Yep - Barclays is officially a member of the Foundation.

More Details: This week we are excited to welcome two new members Barclays and Galactiv. Barclays Corporate and Investment Bank joining is the culmination of months of talks - and they really don’t need any introduction. Galactiv on the other hand is a relatively new is in-space services company that has initial missions offering servicing and salvage operations for satellites in geosynchronous orbit helping mitigate the risk and increasing the efficiency of operating high-value orbital assets. They already have a ton of service contracts in place - and look set to be hugely successful in the coming months / years.

Other Other Stuff: In a final bit of news - I’m excited to welcome Teddy Gabrielli as our new graphic design intern. Teddy is an undergraduate student at my alma mater - American University - and already has a really striking portfolio of work under his belt. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do - and no doubt you all will be seeing his work sooner rather than later.

Well - that should do it. I’m off to see the Running of the Chihuahuas - so really can’t dawdle any more.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

Kentucky Derby and Chihuahuas, a Weekend Update

Team SPACE,   

A good spring afternoon to you. It is fairly brisk here and I’m a little weirded out by the fact that my daughters in St Paul are enjoying 75 degree sun while I’m here in a long sleeve shirt in my house.

Ah well - I know it is nearly summer because of two key events, the Kentucky Derby and the Running of the Chihuahuas. Both of which were supposed to happen yesterday. While the Chihuahua run was rained out (and rescheduled to next weekend) - the Derby went ahead - and as only the second Derby I have paid attention to - it was simultaneously more and less than I expected.

It was more fun being at a Derby watch party with a bunch of people I’ve worked with. After all - it is hard to lose when you mix alcohol, betting and animals. But at the same time - there are SO many different bets you can place on the races - all I care about is betting who is going to win - but there are so many options and I know nothing about any of them.

I read a four-page Washington Post article about how to bet on the Derby - and by the end I was more confused than when I started.

Oh, and the races are really short - so if you are waiting over 90 minutes for a single race - it is a tad anticlimactic when after 45 seconds the race is over and you are wondering how long it will take to get to the nearest Shake Shack (21 minutes, and only a 3 minute detour from the route home - is case you were wondering).

I’m pretty sure there is a lesson in all this about tempering my expectations or being content in the present. But I think the moral of my weekend adventures is to always know where the nearest Shake Shack is, oh and be sure to always be the best dressed at parties.

Well - moral lesson over - let’s get to this week’s update

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: NASA’s plan to find a second Human Landing System (which could ride on a rocket like the one above) survived its first hurdle

More Details: This week the Senate defeated an amendment put forward by Senator Bernie Sanders, which would have prevented NASA from adding a second commercial Human Landing System (HLS) for the Artemis program. We opposed this amendment (which was flawed from the outset) - and we are pleased that an attempt by populist factions on both sides of the aisle to message their base about ‘government handouts to billionaires’ failed. In reality, NASA having a backup option for HLS is exactly the sort of long-term investment that the Agency should be making.

Future Outreach: We are beginning to design a regular space policy analysis product which we will produce for our members and that will go into new policy proposals which will impact the sector, and outline the cost/benefits of them, concluding with our (the Foundation’s) position. If you have thoughts on what you would like to see in these - please let me know.

We also have meetings scheduled with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to finalize details about their involvement in this month’s Conversations for the Future. We will be keeping a close eye on the Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee (that is a mouthful) as they hold their FY 2023 budget hearing with the Department of Commerce. We are going to be particularly interested in whether the funding for the Office of Space Commerce is discussed.

Operations: 

One Big Operations Thing: It is already almost C4F time again!

More Details: We are 10 days out from May’s Conversations for the Future - and I’m excited we are going to be bringing in a mix of old and new friends to talk as we look at the needs and current state of national security space. Register to join us here.

What's next: As we look further out - we have solidified the C4F topics for the second half of the year. Here is the lineup:

June: Launch infrastructure
July: Debris / Garbage
August: Break (Congress is out of session most of the month)
September: Policy / Media
October: Next 3-5 years (in person @ASCEND in Las Vegas)
November: Industrial Base / Workforce (potentially in person in Austin)
December: Blue Marble Night

Future Operations: Next week we will have another three membership recruitment calls, we’ll be participating in an In-space manufacturing and servicing task force with the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, and will be meeting with Midland leaders to chat about a potential Workforce for the Future hub there.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: Our membership drive is currently batting .250, and looks to break .500 in the next few days

More Details: This week we had calls with four potential new members as part of our spring membership drive. Our first four pitches may have up to a 75% success rate. One was a no for now (they are going through a funding round), one was a yes, and the other two look likely to finalize their decisions this week.

Is your company one that has been thinking about joining but was held back by costs? Well, this is the time to jump in - we aren’t going to be lowering our prices below what they are now (see below)

Silver: $2k (normally $5k)
Gold: $4k (normally $10k)
Platinum: $9k (normally $15k)
Diamond: $12.5k (normally $25k)

Alright - thanks for sticking with me this whole update - lets close this out so we can all get back to our regularly scheduled events.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

A Shorter Than Normal Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●May 02, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 5.5 mins... 1394 words

Team SPACE,  

So, I know that normally this section of the Weekend Update is where I talk about a profound thought I am having, a good book I just read, or some experience that I can then tie back into what we are doing here at the Foundation.

I’m not going to be able to do that this week. Oh, I guess I could. But in the interest of time I am not going to, because I have been getting over a a head cold (2 x COVID tests indicate it is not that), and it is surprisingly hard to focus on things.

Without further ado - here is this week’s update.

Outreach: 

One Big Outreach Thing: We have our first sponsor for the 2022 California Aerospace Caucus Reception in September.

More Details: This week I had meetings / calls with four different potential sponsors for the Reception (it seems easier / quicker to just call it that). At least one has committed to sponsoring so we are going to work formalizing that and locking down the venue.

Did I not mention the venue yet? Oh well it will be at the JW Marriott Washington DC. A pretty nice hotel and more importantly, it is close to the Capitol so our Congressional attendees will have more time to spend at the event.

Other Outreach: This week we also had meetings with a couple Congressional staffers on the sidelines of the Houston ASCEND event (more on that below). We talked with a couple people tied in with the City of London and European Council about the need to establish a version of the Foundation (or possibly a chapter - more on that below as well) there in Europe.

Future Outreach: Next week we are going to be reaching out to several staffers on the National Space Council to get a sense of what their priorities are going into the second half of the year. We are also going to be having meetings with a couple lobbyists who have the potential to be great allies for us and Space PAC.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: The ASCENDxTexas Event in Houston was fantastic.

More Details: This week I was in Houston to attend the AIAA ASCENDxTexas event. This is one of the small-format, conversational events that AIAA has started producing, and I have to say - it was really impressive. The small size (about 200 people) of the event was what ended up being its best part (for the Foundation anyway). This size meant that it was possible to talk to most everyone at least once, and most people you would have a chance to talk with multiple times.

