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MIT Enterprise Forum Announces Global Broadcast


For immediate release

“The Power of Revolutionary Thinking: What Today’s Scientists Can Teach You about Driving Innovation in Your Organization"

August 8, 2005---CAMBRIDGE, MA---On September 22nd, the MIT Enterprise Forum, Inc., in partnership with the MIT Enterprise Forum of Atlanta, will present a unique look at how the space elevator and other cutting-edge technologies are invented, and how these technologies move from laboratory curiosity to real commercial adoption. Broadcast globally via satellite and web cast, “The Power of Revolutionary Thinking,” will feature noted speaker, Dr. Robert A. Cassanova, Director of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) and sponsor of the space elevator project, and a panel of visionary researchers who will explore how organizations can use revolutionary thinking to enhance the innovation process, and how advanced concepts go from far-off vision to becoming part of our everyday lives.

No longer science fiction, the space elevator, a tether-like transportation system between earth and space, could become reality within the next decade if one of several challenges, the development of a cable capable of withstanding tremendous stress, is resolved. That challenge spells business opportunity to the U.S. and Japanese companies currently involved in production of the carbon nanotubes strong enough to construct a durable, light weight and cost effective cable. “Material development of carbon nanotubes shows how creativity, inspiration and vision can lead to stunning results,” says Dr. Cassanova, “Our innovation process was developed for NIAC, but our definition of what is revolutionary can be applied to all kinds of business opportunities.”

This program is open for all to attend. For a complete list of viewing sites, please visit If you would like to participate as a viewing site, and there is none in your area, please contact the MIT Enterprise Forum at

Featured panelists include:

• Dr. Robert Cassanova, Director, NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts, Atlanta, GA;
• Dr. Bradley Carl Edwards, President and Founder of Carbon Designs, and development leader for the Space Elevator project;
• Dr. Dava Newman, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT and MacVicar Fellow, faculty in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program;
• Dr. Penelope J. Boston, Director of Cave and Karst Studies and Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and Director of Research for Complex Systems Research, Inc., Boulder, CO.

The program will be moderated by Alf Nucifora, Chairman, Nucifora Consulting Group and past member of the Advisory Board and Executive Committee of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Atlanta.

Program attendees will learn:
• How ultra-light golf clubs, advanced prosthetics and new wonder drugs were actually inspired by exotic technologies such as ultra-strong carbon nanotubes, electroactive polymers, and so-called ‘extreme environment’ microorganisms.
• How cutting-edge laboratory technology gets commercialized and what they can learn about developing innovations that drive revenue in their company.
• How revolutionary thinking is fostered and can be driven in their organization.

Since 1995, MIT Enterprise Forum broadcasts have originated from the MIT campus in Cambridge. The Atlanta chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum is the first chapter outside of MIT to host the show, which will be broadcast live from Georgia Public Broadcasting studios in Atlanta to sites around the world.

About The MIT Enterprise Forum
The MIT Enterprise Forum is a non-profit organization that promotes the formation and growth of innovative and technologically oriented companies through a series of specialized executive education programs. Through these programs, the Forum provides networking, leadership opportunities, and provocative new ideas to senior business leaders while showcasing MIT’s role in entrepreneurship in communities around the world. The Enterprise Forum was formed in 1978 and has 23 chapter organizations worldwide. Participation and membership is open to the general public.


Dr. Robert A. Cassanova is the Director of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) in Atlanta, Georgia. The NIAC is focused on the development of revolutionary, advanced systems and architectures in the fields of aeronautics and space. He is the recipient of the NASA Public Service Medal for exceptional contributions to the Mission of NASA. NIAC and NIAC sponsored advanced concepts have received numerous accolades in the technical and popular press. The NIAC team, including members from USRA, ANSER Corporation and NASA has received the NASA Group Achievement Award.

Prior to becoming the Director of NIAC, Dr. Cassanova was Director of the Aerospace and Transportation Laboratory in the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). While in GTRI and in the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech, he performed research in biofluid mechanics, solar thermal energy, acoustics, combustion and rarefied gas dynamics.

