Global Innovation Rankings

The linked article titled “America Rules the Innovation World”, presents a n surprising view of the United State’s leadership in the global tech, social and cultural transformation I have previously described as the “Space Renaissance in this blog.  In the article, they show that the USA, Japan and Germany lead the world in patent creation up to 2015.  More interesting is the fact that leading countries in patent creation are democracies with strong civil and human rights, as well as being safe places to live with strong rule of law.

Interconnectedness, which I’ve also written about here, is also a key element in the issue of innovation, for it allows cross-pollination of ideas and insights across borders and language barriers.  And, more importantly, interconnectedness helps innovators find the best places in which to develop their ideas and be successful.   In a brief and unscientific analysis, I observe that though Japan has better Internet connectivity than the USA, it does not have the huge diversity of peoples in its Universities, businesses and research institutions that characterizes the USA.

You might ask what the importance of having more patents is, and I would have to point out the great advantage in terms of what used to be “balance of trade” issues, since foreign countries that use the US’s patents must pay licensing fees to use these innovations.  The same situation exists for another country’s patents, and this means that a country can make money from licensing instead of simply manufacturing.  In addition, more and more countries are enforcing patent protections because they realize that innovators prefer living in places where their ideas can produce multiple streams of income for them.

So now I suggest we all strive to be innovators, to get copyrights and patents for our creations and so help our country’s economy grow as the world changes before our eyes.  Patents are not easy (nor cheap) to get, while copyrights are much simpler, but your application for a patent or copyright alone will serve to give you some legal protection as you innovate and create the future!  So lets go for it!

Manny Perezthe-usa-of-innovation-7ff2


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Interconnectedness, Freedom and Sovereignty

How can a country with open borders be sovereign?
How can a truly free market economy country be sovereign?
How can a country subjected to external global legislation be sovereign?
What is the difference between national sovereignty and personal freedom?
What exactly is sovereignty in the 21st Century?

These are all great questions, and many countries are undergoing serious political upheavals as they explore the topic, looking at many related controversial issues that include migrants, refugees, public services, nationality, national budgets, military expenditures, culture, language, the Internet, mass media and more.  Some argue that national sovereignty requires control and restriction of personal freedoms, and others point to the value of democracy and participative governments. But few look at the way in that the accelerating transformation of communications between individuals of all societal sectors and places are allowing them to connect with others beyond their physical borders, in real time and with real consequences. This new phenomenon of interconnectedness goes beyond networks, data and communications, which governments and elites have already learned to manipulate and control, and individuals are actually being connected to others in ways that seem incomprehensible and uncontrollable (and even threatening) to governments and elites.

First, let me clarify that, based on my life experience and overview of history I have concluded sovereignty has to do with the ability of a people to exercise self-determination for their nation or physical community. In fact, history points out that those communities that achieved sovereignty then declared themselves independent from everyone else!  This is not necessarily the case in the 21st Century, where countries recognize “Autonomous Regions” and such. Individual freedom, as the expression of personal self-determination, is actually a contributor to national sovereignty as long as there are shared goals and experiences that identify them.  In the past, though, in recorded history, sovereignty was more related to might and power than to real self-determination, though dictators, kingdoms and pseudo-democracies may assert that I am wrong.  Interconnectedness enhances individual freedoms because it enhances the ability of individuals to work together, and stimulates the higher level motivations of self-expression and self-discovery.  As far as I am concerned, sovereignty based on coercion is part of the past, of the limited civilizations that followed the rule of the sword, of jailing and killing people who objected to the ruler’s decisions.   The isolation of those that exclude the will of the people themselves, also excludes them from the new future we are creating.