  • Since I’m told it takes 8-10 ‘touches’ in order to convert someone from stranger to supporter, any event that lets me get multiple ‘touches’ in is a good event in my book

Other Operations: This week we also got soft commitments for another couple members. These companies are either waiting for funding rounds to close, or to get approval from their leadership - so we hope to be able to announce their names soon. We have also launched a prototype version of membership for our Workforce for the Future partners. This membership only has limited perks - but is at a price point that most schools can afford (free).

Future Operations: Well after three straight weeks of getting soft commitments for corporate memberships - we will be spending next week working to firm these up and actually get to the business of integrating these new companies into the fold. We won’t be letting up on our spring membership drive though - it runs through the end of May - so there is still time for more companies to get in on our discounted rates.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: F4F chapter design is moving ahead.

More Details: This week we had several calls with potential partners (announcements pending) to discuss how to structure the Foundation’s emerging chapters, where to place them, and how they will interact with the chapters of other organizations. All told - I’m very excited to see where this goes. After all - bringing more people into the F4F family is a recipe for new ideas - which is what keeps us on the cutting edge.

So 

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

Weekend Update: A Lifeboat Hunt

By Tim Chrisman●Apr 25, 2022

Smart Brevity™ count: 6 mins... 1558 words

Team SPACE,  

So I’ll say upfront that I haven’t seen Titanic but I’m pretty sure I understand how the movie ends. Well and what happens in the middle - blah blah blah - an unpredictable couple falls in love and that love is cut short in tragedy. A tragedy that could have been avoided if the dude had realized that the little piece of wood could hold two people OR there had been enough lifeboats (I suppose the third option would have been for the pair to have elbowed their way onto a lifeboat).

But the whole lesson from the Titanic (the real one) - was that cruise ships needed to have more lifeboats. Having just enough to be decorative wasn’t enough. So, as I was sitting here on a cruise ship in the Caribbean (celebrating my wife and I’s wedding anniversary), I began counting the lifeboats on the cruise ship across the harbor.

I got to 28. Now I understand that I keep a more than average amount of random knowledge about ships in my head, so I get that it may not be common knowledge that the ship I was looking at could hold over 4,300 passengers and had a staff of 781. Over 5,000 people…for 28 lifeboats. I’m no math wiz - but I understand that almost 200 people per lifeboat would be a lot. In fact more than 40 was going to be pushing it. So where were the dozens of extra lifeboats kept?

I’m a little ashamed to admit that it took me a couple days to figure out the answer. I could blame the fact that I was day drinking when I first noticed. Or that I was on my anniversary trip, so I was being very attentive to my wife. Or that we were doing fun shore excursions. But the real answer was that I didn’t go look around. Once I did, I found out that there were a bunch of small inflatable lifeboats at each end of the boat that could be filled and then lowered into the water from on deck. I probably could have figured out that the small pod looking things near the lifeboats were related - but I guess my intuition was off.

What’s my whole point with this story?

Well - for me it was a reminder that when you expect to see something a certain way you become blind to other forms it could take. Whether that be solutions to speaker cancellations during Conversations for the Future, or methods of reaching Congressional Members and staff. Just because things normally look / are done one way doesn’t mean there aren’t alternatives to be found…if we just look a little.

Ok - there - done with my lesson of the day. I am now off to put A LOT of sunscreen on to prevent a lethal sunburn (which happens if there is even a little bit of sun - so it isn’t a commentary on how sunny it is here)

So let's get to this update.

Outreach: 

One Big Outreach Thing: We are re-engaging with the White House on both workforce development and the SPACE Corporation Act

More Details: This week we reached out to several of the portfolio leads on the National Space Council and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). OSTP recently brought on a new staffer who is helping coordinate the administration’s approach to sciency/techy workforce; so this was an initial outreach to them.

Other Outreach: While it was a relatively slow week for Congressional work - we were able to support one of our members in some outreach they needed for one of their DoD related issues (sorry to be vague - I realized as I was writing this that I didn’t ask permission to share more). This is one of the first times we tested our advocacy inroads to Defense-focused staffers on Capitol Hill - and it was a quick success.

Future Outreach: Next week we will be following up with the White House staffers I mentioned above, will be checking in with several Houston-based Congresspeople and holding a strategy session with SPACE Pac and several members at the Capitol Hill club. Oh, and we will also have a meeting with a rep from the City of London to chat about European space finance.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: Another Conversations for the Future (C4F) is in the books - on to the next C4F

More Details: We had a fun last-minute scramble with this month’s C4F, as some speakers couldn’t make it. Rather than do two short days, we condensed it down to one (which was much easier). We will be back on track for May’s event to be the full 2 days - and you can find out more info about that here.

Other Operations: Also, this week we began talks with the organizers for the SALT 2022 conference in NYC. Last year there was a panel on space - and this year we are looking to expand space’s presence and include at least one of our member investors as a speaker.

  • Go Deeper: In case you weren’t here last year - SALT is a major finance conference that features high profile speakers (and entertainment - last year Paris Hilton spoke during lunch, and the Chainsmokers headlined a party).

Future Operations: Next week I’m headed to ASCENDxTexas in Houston - if you are going to be there - hit me up and let’s schedule a time to chat. We’ll also be doing some more follow-up calls from Symposium and even managing to squeeze in a podcast recording.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: We are running a spring membership drive, complete with special pricing.

More Details: As I mentioned in my last newsletter - we are running a spring membership drive and are offering two different pricing specials.

The first is for our investors/funds/holding company members; and this special lets the primary company buy a membership and then each of its subsidiary companies gets a membership as well. It works like this

  • Gold membership ($10k/yr) - get 3 memberships (1 x Gold, 2 x Silver) - a discount of $10k.

  • Platinum membership ($15k/yr) - get a total of 5 memberships (1 x Platinum, 3 x Gold & 1 x Silver) - a discount of $30k

  • Diamond membership ($25k/yr) - get 7 memberships (1 x Diamond, 3 x Platinum & 3 x Gold) - A discount of $60k

We are also offering discounts on individual company memberships at the following prices.

  • Silver: $2k - a discount of $3k

  • Gold: $4k - a discount of $6k

  • Platinum: $9k - a discount of $6k

  • Diamond: $12.5k - a discount of $12.5k

Is your company interested in one of these? Reply to this email and we can chat more.

Well - here we are at the end of another newsletter, and we have avoided any disasters, emergencies or me having to use one of those lifeboats I was talking about.

So in short - a great success.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

A Weekend Update Marking the Beginning of Spring

By Tim Chrisman, April 18, 2022

Smart Brevity™ count: 7 mins... 1790 words

Team SPACE, 

I’m told this is one of those weekends that can be a minefield for people trying to navigate the polite way to greet people without offending them. Being that it is Passover + Easter + Ramadan - I’m told that it is safer to just wish people a happy spring holiday season.

