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Crisis to Creativity: What’s Next on the Path to Resilience
On the last day of July 2020, amid a worldwide pandemic, the United States launched the most complex and capable rover ever bound for Mars. On February 18, 2021, 203 days and 293 million miles later, Perseverance landed in the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater.

Perseverance. The perfect name for an amazing mission launched against the odds when an end to a devastating global pandemic was barely in sight.

Then, in April, the solar-powered helicopter, Ingenuity, took its first flight. At four pounds, 19 inches tall, with two 4-foot rotor blades, Ingenuity rose above the challenges of Mars’ thin atmosphere and gravity just a third of Earth’s.

We in the acquisition community know that Ingenuity and Perseverance are products of intense, ongoing collaboration between industry and government, just as all NASA missions are. The space agency spends more than 80 percent of its budget buying goods and services. It took decades of contracting creativity to lift the rover out of an Earthly crisis to triumph on Mars. 


These hallmarks of the American spirit carry us as we emerge from the greatest challenge of our lifetimes. We gather at World Congress 2021 in the mountain heights of Denver and virtually across the ethernet to celebrate the contracting achievements that got us here and are paving the path to a post-COVID world.

Emerging from crisis through creativity, we’ve:

  • Learned much more about how to overcome risks in our supply chains;
  • Discovered how to remotely accomplish contract management basics—from video proposals to Zoom source selections and negotiations to remote contract administration;
  • Found ways to lower federal market barriers for small and innovative nontraditional government suppliers;
  • Grown more confident and skilled in using innovative FAR and commercial contracting techniques;
  • Become more attuned to the challenges and capabilities of our counterparts across the negotiation table; and
  • Sought diversity in thought, race, gender, experience, expertise, age, origin, profession, orientation, background, and more to craft smarter, stronger, and more successful contracts

World Congress 2021 builds on ingenuity and creativity by presenting in-person and virtual “inside the contract” play-by-plays in supply chain management, workshops on small business challenges and opportunities, breakouts on business skills for a changing market, and refreshers on enduring contracting competencies. 

Join your community at World Congress. Put the ingenuity and perseverance that have helped us emerge from crisis to work building the creative and resilient contracting we need to shape the future.

Future World Congress Dates 
Hyatt Regency Chicago 
Chicago, IL 
July 17-20, 2022 

Gaylord Opryland 
Nashville, TN 
July 23-27, 2023 

© 2024

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