Legally, sovereignty is often determined by treaties and international agreements, but let me propose that in the 21st Century it will also represent the capacity of a country’s populace to decide for themselves, without having to follow foreign orders or mandates. To clarify a commonly misunderstood concept, collaborative, friendly negotiations are an excellent exercise of sovereignty that allows the country to get other nations to follow their lead. Similarly, team work between equals is an excellent example of exercising personal freedom for greater gain.  On the other hand is an exercise in opposition for opposition’s sake, makes the country and individual reactive and subject to manipulation by external interests. In the age of Interconnectedness, international negotiations actually serve to enhance the interconnected government’s ability to lead the country and speak for it.  Of course many governments still practice fierce opposition and objections as a matter of honor, separating themselves from other countries that could help them.  Wars and destruction are also a poor example of self-determination simply because they involve losing internal and external resources and connections, leaving leaders with no leverage to use against those who would manipulate them.  On the individual level, laws tend to control individual violence and criminal acts, but this, too, is still present in our societies and communities. I admit that  humanity is still learning what sovereignty is for an interconnected community of citizens: since much of the world still believes that “might makes right” and our leaders were born in an age of non-connections, where survival was an individual effort and coercion and resistance were necessary to demonstrate strength and sovereignty. Even though this might offend some leaders, I see parallels with childhood development patterns in which the toddler discovers the power of saying “NO”, and uses it as a way of demonstrating independence.   As a parent and former teacher,  I know the difficulty of having that child and teenagers learn the benefits of delayed gratification, of planning, or working for a goal, of cooperating, sharing, waiting for the right moment, and being part of a family and community.

In this century, self-determination has expanded to many formerly excluded populations, including women: these groups now work with others to go far beyond what they could even conceive, learning and utilizing the skills of negotiation, planning, compromise, management, compounding interest and many more to reach their goals.   Though some national groups and leaders still want to separate themselves from the rest of the world by structuring laws and governance models that exclude outsiders, they simply end up creating parallel or underground economies and activities that are outside of their control, since they rely on people to people connections, not on formal hierarchies or rule based requirements.   The answer is simple:  as I see it, Interconnectedness is a new human condition that implies transparency and very limited secrecy, so everyone knows what everyone else is doing except for those who hide behind walls.

So, getting back to sovereignty, how can a country increase or enforce sovereignty in this new age?  First of all, it must respect and follow its own laws and culture.  Laws can be changed, if needed, but self-respect is needed for interconnectedness to bring forth the benefits and the wealth that sovereignty offers.  Dealing constructively with conflict and opposition is critical for success, and we have seen examples of countries demonstrating the effects of both respecting, and disrespecting popular mandate, elections, agreements, etc. Interconnectedness seems to take the concept of “strength in numbers” much farther that what we had ever imagined, since interconnectedness within a country or community can create a socio-political equivalent to reinforced concrete, in which the natural tensions of inevitable conflict and opposition are handled in such a way that the country becomes stronger.

To conclude, I propose that Interconnectedness will, over time, result in greater sovereignty for nations, communities, organizations and individuals, creating greater capacity for self-determination in each.  But we are presently in a period of transition in which the “us vs. them” way of thinking is interfering with the opportunities that interconnectedness offers.  In the past, “us vs. them” offered clear national and security benefits, but this is no longer the case: peaceful international exchange and the interdependency of global actors are inescapable if a country wishes to prosper.  Of course, we still have isolated nations that threaten war and refuse to work with other countries, focusing on matters of national pride and old rivalries, but those nations have a very low standard of living, and of education, for their populations compared to the nations whose people are interconnected.  My observation is that those governments that are learning to expand their sovereignty by means of interconnectedness are thriving, too.  In my experience rule of law, transparency, equality and participation (all of which are elements of interconnectedness) are much more important than secrecy, dogma, power struggles and authority, which only divide the people and weaken their collective will. Interconnectedness is already with us, and it is offering the opportunity of greater means of self-determination than humanity ever experienced in the past.  I propose we support and develop it further in service of both freedom and sovereignty.

Manny Perez, MPA, CAMS               Jan. 24, 2017

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440px-metcalfe-network-effect-svgInterconnectedness is one of the big changes of our 21st Century transformation, also called the Space Renaissance, and its wealth is represented by the metropolitan “city that never sleeps” and the 24/7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) connected individual, business, and financial system.

