Using Innovation to Survive and Thrive: Yates’ Economic Conference Keynote

 Photo: Aaron Crutchfield/Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Chip Yates, record-setting aviator, entrepreneur and founder of Yates Electrospace Corporation, fired up an audience of business owners, employers, local politicians, educators, and military officials in his keynote presentation at the 27th Annual Indian Wells Valley Economic Outlook Conference on February 28 in Ridgecrest, CA.

The theme of the conference was ‘Innovation’ and the organizers were thrilled to have Yates headlining the conference, said Ridgecrest ChamberEconomic Outlook Conference Ridgecrest of Commerce President/CEO Nathan Ahle. “He’s a dynamic speaker who has done some incredible things.”

In his presentation, “Go-Karts, Spaghetti Sauce, and Other Economic Indicators”, Yates referred to the recent eight world records set in his electric airplane to challenge the audience of key local stakeholders to embrace innovation, recognize opportunity, and look for creative approaches to problem solving, in order to keep the local economy strong. It’s not necessary to be the size of Los Angeles to be economically successful, Yates argued, pointing out how small and agile can be a benefit.

“Consider this,” he told attendees. “Imagine if my company had been in a race with Boeing, which has $87 million in revenues and 169,000 people. I have zero billion in revenues and three volunteers. If we had a race to create an airplane that could set these world records, who do you think would have won it? We would! That’s the power of not being too big, not being encumbered by bureaucracy.”

**Click for media coverage of the conference.


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With his small cadre of volunteers and with few resources, Yates has been the first human in history to break the 200-MPH mark in an electric airplane, and he has demonstrated repeated superiority over gasoline-powered aircraft in other record-setting achievements. Yates brings his story to audiences of all kinds, inspiring and motivating adults and young people to push their limits and not to fear risk.

**Click to view Yates’ recent TED talk “Risk is the Currency of Innovation.” 

**Contact us to inquire about a keynote address for your organization or school.