BY ANDREW COULSON
"To boldly go where no community engagement professional has gone before" stated futuristic tech entrepreneur and people person Elon Musk, as he announced a US $1million a year partnership over the next 10 years between his space exploration company SpaceX and Engage 2 Act today.
After a chance meeting last year with Engage 2 Act board member Andrew Coulson at Adelaide Airport and a subsequent secret attendance at an Engage 2 Act Adelaide event on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in community engagement in November 2017, EM (pronounced M) as his friends like to call him said the partnership with community engagement leaders Engage 2 Act, who in just a year had grown a membership base of over 700 members around the world, would help him ensure when Mars is settled it will have a true sense of community developed by the brave people who have travelled there.
The partnership will firstly see Engage 2 Act establish a connection with both Mr Musk's Tesla and SpaceX companies to develop a deep understanding of the benefits of community engagement amongst the staff before working with the future Martians on designs for their colony and decision making governance structures.
Using techniques from placemaking theory and elements of ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) some of Engage 2 Act core members will have a chance to work with some of SpaceX's top scientist to understand exactly what type of community can be established on the red planet. Mr Musk said "whilst establishing a colony is relatively easy, forming a true community is not and what I have seen from the skills of the Engage 2 Act Board and its impressive collective shows me they are the right people to help empower my intergalactic space travellers with the skills they need to thrive together."
As well as the financial contribution to developing Engage 2 Act as a functioning company beyond its current voluntary structure, the relatively new not for profit will establish a small office at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California and see their two finger salute logo appear on the space travellers suits as they travel to Mars and prominently on one of the rocket ship fins as it takes the intrepid travellers on their long journey to their new home.