On the 7th October 2017 the Initiative for Interstellar Studies held its Annual General Meeting, chaired by Andreas Hein. Attended physically by ten members of the i4is team and with some remotely logging in, it allowed the team to test out its brand new 4,000 Lumens projector and 3 m wide projector screen, which all worked well. The teams discussed the state of the various committees and other activities of the organisation including its finances. It was the largest physical gathering of the i4is corporate member team in the new HQ since taking up residence.
At the AGM it was announced that Kelvin Long, the Executive Director of the i4is was stepping down. This was after five years in the role since the organisation was founded in September 2012. Andreas Hein was elected the new Executive Director and at the handover Kelvin presented Andreas with a gorgeous golden rocket sculpture. A new position of President of the company was then created to which Kelvin Long was elected to. In addition, new corporate members were elected to the company and both Sam Harrison and John Davies were elected to the Board as new Directors.
The AGM was preceded by ‘status review’ talks by Kelvin Long, Rob Swinney and Andreas Hein. The new organisational structure approved helping to stabilise the company on a new pathway for next stage growth, especially given the new HQ occupancy. During the same day flags were placed into position celebrating the UK company the Initiative for Interstellar Studies, our sister company the US Institute for Interstellar Studies, the Alpha Centauri Prize logo and also our favourite charity and the organisation from which we began and co-operate with, the British Interplanetary Society (first founded in 1933).
To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the i4is, a cake had been commissioned, which was to be enjoyed at the official opening event on the 8th October the next day.
As a reflection, here are some of the milestone achievements of the i4is over the last five years since its founding, which demonstrates the tremendous value of the organisation, the dedication of its people and the commitment to its mission of interstellar flight:
- Incorporation of UK and US companies including writing of extensive bespoke articles of association.
- Design of logo and definition of motto.
- Definition of Foundation Declaration document.
- Definition of mission statement, vision statement, values statement.
- Formation of multiple education, technical research, enterprise and Sustainability and development, advisory committees.
- Definition of business model and organisational structure.
- Signing of multiple Memorandum of Understandings with other space related organisations.
- Launch of several versions of web site including the latest version.
- Definition of Four Year Plan.
- Participation in multiple Progress and Planning meetings, team meetings, Board meetings, AGMs.
- Participation in multiple science fiction conventions including Novacon, Eastercon, Worldcon/Loncon3.
- Participation in multiple conferences including IAC, SpaceUp, Starship Cities, Starship Congress, TVIW, UK Space Conference and many others.
- Organising of many symposia on world ships, Worm Holes, the Philosophy of the Starship, Project Dragonfly and others.
- Organising and delivery of the successful Starship Engineer course of our educational academy committee.
- Publication of smart phone app.
- Creation of the Interstellar Index.
- Publication of book 'Beyond the Boundary'.
- Publication of 3 issues of Axiom.
- Publication of several monographs including Voices, Starship Engineering, Andromeda Probe Study.
- Publication of 18 issues of community magazine Principium.
- Production of multiple for sale merchandise to include t-shirts, post-cards and other items and securement of significant sponsorship.
- Publication of multiple articles in the media, podcasts, online news blogs and also participation in several television documentaries.
- Publication of multiple articles in popular science and space magazines.
- Publication of multiple papers in academic peer reviewed journals.
- Publication contributions or citations in other interstellar books.
- Production of 4 interstellar themed music albums with Alex Storer.
- Presentation of dozens of conferences, seminars, workshops, lectures to large and small gatherings.
- Commission of new art work and exhibition of that art work from space artists in the community promoting the vision of interstellar flight.
- The building of a world breaking 4 m tall monolith and replica Daedalus model for the BIS.
- Sending of the I4IS logo to ~90,000 ft on a balloon into the upper stratosphere.
- Launch and award of the selection of Alpha Centauri Prize awards.
- Collaboration with student Msc thesis at the University of Southampton.
- Collaboration with International Space University on 17 student Msc thesis.
- Visits to many other space organisations and federal space agency laboratories.
- Delivery of lectures to the ISU and also on two occasions a two week interstellar elective on interstellar studies which included multiple white papers.
- Initiation and collaboration with ISU Team project on the design of a World ship study.
- Work with multiple Schools as STEM ambassadors.
- Launch of Project Dragonfly, Project Glowworm and award of kickstarter campaigns.
- Initiation of significant technical discussions for experimental programs with industrial and academic partners.
- Participation in Breakthrough Initiative Project Starshot, pre-announcement, and post-announcement and the completion of the Andromeda probe initial study.
- Organising of first 'Foundations of Interstellar Studies' workshop with CityTech in New York.
- Attainment of first ever dedicated interstellar HQ in history......
We really could keep writing, but well, we have to stop somewhere. For sure, the i4is is working hard towards the vision of the stars.