I thought of Isaac as I watched Richard Branson onboard Virgin Galactic, flying to the edge of space on July 11, 2021. Only a few days later, I thought of Isaac again when Jeff Bezos boarded his own Blue Origin NS-16 to make his own flight. Certainly, both men had to be dreamers to have imagined the ventures that lead them to achieve the first steps of their dream.
That gift alone was quite impressive, but Bezos was not finished. During the Blue Origin's post flight press conference, Bezos had another surprise--the creation of the "Courage and Civility Award." Bezos is certainly excited about the role space travel has for future generations, ideas that include moving industries that are currently harming our planet with pollutants to the moon, as one example. But he also recognizes that problems on earth need to be addressed. He told the CNN interviewer, "We have to do both...we have lots of problems here and now on Earth, and we need to work on those. We always need to look to the future. ...We have to do both."
The present short flights that Branson and Bezos have achieved seem more like billionaires' amusement rides, but Bezos sees their purpose differently. He believes the opportunity for people to actually "see with your own eyes how fragile it [our planet] really is" will change their perspective on the urgency to protect and save our planet.
That is why he is not only using space travel to allow those with the wealth to by a ticket to see our precious planet differently in hopes they will return from their flights inspired to use their wealth to help solve the Earth's urgent problems. He is also setting an example through the "Courage and Civility Award," and while he had the world's attention right after the flight, he introduced the first two recipients of that award, giving two men $100 million dollars to make charitable donations of their own choices.
Isaac Werner received no awards, that I am aware of, but he too served his communities, especially active in his roles in educating farmers. Perhaps in his small way he met the criteria Bezos set for the recipients of his "Courage and Civility" award, as "leaders who aim high, pursue solutions with courage and always do so with civility."