Tackling global challenges
Global challenges require solutions at equal scale. NASA manages the most sophisticated Earth observing system ever built. The agency approached MG to extend its work to more fully address food security, freshwater availability and natural disasters.
What was the challenge?
For many, NASA is synonymous with space. Few people know that NASA manages the most sophisticated Earth observing system ever built—an unparalleled asset for tackling the most pressing issues of our time. NASA approached MG to lead partnership development to extend Earth observations to new sectors while building NASA’s capabilities for partnering in new ways.
What did we do?
NASA is well known for “moonshot thinking.” But thinking big with leaders from other, equally technical fields involves added complexity—and often guided exploration.
MG designed and facilitated interactive, relationship-based ways to connect NASA with sector leaders spanning food security, freshwater availability and natural disasters. We dreamed big together and envisioned specific opportunities for NASA and new partners to learn and evolve together. MG ultimately brokered partnerships between NASA and four sector leaders—Conservation International, Google, Mercy Corps and Microsoft—and launched pilot projects with each.
NASA also recognized that how it tells its story connects with who understands the potential for Earth observations to transform their fields. We helped NASA shift the spotlight of its storytelling from the technologies to the people who benefit most, and the people working behind the scenes to make those technologies possible.
These partnerships do more than help NASA analyze and package information in new ways. They also push NASA to build capabilities that evolve remote sensing and who uses it. Examples: equipping municipal decision-makers with information they need to mitigate the impacts of extreme heat events; conducting natural capital accounting for countries across Africa; and enabling multidisciplinary research by better integrating Earth Science and social science data. We also helped NASA tell its story in ways that will inspire new sector leaders to put remote sensing to work for the benefit of us all.