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Aerospace And Airline Organizations Designing A Regenerative Legacy

How NASA, JAXA, And Virgin Atlantic Are Creating Regenerative Solutions To Major Problems AND Where They Can Still Grow

By Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.Published 3 months ago 9 min read

Leaders who are Exemplars who Design Regenerative Legacies will become the Legendary Leaders of tomorrow.

But are there any examples of Organizations that are making efforts toward this end?

Well, I recently read 2 articles that showed some interesting promise.

I also wasn't expecting to see these types of advancements in these specific Industries!

Specifically, I was looking at the Aerospace Industry and the Airline Industry.

Let's dive into what these organizations are working on, and what they can still do to truly accomplish a Regenerative Legacy.

Airline Fuel

Let's start with Aviation.

Like most transportation, we know that Fossil Fuels are not a sustainable resource for fuel, and many Industries are working to fix this challenge.

However, Virgin Atlantic has recently tested a type of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) that I would never have expected.

They created a fat-based biofuel with a bit of plant-based "synthetic aromatic kerosene" (aromatics are apparently necessary for current planes to function).

There was a Transatlantic flight that was accomplished using 100% of this fuel!

This fuel emitted 70% less carbon than petroleum-based jet fuels as well!

Considering the industry does not have any technologies allowing planes to run on electric batteries, liquid hydrogen, or any other type of fuel source at this time, this is a huge and immediate win for the Industry!

Space Satellites And Exploration

Next, we can go into Space!

Actually, quite literally there seems to be a growing desire for people to go into Space!

However, there is a big challenge that has been preventing many organizations from accomplishing this goal.

Space Junk.

There are between 5,000 and 8,000 "Active" Satellites circling the Earth currently BUT there are reports of over 11,000 satellites up there in total.

It totals over 9,000 Tons of objects.

All of those Satellites have the ability to cause a lot of damage to Spacecraft and also cause light pollution.

Light pollution in particular can negatively impact Circadian Rhythms which are already challenged to due many of our devices.

Plus, those Satellites can also cause damage to people on the surface of the planet when they finally fall from Space.

However, NASA and JAXA have been teaming up together to hopefully alleviate this problem.

They are in the works of designing a Satellite that is made of Magnolia Wood.

Interestingly, testing done on wood in Space over 10 months shows that wood does not decompose or deform despite exposure to extreme temperature changes and exposure to cosmic rays and solar particles.

It also does not create light pollution such as the typical titanium and aluminum that is used.

On top of this, when the wood re-enters Earth's atmosphere, it would be guaranteed to burn up, preventing harm to people on the surface!

If that wasn't enough though, it just so happens that Wood is a significantly more renewable resource that is fairly easy to Regenerate!

Where They Could Improve

Now, these two stories show some Ingenious and Creative Innovations in these Industries.

These efforts will go a long way to Designing a Regenerative Legacy.

But is it enough?

Looking at the entirety of the picture, I would say that there is MUCH more that can be done for these organizations.


First looking at SAFs, it is an extremely powerful intermediate solution.

It has 2 challenges though.

The first is that it is still early in development, and there are no major facilities yet to make this type of fuel the norm.

Even Virgin Atlantic is not using SAFs commonly, and this story is sadly based on a singular Stunt, or perhaps better stated as a "Proof-Of-Concept".

Until there is enough of a Supply, or Demand is pushed on the Airline Industry, it may take time to have SAFs as the norm.

The other Challenge is that SAFs are not a Carbon Zero solution.

Now, to attain a Regenerative Legacy on the fuel problem, there are 2 ways to go about it - One which appears to be the more difficult, and one that could be done in tandem with SAFs.

Perhaps the "overall" better solution would be to create an actual Carbon Zero fuel, but Innovations have not yet figured out how to do this and there are no timelines if or when there will be one.

This leaves us with the other solution, to figure out another way to create Zero Carbon Impact with the use of SAFs, or perhaps even become Carbon Negative.

This can at least be worked toward, if not fully accomplished, by investing in processes that eliminate Carbon, such as the planting of Mangrove Forests.

Research has also shown that Organizations that make these types of efforts known to their Employees and Customers tend to do better, so it becomes a win-win situation.


When it comes to Wood Satellites, this too is in early stage development.

Though NASA and JAXA have been working on this, the official test of its Wooden Satellite is not until summer 2024.

However, Satellites are still a growing problem.

Between last year and this year, there is an estimated increase of Satellites of over 35%!

This means that the number of Satellites being sent to Space is drastically increasing.

The longer we take to find a solution, the more these challenges will escalate.

There have been some efforts by governments to fine companies with large amounts of created Space Junk, so that may be a solution.

However, we can't always rely on governments to "pick up the messes".

This is a trickier challenge overall due to the complexities of Astrophysics and Space, but one that is worth considering further as more Organizations are entering today's modern Space Races.

