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“Fast Forward” is On the Horizon

New ASCEND Talk Show Envisions the Off-World Future

The next best thing to going to space is figuring out how to get there faster. That’s why, in advance of our 2021 main event this November, ASCEND is launching the talk show of the future. We can’t wait.

Tune in at this July for the premiere of “Fast Forward: Envisioning the Off-World Future,” hosted by two of the most space-obsessed prognosticators on the planet — Devin Liddell, principal futurist at Teague, a design and innovation firm based in Seattle, and Kara Cunzeman, lead futurist for strategic foresight for the Center for Space Policy and Strategy at The Aerospace Corporation.

Liddell and Cunzeman first met on the set of the 2021 March ASCENDxSummit, “Accelerating the Next Generation Workforce,” and they bring the experience and energy that made them the talk of that event to “Fast Forward.”

Devin Liddell ASCEND

Devin Liddell, Teague

“People tend to think of space as some faraway realm, the exclusive domain of NASA and astronauts,” says Liddell. “I think what people saw during the summit was our joy in architecting a rich discussion in everyday terms about the future of space and what that means for all of us,” says Liddell. At “Fast Forward,” exploration drives the conversation. In the ASCEND spirit of “building on-ramps to space for everyone,” Liddell and Cunzeman look to accelerate the democratization of space by putting forth “preferred futures” — a term that separates futurists from fortune tellers — and including us all — not just the rank-and-file aeronautics and astronautics crowd — in the community of believers who can make it so.

“As fast as we’re moving right now, it’s the slowest it’s ever going to be,” says Cunzeman, whose work is focused on cultivating formalized methodologies in futures thinking. “Our jobs are to make sure preferred futures happen.”

“Fast Forward” follows the ASCEND program model of imagining big visionary concepts and engaging an interdisciplinary dialogue — sometimes debate — to navigate the path and achieve desired — “preferred” — outcomes.

Each episode will focus on the prospects for an “adjacent” non-space industry sector such as infrastructure, biomedical R&D, agriculture, telecommunications, or automotive, to be the next big growth place in space. “Champions” for those sectors will be featured guests on the show.

“If you did cross-enterprise mapping over these adjacent sectors, you’d find a lot of opportunities that are not being pursued because they haven’t been addressed or identified,” says Cunzeman. “‘Fast Forward’ will accelerate our awareness and sharpen our focus.”

Kara Cunzeman ASCEND

Kara Cunzeman, Aerospace Corp.

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