We’re just a few weeks out from Waterfront Athena Six at Coronado Brewing Company’s Tasting Room and registration is officially open for all you potential presenters out there!
The event is on Friday, October 10th at 1 PM and for those of you not familiar with this grassroots innovation initiative, here’s a quick and dirty summary:
Anyone with a great idea for making the Navy better, whether through improving an existing system or program or creating a brand new thing, can present their idea in this open forum for creativity. In our past events, we’ve had just about every rank from E1 to O5 present and it’s been awesome.
We encourage people from all types of commands to present, and the greater the variety, the better the event. Since the current operations that your ship, squadron, submarine or command is going through tends to prime the pump for your idea, more commands represented means a fresher perspective!
The Athenians who have put together ideas will have five minutes to pitch their projects to a crowd of not only military personnel, but also innovators, engineers and scientists from leading companies and universities. This fusion of thought is what makes The Athena Project so special: We pair up Sailors’ great ideas with fresh perspectives in an effort to make ideas happen.
A good pitch consists of the identification of a problem, an idea for an innovative solution and an idea of the action steps necessary to make the idea happen. After the pitch, the floor is open for a five-minute question & answer session with the presenter.
We take Powerpoint out of the equation, really aiming to concentrate the pitches for that five minutes. Presenters can bring handouts, prototypes, tri-folds (science fair style), whiteboards or anything else to get their point across, but NO POWERPOINT!
Each presentation will be evaluated by everyone in the crowd using a five-point scale, based on three factors: Idea Quality, Actionability, and Presentation. After the last pitch, the votes are tallied and the winner will receive the event’s ADM Sims Award for Intellectual Courage.
Past Sims Award winners include ODIN, a project that’s now in development with ONR’s Tech Solutions; PartnerShips, a Sailor-meet-scientist ideas exchange that’s in full effect; and most recently, a Second Class Petty Officer blew the doors off Waterfront Athena Five with a simple electrical safety tool that’s been prototyped by the engineers at SPAWAR and will hopefully be finding its way to a ship near you soon!
While the winning ideas have been incredible, you don’t have to walk away with the Sims award to make your idea happen. CosmoGator, a third place finishing idea from Waterfront Athena Three is now a CNO’s Rapid Innovation Cell project that’s coming to life, and a tablet-based maintenance solution from Waterfront Athena Four has been prototyped by Lockheed Martin and even showcased at Athena Five!
So, if you’ve got an idea that you want to present, connect with us. You can message us on Facebook and Twitter (@AthenaNavy) or just shoot us an e-mail at AthenaNavy@gmail.com and we’ll help you with your concept and get you ready to go!
As a humble recommendation, even if you feel like you might not have enough “meat” in your idea to present it, just go with it! The cool part about Athena is that it also brings a network of open-minded thinkers together to help develop your idea! This is what creative confidence is all about!
As the late Robin Williams once said, “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
Wise words, from a guy who certainly would have been ‘AOE’ or “Of The Athenians.” Come on out on October 10th and see if your words and ideas can be catalysts for change.
I mean, since the Navy is all over the globe, that’d be like changing the world, right?