That seems a little silly - I’m not a big holiday person - but I understand people are. But regardless of what holiday you celebrate - it doesn’t take anything away from your holiday if I celebrate something different…does it?

I don’t think it does - but maybe I’m being too clinical / detached. 

I’ll just celebrate the fact that the majority of the world is having a holiday this weekend.

Well, that and I’ll watch my kids do an Easter egg hunt - the other three holidays don’t feature a ton of candy, so the kids are kind of into Easter.

I better get this update done quick - since I think I hear them agitating to start…. let’s get to it

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: Congressional reception invite about to go live

More Details: The California Aerospace Caucus reception will be held on September 21st on the sidelines of the Air, Space and Cyber conference, from 5-8pm at a hotel near Capitol Hill (the closer it is to the Capitol the more congressional attendance is likely). So far, we have Representatives Calvert Lieu confirmed to attend, 37 other California Representatives and 2 Senators invited. We also expect a minimum of 1 staffer from each California Congressional office. 

What’s Next: This event is going to be a curated reception - and as such we will be building a site for people to apply to attend. We are also beginning to look for sponsors, media partners and other partners who are interested in attending (if that is you - email me or April).

Other Outreach: Also this week we worked with Senator Kaine’s office here in Virgina to submit a request for an earmark (they aren’t called that anymore - but the new name is weird) that will help fund the Virginia portion of the Workforce for the Future program.

Future Outreach: Next week we will be reaching out to some of the new staff on the National Space Council to introduce ourselves and see what we can do to support their work. We will also be following up with several Congresspeople who last week indicated they were interested in supporting the SPACE Corporation Act.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: W4F and A4F are looking to add new programs.

More Details: This week - the Economic Development Administration (you might remember them from the Good Jobs Challenge) opened applications for a pair of programs - both of which might be interesting additions to what we are doing here at the Foundation. One of them, the Capital Challenge, would fund the Association for the Future in creating the capacity to vet space startups for space investors. The other, the Venture Challenge, would support Workforce for the Future by allowing us to fund companies working on advanced training tools.

  • What’s Next: Since this challenge requires us to be focused on a single region - we are going to start reaching out to some of our Good Jobs Challenge partners to see if their regions are interested in joining forces with us. If you think your region would be a good fit for either of these - let me / Ashley know.

Other Operations: This was a week for podcast recordings - I had 3 scheduled this week (normally it is only 1). Even though that is more than normal - it was a great time being able to chat with these thought leaders.

Future Operations: Next week is Conversations for the Future - you can register here. We will also be finishing up more post-Symposium follow-ups and adding at least one more podcast to the queue for April to process (sorry April!)

One Big Other Thing: 

Our Spring Membership drive is heating up

More Details: Last week we had a handful of meetings with prospective members, and at least two are tentative yes’s pending the vetting / approval process ahead of formally agreeing. This, combined with the one already working their way through their approval processes put the total number of pending members at 17. And we have meetings with another 6 companies this coming week.

  • Why it matters: Corporate members are the main source of funding for us here at the Foundation. Right now, we need the equivalent of 23 Gold members to break even for the year and are nearly 70% there.

  • Is your company looking to network with space investors? Then you might want to look at joining. Reach out to me for more info.

 

Alright - that only took 38 minutes - and I am done just in time to go outside and watch the girls do their Easter egg hunt.

I’ll see you all back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

Symposium's Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Apr 11, 2022

Smart Brevity™ count: 5 mins... 1345 words

Team SPACE, 

Follow-ups…

I don’t usually think of myself as one of those people who is good at following up.

But I was told multiple times last week that I was the only person who consistently follows up after events.

This is very jarring for me, because I have a sense that I am bad at following up with people.

The more I thought about it - the more I realized that I am bad at STAYING in touch with people. Follow-ups after conferences are something I systematize and will take care of within 24-48 hours of getting back.

But keeping engaged with people over months or years…that is something I am not so good at.

I haven’t figured out why - but I am sure part of it is that I just don’t have the same sort of system I do for follow-ups.

Do you have a good system for keeping in touch with people? Send me a note about how your system works and I’ll make sure I write about the one that works best.

Alright - I need to get a move on - since I ordered a pizza and need to get this finished up before it gets here.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: We have some Democrat interest in the SPACE Corporation Act.

More Details: This week we had a call with a senior staffer for Representative Garcia from Houston who was very interested in the SPACE Corporation Act. They were specifically interested in how it could help grow the number of commercial space jobs there in Houston. We have a follow-up here soon and hope to be able to show some movement.

  • Our thought bubble: This confirms something we have been thinking for a while - leading with how the SPACE Corporation Act will help employment is much more appealing to Democrats than most other types of appeals.

Future Outreach: Next week we are going to circle back around with some other staffers who have shown interest in the SPACE Corporation Act to see if we can nudge them along. We’ll also be following up with a couple of the White House staff that were at Symposium to chat with them about how the National Space Council can help kick the space economy into a higher gear.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: We have started designing the jobs side of the Workforce for the Future program

More Details: When we started the Workforce for the Future (W4F) program, we intended it to be a Kindergarten to Orbit pipeline for job training and placement. It was going to be a one-stop shop for everything from where all of the space-related training was to job listings across the country.

Last week we started the process of standing up the job listing side of the program. We are looking to partner with one of the major job boards so we can leverage their national reach to build a space-centric job site. The initial feedback we got from execs at Symposium was very favorable - so that is a great sign.

Future Operations: Next week we are going to be chatting with a couple of our W4F partner communities, preparing for what happens if we are awarded the Good Jobs Challenge grant. We’ll also be networking our job board concept around industry more and look to survey the full extent of what the industry needs.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: Space Symposium 2022 was another hit

More Details: As I mentioned in the intro - I have a lot of follow-ups to do from last week at Symposium, but more importantly - I was able to meet quite a few of you in person. And as we have all learned over the last couple years - that is not something we should ever take for granted.

The results of those in-person meetings remain to be seen - I have learned to get excited AFTER results, not before. But between happy hours with Bank of America, introductions to 8 investors, and multiple positive membership discussions - I think there is going to be some good momentum coming out of Symposium.

 

  

Ok - time for me to sign off here - my pizza is about to be delivered - and if I am not at the door when it shows up then the dogs will lose their minds…and calming them down requires me to give up some of my pizza…which is unacceptable for obvious reasons.

So, I’ll see you back here next week - unless I catch you out there sooner

-T

An Update on April's Fool Weekend

One fun thing: Yes, it’s Wednesday, not the usual Monday update…. with Symposium and spring breaks, every day is something different this week 😆

 

Team SPACE, 

I was thinking that today would have been a good day for it to be April Fools.

