US Reporter


Dylan Taylor on Creativity in Business

By: Elysia Peck

Creativity is the cornerstone that fosters innovation. No matter the industry, leaders need creativity to notice trends, stay ahead of the curb and invent new ways of operating and differentiating themselves in a competitive market.

Dylan Taylor, the CEO and Chairman of Voyager Space, is one such innovator who has leveraged creativity to his advantage, establishing a vertically integrated space company, the likes of which have never been seen before.

Taylor offers his insights on how other leaders can use creativity in their daily business practices:

Encourage Innovation

According to Dylan Taylor, one central element for applying creativity to your business outlook begins with innovation. He says, “An innovative approach requires speculation, curiosity, and above all else, creativity helps motivate us to experiment.”

Taylor mentions that creativity can undoubtedly be an abstract concept, but it works best with a concrete plan. First, leaders need to clarify their ideas through facts and instinctive observations and learn how they impact the business environment and others. The next step is to ideate, thinking through ideas and coming up with solutions. Next is the development phase, which is important for critiquing and prototyping any projects or ideas. Testable solutions are critical here, Taylor mentions. The fourth stage of the innovative process is implementation, which helps communicate the ideas’ value and the goal to overcome biases. 

“During the innovative phase, creativity is about imagining a novel idea that fits outside the box and using facts and testing to make it a reality,” says Dylan Taylor.

Embrace Adaptability

External and internal events can often impact a business. It’s important to use creativity to embrace adaptability in business. The COVID-19 pandemic was a significant example of how external factors affect companies’ operations. Dylan Taylor’s role at Voyager Space is a great example of how frequent inventive thinking and innovation are essential to maintaining a business, and using creativity to approach challenges requires adapting to present conditions. 

Taylor mentions that adapting might not always require adjusting a business model, but it may require a new product or service that modifies how the business is structured to improve efficient practices. Taylor says, “Often, leaders will find that big problems don’t necessitate big solutions and that’s okay. Change is inevitable, but creative problem solving is vital to adapt and evolve to changes in the world and your industry at large.”

Strive for Growth

In Taylor’s experience, a significant hindrance to business growth is staying too fixated on one area or an idea that there’s only one way to solve a problem. Dylan Taylor mentions that cognitive fixedness is easy to become blindsided by, but remember that every situation is different. “Each new problem often requires a new solution and one thing that worked in the past may not work now,” he says. Taylor believes that business leaders should take the time to foster creativity to help them strive for growth and embrace new perspectives as they come up with solutions to their businesses’ big challenges. Part of this is to encourage creative thinking in a diverse team to constantly come up with new ideas and push the envelope so their company addresses issues head-on and doesn’t become stagnant, the biggest disruption to growth.

Putting Creative Elements Together 

“Creativity requires fusing together the practice and inventive worlds for the best solutions,” says Dylan Taylor. 

With these tips, business leaders must be flexible in navigating and creating environments for their businesses and their employees to thrive. Creativity should be a staple of a nurturing business environment, but not at the risk of a business’ functionality. As Dylan Taylor mentions, embracing an operational mindset with creativity is important. Operations are implementations of the innovative approach and creativity is often inspired by observations from the operations of day-to-day business.

Published by: Nelly Chavez

Dylan Taylor on the Artemis Accords’ Importance for Space Exploration

Image commercially licensed from Unsplash

When Hurricane Katrina reached New Orleans in 2005, U.S. disaster relief agencies asked the world for satellite images to survey the flooding. The first to convey the damage’s extent arrived from a Nigerian-owned satellite.

U.S. officials recognized this moment 17 years later at the inaugural U.S.-Africa Space Forum. The December 2022 conference spotlighted the Rwanda Space Agency’s new teleport and satellite antenna and Nigeria’s plan to provide nationwide broadband internet by 2025. The forum also welcomed Nigeria and Rwanda as the first African nations to sign the Artemis Accords, furthering the international reach of space exploration. 

