By Chris Loll, Chief Operating Officer, North America, IPG Mediabrands
At dinner I sat next to a start-up founder, a professor, a doctor and an astronaut.
Her name is Mae Jemison.
Sitting next to such an accomplished person is the perfect time to remember why we have one mouth and two ears.
Mae leads one of the most audacious projects in human existence: Interstellar space exploration with the goal of travelling to another solar system within the next 100 years. Her organization, 100 Year Starship, exists to make this impossibility a reality.
To put that distance in perspective, there is a probe that was launched in the 1970’s that has been travelling at over 35,000 miles per hour since then and is only 1/3,625th of the way there.
But while this topic fascinates me and scares me, it is not the point.
The reason Mae started this organization is because she knows that to even contemplate such an impossible mission, the best from each and every field would need to come together to solve never-before-thought-of problems.
Botanists, engineers, textile manufacturers, psychologists, architects… all need to come together and foresee unforeseeable problems.
While we aren’t solving for space travel, marketing is similarly challenged with solving problems it has yet to encounter. Our ability to work across disciplines, bringing together diverse skill sets is fundamental in our ability to solve a problem.
Analysts, strategists, designers, researchers, developers… all need to come together to build a future for marketing.
Mae’s real mission is much closer to home. The capabilities needed to accomplish human interstellar travel are the same that we need today to continue to thrive on planet Earth.
In other words, reach for the stars and you’ll land on the moon.
[author name=”Chris Loll” image=”/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/rsz_people_chris.jpg” facebook=”” twitter=”” google=”” instagram=”https://www.instagram.com/_nataliesimone_/” website=”” name_text_color=”#ffffff” background=”#161616″] Chris drives growth and creativity across our network. To do so, he partners with the North American and global leadership teams to operationalize key initiatives, including the network’s broader automation goals, and ensures maximum efficiency through continued innovation and shared best practices. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology and Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy, before completing his MBA from UCLA.