Why?

Well - I just drove back to my house from Orlando and am now packing up to leave for Space Symposium in Colorado Springs tomorrow morning. So, things are a little busy here.

It would have been really handy to be able to just send out a joke email about April Fools and then get back to figuring out why I don’t have enough socks clean.

But ah well - I cannot help what day it is - so I shall do my duty.

Hmm - that sounded a little more serious that what this normally is.

I shall now take you through this week’s update.

There we go

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: The proposed FY23 Federal Budget needs some work.

More Details: On March 28th President Biden released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 (starting in October), and it has a couple key gaps in requested funding and authorities. This week we prepared our response and sent our corporate members the drafts of letters to the relevant Congressional committees for them to provide their feedback. We will be incorporating their feedback before sending the letters in mid-April.

  • The most notable gaps was the complete lack of funding for long-term space infrastructure / workforce development programs.

  • Other gaps include a lack of funding for several developmental in-space manufacturing programs and any new authorities for DoD to use in speeding up their space acquisition processes.

Future Outreach: Next week we’ll have calls with Rep Calvert’s office to outline how the fall California Aerospace Caucus event is going to go. I’ll also be chatting with a couple National Space Council staff on the sidelines of Symposium, working in the talking points that I mentioned above.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: F4F chapters are getting closer

More Details: This week we had meetings with potential F4F chapter organizers. Added on to the ones we are talking to in Puerto Rico, Texas, and Mississippi, it looks like we will be able to formally launch this program with at least a half dozen chapters.

Other Operations: We signed on a pair of new regular contributors to the Conversations for the Future series. I’ll leave the formal announcements for later (better to drip out content like that) - but it is going to be great to add these to our ‘What’s Going On’ segment.

Future Operations: Next week I’ll be at Symposium and have meetings lined up with 9 potential new members, and at least four receptions to attend. In between all that fun I promise we will still be doing work…ok maybe April will be the one still doing work.

And with that - this week is a wrap. I’ll get back to packing and figuring out where I put that charger for my laptop.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

A Question-Filled Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman  Mar 28, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 5.5 mins...1500 words

Team Space,

Questions are fun - well - I suppose they can be. My wife Katie and I frequently go on walks with little cards that have questions on them. Why? Oh - they are great conversation starters - sometimes we will only have to ask one question on a 45 min walk, and just debate the answer the whole walk.

These questions range from asking about food preferences all the way to who is one person’s reputation we would ruin if given a chance. 

Today there was a particularly good question - it was:

  • What, if any, fruits of our culture are worth more than even a million lives?

The answer to that question is one that those of us who play a part in the political process of America should regularly remind ourselves of. Because in essence this question is asking what are those core pieces of our culture that MUST survive at all costs. Those pieces that are worth sending our young men to die in their defense.

It should probably be self-evident that a list of these ‘fruits of our culture’ should be fairly short, since we don’t want to send a million people to die for some piece of art. That said I would be fascinated to hear the answers of a representative cross section of America; but I think any list should include the following:

  • Individual liberty. Or put less succinctly “The right to believe, act and express oneself freely”

  • Rule of law. This is best defined by Alexander Hamilton as “a principle under which all persons, institutions, and entities are accountable to laws that are: Publicly promulgated. Equally enforced. Independently adjudicated. And consistent with international human rights principles”

  • Philosophy. Specifically, the branch of philosophy known as Western philosophy, which is individualist and at its core strives to find and prove "the truth" rather than accepting that truth is a given.

It is my belief that these three ‘fruits of our culture’ may be the only one’s worth millions of lives, and it is from them that all of our freedoms and prosperity have grown.

Wow - that was kind of a serious introduction - I should really plan these out before I start - Eh - maybe next week.

Well - no matter - let’s get to this week’s update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: Congress continues to be consumed by Russia…well and to a lesser extent the Supreme Court nomination hearings going on.

More Details: In case you haven’t noticed - Russia is continuing to dominate the news. Since against all odds the Ukrainians are more than holding their own, many Members of Congress are wanting to do even more to help. This means that the window of possible action I mentioned a couple weeks back is likely to close before we are able to make headway.

The bottom line: Don’t worry - we aren’t going anywhere - and are laying the groundwork for 2023 and beyond. Whether it is helping the California Aerospace Caucus or working with Space PAC, we have the pieces in place to be much more successful in the next Congress.

Future Outreach: This week we will be re-engaging the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget. We are pivoting to these offices because we recognize the limits of legislative action for the next few months. Working with these two offices will help us get further inroads into the Administration and help shape their policies.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: Barclays looks like it is nearing membership with us

More Details: We’ve been talking with Barclays about them joining the Association for the Future as a corporate member; and have agreed to have an in-person meeting with their aerospace department principal. We’ll have this meeting on the sidelines of Symposium next month - and this is an exciting development that will allow the Association to take a huge step forward in influence and reach.

Other Operations: We had a number of other meetings this week with prospective members for the Foundation, including a couple space technology companies and a pair of investor shops. Look for some announcements on those here in the near future.

Future Operations: Next week we will finish preparing our spring membership drive where we are targeting a handful of organizations who either have long-term infrastructure-esq goals or are heavy hitting investors. These include Space Perspective, Ursa Major, Atento Capital, Fidelity, Trust Ventures and more.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: Workforce for the Future continues its march forward

More Details: This week we had planning meetings related to both the training and scholarship sides of W4F. We have found a couple partners who look like they are going to be really helpful in connecting community colleges in the program with students; and other partners who will be able to support funding at least a portion of those students. While both pieces of that are going to take a few months of planning and a few more months of setup - I’m excited to see what we are going to be able to do towards the end of this year.

And here we are at the close - rather than end as seriously as I started - I’ll let you off easy.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

A Disney Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Mar 21, 2022

Smart Brevity™ count: 6 mins... 1556 words

Team SPACE, 

Have you ever been to Disney World? Before this week I would have said that I had been - but now I can say this is the first true week I have been to Disney World.

As I mentioned last week - Katie and I are working out of Orlando for the month of March (did I mention that? hmmm maybe not…but whatever). And last week we brought my daughters here for their spring break. We figured that since we were going to be in Orlando for work - we might as well take them to Disney World.

As a retired Army officer (I wanted to say Army man) - I can get 5 days of Disney World tickets for the price of 2 days of normal tickets (but I cannot buy less than 4 days of tickets…so there is that). As someone who likes to maximize the benefit of things I buy - I figured that if we had 5 days of tickets - then we needed to use 5 days of tickets.

I was wrong.

We did not need to.

But we did.

And it was…aggressive.

By day 3 my youngest daughter was falling asleep in the living room at 7:30pm.

Today we finished our 5th park, and they are packing up to head home tomorrow. But do you know what is funny?

