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NASA Rocket Scientist to Open HT-NEXT 2018


Hospitality Technology magazine and Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) announce that Adam Steltzner, Team Leader & Chief Engineer EDL, NASA Mars Rover Curiosity & Author, will be the opening keynote speaker on Monday, March 12 at HT-NEXT 2018.

Steltzner's presentation, "The Exhilaration and Chaos of Innovation: How Curiosity Can Drive Experience," will help hotel industry’s technology leaders understand how they too can and should "shoot for the stars." Steltzner will share the thrilling story of how technology and collaboration came together to enable the landing of the Rover Curiosity on Mars. Through personal experiences, he will illustrate lessons that can be applied in order to drive innovation while under intense pressure.

Steltzner’s extraterrestrial endeavors have given him a unique perspective to impart advice to executives. Through his rare blend of engaging story-telling and humorous introspection, Steltzner will advise attendees on how to overcome uncertainty and have the courage to move forward to devise solutions even when there is no guarantee of success. Steltzner’s audiences leave inspired and with a deeper understanding of why leadership is not about domination and how meaningful innovation has the potential to change the world.

Now in its second year, HT-NEXT is a combination of the HTNG North American Conference and HT’s Hotel Technology Forum. The 2018 event will take place March 12-14 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

HT-NEXT brings together technology leaders and influencers from leading hotel companies spanning IT, finance, marketing, distribution and operations. In 2017, the event attracted 650 hospitality professionals and brought in over 35 percent more hoteliers than both the 2016 HTNG North American Conference and HTF combined. Both of these numbers are expected to grow in 2018.

Industry decision makers will attend HT-NEXT to learn about the emerging trends and dig in to work together to solve current industry problems. The program will feature engaging and thought-provoking keynotes, diverse educational and breakout sessions, HTNG workgroups and a technology exhibit hall for attendees to discover cutting-edge solutions. Also, the Hotel Visionary Awards and the HTNG TechOvation Award will be presented again at this year’s event. In addition, the 2018 event will add unique education and networking programs, including a new leisure networking event during the day on Tuesday to increase interaction and Innovation Labs focusing on cutting-edge topics.

About Adam Steltzner

With a PhD in engineering physics, award-winning rocket scientist, Adam Steltzner is simultaneously recognized as one of NASA’s most brilliant engineers and most unique individuals. For 10 years, Steltzner led a team of engineers inventing, designing, testing and retesting the revolutionary “sky crane” landing system that successfully placed the Mars rover, Curiosity on the Martian surface in 2012. Five times heavier than its predecessors, Curiosity required an entirely new landing system for the perilous 7-minute phase when the one-ton rover—entering Martian atmosphere at 13,000 mph—must stop fully on the surface. Since then, he’s been awarded honors ranging from the Smithsonian’s American Ingenuity Award in technology to GQ magazine’s Spaceman of the Year. With a unique, exciting and inspiring narrative, Steltzner discusses the power of human curiosity, the importance of fostering a culture of collaborative innovation and proves that with the "Right Kind of Crazy," we can significantly expand boundaries and achieve the impossible. His insight and journey are captured in his book, The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership and High Stakes Innovation, released in 2016.

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