IdeaScale Nation

NASA: Sometimes the Innovative Solution to Your Problem Already Exists. You Just Need to Find It!

January 22, 2020 IdeaScale Season 1 Episode 10
IdeaScale Nation
NASA: Sometimes the Innovative Solution to Your Problem Already Exists. You Just Need to Find It!
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IdeaScale Nation
NASA: Sometimes the Innovative Solution to Your Problem Already Exists. You Just Need to Find It!
Jan 22, 2020 Season 1 Episode 10
IdeaScale

NASA, one of the biggest leaders in innovation, discusses how they allow their 20000 participants in their crowdsourced innovation program, NASA @ work, helps people save millions of dollars and time by communicating across different departments potentially in different timezones. Carissa Callina, Ryon Stewart, and Jeff Doi in this podcast teach us how they get and keep their community involved, how they move the process along, and the kinds of incentives they give out as rewards that aren't monetary. The innovation team helps NASA completely transform, as how the organization did things ten years ago is completely different from how NASA @ work is run today. According to Stewart and others at NASA, innovation is "1% inspiration, 99% perspiration". 

Show Notes Transcript

NASA, one of the biggest leaders in innovation, discusses how they allow their 20000 participants in their crowdsourced innovation program, NASA @ work, helps people save millions of dollars and time by communicating across different departments potentially in different timezones. Carissa Callina, Ryon Stewart, and Jeff Doi in this podcast teach us how they get and keep their community involved, how they move the process along, and the kinds of incentives they give out as rewards that aren't monetary. The innovation team helps NASA completely transform, as how the organization did things ten years ago is completely different from how NASA @ work is run today. According to Stewart and others at NASA, innovation is "1% inspiration, 99% perspiration". 

Ryon Stewart:

A lot of people think of innovation as kind of getting lucky. It's almost as if, you know, you're either a genius or you just happened to come upon some really great idea. But uh, often in fact most of the time the , the solution to your problem already exists somewhere. You just need to be able to find it. And that's the hard thing nowadays is finding it. There are all these great technologies that are really cheap and affordable for anyone across the world to own and innovate upon. And so finding, finding the innovative solution is no longer going to your big GEs and Microsofts and there , it's not just their R and D is someone who lives across the world in a garage. And so being able to connect to those people requires IdeaScale and other similar platforms, you know , things like that to , to be able to connect to the global network. And so putting in the work to find those people and then take in there. And then once they even have that solution, that by itself does nothing. You know, you have to be able to integrate that into your, what you're doing. You have to understand what you need and then you have to be able to , to find what it is and then you have to be able to integrate it into your team and your processes.

Jessica Day:

welcome to the IdeaScale nation podcast, everyone where we're talking to change makers and intrapreneurs, innovation program leaders, future and some more. But this month, we are talking to some innovation leaders at the Center Of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation from NASA. We've got Carissa Callini , Ryon Stewart and Jeff Doi. Um, I have to say, kind of goes without saying that it's really exciting to have NASA as a guest on your podcast because everybody already thinks of you as an innovative and exciting organization. You think the moon, you think Mars, but you guys get to work on both like large and small, big and small granular problems about things like going to Mars. So I'm really excited to hear what we can learn from you today. So Carissa , Ryon, Jeff, welcome to the podcast. Can each of you introduce yourselves and tell us what your unique role is on the collaborative innovation team?

Carissa Callini:

You bet. And thanks for having us here today. My name's Carissa Callini and I lead our NASA work program. Uh , NASA At Work is NASA's internal crowdsourcing tool, which is really an enterprise knowledge sharing activity as well as an idea generation , um, place where we get as many folks as we can , uh , that are contractors or civil servants , uh , to participate in solving some of NASA's challenges. Um, so it's, it's really exciting. It's lots of fun and there's lots of , um, a lot that goes to it. Uh, not just running challenges but also , uh, the whole award processing, meeting solvers and talking to them and working with the community. It's, it's pretty cool. And one of the things that all three of us kind of dabble in , um, in different forms is a challenge coordination. And so what that means is basically we are Sherpas for, for our teams and we really guide them through the entire process. So , um, no matter what the challenge is , whether it's on the NASA at work platform or some of our other platforms, that we, that where we engage the public , uh, we are constantly removing barriers for our challenge owners , uh , making sure that we get them through the process and literally hold their hand until the challenge is completed. So that's something that we all do. Um, but I'll let them speak to the rest.