When I asked - they both said the best part of their trip was the pool in the backyard of the house we are renting here. Turns out we didn’t need to go big at Disney, we just needed to let them go wild in a pool and they would be the happiest kids in the world.

I think there is a lesson for me here on being content - but I’m not sure what it is - so while I think about that let’s get you to the rest of this update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: 2022’s legislating window is about closed

More Details: At this point in an election year most Members of Congress are looking to bolster their election prospects by introducing ‘statement’ bills, leaving Washington D.C. to campaign, and fighting with other Members over their ‘statement’ bills. I suppose the short way to say this is that between now and 2023 Congress isn’t going to do much…even by their standards.

  • Go Deeper: A ‘statement’ bill is a piece of legislation that a Congressperson (this also applies at the state and local level) introduces without the expectation that it will ever become law. Instead, its sole purpose is so the Member can say that they ‘did’ something about a problem that their voters care about.

That said - last week we saw the Senate pass (unanimously) a bill that would make Daylight Savings Time permanent. This happened because Senators Rubio (R-FL) and Sinema (D-AZ) were able to slip the bill in for a vote when most Senators were out and since there were no objections it passed.

So then - it is still possible for small bills (like most of our priorities) to pass. We just aren’t counting on that and are working with the Space PAC to shape the playing field for 2023.

Future Outreach: This week we are moving ahead with the planning for our fall California Congressional Aerospace Caucus reception (let me know if you are interested in participating). We are working to nail down a date for the Rep Salazar fundraiser in Miami and then will also be doing some state and local outreach in anticipation of our Good Jobs Challenge submission being accepted

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: Our Workforce-focused C4F was amazing this week.

More Details: April, the team and our co-hosts over at StellarModal Transportation Association put together a fantastic event. We have the full video up on our YouTube channel so you can check it out. I’m excited to see what the team puts together for April - since after all it is named after our main producer .

Other Operations: This week Ashley finished designing our Good Jobs Challenge survey. This is going out to all our partner organizations to get a sense of what they will need to have ready in order to hit the ground running. This survey is going out in the next couple weeks so we have plenty of time before early summer (when the decision is expected).

Future Operations: Next week we will be back on the C4F planning treadmill. We’ll also be building a framework for how we can support a major scholarship program that some of our partners are building. We are also helping out one of our member companies build a presentation for a local school about the potential of a space-focused workforce.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: SXSW follow-ups on top of follow-ups

More Details: Not since Space Symposium last summer did I have this many follow-ups to take care of after an event. Last week I got started on some - and have about 35-40 still to go (so if I haven’t gotten to you, then you are probably next - feel free to email me to remind me if you haven’t heard anything). I am still in awe of how Joy and her team were able to put together such a great event. And I am so grateful that we got to participate as one of the co-hosts.

That should do it. It is starting to cool off here in Orlando - which means it is almost time for my evening walk (one of the best times of the day since I get to debrief with Katie about what happened during the day).

So, I’ll see you here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

Weekend Update: Live from Austin

Team SPACE, 

Good morning from SXSW! I’m trying to get this written before I head out for another action-packed day and since last week was relatively slow - this will likely be a short email.

I know this is normally the place where I talk about what I have been seeing, reading and/or thinking about, but since last night was a late one - I don’t have many profound thoughts - mainly just ones about how good my Denny’s breakfast was.

So with that let's get to this week’s update

One Big Outreach Thing: Our event with the House California Aerospace Caucus is officially on

More Details: We have been working for the past month or two to work with the co-chairs of the House California Aerospace Caucus to develop a plan for a fall event for the Caucus allowing the members to network with industry. We will be putting out more details in the coming weeks but are looking to tie it with a major industry conference so there isn’t a need for people to travel somewhere twice.

Why it matters: Since the caucus has about 30 Members (the majority of the California House Delegation) - this is going to be a great event for companies based in / doing business in California to network with Congresspeople and their staff.

  • If your company is interested in sponsoring let me know and I’ll let you know pre-registration offerings.

  • If your company is a member company of the Foundation at the Gold level or above you will automatically be listed as a logo sponsor for the event, and any members Platinum or above will have the opportunity to contribute branded swag to the grab bags. So, if you aren’t a member already - you can register here - or email me and we can take it from there.

Future Outreach: Over the next couple weeks we are redoubling our outreach efforts to Democratic Congresspeople to revitalize progress on the Space Corporation Act. We have more or less been at a standstill with that because during the heavily partisan fights over the past six months there has been little progress on anything in Congress. We are also going to be announcing more details about the Space PAC’s fundraiser for Rep Salazar out of Miami - you can sign up over on their website to be the first to know.

One Big Operations Thing: C4F is here again!

More Details: This month’s Conversations for the Future is co-hosted with StellarModal Transportation Association and is focused on space workforce and our speaker lineup includes educators, space professionals, former politicians and blue-collar workers. A huge shout out to
@April for all her work pulling this together.

Other Operations: This week we talked with some leaders in Puerto Rico about how our Workforce for the Future program can help them in their effort to expand aerospace employment on the island. We expect to be able to build off these conversations as we stand up our first chapter there.

Future Operations: Next week - we will be in C4F mode - and scheduling speakers for April and May’s events (and finalizing the details of co-hosting one of those months with the DC chapter of the Space Force Association)

One Big Other Thing: Updates to our website are on their way.

More Details: This week we started the preliminary design work on revamping the flow / structure of our website. We will be rolling out updates in the coming weeks. The intent of this is to make the user experience easier, and the process to join / donate smoother (since it turns out people don’t like friction when they are trying to give money).

If you have thoughts about things that have bothered you about the structure / flow of the website please email me so we can add those suggestions to our list.

As promised, this was a ‘short’ update with 24% fewer words than the running average of these newsletters.

Rather than ruin that percentage - which I pulled before writing this - I will sign off here.

See you here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

 -T

A Weekend Update On The Road

Team Space,

Hello from Orlando, Florida (do I need to add the Florida part there?). Katie and I drove down here with the intent to spend a month teleworking in the sun (so if we are on a call and you see a different background - that is why). I was thinking as I drove down that:

  1. it is a really long drive down here and

  2. I used to drive about 45-50k miles a year, so why was I thinking this was a long drive?    

It was a little weird having the real-time realization that I was ‘out of practice’ for something (driving in this case). I wondered how much of what we do in life is because we have fallen out of practice of something that was good, but we stopped doing it.

I see this up in D.C. all the time. It used to be that Congresspeople, and their families lived and worked in D.C. Leaving to go back to their districts for a few months a year; but always returning to their place of work. Now they have flipped that on its head and Congresspeople live in their home states, traveling to D.C. for only a week or so a month for work.

This creates a situation where they don’t interact with each other socially and are agitating to end work early so they can get home. 

The result: gridlock and partisanship. 