Employee Regenerative Legacy Problems

Perhaps the biggest area of Improvement toward a Regenerative Legacy actually is with Employees.

In particular, both Virgin Atlantic and NASA seem to have some challenges that are likely impeding their efforts.

Now, this is important because typically the state of your Employees will determine how Innovative and how Creatively you can solve Problems.

If you have problems with Employees, it will lock many of them out from contributing toward Innovation and Creative Problem Solving.

This is a problem of Dis-Stress and lack of Flow States.

However, there is a secondary issue that when there are Employee problems, Organizations take significantly longer to Change.

Progress becomes extremely slow.

Even if the Organizations have an amazing Innovation or have Creatively Solved major Problems, it may take significant amounts of time to actually Implement due to the State of Employees.

Looking at Virgin Atlantic and NASA, there are many negative implications.

If we look at Virgin Atlantic's Glassdoor reviews, there are some bad trends we can see.

Now, "normally" I am hesitant of Glassdoor as it tends to lean negative, BUT in this case, there was interesting data that indicates it is worth thinking about.

Specifically, over the past year, ratings have decreased by 6%.

Now, it is currently rated at 3.4 (I would consider a D) which is pretty bad and with trends continuing downward it tells me one thing.

An Increasing number of Employees are becoming Dis-Stressed to the point of speaking up about it.

The main problems?

First, Poor Management and Long Hours combine to indicate increased Dis-Stress and Poor Leadership.

Then there is also a large number of Employees complaining about Salary.

Now, unless a company pays at the extremely low end (like Minimum Wage), if an Employee complains about Pay it is NEVER about the Money.

It is only about the "Money" if people are literally struggling to pay for food and property.

Outside of that, any complaint about Pay is actually a complaint about how they are "Valued" at the Organization, and they don't feel like their Leaders Value them enough.

The more Employees complain about Pay, the more you know that Leaders are Failing horribly.

Complaints about Pay are usually more statements saying, "If you don't treat me better, I plan to leave."

The more heavily Employees lean into "Pay", the more Problems exist in the organization.

Turning our focus to NASA, we actually can see data from their own Annual Employee Survey!

Not all of it is bad, but the pieces that scored a D (60.0%-69.9%) are very telling about the Employee Problem.

Pay happens to also be mentioned here, which reflects what I said above.

This is further shown in the low score for "Performance Recognition" - aka Employees are not feeling Appreciated for their hard work.

That ties in directly with the low score in "High Workload" - Indicating that many Employees are in Dis-Stress.

We can also see that Leaders are failing to get Employees out of Dis-Stress from the low score in "Leaders Generating Motivation and Commitment" - Further Indicating Leaders are failing to create Group Flow.

Group Flow is where Teams achieve the highest levels of Innovation and Creative Problem Solving, and which Teams get blocked out of when there is too much Dis-Stress.

To top it all off though, Employees indicated that they didn't believe that the "Results of Survey (would be) used to Improve (the) Workplace."

That means that despite Employees telling Leaders about the Problems that exist, they don't Trust their Leaders to do anything about it.

Without Trust, what is a Team?

If these Organizations TRULY wanted to Design a Regenerative Legacy, THIS would be the place that would have the largest long-term Impact.

The Big Question Mark

There is one organization that I cannot fully dive into seems to be JAXA.

Now, they have a really fascinating website about their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

However, I found that a lot of what they discuss is very high-level information about what the Goals are.

Details are not very forthcoming on many of the initiatives.

Part of this could be due to the fact that JAXA is a government agency, so there are likely certain levels of secrecy on certain projects.

The Initiatives sound good, but there doesn't seem to be a way to verify what is actually being done toward many of them.

It doesn't necessarily mean anything bad.

However, there are sadly MANY organizations that exist that "claim" to do a lot of good things, while behind curtains there are many problems and things such as Greenwashing that occur.

I also wasn't able to find anything about what JAXA's Employee situation may be like.

Again, this doesn't necessarily mean anything bad.

It could have to do with aspects of Japanese Culture, especially revolving around Respect and dedication to Company and Leadership.

Then again, overwork has been often celebrated in Japanese Culture, to the point where falling asleep outside on the way home is not uncommon.

Plus, just because you don't see any problems doesn't mean that there aren't any.

So, I can't say for sure with JAXA one way or the other.

However, it would benefit them regardless to improve their Employee Experience and design ways for more people to learn more about how they are Designing a Regenerative Legacy in all aspects of what they do.

In business, Perception can become Reality.

When Perception is questionable, then people will question what the Reality is and often will fill in their own story.

In general, it is significantly better for Organizations to tell their Story than to allow others to tell it for them.

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About the Creator

Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.

Creator of the Multi-Award-Winning Category "Legendary Leadership" | Faith, Family, Freedom, Future | The Legendary Leadership Coach, Digital Writer (400+ Articles), & Speaker


[email protected]

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