Jeff Doi:

Hi, my name's Jeff Doi and my official title is Business Business and Data Integration. And so that basically means I care about team processes and I care about , uh , basically we do a request for proposal when we have kind of challenge solicitation process. And so I do the integration and review of those, the evaluations that we get in.

Ryon Stewart:

Hello, I'm Ryon Stewart . I do open innovation development for our group. And so on top of doing challenge coordination and a little bit of a lot of other things , uh, effectively and evangelists for our group. So , uh , help give roadshows to , uh , folks to explain what we do to explain the benefits of open innovation and crowdsourcing. Um, and to hopefully bring in more challenges and get more work done such that , uh, NASA and the taxpayers can continue to save money.

Jessica Day:

I love that. I think that that's one of the neat things about your story too, how much savings is central to your mission. And so one of the things that's really unique about you guys in your program that's different from a lot of the other people that we have on the podcast is that you guys have been doing this for a long time. Eight years is a relatively long time to be doing collaborative and open innovation. So I'm sure you have tons of lessons learned along the way and maybe you've had a misstep mirror every so often. So maybe let's talk about things that look different today versus eight years ago when the program started.

Carissa Callini:

Yeah. So I'll, I'll start off and I'll let , uh , Ryan and Jeff jump in as well. But , um, I think from the beginning we were always doing some central things like running challenges and , and that was kind of one of our core things. Um, and, and that has stayed with us throughout and whether the team size has grown or shrunk or changed , um, you know, that piece has always maintained. And I would say through it, through , um, the evolution. I think we've become a well oiled machine because when we started out, you know, with like anything, right, we were trying to feel our way through it. Um, starting with new processes, getting people on board to understand what we were really trying to do. And I think as time went on, you know, our story kept changing, our stories changing for the better , um, you know, becoming more efficient and the way we were asking questions, the way we were working with people and to where now, you know, and I think in the last couple of years even, we've become more of a well oiled machine where we have, you know, our marketing that we do, the road shows and things where we talk to people, we have things to hand out to people. We have , um, you know, just much more capabilities. And I'll let you guys jump in as well.

Ryon Stewart:

So one thing to add to that is that something that has not really changed is the fact that we're always changing. Like even since I've been in the group for basically just a year, and when I look at the way that we talked about our group, the slides that we used, the forms that we have people fill out when they want to run a challenge. It changed a few months of me being here. It's changing again right now it's, they're so different and our team works really hard to consider the perspective of the people we're presenting to and to try to make the process more efficient. Jeff's really good at that part of his job and so trying, trying to constantly change to make things better is something we're always doing. And so I think it would be interesting to , if we're able to see even the documents and things we use back then, I bet they're so different than I have today. Yeah, the systems are completely different,

Carissa Callini:

right ? Yeah. [inaudible]

Jeff Doi:

that was one of the fun things when Ryan first rolled on is that we were tweaking all the documentation that we had already generated. Um , but one thing to add to our background in our history is that in 2015 is when we released the NASA open innovation services contract. And that's basically when we, that was the next state. That was the evolution of our group, right when we moved from a piloting phase of proving out open innovation to now we have 10 contractors on contract, you know, up to a value with like $20 million potentially. Um, so it's , it's really evolved and changed just from 2011 to 2015 and up to now.

Jessica Day:

Well, let's talk about then you were sort of starting to mention how all of you joined at different times. Why don't you tell us how each of you came aboard the team?

Carissa Callini:

So I think I've technically been here the longest, so that's crazy. Um, but , uh, I, you know, it was funny, we were talking about this a little bit yesterday just in preparation and , um, you know, a lot of times when you read a job you're like, what is that? Right? Cause you're not really sure what you're getting into. And so , um , I had actually come from the chemical industry and I was, I was interested in looking something, looking for something different , um, or I wasn't really doing chemistry anymore. And so I , I found this position that had opened, you know , uh, for one of the NASA contractors and I looked really interesting, but I wasn't really sure what it was going to be until I started doing it. Which , um, the job in itself has evolved over time and I think that's, that's really cool and exciting. Um , because it's , it hasn't stayed stagnant. Um, it's always changing and we'll see where we go from here.