Granted there are other factors at plan (the primary system each party uses and gerrymandering to name two) - but Congress falling out of practice in how they interact with their co-workers has created the toxic work environment all of us are frustrated with. 

What’s the solution? 

I’m not sure - but I know that we have an opportunity to help. 

Space remains one of the last bipartisan areas of cooperation. So, the more we can host events, fundraisers and meetings with members from both sides, the more we can help move the needle towards combined action. 

And maybe, just maybe, we can do our part to make D.C. a little less toxic. 

Alright - enough philosophizing. On to this week’s update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: Space PAC is on the circuit

More Details: Last week Rob was here in D.C. making his rounds to Congressional offices and meeting with staff to socialize Space PAC. On Tuesday he and I co-hosted a fundraising dinner for Congressman Vern Buchanan (and narrowly averted disaster - more on that in a second). This was a great chance for us to get the Foundation / PAC’s names out there in the D.C. lobby circuit - and we will be following up with several of the people we met over the coming days.

  • Quick Detour: Not a real disaster - but it turns out the Congressman and his staff thought we were having a reception; and the rest of us were planning on a dinner (it is entirely possible the ‘rest of us’ included me and the lady ordering the food). Because of that we almost didn’t have dinner because the Congressman had to leave early, and most people left with him. Don’t worry - your brave heroes (Rob and I) - were able to sweet talk out way to getting the dinner we planned on.  

Ok - back outreach update 

Other Outreach: Last week we met with a couple state-level workforce development leaders talking about our Good Jobs Challenge proposal and how they can help. We also continued planning for the California Aerospace Caucus event we are hosting in the fall

Future Outreach:  Next week we will finish our follow-ups from the fundraising dinner; the PAC will begin planning for our next co-hosted event; and I’ll be headed to the Defense and Space Networking Reception on the sidelines of SXSW in Austin. 

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: Workforce for the Future’s next step…certifications

More Details: One of the planned components of our Workforce for the Future program is a ‘space-ready’ certification for community and technical colleges. Over the last 7-10 days we have been socializing a plan to build this certification with the help of major industry partners. So far, their feedback has been largely positive.

  • Go Deeper: We will be combining their feedback, and the results of our industry workforce survey to create a pilot certification that to try out at a handful of schools across the country.

  • Is your company / school interested in learning more? Reach out to me or Ashley to find out more.

Other Operations: Last week we began planning for April / May’s Conversations for the Future - and put the finishing touches on March’s. We also had a couple of really productive calls to chat about new F4F chapters.

  • Big picture: As we see it now - there will be two tiers of chapters. The first is affiliated organizations which function as local chapters of the Foundation and whose members receive reciprocal membership, while the second type will be the more traditional subsidiary F4F group.

Future Operations: We have a call this week to chat with the DC Chapter of the SFA to discuss co-hosting one of the upcoming Conversations for the Future. We’ll also have a couple calls with potential members, including Bank of America.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: SXSW is coming up fast

More Details: This week we just finished planning for the Defense and Space Networking Reception that we are co-hosting in Austin next weekend (the next Weekend Update will be from there). I’m particularly excited about this because I’ve never been to SXSW and am told it is great. The reception will also be amazing - with over 250 people applying to attend from across the country (this lets us be selective with who we let in). If you are going to be there - let me know and I’ll look out for you. 

Other Other Stuff:

 

Alrighty - I’ll sign off here - I’m headed out to restart acclimating myself to the heat here in Florida. 

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner

- T

Zero to this Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Feb 28, 2022
Smart Brevity™ count: 6.5 mins... 1692 words

Team SPACE, 

I’m reading a book by Peter Thiel - Zero to One - and in it, Peter talks about the distinction between “Zero to One” and “One to N”. Going from Zero to One is when you create something new — something that doesn’t exist yet. However, when you go from One to N, you’re improving or scaling something that already exists. He equates zero to one to technological improvement, while one to N is globalization.

In the book Peter outlines how the quintessential America was one where we constantly were going from zero to one. And for most of the 20th Century there was just one technological innovation after another. It got to the point where people assumed we would be living on the moon and have nuclear powered cars. We just assumed that technology would continue to improve our lives indefinitely. 

Then the dot-com bubble burst. According to Peter - this marked a turning point in the American psyche where we saw that technology could be overhyped. And this led to a shift towards globalization. Which according to Peter was not only easier - but also sub-optimal for America.

While the book was written in 2012 in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis - I can’t help but think that the covid-19 era marks the end of this globalization phase (at least in America). Between fractured supply chains and a resurgence of new innovations in biotech, energy and most importantly for us, space; there is the budding belief that we don’t have to settle for the incremental improvement of One to N.

Now it is up to those of us on the inside of one of those innovative sectors to make sure we show that America can make Zero to One the norm again.

Ok - enough inspirational talk - now to this week’s update.

Outreach: 

One Big Outreach Thing: PAC, more PAC and then even more PAC

More Details: In case you missed it - this week (at least politically) was mostly spent on Ukraine. Turns out when a major country in Europe is invaded, that sucks a lot of time up for policymakers here in DC.

Because of that we spent this week working on Space PAC. We networked it to current and former Congressional staff and lobbyists and agreed to co-host a fundraising dinner for one of the senior members of the House Ways and Means Committee. We have a couple more fundraising dinners in the works and hope to be able to announce more soon.

Other Outreach: This week we had some meetings with local Chambers of Commerce to discuss partnering with them in their communities. We had calls with a few potential members and some state leaders. 

Future Outreach: Next week - as I mentioned - Space PAC is going to be co-hosting a fundraising dinner for Vern Brady, the #2 Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee (the committee that handles taxation). This is a very exciting opportunity for us - and a chance for the PAC to start getting its name out there. If you are interested in this dinner or others - you can contact rob@spacepac.us to find out more.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: Our first member’s meeting is coming

More Details: Mark your calendar! We are holding our first member’s meeting on the sidelines of the 37th Space Symposium in early April. This meeting will be a chance for members of the Association for the Future to shape the policies we support (for reference - here are the current priorities).

  • The specific day / time is to be announced in the next couple weeks - but if you are a member and are able to come - here is a link to register. A virtual/call-in option will be available as well.

Other Operations: This week we met with several people who are helping plan our first regional chapter. It looks like the first chapter is going to be in Puerto Rico - with the second being in either Texas or Mississippi. 

  • Since this is new to all of us - if you have experience starting and/or running a nonprofit chapter please let me know!

Future Operations: Next week we are finishing up planning for March’s Conversation for the Future. We will have a couple meetings about supporting the SFA’s local team, and I’ll be helping put the final touches on the SXSW reception we are supporting (apply to attend here). 

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: Our workforce development planning continues

More Details: This week we had a couple meetings with large companies to discuss our Workforce for the Future program and find out if they were interested in becoming formal partners / sponsors. Discussions continue - but in general the talks were well received. We are also leveraging our chapter planning and outreach to local chambers of commerce to get more access to potential workforce partners. 

