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  • America: At The End Of The Future?

    It’s indicative of America: a country shutting down, as opposed to pursuing its next great moment.

    “We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win. I think we’re going to do it, and I think that we must pay what needs to be paid. But it will be done.”                      President John F. Kennedy, Moon Speech, September 12, 1962

    I know Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals members recognize how much I bemoan America not recognizing that it’s blowing its chance to not go the way of the Roman Empire or England, but somehow – American leaders seem insistent that we do this the hard way.

    I guess it is kind of sad about the space shuttle being the last of its kind: it meant so much, in terms of who we are as Americans, even as  the nation watched the Space Shuttle Challenger incinerate on Tuesday, January 28, 1986, when it broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members, yet the program pushed on. And while this last shuttle is in space – it seems indicative of America as a whole: a country shutting down, as opposed to pursuing its next great moment.

    I don’t blame the folks at NASA for not having a second act for the shuttle program, but I think they got caught in the same thing as the rest of American programs: from being truly innovative – to conspicuously indifferent – to being something we have no use for anymore: to now outsourcing much of what makes America — America.

    I lay much of this at the feet of the political and business class: so much is about individual aspiration and greed, they’ve forgotten that the very best America could offer, was that it could do the hard things – turn the impossible into the ordinary: and now we don’t do that anymore – we rarely even consider it.

    After the last shuttle: all of those employees associated with the program will be out of work. My point: why isn’t America utilizing that same brainpower and skill-set that was intended for outer space, to create a twenty-first century jobs, infrastructure, technology and economic program. We don’t have to look for the best and brightest: their right here in America. My hope is that the local, state and the federal government, in collaboration with the business community, non-government organizations and non-profits, would fashion a modern day “Manhattan Project,” to restart America’s dynamism and point it to the twenty-second century.

    America needs leadership: not only new leadership – different and better leadership. We need people that will look at the right things the right way, because they offer the most value, no matter how inconvenient. We need adults in the room that bargain in good faith, so Americans don’t have to make choices between food and heat. America needs a truth teller – a trouble maker – someone courageous and smart – someone willing to expose themselves, so the truth can be told – someone who cares about the future of America, not the next election or business deal.

    This is why it’s so important for Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals to prepare themselves to lead: to vehemently be against what we have now: and not to look at profit as the metric – but the value of something and how much it empowers all Americans as the way forward.

    Good Luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Gamechangers


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