Exploring the Far Corners


By: Phil Paschke

In: Catch All

By now you’ve seen the amazing images of everyone’s favourite ninth member of the solar system dwarf planet Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons mission. Their probe travelled 3 billion miles over a period of 9 years, culminating in a “flyby” of Pluto as it came within 7800 miles of the mysterious world, zipping by at more than 28,000 miles per hour.

Image Credit: NASA/APL/SwRI

As the first transmissions of data and images reach Earth, scientists are already learning more than they ever knew. This got me thinking: too often as arts workers we’re so consumed with our own responsibilities, that we don’t take the time to learn what the rest of our colleagues really do. Why not schedule a “flyby” of another area of your organization?

Here’s the idea:

1. Identify the target

Pick a department or co-worker you don’t normally interact with as part of your job.

2. Launch

Don’t procrastinate! Just set a date and time to visit.

3. Pick up speed

On its journey to Pluto, the New Horizons probe used Jupiter’s gravity like a slingshot to gain speed. In that same vein, swing by a coffee shop first to bring glorious caffeine and/or treats for everyone! It’s a way to refuel, and a small gesture to show your appreciation.

4. Gather data

Dive deep to learn all you can in an afternoon and gain a clearer picture than you had before.

5. Communicate

You don’t work in the vacuum of space, so be sure to share what you’ve learned with others.

Pro tip: unlike the Pluto flyby, don’t take nine years between steps 2 and 4.

I’m only guessing, but you might just do your job a little better with a fuller understanding of how your organization works. And hey, this might be one of those activities you can do during the break between seasons.

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Phil Paschke
Philip has had a fascination with all things tech ever since his parents brought home a Commodore 64 and he learned to type Load “*”,8,1. Combining his love of gadgets with a passion for music, he completed a B.Mus in Theory and Composition, while working part-time at the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra & Winspear Centre box office. After thirteen years with the organization progressing through titles like New Media Specialist and Communications Manager, he recently relocated to Wagga Wagga, Australia (really) for a down-under adventure. Whichever hemisphere he's in, Philip makes time for fine food, peaty scotch, and staying up way too late playing Sim City.
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