On Sunday night, the eyes of many in the world lifted from the drama of competition taking place in a pool, on a field or in an arena in London and focused instead on a story unfolding millions of miles away as a NASA space capsule approached Mars to safely deliver its payload, the rover Curiosity.
I was right there with them, relishing in the animations, reading the blogs (Martian Diaries) on how we came to the threshold of another planet, glued to the live stream of the actual landing unfolding in front of me and joining in the celebration of others who shared my excitement.
We were honored to have behind-the-curtain access to Curiosity’s adventure, as a result of work we were doing for a client heavily involved in the design, testing and final assembly of the rover and the capsule. Telling the story-behind-the-story was a reminder that the outcome of big moments of achievement are built on a legion of smaller innovations that shake the world in their own right.
As readers of my blog may know, I am extremely curious (it is an agency value) especially about innovation. I love both the simple and the complex in science, exploration, mystery and technology. My zeal for the change it creates is the foundation of this agency, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. Of course, from those early years, the agency has expanded our areas of expertise dramatically, with clients also in the consumer, healthcare, public affairs, social innovation and corporate branding sectors.
But true to our roots, at the core of all we do is our belief in innovation not just for science’s sake (although that is certainly a noble goal), but for the impact it can create in lives around the world. We get to play a small role in bringing an innovation to light and helping to make it real.
Today that was a story of how we stretched away from our own corner of the solar system to reach another world. Tomorrow that could be a story about how a new vaccine, smartphone or public policy will change the way we think and act. Helping others understand the potential of these innovations keeps us keenly excited.
But back to Mars, Curiosity and NASA. As I re-watch the landing and check out the first photos streaming in from Curiosity on the ground, I am still just as excited and emotional. Congratulations NASA and to all involved!