[MUSIC] Welcome back. Last time we talked, we ended our discussion with a claim, my claim that ideas are highly overrated. That was my way of saying, what we need at this crucial moment in time is action. Decisive action to put our society on a sustainable trajectory. And by sustainable, I'm not just talking about environmental issues. We need to figure out how to overcome our differences, and build a society where people can live in harmony, where everybody's basic needs are met, and where we resolve differences through reason and compassion. Now any action leading to change involves some level of risk. One of the goals of any plan of action should be to address that risk. And I want to share with you, a two day period in my life that has shaped my outlook on risk and has affected every decision I've made concerning risk and taking risks, for the past three decades. This is a picture of me in my first operational fighter squadron in Germany. I was a very stereotypical, young fighter pilot. A little cocky and I tended to think of myself as seemingly indestructible. A few months, after that picture was taken, on September 13th 1988, I was taking off in an F-16 jet fighter on a training mission. Now up until this point, I had thousands of takeoffs and landings, and nothing had ever gone wrong, until that day. On that day, as I was rolling down the runway in my single seat, single engine F16, as I got a few feet in the air, I heard a pop followed by a loud explosion that knocked my feet off the rudder pedals, my head back into the seat. And I attempted to make a climbing turn with the goal of hopefully getting to the point where, if the engine failed, the engine appeared to be running at the moment, If it did fail I could dead stick the jet in for a landing. But as soon as I started to turn I realized that was not going to be an option today. I realized that the jet no longer had any useable thrust. And this close to the ground, my only option was to eject. My concern shifted from trying to save the jet to trying to minimize the aftermath of the jet that was about to crash. Fighter aircrafts have a button called the emergency storage jettison bottom, that If pushed, clears everything off the wings. And I thought for a second to buy some time, by jettisoning the heavy fuel tanks and the ordinance I was carrying. But I elected not to, since right in front of me was a highway with rush hour traffic and it was right off the end of the runway. At this point, I was headed straightforward to a trailer park, and I turned the aircraft a little bit to the left, to an area that was more sparsely populated. I then saw a wide open woods further to the left and I attempted to steer the aircraft there. But as soon as I started the turn, or at least try to start the turn, the jet went out of control. And it started to slice back to the right. At that point it was very apparent to me, that there was no reason for me to stay with the ship and I reached down and I pulled the ejection handle. That realization, that there was nothing more I can do, probably saved my life because I ejected about four seconds prior to impact, and less than a second from being outside of the ejection envelope. And this whole story took considerably longer to tell than what actually happened. This whole story probably occurred in a time frame of 20 seconds or less. Now, you would think a situation like that would have some kind of an effect on me. It would somehow change my outlook on flying, on life, on risk. For some reason, really unknown to me, it did not. What happened the next day however would be that life changing wake up call, that I probably just hit the snooze button on the day before. The next day, in the spirit of getting back on the horse, I was leading a formation of four F16s on a training mission. Taking off first as when I was airborne, I returned the throttle of the afterburner and I heard a pop. And I remember thinking to myself, I bet it has always done that. And I'm just now noticing it because I'm hyper sensitive and aware, I've just spent the last 24 hours in an accident investigation interview. And I knew exactly what they were going to be asking me. But the next thing I heard, was the low speed warning horn come on, indicating that I had another serious engine malfunction. This time I was a little bit higher, a little bit faster and it was not rush hour. Traffic underneath me, just wide open fields and I did push the emergency stores jettison button. But unbeknownst to me I had another malfunction, and the only stores that would jettison were on one wing, leaving the entire ordinance and fuel tanks I was carrying on the other wing on. And this left my aircraft in an asymmetric condition that was not certified for flight. I did end up landing this one opposite direction, just as my number four was getting airborne. And what got my attention was after thousands of uneventful takeoffs, I had two that almost killed me back to back. I wouldn't say that I was a daredevil, but after that second incident and as many days, I definitely changed. And after that my eyes were opened and I saw risk in a new light. I saw risk as the price to pay for a benefit. I saw an emerging risk benefit trade off. Now this new outlook probably saved my life and carried me through many dangerous periods of my life, from flying in combat during the first Gulf War, to being an instructor at the Air Force's Fighter Weapon School, the Air Force's version of Top Gun. Where over the course of my three years there, I attended five memorial services for friends and colleagues, to flying as an air force test pilot, to two space missions and four space walks. And each of those environments, no matter what the situation was the first thing I did, was assess where the safe exit to the situation was. Unlike the young fighter pilot of my youth, I didn't blindly charge into a situation without first answering the question, where's the way out if everything goes south? But before I ever got myself into a situation where I could possibly need an exit strategy, I first asked myself, was stepping into that situation worth it? Was the potential benefit worth the risk? The answer to that question sometimes was, the potential benefit is so great and the cost of not taking action so high, that I was willing to enter into a situation knowing, I had no way out if things went south. These situations were very rare, I had a couple of those situations in combat, where not taking action and putting myself at risk would threaten the lives of troops on the ground. Certainly during space missions, there were times where all I had to go on, was, a belief that what we were doing was having tremendous benefit for the world. In order for an individual organization or business to progress, grow and succeed, some risk must be taken. The safest possible space program is one that never launches anything to space, but what good is that? What NASA does really good, is look at a situation, and then devote a great deal of time and effort to try and figure out beforehand, every possible thing that could go wrong. And then develop plans that can be enacted in a very short amount of time, to overcome those situations. What NASA doesn't do good is, knowing when and when not, to apply this rigorous approach. There is a tendency at NASA to apply this rigorous risk mitigation strategy across the board. And this can lead to a lack of flexibility and nimbleness, and lost opportunities, when we can't react fast enough to emerging opportunities. You have to have mechanisms in place to capture great ideas and emerging lower risk opportunities and a streamlined path to action. But even when we at times need to take on a higher level of risk, there's no reason to fear change. We shouldn't be afraid to take action. As long as we take the necessary steps, to minimize the risks, as best we can, put plans and place in case things don't work out, and are doing the right things for the right reasons, that's all we could really ask. The problems and challenges facing us, are too big and the potential consequences of not taking action so dire, that we must be willing to embrace change. The truth about change is that, the entire landscape of our society, has been changed by both positive and negative factors. Positive factors include revolutionary technical innovations, new powerful ways to communicate to people all around the world, an explosion of collaborative tools, and many, many other positive trends. But the change is also caused by the disruption and uncertainty that's all around us. We are living through very uncertain times, and there are many factors impacting our ability to move programs forward to accomplish what we want. Everything from Brexit to the US elections, to the Syrian crisis, to terrorism, to the instability of the EU, and much, much more. These changes and uncertainty can cause us to shrink, become more conservative in our approaches. We can allow them to make us more parochial, more nationalistic and tribal. Or, we can see them as opportunities to come together. In order to successfully capitalize on the opportunities that are all around us, we need to take a holistic approach and strive to see how everything fits together. We need to understand for instance, that protecting the environment and moving our programs forward, and our businesses forward, are not mutually exclusive. In fact they're complementary. We can take an environmentally sustainable business approach while, developing new products, new exciting products, more jobs and increasing profitability. The way to see the path forward, and the entire focus of this course, is to zoom out to a higher vantage point where all the pieces of the puzzle come into view, who has them? And what picture they paint for our society? In the remaining lessons of this course, we're going to put these changes and their associated call to action, into the context of our 100 year journey through space, on our Earthrise 2068 mission. Now, this is an opportunity not just to talk about changing the world, this is our opportunity to come together, and change the trajectory of our society and put it on a much more positive path. And I'm really looking forward to working with you on this critically important mission.