Phillips & Company, a global communications firm, hosted an evening with civic and business leaders Wednesday to celebrate nine years of growth and leadership. The night included an intimate discussion with Anousheh Ansari, the first female private space explorer and creator of the first telecom softswitch, at One World Theatre on "The Art of Leadership: How People and Companies Win." Ansari and Rich Phillips, President of Phillips & Company, discussed with guests how people and companies can compete and win in today's business markets.
Ansari, who emigrated from Iran to the United States with her family as a teenager, told of her experiences training in Russia for her visit to the International Space Station, and the added barriers she faced, and overcame, as a woman. Her eight-day space expedition led her to reevaluate her priorities on Earth and think about all decisions through a global lens. She is an advocate for STEM education so that others can have the opportunity to follow in her path and build a better future for humankind.
Ansari also shared the need to take risks when you are in a leadership position. "To be a leader, you take risks; but more importantly you help others understand what can be gained by taking those risks," said Ansari. She said that when she started her first company, some people discouragingly said it was too risky. It was ahead of its time and proved very successful in the end. Her new company, Prodea Systems, whose core product allows users to securely access their digital content from many devices, is the Ansari family's latest endeavor, and she attributes its success to her organization's forward outlook on the proliferation of digital information.
Rich Phillips started Phillips & Company in 2003. "For more than nine years we have helped our clients create, defend and sustain leadership positions. Victory in today's dynamic markets requires transformational leadership and Anousheh is a tremendous example of a transformational leader," Phillips said.
When asked by a guest in the audience how the space journey had changed her life, Ansari said that "before travelling into space you think how hard it might be to accomplish something big on such a vast planet. But after looking at the world from space you realize how small and connected we all really are. Now, in any new endeavor, I can't help but consider things on a global scale."
Ansari also believes that the United States will continue to lead in space exploration and the new space economy; however, she said it is "incumbent upon us to promote and advance STEM education, and we need to do so in ways that motivate and excite our students. Without a strong push in the U.S. around STEM, we could fall behind in space sciences as well as other areas of technology and engineering innovation."
Said Phillips: "The emerging new Space Economy promises to become a transformational force for economic growth and business opportunity. As the market matures and business models develop, the Space Economy will need leadership. The same rules that fueled the rise of the Internet Economy will govern the Space Economy - and the opportunities for long-term economic success may far exceed its predecessor."
About Phillips & Company
Phillips & Company is a global communications firm that helps leading companies and organizations build and sustain leadership positions through public relations and business development. With a focus on space technology, homeland security, mobile computing, telecommunications, healthcare, education and green technology, Phillips & Company helps organizations own the issues driving their respective markets through public relations, integrated marketing, business development, brand positioning and public affairs. Ultimately, Phillips helps companies create demand for their products and services by broadening and reinforcing the trust customers, partners and investors have in their company. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Phillips & Company has operations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, London and Hong Kong.
Phillips & Company
Jennifer Pett, 512-573-9516