Jeff Doi:

As for me, I started an ESSA doing some science and engineering jobs and positions in , in , and float around a little bit and eventually found myself into NASA. It labs, which is kind of a shark tanky ish type of thing for It development , um , software applications at NASA. Um, and eventually a manager came and asked me about this position and I heard about it and I'm like, that sounds really cool. I'd love to get involved. And that's how I got to COSI.

Ryon Stewart:

So I was at, I came to NASA nine years ago, full time as a flight controller and instructor for the international space station. So my work was very different. I was working mission control , um, often weekends, overnight , uh , during missions, et cetera . And I enjoyed that. It's pretty cool that I would click a mouse button and I'd flip the international space station around 180 degrees. I mean, like, dude , you can't do that anywhere else. But , uh, at the same time, and I was , I was doing that. I was teaching astronauts, I was teaching people to do all that stuff, but I really enjoyed it. But I honestly got to a point where it just like with any job I wanted to do something else and uh, I wanted to get ahead of it's really feeling like a job. And uh, I saw the job req for this and funny thing was it was a three or four sentences long. It was very short. It was just enough to tease me to , to sound interesting and included something along the lines of the coolest job in the federal government. And I bought it. And so I went and talked to our manager and had like basically a impromptu discussion for like an hour. And I thought that without even really knowing what crowdsourcing was, I really liked the work and then got really lucky that this whole open innovation and crowdsourcing world is also really cool. And so it was, it was a great combination of things and I'm really happy where I'm at now.

Jessica Day:

I think it's like a very common characteristic of people who work in innovation. But what you enjoy about it is you get beyond your single department or your single frame of reference and you get to work with a bunch of different groups. And that's certainly to be true with crowdsourcing, gets surprised by some of the people that you get to join and get exposed to. But I know one of the things that you do is you're continuously learning about best practices or methodologies in this space. And I, when we hosted the webinar a few weeks ago, you talked about the concept of lasso as part of your problem development. Can you explain lasso and how you've applied it?

Carissa Callini:

Sure. You bet. Um, so lasso is a challenge definition technique that we actually learned from Innocentive that they taught us , um, several years ago. And it's, and it's something that we still use and I think holds true today, especially for NASA at work. Um, and, and the types of challenges that we host on NASA at work. Um, basically what it, what it helps you do. And we, and we worked through this with our challenge owners , um , using a challenge worksheet to just kind of gather their thoughts, right. Um , on the background of their problem and , and what they're really looking to get out of the challenge and their requirements and all those, all those good things. And what it helps us do is really make sure that their challenge is a good fit for NASA at work and really any of the platforms that we, that we use. But , um, but specifically for NASA at work, we want to make sure that it's , um, limited in scope, that it's not such a broad problem that it would take like a team of 40 people to work on it, where one person can contribute and really add value. Um, it has to be actionable so that, you know, the results of the challenge, the , the challenge owners and the technical teams or nontechnical teams can take those solutions and ideas and actually move them forward. Um, so it has to be actionable. It has to be specific enough again, so that it's not , um , going to take someone 40 hours of work. Uh, you know, to, to, to work on it. Um, and that's, that's kind of a different space for us. Um, when we ask people to do that. And that's not something that we do on NASA at work. Um, and It, it has to be sponsored and owned so that the, the teams that come to us, their management is onboard with running a challenge. Uh, the team is bought in to running a challenge. Everyone agrees this is a great idea and they own the problem. Um , because, and that is one of the biggest things is, you know, I can fix Ryon and Jeff's problem, or like Ryon and Jeff have this problem, you know, but, but I don't own it. Right. And they are the ones that own it. And so any ideas I get, I can't move forward because I don't, I don't actually own the problem. And so that's one of the things that we always ensure on our NASA work platform is that whoever comes to us, they are the true owners because that, those are the folks that are going to be able to take the ideas, move them forward. And not only is it a benefit to them, but it's also a benefit to our NASA or community because our community knows, okay, this team is actually gonna work on this. They're going to , you know, if my idea is awarded, they're actually gonna implement it somehow. And so that's, that's the part that's , um, that's really exciting for NASA at work. Um, but that, that's what , uh , we use a lasso for