To space entrepreneur Dylan Taylor, the signing represented another significant juncture on the global road toward peaceful space exploration.

“The more collaboration we leverage to solve complex problems for all of humanity’s sake, the better our collective chances are to thrive in space and on Earth,” Taylor said.

Taylor, chairman and CEO of Voyager Space, is among the NewSpace economy’s guiding voices. His company drives innovation in satellite technology, communication and visualization systems, propulsion solutions, and more. Voyager Space also is a partner in Starlab, the next-generation space station meant to replace the International Space Station.

Taylor has long advocated for greater cooperation between governments and the private sector to safeguard and scale the space economy. Yet limited legislation, a lack of standardized practices, and continuing threats to militarize space endangers these efforts. Dylan Taylor believes the Artemis Accords are vital to address those concerns.

NASA drafted the Artemis Accords in 2020, and eight nations initially signed the blueprint for future exploration. The name references NASA’s Artemis Mission, which intends to land humans on the Moon and Mars.

Building on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, the Artemis Accords outline principles for global collaboration in space. They address key points such as “deconflicting” space exploration, limiting and disposing of orbital debris, providing emergency assistance among agencies, and delivering timely and transparent public information regarding missions. Most important, the Artemis Accords reaffirm that signatories use space “exclusively for peaceful purposes.” 

Taylor sees the Artemis Accords as a necessary next step following the Outer Space Treaty, conceived when private space exploration was unthinkable. Today, national space agencies collaborate with the private sector to launch rockets and satellites, build space stations, and develop technology allowing humans to inhabit the Moon and Mars.

“To have a Cold War-era, 1960s treaty to govern space commerce doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Taylor said. “I think most people agree, we needed to modernize those policies.”

Twenty-three nations have signed the Artemis Accords, underscoring their long-term mission through a broad stakeholder base. Artemis seeks to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon. The 2022 launch of the uncrewed Artemis I mission included participation from the European, Italian, Israeli, and Japanese space agencies.

“Through the Artemis program, the United States is building the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration coalition in history….” U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said.

As a space entrepreneur and citizen astronaut — he flew aboard Blue Origin’s NS-19 mission in 2021 —Taylor has pursued many of the Artemis Accords’ principles in the private sector. Taylor views the International Space Station as one of humanity’s great success stories, one that should win the Nobel Peace Prize, and envisions Starlab continuing its legacy as an international research hub.

The Accords recommend that nations deploy interoperable systems to improve safety, sustainability, and collaboration. Similarly, Dylan Taylor notes that several companies in the Voyager Space Holdings ecosystem are sharing ideas and technology to clean space debris and harvest oxygen from moon rock.

As the Accords seek transparency, so too does Taylor. In 2020 Voyager launched an IP Exchange to share dormant or unfunded mission ideas and technologies. The exchange serves as a marketplace for creative thinking.

And Taylor has supported the Accords’ global objectives through Space for Humanity, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to space. Space for Humanity’s Citizen Astronaut Program has sponsored two unique missions. In 2022, Katya Echazarreta became the first Mexican-born female to fly to space, and Sara Sabry became the first person from Egypt to cross the Kármán line.

According to Dylan Taylor, the Artemis Accords will ultimately bring space exploration into a new collaborative age. More participating nations will mean more investment and innovation. That will create more stakeholders to address climate change, expand broadband’s reach, and maintain security at home. What’s more, Taylor said, the Accords ratify that space is for all.

“Everyone seems to be universally impacted by this experience,” he said. “I haven’t met a single person who’s been to space who hasn’t said it had a dramatic impact on their life. It’s a perspective-shifter for sure.”


Meet the Man Who Has Been to Space and the Bottom of the Ocean

In December 2021, Dylan Taylor waved to Earth from a capsule 107 kilometers above sea level. Seven months later, Taylor waved to Skaff, an ocean lander at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, from a submersible 10 kilometers below sea level.

