Looks like the guest speaker at Cisco Live 2013 will be business magnate Sir Richard Branson. He is the founder and chairman of the Virgin Group. You probably haven’t heard of most of the companies, but I suspect Virgin Mobile, Virgin America and Virgin Airways are most likely to be familiar to you. This might be most interesting to those in the IT Management Program at Cisco Live.
However, for myself, I find Virgin Galactic to the most interesting company he’s involved with. Their plan is to provide flights into space using spacecraft designed and built by The Spaceship Company, which itself is a joint venture between Virgin and Scaled Composites. This is the group won the Ansari X-Prize to build a craft that could fly three people into space twice in two weeks.
They’re working to fulfill something of the dream of the Pan Am flights to a space station that were illustrated in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Sir Richard Branson has also made several attempts to break world records, mostly trying to cross the Atlantic in record time in either a boat or balloon. He also tried to circumvent the globe in a balloon with 2 other adventurers.
I’m sure he’ll make an interesting guest and talk about some of the crazy things he has done. I can’t help but think of him as something of a modern version of Howard Hughes.