Ron Garan

Astronauts, Inspirational, Leadership, Science, Technology, TED Talk Speaker

Travels from Texas, USA

Ron Garan's speaking fee falls within range:
$30,000 to $50,000

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Ron Garan Profile

When veteran astronaut Ron Garan blasted up into space, his perspective of humanity and all the problems we face changed forever. During his 178 days in orbit and 27 hours and 3 minutes of EVA during four spacewalks, he saw earth as a much smaller place where the exponential increase in technology was making the impossible possible on a daily basis, creating a much more interdependent global community.

A highly decorated fighter and test pilot, explorer, entrepreneur, and humanitarian, Ron inspires people to put aside their differences and destructive competitive tendencies so that they can work together for common goals. Drawing from his own unique experience working with a diverse group of people in a stressful environment with virtually no privacy, he shows how humanity can focus on what we have in common rather than let our differences tear us apart.

Outside the speaking circuit, Ron is involved in various environmental projects. Amongst others he is the founder of the “Manna Energy Foundation”, a non-profit environmental organization to help poverty alleviation through the provision of renewable energy, biogas reactors, high efficiency cook stoves, clean water, and sanitation. He also founded “Fragile Oasis” to use the perspective of our planet from space to inspire people on Earth to take better care of the environment and each other.

Ron is the author of the recently published The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles. He is also currently working on a children’s book Railroad to the Moon.

  • View Extended/Alternate Bio

    Seeing our planet from space puts humanity’s common challenges into perspective. Ron Garan is a retired NASA astronaut who has traveled 71,075,867 miles in 2,842 orbits of our planet during more than 178 days in space and 27 hours and 3 minutes of EVA during four spacewalks.

    Ron is also a highly decorated fighter pilot, test pilot, explorer, entrepreneur and humanitarian who believes that appropriately designed and targeted social enterprise can solve many of the problems facing our world.

    Ron flew on both the US Space Shuttle and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. He is also an aquanaut and participated in the joint NASA-NOAA, NEEMO-9 mission – an exploration research mission held in Aquarius, the world’s only undersea research laboratory. During this mission, he and the crew spent 18 continuous days living and working on the ocean floor.

    Ron Garan’s last NASA assignment was with the administration’s Open Innovation Initiative to increase transparency, collaboration and innovation within government. In this capacity, Ron has been involved in many global mass collaboration and citizen science programs.

    Prior to retiring from the US government, Ron was on assignment with the US Agency for International Development (USAID). At USAID he led an effort called Unity Node to develop a universal, open source, collaborative platform to enable humanitarian organizations around the world to work together toward common goals and assisted USAID to establish an Applied Research for Development Program.

    Ron Garan has a sizeable social media following (3.5 million) and is included on Google Plus’ “Top 25 Followed” and Kred’s “Top 1% Influencer” lists. Ron has been effectively using these platforms to tell the success story of the US and International Space Programs and started an initiative called Fragile Oasis to using his “Orbital Perspective” to inspire people to improve life on Earth.

    Outside of his work with the US government, Ron Garan is also a serial entrepreneur who has founded multiple business enterprises and social-impact focused start-ups including Manna Energy Ltd., which was created to leverage the $120B/year Carbon Market to finance humanitarian projects in developing countries. Manna Energy is the first organization in the world to successfully register a United Nations Clean Development Mechanism carbon credit program for water treatment. Manna also developed, under contract with a partner organization, the largest water treatment intervention conducted by a private organization – a four-million person program operating in Kenya, completely funded by carbon credits.

    Ron represented Manna Energy Ltd as one of ten global innovators in the field of water purification during the 2009 Launch-Water forum (sponsored by NASA, US State Dept., USAID, and Nike) and is now a member of the Launch Council.

    Ron has also been selected as the technical and scientific advisor to the Social Business movement and its founder Nobel Peace Laureate Mohammad Yunus.

