New to the conference this year was a competition to create an “Elevator speech”. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, the idea of such a speech is this; assume you’re in an elevator with someone who you want to convince of the need and usefulness of building a Space Elevator. You have only a short time – it is an elevator ride. In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, there are several articles available – a typical one is here.
Conference attendee Peter Robinson came up with the idea and was in charge of the competition. It was announced at the beginning of the conference and a sign-up sheet was available for all those who wanted to participate. The competition happened today, just before lunch. There were a total of 7 speakers and 4 judges (of which I was honored to be one).
Each person talked, in turn, for no more than 90 seconds (Peter timed it and cut off the people who exceeded it) and the judges created scores on “Technical Merit” and “Style”. Peter tabulated the scores and the winners were announced. First place received a $100 Amazon gift certificate and Second Place received a $50 Amazon gift certificate.
Lana Gorlinski was awarded First Prize and Campbell Gorlinski was awarded Second Prize. All of the competitors did a fine job. This picture shows Lana and Campbell, with their prizes, and most of the rest of the Conference attendees.
This competition had a very practical aspect, making all of us who support the concept of a space elevator think in terms of convincing others, in a very short time, of the worthiness of the project. I would expect this competition to become a fixture at future Space Elevator Conferences.