Langley NextGen Retreat Follow Up

Hello Next Geners!

As many of you know, we recently held a retreat to establish the foundation for our group and came up with what we think are some really exciting ideas to propel us into the future. The first thing we should share is the vision statement:

The NGAC will leverage its intellectual and social resources to solidify NASA’s position as the premier innovative work environment, ensure NASA’s relevancy in a changing socio-political environment, and advance NASA’s goals into the 21st century and beyond.

Beyond the vision and the goals for the group, we participated in a brainstorming exercise to identify all the potential project ideas that have been previously floated during the Next Gen group meetings, and in casual conversations among its members.  The ideas ranged from short term with immediate visibility and impact to long term with the goals of changing how NASA works.  Once all of the ideas were presented, we categorized them into 6 major themes, including Career Development, Volunteering, New Hire Orientation, Innovation Time, Work Environments, and Test Bed for Experiments.  To keep ourselves grounded and ensure that we have activities and results within the first year, we decided to start with just the following 3 projects: New Employee Orientation, Work Environments, and Innovation Time. Below is a summary of the groups and its goals, as well as contact information for the POC.

1 – Newhire Orientation and Social Infrastructure for new employees: (POC Eilen Spillane – ext 48015)

  • Introduction to Center resources, tours of the facilities, help navigating the logistics of being a new employee
  • Welcome committee, social activities, introductions to clubs/teams/groups – welcome them to the community of NASA Langley and not just the facility
  • Mentoring
  • Recruiting campaign – utilize our connections and resources to help NASA attract and retain the best employees

2 – Innovation Time pilot program: (POC Rory Collins—ext 44061)

  • Creative time (weekly) to work on new project and processes – not necessarily related to your job or task
  • Identify barriers to innovation
  • Identify resources needed for innovation

3 – Researching and Implementing Alternate Work Environments: (POC Noah Schiller – 43582)

  • Research most effective (cost, creative) work environment, to include, natural light, chairs, telecommuting, desk arrangement, music, etc.
  • Telecommuting (money, maxi-flex, buy-in)
  • Break rooms (foosball tables, TVs, vending machines)
  • Communal rooms (open space, no cubicles)
  • Be a test community for trying out new technologies and workplace ideas

If anyone is interested in getting involved with, or even leading and championing, one or more of these projects, contact the POC for the project that interests you.  Also, please, don’t feel constrained by the projects and ideas that we came up with at the retreat.  One of the things we kept emphasizing was that we wanted this to be a broad, flat, organization where anyone with an idea and some passion could create change.  So go for it!

Expect more information from us as things continue to ramp up.  We have the email list server, a directory list on the Langley Phonebook, and some websites under our control.  Once we get things moving along, including the official charter and “the way things work” document, we will be sharing them with you too.  Just so you know, center, directorate, and branch leadership are becoming aware we exist and are very interested in using our unique perspectives and talents.

Hopefully we will see you all at one of the socials, and working on one of the projects!

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