This interconnectedness is a great source of wealth because it allows people separated by distance, time zones, language, and sleep cycles to participate in all sorts of commercial transactions and work.  Interconnectedness also increases productivity py reduces inactive periods for equipment, buildings, people, and even things and ideas. Better yet, according to some economists, it follows Metcalfe’s Law, according to which “the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2).”, as described by Wikipedia.

When we think of the Payments and Commerce monetary ecosystem, we can often identify businesses and individuals who only use a few hours a day for producing products and wealth. Their office hours limit their productivity and their opportunities to generate wealth.  Yet it is only in the past 50 years that the productivity of automation and technology has been extended to many global human activities, including transportation, marketing, communications, administration, manufacturing and commerce, to mention a few.  In the past, financial systems often followed the same pattern of activity and inactivity as the people of their communities.   This is still the case for many places, especially when laws force businesses to shut down regularly, but this is changing rapidly as global businesses coordinate activities in different time zones to create virtual 24/7 operations, and local businesses are adapting in order to compete with them!   Even health institutions are adapting to use expensive medical equipment on a 24/7 schedule so as to maximize return on investment and bring down their operating costs.   The Internet, of course, has allowed people to coordinate activities on a global scale, and the individual’s physical location is becoming less important in determining opportunities for commerce and for creating wealth.

Of course, this increased productivity first became possible thanks to the benefits of the present renaissance, including lighting, relatively inexpensive electric power networks, global transportation, telecommunications and data processing networks, satellites, and a global legal and financial structure that ensures contracts, value and agreements have the force of law around the world.  International commerce is a direct beneficiary of this 24/7  ethos, which allows multinational organizations (public, private, nonprofit, religious and even criminal)  to work efficiently throughout all time zones, languages and regulations, with and without human intervention.

I propose that all of these advances are, in good part, the result of interconnectedness of individuals, innovators, students, educators, organizations, equipment, and basically all the productive elements of the global community. Now consumers connect constantly to global services in new and disruptive ways, creating new markets and fortunes by doing so.

On the other hand, countries whose populations are not freely connected to the world’s financial and telecommunications networks are at a disadvantage, be it accidental or part of a government’s policy.  Wealth is generated through international and regional commerce, and also needs accessible financial systems and legal guarantees for investors and entrepreneurs. Sadly, it seems that unconnected regions and countries also tend to be more highly restrictive towards entrepreneurs and innovators, and under these conditions, prosperity is difficult to achieve and their populations must accept many unsatisfied needs or generate illegal alternatives to satisfy them.

Of course, Interconnectedness alone does not generate national wealth: it is easy for some countries to take on huge loans for short term gains and other activities that do not accumulate nor leverage future wealth creation. And, thanks to interconnectedness, some countries may even rely on other countries’ monetary systems instead of their own, which in time reduces their opportunity for financial leverage of their own markets. Capital flight is much easier in this interconnected world, though the impact of, for example, corporate tax evading “capital flight” from the USA in the last decades has not been studied, though the US economic engine still seems to be quite strong.  In addition, new forms of money, cryptocurrency, allows for simple peer to peer movement of value outside of government and regulatory controls, which has caused alarm among governments who are afraid of this economic activity.

As I see it, The nation that does not plan for the wealth created via international commerce and communications, is destined to lose wealth due to short term policy decisions that push local investors to disdain their own industrial and commercial structures and invest in other lands. This true capital flight joins the brain drain in taking away much wealth from the restrictive nation.  Certainly, the short term return on investment via isolationism is popular among some politicians, but the long term wealth of a nation requires years, if not decades, of establishing trust and reliability. Individuals and corporations consider the future of their investments carefully, and news of confiscation or arbitraty restrictions is quickly communicated, and this can severely restrict the ability of a government to care for and protect its people, businesses, industry, financial sector, and sovereignty.