Few humans have touched both outer space and the furthest depths of liquid space. By doing so, Taylor challenged every perspective he held about our planet.

“There’s an extraordinary feeling of stewardship in both experiences,” Taylor said. “You feel the strength and power of our planet but also its vulnerability. They were the two most profound experiences of my life.”

A rare handful of people can claim the titles of astronaut and aquanaut, a combination that Taylor recently achieved in seven months. For good measure, he also went to the bottom of the Atlantic ocean, when he and a crew including Planetary Scientist, Dr. Alan Stern visited the iconic wreck of the Titanic. The Denver-based space industry CEO, investor and philanthropist became just the second person in history to reach these three landmark thresholds: the Kármán Line of space, the floor of Challenger Deep and the wreck of the Titanic. Each destination resonated with Taylor in profound ways.

On Dec. 11, 2021, Taylor joined five fellow passengers aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft for an exhilarating ride to space as a commercial astronaut. The mission represented New Shepard’s third crewed flight and the first with six passengers. Among them were Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of astronaut Alan Shepard (for whom the craft was named), and Good Morning America host Michael Strahan.

As Chairman and CEO of Voyager Space, a global space exploration company, Taylor is building the future of the commercial space industry. An important project his company is developing is a potential replacement for the International Space Station. NASA in 2021 awarded Voyager Space, Nanoracks, and Lockheed Martin a $160 million contract to design Starlab, a low-orbit commercial space station which will also include the George Washington Carver Science Park.

To truly understand space, however, Taylor needed to go. So he bought two tickets on New Shepard: one for himself and one for a future astronaut (Taylor founded the non-profit Space for Humanity, which sponsors a citizen astronaut program). Floating weightless in New Shepard 107 kilometers above Earth, following as the sky blended from blue and white to purple and then black, Taylor experienced what astronauts call the Overview Effect. Seeing the planet from that distance inverted his view of Earth and space. Earth, he quickly discovered, is an “oasis” in the natural world of space.

“I was struck by the notion that people live their whole lives thinking Earth, the air we breathe, and the life we enjoy is natural, and space is abstract,” Taylor said. “It’s actually the opposite. What is natural is dark, cold, and hostile space. We live just on the other side of a portal, in a magical place that is a miracle to exist at all.”

In July 2022, Taylor further explored that miracle aboard Limiting Factor, a deep submergence vehicle piloted by fellow explorer Victor Vescovo, whose fascination with extreme environments intrigued Taylor. Vescovo has summited the world’s seven highest peaks and descended to the floor of its oceans. He guided Taylor to a previously unexplored corner of Challenger Deep, Earth’s deepest-known point.

Challenger Deep, located in a region of the western Pacific Ocean known as the Mariana Trench, reaches approximately 10,850 meters at its deepest location. Vescovo, who has explored multiple sectors of this murky world, took Taylor to the western edge of Challenger Deep’s eastern pool. They dived to the very bottom, where sunlight doesn’t reach and sea creatures are sparse. There, Taylor traversed another dark, cold, hostile space, brightened by the submersible’s light system and the nearby lamps of robotic lander “Skiff,” which acted as a navigator, sample collector, and videographer. 

Vescovo and Taylor became the first two humans to visit this part of Challenger Deep. Perhaps no one will return. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 80 percent of Earth’s oceans remain unexplored. During his tour of Challenger Deep, Taylor marveled at the fact that, though oceans contain 99 percent of Earth’s inhabitable space, humans have mapped only 5 percent of them, according to UNESCO. 

For Taylor, both experiences reinforced the delicate nature of humans and the vulnerability we all share on this planet. In space, Taylor floated weightless for several minutes in a fully autonomous craft designed for reuse. At Challenger Deep, 90 millimeters of titanium separated Taylor from a deadly 16,000 pounds-per-square-inch of pressure.

Each experience proved life-altering. Together, they inspired a humbling realization.

“We’ve got all our eggs in one basket,” Taylor said, “and it’s a very fragile basket.”