Dr. Cassanova’s career also includes research in rocket plume testing and high altitude hypersonic flight and he has over 60 publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings. He received a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also the recipient of an MS in Space Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tennessee, and a BS in Aerospace Engineering, North Carolina State University.

Dr. Bradley Carl Edwards is President and Founder of Carbon Designs, developer of high strength materials. He has led development of the space elevator, organized three conferences, has been on organizing committees for five others, led a research staff of 70 people at the Institute for Scientific Research, and written the definitive book on the space elevator

Previously, Dr. Edwards spent 11 years as a staff member at Los Alamos National laboratory (LANL) leading advanced technology efforts for lunar missions, optical cryocooler development, detector system development astrophysical satellites, and a Europa orbiter mission.

He has over 50 publications with three books and 8 papers in the works, has delivered over 30 invited talks, received a letter of commendation from the DoE, and his work has appeared on the cover of Discover, Science News, Ad Astral, He has also been featured in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and multiple times on CNN and BBC. Dr. Edwards received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1990. He is a NIAC Phase II Fellow.

Dr. Dava Newman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT and faculty in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program (an MD and PhD program between Harvard and MIT). Dr. Newman specializes in investigating astronaut performance across the spectrum of gravity. She is currently the Principal Investigator (PI) on the MICR0-G space flight experiment to quantify astronaut intravehicular activity (IVA) onboard the International Space Station. She has been a funded NASA PI throughout the past decade to investigate and establish an EVA database for microgravity and partial gravity environments as well as to utilize technology and robotics for advanced EVA.

Previously Dr. Newman was the PI for the Space Shuttle Dynamic Load Sensors (DLS) experiment that measured astronaut-induced disturbances of the microgravity environment on mission STS-62. An advanced system the DLS experiment flew on board the Russian Mir space station from 1996 through 1998. She was also a Co-Investigator on the Mental Workload and Performance Experiment (MWPE) that flew to space on STS-42 to measure astronaut mental workload and fine motor control in microgravity. Dr. Newman earned a PhD from MIT in Aeronautics, Biomed and Engineering. She is a NIAC Phase II Fellow.

Dr. Penelope J. Boston is Director of Cave and Karst Studies and Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and Director of Research for Complex Systems Research, Inc., Boulder, Colorado.

Dr. Boston specializes in cave microbiology, microbial life in extreme environments, astrobiology and the search for life beyond Earth, human life support in space and other planetary surfaces, Mars research and human exploration of the solar system, global biogeochemical cycling and planetary homeostatic mechanisms,

One of the founders of The Case for Mars series of conferences, she is the author of more than 70 papers in journals, reports, and articles. An upcoming book on extreme life forms is being published by Putnam/Penguin Publishing. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts Phase II Fellowship. She earned a PhD in Environmental, Population, from the Organismic Biology Dept., from the University of Colorado and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder, CO. She received an MS in Microbiology and Atmospheric Chemistry, and a BS in Microbiology, Geology, and Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
Alf Nucifora is the chairman of Nucifora Consulting Group, specializing in strategic planning and marketing services consultation. He is also a marketing columnist, syndicated in 40+ business publications across the country. A native of Brisbane, Australia, Alf entered the advertising and marketing business on the corporate side working for two Fortune 500 companies, first in Australia and then in the United States. He then made the move to the advertising business and later advanced into agency management. Currently, he serves as principal of a marketing consulting firm, having “retired” from the responsibilities as Chairman of the Southeast office of a $310 million advertising agency in 1990.
An avid spokesperson for the continued growth and success of the marketing communications industry, Alf gives 100+ speeches and seminars a year dedicated to sales, marketing and communications to Fortune 500 companies, organizations and associations across the country and abroad.
Alf is a former member of the Advisory Board and Executive Committee of the Atlanta Chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum. He is the past chairman of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, past president of the American Marketing Association (Atlanta Chapter) and the Atlanta Advertising Federation, and a board director on various privately held companies. He earned an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, and received a B.A. from the University of Queensland, Austrailia.


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