Ron Garan is a former NASA astronaut and fighter pilot who logged 178 days in space and 71 million miles in orbit.
He served aboard the space shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station and, later, as a long-term resident of the ISS, where he lived and worked with US and Russian crewmates. He left NASA in 2013, but not before becoming the first person ever to give a TED Talk from space.
Today, Garan applies three-dimensional thinking, or “the orbital perspective,” to long-term global problem solving — working, primarily, to create a more sustainable, peaceful planet, and combat world hunger, thirst, and poverty.
As founder of Manna Energy Foundation, a nonprofit social-enterprise incubator, Garan helps address the developing world’s need for fresh water, renewable energy, access to communications. More recently, he started Fragile Oasis, a one-of-a-kind humanitarian initiative connecting Earth dwellers with astronauts in space. Also, prior to his retirement from NASA, he was tapped to lead the radical open-source project Unity Node on behalf of USAID.
Garan speaks at conferences around the world, and also has a new, critically acclaimed book “The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles” (Berrett-Koehler).