University of Arizona
Introduction to the Orbital Perspective
University of Arizona

Introduction to the Orbital Perspective

Taught in English

Some content may not be translated

3,353 already enrolled


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Ron Garan

Instructor: Ron Garan


(20 reviews)

Beginner level
No prior experience required
16 hours to complete
3 weeks at 5 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

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There are 10 modules in this course

In this first lesson the student will be introduced to the concept of the Orbital Perspective and given a glimpse to its implications for our global society.

What's included

3 videos4 readings1 discussion prompt

In this lesson the student will be introduced to the history leading up to the International Space Station (ISS) partnership and to some of the technical and cultural challenges that faced the partners in the early days of the International Space Station Program

What's included

3 videos3 readings1 discussion prompt

How did we go from those early days of mistrust and suspicion to building and operating the International Space Station? What was the secret ingredient that enabled a coalition of fifteen nations to work together systematically, in a fully integrated manner, to construct and operate the most complex structure ever built in space? Is there something we can learn from how the members of the ISS program learned to overcome differences and cultural misunderstandings in order to accomplish remarkable things together? Can we use these same techniques to reach agreements on things such as alleviating poverty, mitigating climate change, or achieving peaceful solutions to long-term conflicts?”

What's included

3 videos3 readings1 quiz1 discussion prompt

In this lesson the instructor will share a profound shift in perspective experienced during his first space mission and take a deep dive into the meaning of the orbital perspective. We will also explore examples how taking an orbital perspective can affect our global society.

What's included

7 videos3 readings1 discussion prompt

In this lesson we will explore the frameworks we use to construct our view of the world and the implications of taking on a conviction that we do not have to accept the suffering and conflict on our planet as inescapable. This lesson will also compare and contrast effective and ineffective forms of collaboration.

What's included

3 videos3 readings1 quiz

In the third section of the course "Looking Forward", we will explore some of the many efforts to connect billions of minds and tap into our collective global genius. We will further examine the barriers to global collaboration and explore ways to break down those barriers. And we will hear some stories about amazing people who are building bridges to collaboration and making great strides toward overcoming our world’s biggest challenges. This lesson will also explore what factors led to success in a very high stakes situation. Participants will be exposed to some of the “perverse incentives” that limit the effectiveness of global humanitarian development and crisis response efforts. This lesson should lead to a discussion on how to better provide assistance worldwide.

What's included

2 videos4 readings1 discussion prompt

The exponential increase in collaborative technology is rapidly rewriting the way people and organizations interact. In this lesson we’ll look at several movements and initiatives that are synthesizing the orbital perspective and the worm’s eye view, making vast amounts of information accessible and bringing large groups of people together to work toward common causes. In some cases, collaboration is not facilitated by long-term personal relationships. Instead, the bond is the common cause, the shared experience, and in some cases simply being given the permission and means to help.

What's included

3 videos3 readings1 discussion prompt

In these last three concluding lessons we will connect all the previous lessons into a specific “Call to Action”. Included in the call to action is a desire to spark a global conversation about the need to have a deeper level of collaboration toward solving the world’s toughest and most seemingly intractable problem. In the lesson participants will be exposed to some of the efforts that are rewriting the way humans interact on and off our planet.

What's included

3 videos3 readings1 discussion prompt

This lesson will focus on methods to create an actual or virtual “Control Room of Spaceship Earth”.

What's included

1 video2 readings1 quiz

This concluding lesson will focus on ways to continue the momentum that was created by the course and continue to propel the Earthrise-2068 project forward.

What's included

1 video2 readings1 peer review


Ron Garan
University of Arizona
1 Course3,353 learners

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