Ron Garan astronaut speaker
Ron Garan astronaut speaker

Ron Garan


Speaker Themes

  • Leadership & Risk Management
  • Finding Unity & Trust In Divisive Times
  • Embracing Change And Technology
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Innovation & Planetary Stewardship
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability and the Future

Travels from

Boulder, CO, USA


Colonel Ron Garan is a decorated NASA astronaut, fighter pilot and test pilot, a humanitarian, and a social entrepreneur.

As part of a select group of individuals who have been fortunate enough to see the world from space, Ron champions his “orbital perspective” message to improve life on earth. Ron is celebrated not just for his research in space but also for his humanitarian contribution to life on earth.

With double master’s degrees in Aeronautical Science and Aerospace Engineering from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Florida, Ron Garan is the winner of various awards. Ron has been honoured with the NASA Superior Accomplishment Award and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal as well as several military honours.

Ron has spent 178 days in space and has traveled more than 71 million miles during 2,842 orbits of our planet. He flew on both the US space shuttle and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, where he accomplished four spacewalks. Ron also spent eighteen days at the bottom of the ocean during a research mission held in the world’s only undersea research lab, Aquarius.

Later, Ron Garan was assigned to the US Agency for International Development, leading the Unity Node project. The project’s task was to develop a universal, open-source platform, enabling humanitarian organizations to work toward mutual goals. In 2007, Ron co-founded Manna Energy Limited. Created with the goal of leveraging the carbon market to finance humanitarian projects, Manna is the first organization in the world to register a United Nations Clean Development Mechanism carbon credit program for water treatment.

From representing Manna as one of ten global innovators in the field of water purification during the inaugural Launch Water Forum to his role as advisor to the social business movement, Ron continues to work toward a cleaner, safer, and more peaceful planet. Ron’s breakthrough book, The Orbital Perspective : Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles, is published by Berrett-Koehler.

Ron’s latest books are Floating In Darkness (2021) and a children’s book, Railroad To The Moon (2021).

For more information about speaker Ron Garan, themes, availability and fees, contact VBQ Speakers founding agent Leo von Bülow-Quirk at


Ron Garan promotes fostering collaboration, adapting to change, building trust and embracing the bigger picture to achieve a larger goal. These values seep into his passionate speeches. 

Ron’s goal is to use his extraordinary perspective to help people steer our society toward a positive, restorative, equitable, and visionary future. His speaking topics include:

Leadership & Risk Management
The best leaders lead by doing, and they lead by serving their team members. One of the tasks of a leader is to inspire innovative strategies that address risk. Ron Garan shares with audiences real-life stories that have shaped every decision he has made with regard to risk over more than 30 years. 

Finding Unity in Divisive Times
The International Space Station is one of the greatest examples of collaboration on or off the planet. What made the ISS partnership work was the incorporation of awe and wonder as a jumping off point to relationship and trust building.

Embracing Change & Technology
The entire business landscape has changed, and trends are developing that, if embraced and accelerated, can have profound positive effects on the trajectory of society.

Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility is not something to stick into a silo nor is it simply a box to check. It needs to be infused into the company DNA and must flow into every aspect of the business.

Innovation & Planetary Stewardship
Technological innovations don’t happen by accident. They come from careful planning, collaboration, and shared goals. Protecting the environment and moving our businesses forward are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are complementary.

Social Entrepreneurship
Ron draws upon lessons from his own enterprises and from some of the world’s most impactful social entrepreneurs to illustrate how social enterprise can effect change on a massive scale.

Sustainability and the Future
As an astronaut, when Ron looked out of the windowed observatory aboard the International Space Station, he didn’t see borders, networks, political parties, or ideologies. Instead, he saw a biosphere teeming with life and an atmosphere so thin he could hardly believe it sustained everyone on the earth below.

After six months in space, Ron Garan returned to Earth with a call-to-action: To empower business leaders, organisations, and individuals to work together and “course correct” for a better future.

Now, Ron uses his keynotes, consulting, and partnerships to help companies achieve their sustainability and ESG goals by addressing the root of the problem NOT just the symptoms. He empowers leaders to expand their perspectives, and inspire their teams to take action not out of fear, but through awe and wonder.

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