GDW Afterwork @RUAG Space

Space 4.0 - How Digital Is Rocket Science?

Date: 10.12.2018

Host: Nike Moehle, vice president of communications, RUAG Space

What was the topic of your talk?
Today’s connected world is only possible thanks to satellites in orbit. So the space business actually drives digitalization on earth. But this also transforms the industry itself, as more and more private money is being invested in space in order to gain access to a strong telecom infrastructure. This development is often referred to as “new space”. How a product supplier for satellites and launch rockets needs to transform in this changing environment and how digital opportunities are being leveraged to achieve that was discussed at this GDW Afterwork in Zurich. 

What are your three most important points on that topic?
1) Space is often associated with excitement and adventure. But it is more than that; it truly enables everyday life – from telecommunication, to navigation, to the weather forecast.
2) The increasing amount of space activities requires much higher production volumes for the respective hardware. Digital processes need to be implemented to produce as many satellites as are needed in our digital world. Or, in other words: digitalization enables itself. 
3) No doubt, rocket scientists are highly skilled and intelligent people. However, the crucial element for success is the adaptability of an organization and its people to change. 

The most exciting project you are currently working on?
In our private environment, each and everyone of us is surrounded by engaging, digital content all day long. But companies are often a step behind when it comes to the way they circulate content, involve staff, and respond. I see it therefore as a continuous project to ensure that the corporate environment keeps the digital pace and constantly adopts new patterns of communicating.

Your favorite digital tool?
Currently a password manager, because I want to use my brain capacity for more important things than hundreds of logins. 

One thing you still prefer to be analogue than digital?
Live music. It creates an atmosphere, which is hard to beat. 

What did you learn from your former boss?
“You might be at a point where you have to make a decision without being 100% sure. But you have to be aware that there is often not this one right and one wrong path. And even if I might not agree in the end, I will always back you, if you can explain me your rationale.” This advice turned me into a person that is not afraid of making decisions in everyday business life. 

The biggest digital trend you are preparing for in your line of work?
I’d rather like to point out the biggest challenge resulting from digital communication trends. And that’s credibility. With the sheer mass of content we are facing today, with sources not always being clear, and truth not being the ultimate paradigm, it will all be about authenticity in the future; whether for individuals or for organizations.

What is your Twitter handle?