Jeff Doi:

and that's like one of my favorite parts of , of when we, when our team tries to apply lasso . Cause when Carissa and Ryan and I discuss the challenge brief or a contents brief, sometimes we don't even agree on the application of last . So , and it results in a very good conversation in developing how that contest prompt looks.

Jessica Day:

I [inaudible] what's interesting to me too is it aligns with a lot of the best practices that we see for our most successful customers. As you say, they meet or exceed all of their original goals. It's one of those things that's really important is alignment with the business need and that leadership buy in . So I know that there will be implementation. Um, can each of you tell me one of your favorite stories about , um, an innovation challenge and some of its results that it generated?

Carissa Callini:

So one of my favorite stories is about a year or two ago, we had the international space station program come to us because they had some extra crew time that they wanted to fill. Um, and they were kind of in a pinch because they needed to feel it pretty quickly. And so they came to NASA at work and we decided to run a challenge on what , uh , science and research ideas had , um, for the opportunity to have that research flown on the international space station. And so, aside from our usual NASA at work , um, rewards and things that we offer, really their true reward was getting their science on the space station. So as you can imagine, people were super pumped. Everyone was really excited. We probably , I think we had at least over 20 proposals submitted for that particular challenge and nine of them were selected , um, to, to potentially move forward. And so , uh, and so, aside from everyone really being into the challenge and it being kind of really exciting , uh, one of, in talking with the ISS program afterwards, they , they told me that using this process saved them probably about a million dollars. Because I know it was, it was insane. Like they told me and I was like, are you serious? [inaudible] really , I mean, to me that was one of the most exciting things. Um , just the way it all worked out and the way things happened. But , uh, but yeah, so that was, that was super exciting.

Ryon Stewart:

I was actually, when I was thinking about this question you just asked , um , I'm surprised by the answer I come up with because my favorite things that I've had so far when I get most excited isn't, hasn't even really been the big wins. Cause we talk about big wins and those are often how we can sell what we're doing to folks. You know, there's, there's examples of people , uh , finding solutions. We're saved to $5 million or one point $3 million. Those are really good to talk about and they are really cool. But honestly when you put in the work and you're um, you know, you start with a road show or you start with some, some way of convincing somebody to use this platform, it's so nontraditional that they're putting a lot of trust in us. And so I feel that in one way you kick off a challenge. Like we have one right now for a sequel database user interface. It's very straightforward and they're just can't use their old tool and they need a new one. And certainly people have used this in NASA and outside of NASA, there are definitely answers but they don't know them. And so coming coming to us because they're trusting us. This was brand new, they didn't know about us even a month ago and it's going right now and they've already got multiple answers which are reasonable and will get the job done and it's very straightforward. But I find myself super excited. I'm running over to talk to Carissa and Jeff like we got another answer again! And the funny thing is it's, it's not even like a really hard one, but it's just so, it's so nice to see that it's working and that it's, it's, it's great that it can work for big things, but it's great that I worked for small things too.

Jessica Day:

That was one of the things that my dad always used to say actually at his job is he's just like, I love to solve a problem for someone. That's like a feeling you guys get to have on the regular. You're right . It's nice.

Jeff Doi:

Yeah. And that's actually where I take your question is like I go more towards the people and so I'm working with a contest owner at Kennedy space center and he's usually use utilizing an asset work on idea scale. And um, it just, you know, you know, you get that initial interest and he starts using it and he releases this contest. He's looking for exploration, ground systems, reduction in safety. A couple of other criteria you've received like 51 ideas. He's overwhelmed a little bit. He has to, we basically like suit , enlarge his workflow, add on a bunch of evaluators at a whole nother refinement stage so he can , uh , do a second round of evaluation. And so it's just really exciting to see when a content owner gravitates to the work and gets even more people involved.

