The Role Of Rogue Thinkers And Doers In Human Progress

Human advancement often results from individuals and groups of people who refuse to accept the status quo, see a problem and its solution differently than their peers, and are driven deeply by a sense that true progress occurs through constant questioning of assumptions and doing in untraditional ways. These are the Rogue Thinkers who have shaped civilization since the dawn of mankind and continue at a break neck pace in today’s world. They were yesterday’s explorers and wanderers and today’s thinkers and entrepreneurs. Jim Cantrell was on the founding team of SpaceX, has founded several space and automotive companies and has had significant roles in the development of some well known companies such as Skybox Imaging, Iridium, PlanetLabs and Rocket Lab. These companies have begun to reshape the landscape of humanities relationship to space exploration and changing the economic equations of the aerospace industry. These ventures all had one thing in common: Rogue Thinkers and Rogue Doers. Jim will trace a personal path from the despair of government space programs in the 1980’s, to early privately funded space exploration programs, to the end of the cold war and its terrorizing prospects of loose nukes, to today’s modern innovators and Rogue Companies. Rogue Thinkers all contributed to this evolving story and have connected many unlikely events to produce a compelling story and narrative. The string of people and events that connects these pieces is as interesting as it is instructive about our past and our future in this industry and perhaps in the universe.