Reality, as usual, is much more complex than what I describe above:  economists have many theories as to  what makes up the wealth of a civilization or nation, and all governments try to demonstrate that their policies generate well-being.  To add to te  confusion, we must also consider that globalization tries to fit everyone into the same mold which is clearly restrictive and abusive, and does not promote interconnectedness.    Wealth creation requires every sector of the population, including the poor, to accumulate wealth.  And the wealth they accumulate must be capable of generating even greater wealth – as capital, as infrastructure, and as opportunity. 

Interconnectedness itself, then, is a new form of wealth: one that falls into the realm of opportunity.  New York City, London, Tokyo and other financial centers demonstrate the value of being a communications hub for investors and bankers in their regions, and many small communities have also generated wealth by becoming specialized communications hubs – even for unethical activities.  Individuals can do the same

To conclude, then, I propose that we see interconnectedness as a resource and investment,  one that must be planned for and maintained so that it generates wealth for us, instead of being a distraction.  In future articles I will look at other areas in which Interconnectedness impacts modern societies, including sovereignty, citizenship and even space development.

Manny Perez, MPA, CAMS           Jan. 6, 2017

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global-peopleAre you alone, or are you interconnected to other people?

Are you dependent on specific individuals, or able to independently move within a huge network of people?

Do you see yourself as able to thrive alone on a mountain top, or do you have trouble even thinking of being separated from everyone?

One of the big changes our 21st Century Renaissance, has brought to humanity is what English poet John Donne proposed 400 years ago: “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main”.  His words have been used to fight isolationism, yet only in the past 100 years have our leaders started to address the needs of the extremely poor and “forgotten” segments of their populations.  Now, humanity is aware of the unbanked, illiterate, and isolated communities that are not only extremely poor, but have very primitive lifestyles:   The isolated human adult has a shorter lifespan, has no way of dealing with health issues as he/she ages, and loses mental acuity quicker than others.  And, as the aging population acquires pets to avoid the risks of being alone, popular belief has it that our young technologically interconnected millennials are less intelligent and capable than their peers from past generations, simply because they connect digitally more than physically.   But public belief does not understand that in the past 200 years we have gone from the Age of Transportation to that of Electricity, to that of Communication,, to the Age of Information, and with the Internet and Social Media have clearly entered the Age of Interconnectedness.

Reality, as usual, is more complex.    In the future of less restrictive borders and easier human migration to new places, diversity of all kinds will probably be the norm.  In fact cities are demonstrating that the historical norm of homogeneous communities is no longer valid, and mixed communities serve to foster exchange, innovation and experimentation in language, culture, technology, governance, and much more of what makes up a civilization.  And our children are learning to stay connected with their peers developing new words, customs and technologies.

Interconnectedness is a form of wealth in this Renaissance, a new take on the old expression of “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are”.  In the past this had to do with behavior, economic status, ethics and customs, but now it also speaks of potentialities and limitations.  A new form of business that evolved in the past century is network marketing, which  uses person to person relationships as a motor for growing personal wealth for all involved (at least in theory).  This business technology evolved from the old travelling salesman tradition. And now, Social Media, not only serves for marketicn, socializing and meeting people, but also has individuals abandoning many traditional ideas of privacy.

In the case of individuals who do not follow social norms within their geographic communities, the Internet and social media allow for them to interconnect with other, like-minded people who stimulate and fulfill their needs for social interactions.  For some, even virtual sex may be a fine substitute for what my generation would call the real thing, and the entertainment industry as well as modern media systems seem to support all of this experimentation.  It is a true transformation of how people connect to each other, and new modalities of old ways of doing things are being tried out daily.  Legal or not, human beings have always found ways to connect according to their desires.

