Dreaming of space is something many of us have done as kids, but as we grow up, we start to learn that there are only a few seats in every cabin, and not everyone is well represented in that group. Kim Macharia is the Executive Director of the Space Prize Foundation and Chairman of the Board of the Space Frontier Foundation. And it’s Kim’s personal mission to make it easier for women and people of color to work in the field. In this episode, we talk about how a space camp jacket and a screenplay led to the start of Kim’s galactic journey and how her work inside two nonprofits is helping send more people into space.
Before any world-changing innovation, there was a moment, an event, a realization that sparked the ideabeforeit happened. This is a podcast about that moment — about that idea. Before IT Happened takes you on a journey with the innovators who imagined — and are still imagining — our future. Join host Donna Loughlin as her guests tell their stories of how they brought their visions to life.
JUMP STRAIGHT INTO:
(01:28) - The screenplay that got Kim interested in space democratization - “I met a few startup founders, a few folks from NASA, a really solid variety of people and I just simply began telling people my story and what I hope to accomplish in the industry.”
(09:21) - How the Space Frontier Foundation is engaging with underrepresented groups - “We realize that we've been keeping women and other underrepresented groups out of this field for too long and we're stifling innovation because of it.”
(16:49) - Making women the stars: Kim’s role inside Space Prize - “We're launching a global contest this summer where two young deserving women will get the chance to go to the edge of space, via Space Perspective, which is like a capsule that sends you to space.”
(21:13) - Kim shares success stories from Space Prize programs - “We actually had the opportunity through a partnership withThe Female Quotient and we had all 24 of our finalists featured on a billboard in Times Square for a week.”
(24:05) - Diversity and the impact of space innovation - “This is an industry that's growing and you can come in here and learn. It's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to be challenged. This is a challenging field, but if you're determined enough, you can make a place for yourself.”
Before IT Happened is produced by Donna Loughlin and StudioPod Media with additional editing and sound design by nodalab. The Executive Producer is Katie Sunku Wood and all episodes are written by Jack Buehrer.