“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?”
— Robert Browning
It’s easy, in 2013, to look downward. Partisan politics, a popular culture fixated on celebrity, and the ever-present threat of financial and environmental catastrophe. As a result much of our public discourse has become petty. Small.
It’s frustrating because so many of the great challenges we face should be the source for a collective global rallying cry. If everyone was committed to ending hunger, we could. If all the nations worked together to eliminate environmental toxins, we could.
The frustration is compounded because I believe that fundamentally, at our core, humans desire, in fact need, to have something greater than themselves upon which to focus their energy. I’m not a particularly religious person, but I’m not immune to the ideas of spirituality or the need to contribute to something beyond my own needs. It is through these larger accomplishments that our lives have meaning.
There are of course myriad ways in which one can contribute to society, important ways that can have an immediate impact on people nearby and across the globe. Recently my son and some friends collected more than 600 pounds of food for the local food bank. That is an action that has real, tangible impact.
But there is also a need for something even greater. A need to stretch the boundaries of human achievement, to redefine what is possible. For it is these efforts that, whether successful or not, inspire others to stretch the limits in other fields as well.
Mars One has the potential to truly be one of the history altering endeavors of mankind. It is a story of human ingenuity, courage and a willingness to re-imagine what is possible. Every aspect of the project is about taking humanity to a new place – literally.
I am humbled by the opportunity to participate in some small way in this mammoth undertaking. A review of the other members of the Mission Advisory Board speaks to the credibility and seriousness of the project. The fact that more than 200,000 people sent in initial applications to participate shows the global zeitgeist that Mars One is tapping into.
Of course as a marketing professional I was intrigued by the potential Mars One has as a commercial enterprise. Mars One Foundation CEO Bas Lansdorp has an ambitious plan for making this dream become a reality. The opportunities for brands, media outlets and most importantly regular people from around the world to participate in Mars One is virtually endless. I think a wide variety of stakeholders will want to participate in Mars One for the same reasons I wanted to be involved – not only can I help make this project a reality, but merely by participating, Mars One gives me a purpose beyond the trivial or mundane day to day elements of my life.
I hope to have many more updates for you in the future, but for now I encourage you to check out Mars One. See what sorts of people and technology partners are getting involved and watch some of the applicant videos. I hope that you’ll be as inspired as I am and will find a way to become part of the mission.