Conquering the Skies

Logo and badge of the School of Icarus, the Hellenic Air Force Academy, featuring an image of Icarus and his wax wings.

We all know the story. Icarus, son of Daedalus, attempts to escape the Mediterranean island of Crete using wings of feather and wax made by his father. Ignoring instructions not to fly too close to the sun, the melting wings send him plunging into death in the sea below.

An allegory of pride and excessive hubris, right? Maybe, but that’s not how modern Greeks see it.

Σχολή Ικάρων (School of Icarus) is the modern day Air Force Academy in Greece. To them, Icarus represents the never-ending quest to conquer the skies.

Today’s not-for-profits, even religious ones, must have a vision that is something like an ancient Greek attempting to conquer the skies. Today’s human tragedies are too massive for anything less than a hubris-filled reach for the stars.

For inspiration, look up Bono’s presentation to TED, “The Good News on Poverty (yes, there’s good news!)”. Watch it. Can you imagine extreme poverty being erased by the year 2030. That’s just 17 years away!

Or, imagine a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Or, a world without disease. Without hunger.

What is your BHAG (big hairy audacious goal)? Is it BIG ENOUGH to conquer the skies?