Broadcast 1318 (Special Edition)

28 Feb 2010 Cynda Collins Arsenault
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Guest: Cynda Collins Arsenault; Topics: Secure World Foundation (SWF), space community organization, space security. Cynda Collins Arsenault was the guest for this program to discuss the formation of Secure World Foundation, space security, and other relevant and related topics. In our first segment, Ms. Arsenault told us about her reaction to hearing JFK talking about putting men on the Moon and that she wanted to go to space on airline flights to the Moon. Years later in 2003, Cynda and her husband Marcel Arsenault, started Secure World Foundation (www.secureworldfoundation.org). As you will hear, SWF was not formed to specifically engage in space policy but to determine where it could make the most impact. Space issues were then seen as the path to pursue. Listen carefully to this story, its not only interesting but very important. As you will hear, much of the success for SWF and for other organizations lies in the ability to develop an excellent staff. In addition, SWF has a bottoms up approach rather than a top down approach. There is much in what Cynda says that can benefit us all as we develop our own organizations and programs. The issue of space debris was discussed in the context of the work being done regarding the establishment of a global space policy on debris issues. Toward the end of this segment, a listener asked Cynda about her own continued involvement in SWF. Listen to how she describes her involvement with the organization and what she says for the future for both SWF and herself. In our second segment, we started off by understanding the SWF approach to issues such space security, NEO and planetary protection, and Earth observation. Cynda again emphasized the bottoms up practical approach. She said that in looking at an issue, they look at what needs to be done and then put it in place to make it happen. They want to influence decision and policy makers. Space as a global commons was discussed. A listener asked about SWF relationships with world governments, space agencies and even the military. As you will hear, SWF has good relationships with all of these entities and even has Observer status as an NGO with COUPOS. SWF is also part of Action Team 14 for NEO response. We learned that SWF has been helpful in working with Latin American groups to develop their own space policy. ITAR issues were mentioned and we talked about limitations imposed by ITAR. Toward the end of this segment, we learned that SWF was growing by leaps and bounds and in fact they are looking to fill specific positions. If you are interested, check out the information on their website. We talked about space tourism and space solar power though both are not SWF issues. Toward the end of this segment, Ms. Arsenault said that they bring people together who are solution minded. In our third and final segment, Cynda talked about needing priorities not just for SWF but in our private lives as we talked about challenging situations that we face yet we still find time to do other important work. She talked about the importance of building a community and said things are often not easy and they are messy. We next talked about her experiences in talking to members of congress. Listen carefully to what she says and her strategy when talking to them about space or other issues. Remote sensing and Earth warning systems were mentioned, especially in light of recent earthquakes and Tsunami warnings. Toward the end of the program, we talked about the SWF role with ISU. If you have a comment or questions for Cynda Collins Arsenault, you can email her at cyndaca@swfound.org

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