Working at the Speed of Innovation

  • 17 Jan 2023
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Online via Zoom (must register to receive log in information)


Registration is closed

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This talk will be presented online using Zoom. Registration is required before 3:00 pm on Tuesday, January 17, 2023. Log in information for Zoom will be emailed to those who have registered with their registration confirmation as well as by 3:00 pm on Tuesday, January 17, 2023.

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YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/demTVr44RAE

Date: Tuesday, 17 January 2023
Location:  Online meeting via Zoom
Time: 7:00 pm

Title: Working at the Speed of Innovation

About the talk: 

LTG Associates won a NASA contract to conduct an ethnography of a project intended to understand the barriers and facilitators to innovation in NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD). In this presentation, we will discuss the challenging and fascinating conduct of the project and the outcomes.

NASA designed a novel teaming experiment that included a wide variety of NASA counter-cultural elements. The experiment was focused on rapid teaming in autonomy to support innovation. The LTG team conducted an ethnographic assessment of the rapid, teaming experiment and reported to Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) regarding both the barriers and facilitators to teams being able to use the tools of innovation at the speed of industry. The LTG team conducted staff level, Convergent Aeronautics Systems (CAS) level, and ARMD headquarters briefings on the findings. The team was also invited to participate in two ARMD-CAS innovation showcases to highlight both the ethnographic process and the outcomes. Finally, LTG was invited to present findings with the NASA project officer at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) conference. The results of the work have been cited by senior Agency Executives and used in developing both initiatives and in shaping management for culture change.

About the speakers:

Co-Project Directors: Nathaniel (Niel) Tashima, Ph.D., Northwestern University, M.A., San Diego State University, B.A., University of California, San Diego. Dr. Tashima is one of the founding and Managing Partners of LTG Associates and has worked for more than 40 years on projects focused on developing knowledge about families and communities and creating opportunities for their voices to be central in shaping programs and developing polices that affect their lives. Using the tools of anthropology, he has worked on complex organizational issues to create culturally and contextually appropriate responses. Dr. Tashima pushes boundaries and works to illuminate what is “outside of the box” in designing research questions and approaches. 


Cathleen E. Crain, M.A., McMaster University, B.A., (Honours, summa cum laude).  Ms. Crain is one of the founding and Managing Partners of LTG Associates, and a senior social scientist with over 40 years of experience in health and human services policy analysis; program research, development, evaluation; training, and technical assistance for international, federal, state, and local governmental and non-governmental organizations. An import focus has been working with donor and policymaking organizations to connect their interests to those of the populations to be served. She has specialized in working with vulnerable, and hard to reach populations and has been successful developing solutions to wicked problems.  

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