What about you and me?  What does interconnectedness mean for us regular folk?  Well, it means that language is changing much more quickly and that we are almost forced to use modern technology and equipment if we want to have regular communications with our friends, neighbors and governments.  And by using new technology it is easier to learn new words, new expressions and – gasp! – new ways of understanding the world.   The old adage of “learn something new every day” now has the corollary of “meet someone new every day”.  Connect and dare to do what YOU want to do with friends, and not what they want you to do.    In this way, and as I will explain in another article, interconnectedness becomes a mean for your own and your community’s prosperity and wellbeing.  So, dear friend, lets get to networking!  Not just at your usual places for entertainment and socializing, but going to new places and meeting new people!  Who knows what new sources of joy and wealth you might discover?

Manny Perez, MPA, CAMS,  january 2017


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Are you creating Greatness?

Super EmpresarioOne of the political slogans of 2016 is
“Make America Great”.  But, how do you make a country great?

Who makes the country great?  What makes a country great? When and Why?  And HOW? These are the questions school teachers ask students all the time, and we adults have to do the same.

 As I see it, a country is what its citizens make it.  And, your life is what you make it.

So… are you creating Greatness?  Are you a leader in your life?
Or are you enjoying mediocrity, being one of the crowd, faking your joy and satisfaction?

Creating greatness is not about putting on a pin that says “I’m Great”, nor of appearing on a magazine cover, nor of getting your “5 minutes of fame”.  Creating greatness is about achieving success without destroying anyone or anything.  Oh, we hear about great generals who destroyed an enemy, but what did they build?  What did they leave for others to pursue and so achieve even higher states of greatness?

Genghis Khan and his troops might have destroyed half of the known world, but he also brought many peoples together and made them cooperate.  He had a dream that, though violent, created a greater society, and when that society fell apart, the pieces were stronger and more capable.   Similarly, we measure great religious figures not by the sage itself, but by the results of their message and what they built.

History does not really care if they were popular or rich while they were alive: history looks at what they left behind.   And we, as individuals, should strive for all the greatness our dreams can hold.   Just think of your childhood dreams.  Most children dream of being a hero or heroine, and yes: a people of heroes does achieve greatness.  We still remember the ancient Amazons, Spartans and other communities who individually pursued violence as an art, having heroes and heroines that were warriors.  But, were they Great, as we define the term?

Some of them probably were, but they probably also had a good amount of “do as you are told” people, who didn’t chase their dreams and just limited themselves to doing the minimum necessary for survival and a little extra.

But I want you to assume your greatness and to manifest it.   It does not matter if we don’t make the history books as long as we achieve all the success we are able to.  And, if we are part of a community where everyone is working at being successful, our community can strive for greatness and achieve it.

So, let me answer the questions the teacher would ask:
What is Greatness that we can create?  Is it in achieving everything I, you, and we  want from life and our surroundings?  Or is it on what our neighbors think of us? I’d say it is in ourselves.
Where is Greatness created ? Is it created in everything constructive I do, and everything that we all strive for when we think of positive success? Or is it in destroying lives and places? I’d say it is in building up, not tearing down.
When is Greatness created?   Now or somewhere in the future?  I might dream of being great tomorrow, or having been great yesterday, but I’d say the future starts now and that the question is whether I am acting great now!
Who creates Greatness?  The media?  Hollywood?  Ballywood? Armies? Or do we all?   I’d say  I do… You do… We all do…  Of course, some of us don’t create greatness every day and just coast along, enjoying successes from the past, and it’s OK:  It is our choice.
How do we create Greatness?  By going to “I am great” training?   Well, I’d suggest greatness is created by chasing our constructive dreams, those that bring joy to our hearts and working towards achieving them and being successful.  Dare to be a great musician, artist, engineer, teacher, parent, child, gamer, etc.!   Be a great person yourself!  

Be great yourself!   It is better than sitting around complaining about everything, and focusing on what you don’t like.  I know: I’ve been there, trying to find answers on the TV, in a a bar, everywhere except in my life.  Just imagine yourself chasing the greatness you would like, and if it is legal and positive just start moving in that direction.