Jessica Day:

That's really cool. Um, so I've learned some stuff actually from the best practices that your team uses. And um, one of the things that I really liked was the , um, the most powerful motivator that you had for participation was a really great lessons learned. So can you tell me what , uh, that is?

Carissa Callini:

Sure. Yeah. So , um, engagement is something that we continually try to evolve and increase. Right? Um, so we actually only have, I think 30% of the agency on our NASA work platform, so there's definitely room to grow. And so we're constantly looking for new ways , um, to get folks involved into NASA At Work. But so we're for the folks that are already on, right? Um, we wanted to do a study and we do a lot of work with Harvard university and one of the things that they did was they , they did a little research project with us where we really focused on what kind of messaging would grab people and, and get them to click to get them to click on the challenge, get them interested. Um, was it the mission? Was it, you know, was it being tied to, you know , uh , solving a problem? Was it the rewards? You know, what, what were the aspects that was really getting people in? And the thing that became statistically significant was the fact that people were engaged in asset work for managerial recognition. Um , so I don't know what that says out about , uh , you know , managerial recognition in general, but, but , uh, to me that is, we honed in on that immediately. And that's something that we take very seriously now. And then we do it in a couple of ways , um, where, you know, our solvers who solve the problems , uh , we recognize them to their management by sending their managers an email, letting them know that they've won an asset or challenge. Um, but the second part of that is, is really , um , highlighting our challenge owners as well. Those teams that come to us with their problems and , and post them on , um, uh , NASA At Work. And so because they are really the true heroes, you know, for , for the platform and for doing this kind of crowdsourcing activity. And so now we, we recognize them as well and , and send their managers a nice letter highlighting all the leadership characteristics and things that they did throughout the challenge and how they were engaged in the whole process.

Ryon Stewart:

So just to add onto that , um, creating new engagements is a huge part of it as well. You want to keep a pipeline going and we've, I mentioned it earlier, but our road show is how we've continued to get more and more engagements. And in the road show we really focus on , um, the , the metrics and data that we've captured so far and highlighting the successes that we've had. And the hard part for someone who's just starting is you won't have those successes, but once you start building them, they are a very strong story. But before that happens, the great thing is there's lots of industry examples of great successes and many people just aren't aware of those things. And so if you go to an engineer or a scientist or what have you, and you can say, Hey, you know, these, these amazing things happen and they're happening now and you don't know about it. And if, if you don't, if you don't start utilizing these tools or taking advantage of them, then you're not going to catch up. But you're going to get left behind. And staying relevant is becoming particularly difficult. And if you want to be relevant, you need to use this. And it's a story that sticks. And it's been surprising that, you know, across generations, people are understanding where technology and things are going and it's worked out really well. We've, we've got a lot of new engagements because of it.

Jessica Day:

I think it's very interesting that that's actually one of like the core parts of your functions is education. Like that this is a solution that they can use. And it's another thing that I took away from some of our conversations that you're right, it is a really vulnerable thing to, t o like raise your hand and say, I need help doing this. And the other thing that makes them the hero, u m, and that they should receive recognition for i s they're the ones who are g oing t o implement it t oo. So they have to take it across the finish line. So I love that you make them the heroes. These are the change makers in your organization. Now here's a sort of the, u h, Rorschach test for everybody that comes on the idea scale nation podcast. U m, we ask everyone what the word innovation means to you. So I'm interested to hear how each of you would answer that. Who wants to start?

Ryon Stewart:

