Thank you, Colin!

Laudatio by ESA DG Jean-Jacques Dordain, given on the occasion of the Eurisy General Assembly 2015 – the last to be presided by President Colin Hicks.

As Eurisy’s President, Colin was appreciated for many things. Perhaps surprisingly, one of the qualities he is most celebrated for at Eurisy is his Story Telling. It takes a lot to make a great storyteller, and a great story teller can do a lot.

A great storyteller is one that believes. Colin has been tireless in sharing his belief in the greater good: like Hubert Curien before him, Colin strongly believes in the potential of space to serve society. This conviction helped inspire many of those he enthusiastically approached, advocating for space.

Colin has also been a steadfast believer in the usefulness of Eurisy’s work: in 2006, when he took over the Presidency, satellite applications in use were much harder to come by than they are today. And yet, he did not shift from his belief that it would be only a matter of time until more users used space routinely, and that Eurisy would be part of making it happen. It turns out, he was right.

Great storytellers are those that put themselves into the work they do. Colin put a lot of himself in the success stories he told to the hundreds of people he reached as Eurisy President, across Europe, stories meant to inspire them to adopt space-derived tools in their daily job.

Colin, a trained scientist and a passionate “space geek”, brought the kind of personal verve and enthusiasm to speaking about space that one brings when sharing personal stories to a friend. It was what touched people.

Great storytellers are also charismatic leaders. Colin lead Eurisy by inspiring through personal example. Having encouraged Eurisy to knock on new doors and raise awareness even as applications were only emerging, he was also the first to do this too: he did not hesitate to step out of his comfort zone, approaching unfamiliar user communities. His inspiring words were constant reminders as to the value of Eurisy’s work – and this is what mobilised staff to keep at it.

Colin, as you step down from this job that you have done so well for Eurisy, we know Eurisy will continue to have a friend in you, and we are counting on it. Thank you.