Ron Garan Speaking Videos

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Ron Garan's Speech Descriptions

Ron Garan has a compelling and inspiring way of making his experiences relevant to audience members whether they’re senior-level executives or the general public. Drawing from his lengthy career in which survival often literally depends on a team’s ability to cooperate, he demonstrates that the things we have in common are far more valuable than those which divide us. No matter your sector, Ron relates his professional past and unique knowledge of technological advances to the needs and demands facing your group today.

The Orbital Perspective Lessons Learned from a Journey of 71 Million Miles

Explore topics affecting society, business, the environment, and our lives through the lens of the orbital perspective: trends, patterns and truths emerge that can shift our understanding and perception in a profoundly positive way. Discussing a long-term, big-picture perspective has the power to transform ourselves, our communities, our companies, our nations and the world.

Leadership in the 21st Century: The Key is We

The true leaders of the 21st century will be those who understand that we can no longer go it alone. The problems facing our world are too big, the challenges too critical and potential catastrophe too imminent to adhere to the old way of doing things. We must be able to find ways to set aside our differences and work together toward our common goals. The successful companies of the future will also realize that they can do well by doing good. Ron Garan knows firsthand that the definition of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is being turned on its head.

Exploration is in Our DNA: Change is Risky Business

The desire to see over the next hill has propelled humanity to ever-increasing capabilities. In society's rapidly changing landscape, not exploring new ways to push human capabilities is no longer an option. With any change comes risk. Ron Garan pulls from decades of risk management experience as a seasoned fighter pilot and astronaut and drives home the point that today, the riskiest course of action is to do nothing. Organizations need to embrace change and understand that the riskiest course of action is to keep doing the same things the same way.

Innovation: Beyond the Buzzword

Innovation is not doing the same thing better, it's doing something completely new and radically better. The fundamentals of business are transforming and the impossible is becoming possible on a daily basis. Ron Garan illustrates how exponentially increasing technology is causing trends and economic engines to develop that, if embraced and accelerated, could have a profound, positive effect on the environment, society, and a business's bottom line.

What People are Saying about Seeing Ron Speak

Rating Entries

“Ron is an extremely compelling speaker who masterfully blends his diverse professional experience and experience as an ambassador for the social business movement into a message that has left a profound positive impact on countless individuals and organizations. Using stunning imagery and compelling dialog, Ron puts the issues and challenges facing all organizations into a whole new perspective – an orbital perspective. We recommend Ron as an inspirational speaker at all our conferences and to our corporate clients.”

Hans Reitz, Founder/Managing Director, Grameen Creative Lab

“Ron Garan delivered an extremely inspirational and thought provoking address at the Association of MBAs’ Conference. His personal insight into a field that very few of us will ever get to experience combined with strong messages and lessons for the audience ensured that his participation was one of the highlights of the event. Delegate feedback reflected this. I would not hesitate to recommend Ron for other conferences as someone who has a unique story and is able to tell it in a way that delivers at both the inspirational and educational level.”

Sir Paul Judge, President, Association of MBAs

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Books by Ron Garan:

The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles

For astronaut Ron Garan, living on the International Space Station was a powerful, transformative experience—one that he believes holds the key to solving our problems here on Earth.

On space walks and through windows, Garan was struck by the stunning beauty of the Earth from space but sobered by knowing how much needed to be done to help this troubled planet. And yet on the International Space Station, Garan, a former fighter pilot, was working work side by side with Russians, who only a few years before were “the enemy.” If fifteen nationalities could collaborate on one of the most ambitious, technologically complicated undertakings in history, surely we can apply that kind of cooperation and innovation toward creating a better world. That spirit is what Garan calls the “orbital perspective.”

Garan vividly conveys what it was like learning to work with a diverse group of people in an environment only a handful of human beings have ever known. But more importantly, he describes how he and others are working to apply the orbital perspective here at home, embracing new partnerships and processes to promote peace and combat hunger, thirst, poverty, and environmental destruction. This book is a call to action for each of us to care for the most important space station of all: planet Earth. You don’t need to be an astronaut to have the orbital perspective. Garan’s message of elevated empathy is an inspiration to all who seek a better world.

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