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The Space Café Podcast #107: CERN’s Pablo Tello and ESA’s Ian Carnelli: Mindcollider – Fusing Space, Physics, and Big Ideas

Ian Carnelli, Pablo Tello and Markus Mooslechner

In this episode, Markus welcomes two influential guests, Pablo Tello from CERN and Ian Carnelli from the European Space Agency (ESA). They explore the MINDCOLLIDER project, Markus’s brainchild that unites brilliant minds from particle physics and space exploration to help inspire solutions to very mundane or globally pressing issues.

Guest Backgrounds:

  • Pablo Tello: A scientist at CERN in Geneva, known for his interdisciplinary approach and contributions to particle physics. He co-heads IdeaSquare, a facility at CERN that fosters innovative thinking.
  • Ian Carnelli: Director of ESA’s HERA mission, focused on developing technologies to protect Earth from asteroid impacts. He returns to the podcast with updated insights and experiences.

Conversation Highlights:

  • Innovation and Anticipation: Pablo emphasizes the importance of anticipation in technological development, especially in long-term projects like the LHC. He stresses thinking in orders of magnitude and challenging existing paradigms.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Ian discusses the significance of interdisciplinary work at ESA, where expertise from various fields combines to drive innovation. He explains how imagining scenarios in space can lead to Earthly solutions.
  • Challenges and Failures: Both guests highlight the necessity of accepting failures in the innovation process and the importance of a culture that embraces risk.
  • Future Vision: The conversation shifts to the broader implications of space and particle physics on sustainable development and societal progress.

Notable Quotes:

  • Pablo Tello: “Innovation management is an oxymoron. The more management you have, the less innovation.”
  • Ian Carnelli: “Success is not in those who succeed; to succeed, you actually have to fail.”

Five Key Learnings for Organizations:

  1. Embrace Young Generations: Listen to and empower young people as they bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas.
  2. Avoid Over-Management: Too much management stifles creativity and innovation. Let people explore and take risks.
  3. Accept Failure: Failure is an integral part of the learning process and a stepping stone to success.
  4. Have a Vision: A clear and strong vision drives long-term success and inspires others.
  5. Promote Collaboration: Shift the focus from individual achievements (me) to collective efforts (we).

Picks for the Space Cafe Podcast Playlist on Spotify:

  • Ian Carnelli: Mozart’s Requiem
  • Pablo Tello: “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones

Additional Resources:

  • Visit MindCollider.io for more information about the Mind Collider project.

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