Loretta Whitesides

Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides is a Founder Astronaut at Virgin Galactic, mother of two, wife to George T. Whitesides, and author of The New Right Stuff: Using Space to Bring out the Best in You. Loretta studied astrobiology at Stanford and Caltech, did research on plant life in the Canadian Arctic with NASA, dove to the bottom of the ocean with Titanic Director James Cameron, and has floated weightless hundreds of times as a Flight Director for Zero Gravity Corporation. She and her husband are the Co-Creators of Yuri's Night, the annual Worldwide Space Party celebrating the dual Russian and U.S. space anniversaries on April 12. She currently teaches leadership and personal development for the space community through her SpaceKind Training Program which evolved from the New Right Stuff training program she led at Virgin Galactic for five years. 

3 words to describe Nature?

Elegant. Closed-loop. Soul-filling

3 things Nature taught you?

Trees are incredibly generous

You don't need to "waste" anything

We need natural systems to thrive

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Redwood forests

On a rock next to a mountain stream

On a mountain looking down on a fog bank

When you look at the OCEAN, it makes you feel...?

Fragile, insignificant, held (I believe the ocean holds are memories)

When you see a FOREST, it makes you feel...?

Calm, grounded, loved

When you see a VOLCANO, it makes you feel...?

Primal, powerful, grateful

When you see a SUNRISE or SUNSET, it makes you feel...?

Blessed, full-hearted, quiet

When you hear THUNDER, it makes you feel...? *

Excited, powerful, expansive

When you hear the WIND HOWLING, it makes you feel…?

Connected to my friend Andrew Hopping who loves the wind, hunkered down, humbled

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Mountains and forests

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

When I was about 14, our girl's group at my summer camp was challenged to do a 24 solo- as though we were lost during a hike- just shorts and a t-shirt in Northern California. It was pretty demanding, alone, cold, hungry, but I survived and was SO PROUD of myself! I always push others to let kids do things that are hard and scary so they can have that experience that they can do more than they think.


Lera Boroditsky

Lera Boroditsky is a Professor of Cognitive Science at UCSD and Editor in Chief of Frontiers in Cultural Psychology. She previously served on the faculty at MIT and at Stanford. Her research is on the relationships between mind, world, and language (or how humans get so smart).

She has been named one of 25 Visionaries changing the world by the Utne Reader, and is also a Searle Scholar, a McDonnell scholar, recipient of an NSF Career award, and an APA Distinguished Scientist lecturer. She once used the Indonesian exclusive "we" correctly before breakfast, and was proud of herself about it all day.

Get a quick research overview (WSJ and Scientific American)

3 words to describe Nature?

To me nature is the ultimate luxury. When I find myself alone in a wild beautiful place, I feel like I’m the richest person in the world. So, luxury and freedom. I hope that’s three words.

3 things Nature taught you?

To embrace change

To welcome uncertainty

To relish complexity

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Floating down any empty river

Staring at the stars from a natural geothermal hot spring that magically stays at 105 degrees F

Hidden inside a mature fig tree canopy, especially when the figs are ripe

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

So glad to be so small, and to be surrounded by endless possibilities

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Hungry for mushrooms and that soft underfoot sous-bois 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

Hopeful that there’s a volcano-warmed river nearby I can jump into

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

How earth-centric of us to keep calling it a sunrise or sunset, when we’ve known for centuries that we’re the ones rotating. Who’s going to come up with a good name to describe these earth-tilts that either reveal or obscure the sun from our view? I’m accepting suggestions. 

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Like we need a little baseline to go with the drums

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

If I’m in a sailboat, excited. Otherwise, like I should find a nice cave to huddle up in.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I live in Southern California, so I can have all 4 in one day. Why choose? :)

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

I don’t think of myself as separate from nature, so 11?

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Mushroom hunting in Belarus with my dad. The birch forests in Belarus are these magical light-filled playgrounds, and looking for mushrooms is an incredible state of focus and flow, and if you’re lucky, with a delicious end.


Kent Thiry

Kent Thiry is chairman and CEO of DaVita, a FORTUNE 200 company with 75,000 teammates and approximately $14 billion in revenues. The company operates in 11 countries globally, delivering clinically differentiated health care to nearly 2 million patients.

DaVita has been the subject of leadership and culture case studies written by both Harvard and Stanford, and taught in many other schools and programs. Kent sits on the Harvard Business School’s advisory board and is regularly invited to speak on leadership and culture at top business schools, companies and not-for-profit leadership groups.

In 2016 he led Let Colorado Vote, a group that passed two ballot initiatives, one that re- established the presidential primary in Colorado and a second that opens Colorado’s primaries to unaffiliated voters. He is currently leading a redistricting reform initiative, Fair Maps Colorado, as well as a statewide Path to Shared Prosperity blueprint process with a group of CEOs from most of Colorado’s largest companies. He also co-founded The Aspen Group with Senators Bill Frist and Tom Daschle.

Prior to joining DaVita, Kent served in several senior executive roles, including chairman and CEO of Vivra Specialty Partners, a specialty health care company; president and then CEO of Vivra, a NYSE health care service company; and partner at Bain & Company. Prior board seats include the non- executive Chairmanship of Oxford Health Plans.

Kent earned his B.A. in political science, with distinction, from Stanford University, where he also was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, in 1978. He earned his M.B.A., with honors, from Harvard Business School in 1983, where he was also elected to the Century Club.

3 words to describe Nature?

Awesome. Complex. Essential

3 things Nature taught you?

The power of rejuvenation

The power of fresh air

How everything is connected

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Our family cottage in Wisconsin

Colorado rockies

Any place with a mountain bike trail that is far away from the road

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Small, in awe, & connected

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Peaceful, hopeful, & it creates in me a higher level of energy

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

Respect, timelessness, a sense of faith, power that is beyond our realm and reach

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

Fulfilled, calm, human

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Sense of anticipation, respect for the Universe, quiet

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Depends where I am and the clothes I am wearing. When backpacking I get a sense of excitement, that a challenge is coming. I need to know where safe ground is. It also reminds me the appreciation for the basics - being warm and dry.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Forest first, mountain second, ocean third.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

9

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Running through the forest in northern Wisconsin.