If you need help, look for a coach, tutor,or a mentor.  Athletes, actors, musicians, students and even network marketers base their success and achievements on using mentors, trainers, tutors and coaches to help them learn, so why can’t you?  Just as there are athletic coaches and trainers, there are life, professional, success, and other specialty coaches available to help you achieve success.
But how? When? Where? Who?   Well, I’d say you can find your own answers, and should.  Greatness belongs to people who decide and act on their decisions, not to people who fake it.

So, are you creating Greatness, or fakeness?

Manny Perez, MPA, CAMS, entrepreneur and professional coach.


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Earning your Freedoms

If youcreemcias_limitantes live in the Americas or in Europe, you probably consider freedom to be a basic, God-given right, and this belief has extended worldwide to other cultures, thanks to TV and radio. But this was not always so for humanity.  And still might not be true for you.

First, we will look at our past.  History teaches us that for millennia most humans were poor, illiterate serfs or slaves or subsistence farmers.  Freedom as such was reserved to the powerful leaders, mainly in the political, religious, military and later on commercial fields, and was basically a result of being powerful.   Before then, if you were not of the nobility or a powerful warrior (or the son of such), you were destined to a very limited range of activities or to exile (which often became a deadly alternative.    The Robin Hood story, for example, describes a group of individuals that wanted to be free of the tyranny of their local warlord/sheriff, and hid in the King’s private forest.   North American children, who read the story, and English myth, don’t realize that the people of that era did not have any freedom to travel, study, prosper… not even to hunt animals or farm on property they did not own.

This is why, in the many colonies that later became the Americas, laws were written to protect their self-declared and hard won “human rights”.  In effect, the American colonies of Spain, Britain, Russia, Portugal, France, etc., chose to earn their right to freedom together with their independence, and generally continue to choose freedom and self-determination regularly.  Fortunately, freedom is a key element of prosperity, and in all of the new countries of the Americas, freedom allowed for the creation of wealth and the education of most of the population, except in those few cases where authoritarian leaders (including foreign powers and companies) restricted the freedom of their people to learn and thrive.  Mind you, this article is too short to speak of how and why this still happens, but I will be glad to correspond with you if you really want to go into this topic.

If we “Fast forward” to the 21st Century, we find that individuals still complain but now it is about different limits on their lives, including those of property and crime prevention, and taxes and other prohibitions… besides the natural limits our body and age impose on us.   Besides the fact that individuals in the 21st Century have many more alternatives and education than their ancestors, I observe that many of us hand over our freedoms to different leaders, in marketing, religion, politics, work, and all sorts of distractions for our minds.  Why? Because freedom requires thinking and effort and must be earned every day.  And sometimes, freedom must be earned every moment of the day, too.  A simple example of how we can give up our freedoms for a moment,  it that of going to a theater or movie: You are asked to suspend your sense of reality and disbelief and enter into the world and sensations that the actors are creating for you.   You give up your personal freedom for a while to live as the actors would have you live for a slice of your day.   This was your decision, you might say…  but with the advent of subliminal marketing, and other methodologies for unconsciously affecting your behavior, we can be trained to make decisions that are not truly free.

Similarly, a person in pain will go to a specialist, and will decide to trust the specialist’s recommendations.   This is logical, and when the pain goes away it usually justifies our decision, but what if our parents taught us to blindly follow our “superior’s” instructions and we haven’t bothered to research and find out if the specialist is truly worth listening to?  Well, we run the risk of losing more of our freedom as we fall into a pattern of blind obedience.

Even libertarians can lose their freedom when they blindly follow conclusions that are no longer valid.  For example, many extreme libertarians prefer to live away from others, in undeveloped lands (“off the grid” they call it) and have to drive long distances when they or their children need health, educational, and other services that only modern population centers offer.  They choose not to benefit from the technology and other normal conditions of modern towns and cities.  They choose to pay lower taxes in exchange for restrictions when they need to interact with others, and in my humble opinion they also lose out in opportunities to continue learning from others.   This is so because freedom, liberty, is now much more complex than just being free to speak or do what you want.

