Launching new frontiers in global mobility and international talent management

Elon Musk’s Space X project divides opinion. But how can its spectacular success – and recent failure – take humanity forward; and at a time when for many of us the focus is much closer to home? Innovation, leadership, resilience and collaboration are all in play as we strive for the next frontier, whatever our sector or profession.

Tony Antonelli in a space suit
At its heart, innovation happens in the hope that life in future will be better than it is now. It takes inspired thinking, problem-solving, technical knowledge and collaboration across expertise and national borders.International space programmes of all flags, from NASA, the European Space Agency, India’s National Space Agency and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration project for example and collaborations like the International Space Station, have much in common with our agile global mobility sector, international schools and international management, business transformation and learning & development community.

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Taking innovation and leadership to the next level

All these nations, sectors and professions are supporting programmes that cross-pollinate innovation and support growth in national economies. This is why Relocate Global is focusing on the space sector on 7 June with an exclusive event Taking Innovation and Leadership to the Next Level with Astronaut, Tony Antonelli.We will welcome former NASA astronaut and Lockheed Martin’s Chief Technologist for Space Exploration, Tony Antonelli, for three interactive sessions:
  1. starting with his own story From Earth to Space
  2. exploring innovation through Leading the Way to Mars
  3. and Mastering the Art of International Leadership, supported by Chris Barber, director of ISSET to maximise Q&A.
The day will include insights from Greg Sadlier, a pioneering space economist and founder of specialist space economics agency, Know Space, whose cutting-edge analysis will help you navigate hype, risk and uncertainty; and Dave Kesby, author and founder of the Organisational Coaching Hub, who will explore through discussion and activities how we can transform extra-dependent teams – people learning together to develop a common practice – into engines of innovation and growth.

Innovation, collaboration and wellbeing

Space innovation boosts productivity and growth. In the UK alone, a 2022 UK government report highlights the expansion and importance of the space sector relative to the rest of the economy and globally.Income grew 5.1% in real terms to £17.5 billion in 2020/21 – the second-fastest annual growth in the last seven years. As well as outpacing growth in the wider economy, the UK space sector grew faster in the UK than globally, which was up 1.6%. The UK’s highest growth segments were: space applications (+7%, +£843m, driving most of the growth); ancillary services (+13%, +£72m) and space operations (+4%, +£63m).The figures highlight how ambition, leadership and the application of science, technology and innovation through their spinouts move all of us forward and improve economic and social wellbeing. Having this global outlook, cross-sectoral perspective, and the belief and skills to realise ambitions benefit everyone, whether you are a cosmonaut or exploring cross-border markets.The Space X programme exemplifies how collaboration is key, even partnerships between apparent competitors. While Space X is a commercial company, able to design failure into its learning – its rockets are reusable, even after crash landings – and celebrate landmarks for human space exploration, the US national space agency, NASA, treads a more risk-averse trajectory. Yet today NASA is partnering with Space X on several projects, including joint manned missions, signing contracts worth almost £5bn until 2030.One anticipated spin-off from the projects is the return to supersonic air travel, tipped to take passengers from the US to Japan in under an hour. This is an enticing prospect for global trade, global mobility and international management and opens new horizons.

Thinking differently about DEI and ESG

The race for space and the innovation surrounding is also an important crucible for conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and the environment, sustainability and governance (ESG) agenda. This is something retired NASA leader and ISSET’s Head of Operations, Sarah Murray talked about in her live stream presentation for Relocate Global to mark International Women’s Day 2023.The European Space Agency also announced in April the recruitment of, John McFall, its first astronaut with a physical disability. Similarly, DEI and ESG are longstanding and increasingly critical themes in global mobility, international education, leadership development, and learning and organisational development.We will capture this pioneering spirit of adventure, innovation and exploration with former NASA Space Shuttle Pilot, astronaut and Lockheed Martin’s Chief Technologist for Space Exploration, Tony Antonelli. The day is day designed to be an impactful experience for every leader, from 24 days in space, and the techniques and approaches he has used in his career to accomplish his astonishing achievements including planning for Mars exploration. Compare and contrast different approaches to communication, diversity, fairness and empowerment in the context of international partnerships and innovation.

Leadership in new spaces to drive innovation and growth

Chris Barber of ISSET, who has developed a large range of the programmes for students and leaders, including a Space Station Simulation for business and organisation leaders in some of the world’s largest companies, will also participate in the Q&A.“This idea of human exploration of Mars has excited me my whole life,” says Tony, explaining what inspires him about his work. “I was tasked with putting together a plan that makes human exploration of Mars real and tangible by 2028. With the technology that we have today, with the country’s investment in new space systems and vehicles, what else do we need to get human exploration on Mars well underway?”The day will explore how Tony mobilises his personal and leadership goals and is an opportunity to ask yourself: if it’s possible to achieve huge dreams like this through collaboration, expertise and impactful leadership, how can we lift our sights across the international management, HR, education and global mobility arena, and inspire the next generations around the world?The Innovation Festival for Global Working promises to be a game-changing event. It will bring new horizons into focus, as well as encourage us all to “look up” and see what is possible in our organisations to ensure they, our colleagues, employees and their families can thrive and grow in the years to come.

Meet Astronaut, Tony Antonelli at the Innovation Festival for Global Working on 8 June, including the Think Global People Awards 2023.

Don’t miss the chance to align your brand with the Festival and reach international attendees including CEOs, CFOs, HR, Global Mobility Professionals, decision makers and influencers in multinational organisation. Find out more here

Subscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.

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