Uh, so I'm going to kind of steal from our deputy manager. He has a really nice slide on this. I'm going to , I'm going to steal. So , um , uh , talking about innovation, it's a 1% , uh, shooting it up. Sorry guys, 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. And have you, maybe you've heard this before, but I had not heard this before, but that really spoke to me. And the reason for that is a lot of people think of innovation as kind of getting lucky. It's almost as if , um, you know, you're either a genius or you just happen to come upon some really great idea, but , uh, often in fact most of the time the , the solution to your problem already exists somewhere. You just need to be able to find it. And that's the hard thing nowadays is finding it. There are all these great technologies that are really cheap and affordable for anyone across the world to own and innovate upon. And so finding, finding the innovative solution is no longer going to your big GEs and Microsofts and their , it's not just their R and, D, it's someone who lives across the world in a garage. And so , uh, being able to connect to those people requires the IdeaScale and other similar platforms, you know, things like that to , to be able to connect to the global network. And so putting in the work to find those people and then take in there and then once they even have that solution, that by itself does nothing, you know, you have to be able to integrate that into your, what you're doing. You have to understand what you need and then you have to be able to, to find what it is and then you have to be able to integrate it into your team and your processes. And really, I see the future of work changing significantly. It's, it's no longer in house doing everything. It's a lot of integration work where you're bringing in the best solutions across the world. But fortunately we'll all continue to know what we do the most. And so hopefully we all continue to do the same kind of work in that way.

Jessica Day:

I think it was Chesbrough who said that companies need to now adopt the tagline, proudly found elsewhere. You know, that's a real attitude shift for sure .

Carissa Callini:

Yeah. And for NASA at work specifically, you know, I , you know, speaking and adding onto what, what Ryan was saying, that the innovation that we find on NASA work is the dot connecting. You know, it's really the dot connecting where, you know, folks may not even realize that someone at their own center is working on something similar or something that just has a different application. Um, so it's really cool to, to see , uh, as we run NASA were challenges, the kinds of dot connecting that can happen. And, and the amazing results that come of it.

Ryon Stewart:

I , I find it kind of unfair for the sake of innovation if innovation where its own entity that it has the buzzwordy , um, uh , that feels like this. So buzzwordy cause it's not innovations fault. It's often the people , uh, who, who set it up incorrectly, right? So people will say, we're gonna have an innovation day. And then they have post-its cup , very colorful post-its on a, on a lunch table. And then you, you have fun and then you leave with, you know, you feel good about yourself, but nothing comes from that. But that's not innovations fault. And so I think that's part of the problem is that we often you say innovation, if you ever kind of go, Oh man, you know, like this thing again, you know, it's kind of like I have real work to do and it's not innovations fault that, that it's often turned into the wrong thing. And so we find ourselves in the position frequently of having to balance, do I say the word innovation or do we, do we grab hold of it and say, you know what, we know that often it's, it's buzzwordy, but it's not, you know, it's, it's real work. It's real. You just have to push through what you have already had to deal with in the past. Yeah.

Jessica Day:

If someone wanted to start building a team like yours to start solving some of the problems like you do, what do you think? Um, the most important qualities should be that they should hire for or look for within their teams?

Carissa Callini:

Uh , so one of the things that I think , uh, they need to be is flexible because a , and, and a role or in a team like this, I'm working with crowdsourcing it and doing these kinds of activities. You have to be flexible. You have to , um, things are always changing. Um, especially in our team. Maybe there's a couple of days where we work on challenges, maybe we work on different kinds of challenges, and then another day we're doing a podcast. So, you know, it's always changing. So you never know. Um, but yeah, I would say people that are flexible, able to communicate well , um, you know, especially, you know, being at NASA, like you have to understand technical things. Uh, you have to understand technical problems. Maybe not be the ones solving it, but just understand it enough to articulate it into a challenge. Um, and so I think being flexible, being able to communicate are all, are really strong characteristics.

Ryon Stewart:

I think understanding people is important as well. It kind of goes communication, but we work with so many different types of people and we're coming at him with something so different than they've ever seen before. And it's scary when you get something new. It's hard, you know, when we're like, Hey, you know the thing you've been doing all the time, even in one way all the time we have a new way. Oh yeah. Other people say they have new ways too, but our new ways, butter. [inaudible] so , you know, you have to learn to deal with rejection. You have to, you know, you have to anticipate rejection. You have to know dissipate the questions you're going to get. And so you have to have a lot of for foresight. But , uh , yeah, I think particularly understanding your audience, understanding your crowd is very, very important.

Jeff Doi:

I mean , even within our room, I don't within our team a diversity, right? Like just, we have completely different backgrounds, completely work experiences of which is , which leads to a lot of great discussion as well as well able to provide con , uh , coordinators that can relate to them a little better.

