2011-2012 ISU*USA board elections open

Please send your vote for the following positions to vote@isu-usa.org.


  • Michael Laine

Vice president

  • none


  • none

Director of IT/communications

  • none

Director for development

  • none

Nomination statement from Michael Laine:

As President, I would try to achieve three goals: 1) Call and interview everyone in the alumni network, 2) continue and expand on the website, blogs and social media efforts to connect our community and 3) create (with the active participation of the network) a 5 and 20 year plan for the association, and in conjunction with that, possibly convene a workshop to develop this.

1) I will call and interview every alumnus available in our network.   In the course of this first goal, I will create a survey to find out more about our community.  I will strip out the personal information and post the general data on the site.  I will ensure that personal and professional contact information is current.  I will do what I can to engage everyone individually.  And if they don't want to be involved with the community – without prying and without pressure – I will attempt to find out why they are disengaged.  I will ask everyone what they want from both the Association and from ISU – generally and specifically.

This way, our community knows more about itself.  I think this is important because right now, we are mostly strangers.  Personally, I don't know more than 15 people – out of more than 500.  There is no way a network can thrive with so few active nodes.  I am hoping that through this interview process, that we will – collectively – learn more about each other.  And when we know more, we can collaborate better.

2)    Naturally, I will continue the good work that Kittell and his team established through the website, blogging and their social media efforts.  I will invite/encourage others to continue this, and I (and my as-yet-unnamed team) will blog regularly.  These guys established a solid foundation that I hope can be built upon and expanded.

Before I list the final goal I will attempt as President, I'd like to preface my remarks – because some people may be offended by them, and I want to establish some context.  I really think ISU is an amazing idea.  When I tell my friends what school I went to (and I will be attending the new MBA program that begins in March) I describe it as “the closest thing to “Star Fleet Academy that exists in the real world…” And I mean that is the best possible way!  I bought into “The Three I's” in a big way.  When I went to Barcelona with SSP08, I was a real low point in my life.  I had been crushed by the economic collapse and I was trying to sort out whether or not to even ‘stay in space' as a career.  So I bought into the message.  I swallowed it hook, line and sinker.  And I have no regrets with that choice, it was the right one for me.  ISU helped me stay on the path that I wanted, and I am grateful for the opportunity they gave me.  Running for President of the US alumni association is part of my ‘pay-back'.  I hope I can help the school the way the school helped me.

I admire what this school strives for (and this is the part that may offend some folks) even when it often fails.  I think it fails in a number of areas.  However the one thing that most gets on my nerves is its apparent lack of a long-term plan.  Maybe it has one, but if so, then the failing is in its communication to the alumni.  But so far as I know, there is no plan.  And that is a problem.

And I think that lack is also reflected in our own ISU-USA organization.  I think that, because there is no clear direction ‘from the top', there really isn't a sense of what we are supposed to do, or where ISU-USA is supposed to go, here on the ground.  So while I can't control ISU's meanderings, for my final goal as President of ISU-USA I would:

3)    Develop a five and 20 year plan (rough sketch / roadmap) for ISU-USA.  This plan would include publishing to the website the Mission, Vision, Values, Objectives, Strategies, Tactics, Stakeholders, Challenges, Goals, Investments and Tasks needed to accomplish these plans.  Of course, I can't do this in a vacuum.  President does not mean Dictator.  I'd need input and advice from the entire community.  3.1) Is it possible to organize an ISU-USA workshop to tackle these problems?  I don't know – but I will explore this, when I talk to all of you.  Finally, with this proposed plan, I would hope to influence the school.  Because I'm tired of claims that “we are going to have a campus on orbit, on the Moon, on Mars and wherever humanity goes in space…” without a functional plan on how to achieve these goals.  Whether the school ultimately has a plan or not is out of my control.  However, if I am elected President, I will ensure that ISU-USA has a plan and some direction for its future. 

I don't want to be a part of an organization that is a placeholder for alumni.  I want to be President of a vibrant organization that does something about its beliefs in International, Interdisciplinary and Intercultural efforts to get to and stay in space.  I hope you feel the same way.  I would appreciate your vote.  Thanks.

Take care.
Michael Laine.
President, LiftPort Group,
Partner, Noumenia Capital Partners,
Director, Leeward Space Foundation,
Director, International Center for Nanotech Strength Applications.