douglas Mallette is a self- described “techno-geek with an extroverted personality.” His topics revolve around
global sustainability and the social,
political and economic implications of
our technologically advancing world.
But Douglas has found a way to explain
these issues in an entertaining way. He
has spoken extensively throughout the
United States and Europe, and is
already a formal delegate of the Committee on World Food Security, Private
How do you communicate what you
describe as “dry information” into
terms that are entertaining and di-
gestible to the average listener?
I have found that the best way to
deliver dry information is to make it
relate to everyday life. The more you
can do this, the easier it is for people to
internalize the information and “get it.”
Plus, jokes help. Humor has a way of
breaking through to people. For exam-
ple, when I’m talking about sustainabil-
ity for orbital operations (ISS and
former Space Shuttle), I say something
like, “Now, in orbit you have to recycle
and reuse things as much as possible.
You can’t be wasteful. There’s no Wal-
Mart in orbit, thank God, so you can’t
just go re-supply whenever you want.”
That usually gets a laugh and helps peo-
ple understand the overall point.
When did you realize you had a knack
for public speaking?
I was shy and quiet in my youth, partially a result of being bullied pretty
bad. But when I joined the Navy and
found myself responsible for lives and
multimillion-dollar aircrafts, a switch
went off in me and I changed. I became
quite the extrovert. Eventually, that
started to manifest in different ways,
from walking around Sci-Fi Cons in my
Star Wars ‘cosplay’ gear to speaking to
people about things I’m passionate
about, like space exploration and sustainable technologies.
What are your goals once you com-
plete your master’s degree?
When I get my master’s degree in international relations, I hope to level up
with regards to who I’m speaking to
and effect change on the global stage. I
would like to be able to address more
people and global entities, helping to
move mankind forward on a more sustainable, just and equitable path. We
can do better. We already have the
tools, but we’re using 2,000-year-old
operating systems to run a 21st century
age. I’m not the only voice echoing this
sentiment, but I hope to help increase
the choral volume by adding mine to
Bill Gove Scholarship
SchooL: University of Rhode Island
STATuS: Graduate (Masters)
FocuS: Political Science – International Relations
goal as a speaker is
to effect change on
the global stage.