Ryon Stewart:

Yeah, that's true. Yeah . Diversity just among the teams. Yeah.

Jessica Day:

Yeah. I mean, and the Harvard business reviews done some studies about that too. How important diversity is to innovation in general. So I'd see that being reflected on your team being very powerful. So we're coming to the end of our time together. Can you tell me what the future for collaborative innovation at NASA looks like?

Ryon Stewart:

Do you want this short then? Yeah, it's exciting. I can tell you that in the year that I've been here, there is no doubt significantly , uh, more work coming through us than there was in the past. And I anticipated only growing. I, I truly believe that we're starting to get more adoption and more understanding , uh, that we can't operate as we did 10 years ago, even 20 years ago because things just aren't the same anymore. And it, it often feels like things are changing, but maybe they don't have to when you're, when you're out on, out on your own. But , um, it, we, we found it is our job to explain to people that things are changing and they have to change the way that they work, which off , which may or may not include utilizing us , uh, when they're trying to get projects done.

Carissa Callini:

Yeah. Just to add onto that, I think, you know, especially at NASA, right, one of our missions now is to have boots on the moon by 2024. I mean, people know that that is, that is a hard goal. That that is not something easy and they have to do things differently. So , so to Ryon's point, I think there's a lot of , um, external drivers that are also pushing people to maybe things they would have done something on a more traditional route, but now they're like, okay, we have this added pressure, so we're going to do whatever we can to get the mission done. And, and I think that's going to be great for us , um , because they're going to continue to use NASA at work and the other tools that we have available.

Ryon Stewart:

Yeah. But , uh, one additional thing is that like , we're also very realistic and practical. Like Jeff, we know is as well , but we all are. I , it's it , there's there, we know that it's not going to be all of the sudden the 60,000 plus that support NASA that are going to be saying, Hey, sign us up. We're ready. Uh , our projects are perfect for what you're doing. It's just not going to be that way. There's gonna be some doubters all the time. There's gonna it's going to be slow adoption rate, but we're looking for, you know, the , the S the little bits of big wins, right? So a big win for small teams that want to come back. We're not, we're not expecting that we're going to crowd source a new rocket to get us somewhere necessarily. Not now, maybe the future. But yeah , the point being is that , uh, we, we understand kind of what our role is and it's small to start and we're trying to get bigger because we want to help. But , uh, I think being, being realistic is very important so that we are happy as we move forward. As well.

Jeff Doi:

Yeah, of course. I mean, I think the, the tangible things being that we S we get less eye rolls when we mentioned innovation and using crowd sourcing . We there are actually people more questions are being asked and to to use these services and um, and initiatives are being started at NASA to kind of grapple with, with the generations coming into the workforce and how we can utilize these tools.

Carissa Callini:

Yeah. And just add on to that. We've seen I think in the last six months or two year, a surge in people wanting to partner with our group, whether it's through NASA, at work or through other , um , through other challenge areas. You know, other government agencies as well. Yeah. And other government agencies as well. You know, people are wanting to partner because they know they have to do things differently. So , um, it may be slow, but I think it , it's definitely on the increase.

Ryon Stewart:

And we've actually, one thing that's kind of neat is we've even, we've been to different leadership talks that they put on at our center and we've seen, we've seen leadership have have themes that resonated with the kind of themes we try to talk about who didn't even know us or did it, weren't doing it because of us. And then of course we were like, Hey we need to talk and now we've got them doing NASA at work challenges . But it's good to see that. I think everyone at NASA is starting to understand that things are changing and utilizing platforms like these are very important.

Jessica Day:

well I definitely think that it's really cool that the, you know, the amount of partners, the amount of challenges that they running is increasing. And I'm sure some of it is like the pressure of some of the big problems to solve and this knowledge that uh , there's a way to do things differently. But a lot of that is also definitely cause you guys are great cheerleaders for this message and you're definitely bringing a lot of people along with you. So thank you for coming on the podcast and telling us how you do it. And , um, hopefully we'll get an update on, you know, as it continues to grow.

Carissa Callini:

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for having us.