The freedoms to:  learn, experiment, invent,  travel, communicate instantly,
among other modern freedoms, require us to work with others and achieve results by means of leadership and cooperation, both.   These modern freedoms, including the freedom to think creatively, the freedom to be different, are not achieved by returning to our past as lonely cave dwellers, or small forest tribes, or any other “exclusionary” lifestyles.  The only exception I can think of is when we purposefully do so for a short period of time in order to hone a skill or learn something special that requires extreme privacy (as the mystics and spiritual searchers sometimes do).  Otherwise, our very presence in a small exclusionary group can limit our freedom to create a better future as we work very hard at reliving the destiny of those that came before us:  Traditions are useful for teaching children, but not for adults who want to expand their freedoms and help humanity thrive and expand beyond what we now consider normal.

New freedoms, such as those mentioned above,  are part of what I call the 21st Century Renaissance (the Space Renaissance), because we have the option of human expansion beyond our lonely planet.  Disruptive technologies of all sorts are transforming how we live, how we communicate, travel, get lodging, etc. and as new  expressions of freedom, are often opposed by the powerful elites who wish to protect the status quo.    Do you want to exercise new freedoms?  Do you want to continue living better than your parents did?  Or do you want to go back to the age of outhouses and uneducated masses?

Freedom must be earned every day, and I invite you all to expand your minds to identify the different opportunities every day offers for you to be more free, more creative, and… to achieve your dreams.

Manuel (Manny) Perez, CAMS, MPA  is a certified Master Coach with Coaching Hispano USA, and specializes in helping entrepreneurs and dreamers achieve their goals.   His corporate, government and non-profit experience make him a powerful community leader and motivational speaker capable of working with all sorts of innovators and people who exercise their freedoms.   He is also president of Space Renaissance USA and Co-Chair of the Cryptocurrency Standards Association, and an elected representative of his local community in Queens, NYC.

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Civilian or Military Pilots for US Space Development?

At Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon “Triple Nickel” aircraft pilot assigned to the 555th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron from Aviano Air Base, Italy, awaits weapons check, July 14, 2015.One of the effects of the Space Renaissance is the great variety of opportunities for those individuals who want to excel at new technologies and activities.  These Individuals have skills and personality traits that make them prime candidates for top military positions, such as fighter pilots, who are the main source of pilots for launch vehicles.   And, as we move away from the NASA Control Center model of space launches into the more decentralized reusable launch vehicles model, we can expect to need even more trained and skilled pilots.

But the US Air Force is facing a shortage of 700 fighter pilots, the best of the best, in 2016 and they say it is due to the competition from the private and commercial aviation industry.  The news report on this situation can be found at

The military and many space flight experts already know that 100% robotics solutions are much more costly than using human pilots, especially in the demanding environment of fighter jets.  Experts I have read affirm that the best use for robotics is to support the highly trained and flexible human pilot (in the case of fighter jets).   This is also true for space vehicles, in which it is best to have a human coordinating and lowering costs by setting up the robotic system according to the needs of the moment.

Private industry led space development is much more flexible and adaptable than military or government led efforts, and that is why Space Renaissance USA and all the organizations that are part of the global Space Renaissance Initiative applaud the way NASA is creating opportunities for civilian contractors to assume critical roles in their projects.   This is definitely the best way to deal with shortages: of pilots and of new ways of lowering costs as we promote humanity’s access to space and the resources (and opportunities) it offers us.

Space Renaissance USA, ( the team that is pushing for US leadership in private industry space development and travel, is also looking for top notch candidates for membership.  The Renaissance needs all sorts of skills to be promoted, and for leaders to be helped as the world is transformed and we reach out into space:  you and I really have the opportunity to be part of that future!

Note: The author is also President of Space Renaissance USA.


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