I realize now that I didn’t even have an intro to this email - I just kind of jumped in. Oh well - I guess that means I don’t need much of a closing.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

 - T

A Cold Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Feb 21, 2022

Smart Brevity™ count: 6 mins... 1525 words

Team SPACE, 

Another good morning to you - or at least it is for me. I’m here in Minnesota celebrating my daughter’s 10th birthday and writing this before her and her sister wake up (turns out being an early riser combined with going back a time zone means you wake up REALLY early).

Since they could wake up just about any time here (thanks to my typing…I’m one of those loud typers) - so I’ll just jump right into this week’s update. 

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: We are supporting the California Aerospace Caucus in planning an event for later this year.

More Details: This week we continued our talks with Representative Calvert’s office on hosting an event for the California Aerospace Caucus. There is no date, but we are eyeing co-locating (is that the right temporal word?) the event with a major air or space conference / reception to maximize attendance. Do you / your company want to stay in the loop? Email April and she will consolidate a mailing list so we can keep you up to date.

Other Outreach: On the sidelines of the FAA’s conference this week (more on that below). I met with Diane Howard, the Director, Commerce Space Policy for the National Space Council. Her and I discussed our planned industry survey on workforce needs. She said this sort of survey is what the Space Council is looking for to inform upcoming policy discussions. Her office and us are going to coordinate on the design of the survey with a goal of launching it in early March. If you run a space company and are willing to participate in a short online survey about your workforce email Ashley to get on the participant list.

Future Outreach: Next week we are driving ahead with planning for the Space PAC’s dinner series. If you are interested in attending, you can email Rob to learn more. We also have a handful of meetings with Congressional offices to discuss upcoming space-focused legislation (hopefully more on that soon).

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: SXSW reception is building momentum.

More Details: We are under three weeks out (March 12) from the Space and Defense Reception on the sidelines of SXSW and are up to 32 sponsors and partners (check out our ad on Space Channel). This reception is a curated networking event for executives and policymakers in the space and defense sectors. Do you fit into one of those categories? You can apply to attend the reception here.

Other Operations: In other operational news we held the Space Investment Conversations for the Future in conjunction with the NewSpace Business Plan Competition. With speakers from across the investment community (Barclay’s investment bank to Defense Innovation Unit) we got perspectives on what, how and when investments are made. We’ve got the link on our YouTube channel, and you can check them out there (if you haven’t subscribed you should do that now, so you get notified when future videos are uploaded).

This week I also attended the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Conference in DC, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s Member’s meeting. These events combined with the Board working session we held on Tuesday meant it was a pretty busy in-person week for us. 

Future Operations: Next week we’ll be doing a dozen or so follow-ups from the events this week along with jumping headfirst into finalizing March’s C4F lineup while recruiting speakers for April. 

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: We are excited to welcome our newest Platinum member.

More Details: This week Space Advisory Group joined us as a Platinum member, attached is more information about them, but the short version is below.

  • Space Advisory Group is a boutique advisory firm focused on the space community.  Founded and led by former U.S. Air Force Contracting Officers with years of Department of Defense and Intelligence Community experience, Space Advisory Group’s goal is to assist companies and organizations in accelerating great ideas through Federal and commercial funding opportunities. 

With Eastland International, Space Advisory Group and Worldwide Risk Management all joining us this year, we are growing the variety of companies who are members of the Foundation. We continue talks to bring on more traditional space and finance companies; and if your company is interested you can reach out to me

Alrighty - it sounds like the kids are starting to stir - so I’m going to sign off and wish you a great long weekend. 

Until next week, unless I see you out there sooner

 - T

A Super Valentine's Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Feb 14, 2022

Smart Brevity™ count: 6.5 mins... 1692 words

 

 Join Foundation For The Future virtually February 17 & 18 for our monthly Conversations For The Future.  Register here to attend live to hear discussions on Space Investment and have the opportunity to ask your questions to our speakers. 

 Team SPACE, 

Well good morning….or afternoon….or evening. I don’t know when you are reading this. But for me it is morning - and that is a tad unusual. Typically, I write these on Sunday afternoons - but this afternoon I’ll be tied up with Valentine’s Day (yes, I know that is tomorrow - but turns out that if you schedule Valentine’s Day meals during the Super Bowl you don’t have competition for restaurants without TVs). Tied up? Hmm that sounds a bit like I’m being dragged kicking and screaming. Which…cough…if you are reading this Katie is not what is happening 

But as I write this I am noticing that there is a lot less pressure on me as I work on this in the morning. Something about realizing that I have all day before my ‘deadline’ makes it seem a little easier. 

Now to be fair - I typically will be juggling so many things that waiting until the deadline is the norm. But maybe there is something to the idea that you can 'get ahead’ and feel good. 

Hmm - something to think about…if I have time….

Ok - let’s get to this - because I’m sure you all have some football game, or commercials, or something to watch (unless you are reading this tomorrow - in which case you have real Valentine’s Day to work on).

One Big Outreach Thing: The SPAC Funding Round Is Now Open

More Details: As of last week, the Space PAC (SPAC) - can officially begin accepting donations to both its ‘regular’ PAC and ‘Super’ PAC accounts. This means that individuals and organizations (other than Federal contractors) can donate up to $5,000 / year to the ‘regular’ account. And they can donate an unlimited amount of money to the ‘Super’ account. 

Are you interested in learning more about the SPAC and how to get involved? You can reach out to Rob or check out the website: America's Future is Space.

Other Outreach: This week we also spoke with at least a dozen Congressional offices (from Senator McConnell’s on down) to socialize a handful of proposals including zero-G zero-tax and the creation of a Space Manufacturing Institute. This would be a member of the Manufacturing Institute network and be a public-private partnership to expand the space manufacturing base. Most offices want to know more and have some follow-ups, so we will let you know what happens with those. 

Want to lend your voice to support one or more of these proposals? Let me know and I’ll connect you with the resources you need.

Future Outreach: Most of next week is going to be taken up with C4F, and some other operational events; but we will continue to press on PAC fundraising, and we have a couple Congressional offices left to check in as part of our Space Corporation Act follow-ups. Look for updates on that soon.

One Big Operations Thing: Our Good Jobs Challenge Proposal is done

More Details: Thursday evening Ashley, April and I submitted our Good Jobs Challenge Proposal. It sure feels good to have that done and out of the way. The last thing to do while we wait for the Economic Development Administration’s decision is to reach out to Congresspeople to get them to make calls and send letters in support of our proposal. 

  • Are you interested / able to help with that? You don’t need to know someone in a Congressional office to help, really you just need to be willing to reach out to your Congressperson’s local offer. We will provide all the materials and script. Let us know by emailing at gjc@f4fspace.org and we’ll get you set up.

Other Operations: In other operational news we are preparing to launch regional Foundation Chapters (regional map below) and are looking for volunteers willing to help organize them. Is that you? If so, reach out to us at chapters@f4fspace.org

Future Operations: Next week we will be executing the February Conversations for the Future - you can register here. We are also beginning the conceptualization of an industry-wide study on workforce needs. This is going to be Ashley’s new project - so if you are an employer who is interested in learning more - you can reach her here. Also, next week is our board working session and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s Member meeting, so we’ll have quite a week.

One Big Other Thing: SXSW’s hottest networking event is growing  

More Details: This week six more companies agreed to sponsor the SXSW networking event we are helping organize. This event will bring together innovators for an exclusive event featuring forward-thinking leaders within the space and defense innovation sectors globally to facilitate expanding networks with ideal contacts.

What to know more? Does this sound like something you would be interested in? You can check out the website here. Or reach out to Morgan from Distinctive Edge to find out how to get involved.

Well - now that we got to the end here - I think I am going to go make myself some breakfast and see if any of the snow that had started earlier has been sticking. 

Until next week - or I see you out there.

Flowing into a Blocky Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman Jan 17, 2022

Smart Brevity™ count: 7.5 mins... 2051 words

Team SPACE, 

Do you like Legos? I assume about 83% of the people on this distro have played with Legos sometime in the last few years. And those that haven’t just realized that they kinda want to. 

Well - I asked because I have long been a fan of Legos - not least of all because of the almost trance-like state I get into while I am assembling a set. It is a strange feeling unlike my normal baseline - but is a nice feeling all the same. Lately I’ve noticed I will get into a similar state while working on various projects. I won’t notice anything is happening until I ‘come out’, but I’ll end up spending a good hour or two where everything else just fades into the background.

I know that this is called a 'flow state’ - and it is fairly heavily researched yet is normally pretty elusive. But somehow, I'm able to slip into it every time I start building a new Lego set. And that is where this whole Lego thing connects with the Foundation. 

I have a theory that part of why I am able to just slip in and out of this flow state with Legos is that I have the ability to simultaneously perform tasks I am good at (yes, I am fairly good at putting tiny blocks together) AND I get to see tangible results in front of me. Now granted it is pretty small results with each step, but for some reason I am much more ok with that incremental progress with Legos. 

Not so much out here in the 'real world’. But maybe noticing those little incremental results in what I’m missing in being able to slip in and out of flow during the majority of my workday. Maybe if I notice the little things like how this week we registered a political action committee, outlined a space certification program for technical colleges, and added multiple companies as new members. 

To those of us living on the inside - each one of those happens during their own time block, and so it is easy to lose sight of how each is building on each other. But maybe - maybe keeping a running log of these results would help keep perspective. Much like the Lego set on my floor here is a running log of the pieces I have put in place, a record of what we have done would be a way to help spark joy.

Oh wait…that is only for when I am getting rid of things. Wrong metaphor. Sorry. 

But you get the point. 

Hopefully….

Whether you did or not - let’s get to this week’s update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: Local coalition building is bearing fruit.

More Details: Congress was preoccupied this week with voting rights and the threat of Russia invading Ukraine, so we pivoted to focusing on outreach to local governments. This was in an attempt to build a groundswell of support for workforce development and our space finance initiatives. We were able to meet with the better part of a half dozen leaders from central Texas, and Kentucky (half dozen in each) and also had talks with leaders from a handful of other states in the Northwest. 

  • What they're saying: Local leaders in Midland and the surrounding area are emerging as particularly supportive to our calls for expanded workforce development. As one local leader said, “We have invested too much in space infrastructure here to stop now.” 

Other Outreach: This week we also officially registered the Space Political Action Committee (PAC) and have continued the work in laying its foundation. The PAC itself will be run by Rob Gabbert and I will be volunteering to support him. As a quick win out of the gate - we already secured our first donation commitment of $5k. We are beginning to circulate more information about the PAC to potential corporate donors. We are looking for $5-20k donation commitments, however no companies will have to make any donations until we have $100k in commitments. This is to build confidence that no single company is going to end up being the first or only to donate.

Future Outreach: Next week we are hosting our revamped Conversations - with day one being open to the public and the second day being for Congressional offices. Members have access to both days for free. If you want to sign up for one or both days - you can do that here.

Operations: 

One Big Operations Thing: Conversations for the Future is changing

More Details: This week we finished up plans for our revamped Conversations for the Future (C4F). As I mentioned above, we are shifting the event a little, including integrating a member-only portion by combining C4F with our Infrastructure series. As we go forward we are looking to increase the interactive portions of the event by moving off Zoom and towards Filmocracy. We tried Filmocracy in December for our Blue Marble Night, and found it to be really engaging. 

Other Operations: On the workforce side - we are nearing the finish line on our Good Jobs Challenge (GJC) proposal. In one of the calls Ashley and I had this week - we met with someone who is in charge of writing another GJC proposal for California (and who has seen quite a few other proposals being written). We got a lot of really encouraging feedback on that call, including a particularly uplifting comment:

  • “This proposal is far more expansive and ambitious than any of the other ones I’ve seen. It seems to be exactly what the EDA is looking for.”

Future Operations: At the risk of repeating myself - this week we have C4F - and you can register here. We will also be wrapping up a couple more calls with GJC partners and doing some planning for the SXSW event we are supporting. 

Other Stuff: 

One Big Other Thing: C4F ads are up 120%

More Details: We are entering 2022 strongly with Nanoracks one of the main sponsors for January’s C4F. As I mentioned in the last section - C4F has been a big part of this last week. One of the exciting pieces was that we had our first corporate sponsor of 2022. With 2021’s C4F series attracting ~6k attendees per month - this is a robust and engaged audience that includes a large number of decision-makers here in DC. Want to jump in on the advertising? Your ad could be here - and we can support some of the design of your ad if you don’t already have the collateral you need.

Other Other Stuff: In other other news, we are welcoming two new staff, Sheri Fuqua-Santin and Rachael Walter. Sheri and Rachael will be assuming some of the duties that Leo performed (Sheri - social media & Rachael - graphic design). 

This Just In: New from The Space Channel: Here is a first in a 3 part series on “The War in Space”

https://spacechannel.com/war-in-space/ 

Thanks to Bob Schefferine for sharing! 

 

  

Whew, turns out when you write this over two days instead of just in one sitting it is a little weirder than it might normally be. Can you find where I stopped on Saturday and then picked back up on Sunday? The first person to correct guess where it was will get a free ticket to the member-only portion of C4F this Friday. You can email your guesses, including a screenshot / cut & paste of the text to april@f4fspace.org and we’ll let you know if you won. 

Well then that’s all folks - until next week, unless I see you out there sooner.  

-T

A Weekend Update from Jurassic World<