Award-Winning Rocket Scientist Adam Steltzner to Keynote at Adaptive Insights User Conference

NASA Leader Will Share Stories of Planning and Adapting at Adaptive Live 2017

Apr 19, 2017

Adaptive Insights, the only pure-play cloud vendor to be named a leader in strategic corporate performance management (CPM), today announced that award-winning rocket scientist, author, TED speaker, and master storyteller, Adam Steltzner, will deliver the guest keynote at its upcoming Adaptive Live 2017 user conference taking place May 30-June 2 in San Francisco. Steltzner’s experiences leading NASA projects provide the ideal backdrop for the conference theme: “Plan and Adapt Without Compromise.”

As the leader of the team that developed the revolutionary “sky crane” landing system that successfully placed the Mars rover, Curiosity, on Mars in 2012, Steltzner is an expert at planning, adapting, and embracing a “no compromise” philosophy. In his keynote, titled “The Right Kind of Crazy: A Story of Teamwork, Leadership, and High Stakes Innovation,” he will discuss the power of human curiosity and the importance of fostering a culture of collaborative innovation. As important, Steltzner recognizes that success often means planning for every contingency, particularly when expanding boundaries and achieving the impossible, like landing a one-ton rover on Mars.

“Adam is a master planner, leading his team on a $2.5 billion, multi-year project that resulted in one of the most successful NASA projects, the Curiosity sky crane,” said Michael Schmitt, CMO of Adaptive Insights. “Going from 13,000 mph as it enters the Martian atmosphere to a dead stop on the surface seems impossible, yet Adam’s team made it possible. We are thrilled to have him keynote our event, inspiring our attendees with his stories of focus, persistence, and ultimate success.” 

With a PhD in engineering physics, Steltzner is an award-winning rocket scientist recognized as one of NASA’s most brilliant engineers and unique individuals. The former musician turned scientist led a team of engineers inventing, designing, testing, and retesting the sky crane that successfully placed the Curiosity on the Martian surface. Five times heavier than its predecessors, Curiosity required an entirely new landing system for the perilous seven-minute phase—also known as the “seven minutes of terror”—when the one-ton rover must stop fully on the surface.

“Planning and adapting to new challenges was our mantra during the NASA sky crane project, a 10-year program that underwent many changes, adjustments, and re-planning across our team of 40,” said Steltzner. “I look forward to sharing my experiences at NASA—the struggles, the setbacks, and the ultimate victory—and how we learned to create a culture of collaboration and innovation throughout our mission.”

To learn more about Adam Steltzner and his keynote at Adaptive Live, read the blog, “Why Successful Planning Requires ‘the Right Kind of Crazy.’”

Click to Tweet: Want to hear a rocket scientist? @NASA's @steltzner to keynote #AdaptiveLive17. @AdaptiveInsight #Finance

About Adaptive Live

This year’s Adaptive Live conference expects to attract more than 1,500 finance professionals who will gather to learn how to further optimize their business performance using the Adaptive Suite. With a theme of “Plan and Adapt Without Compromise,” attendees will experience the industry’s only CPM platform that is simultaneously easy, powerful, and fast—offering a no-compromise solution for managing corporate performance.

The conference will include:

  • Hands-on training for all skill levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced users
  • A Wizard Bar and Tips & Tricks Theater
  • Case studies and transformation tips from dozens of users
  • Two days of training (June 1-2)
  • Networking opportunities with finance professionals, segmented by vertical industries

Visit the Adaptive Live registration page to sign up today.

About Adaptive Insights

Adaptive Insights is the recognized leader in cloud corporate performance management (CPM). The company's Adaptive Suite enables companies of all sizes to collaboratively plan and model, easily access real-time analytics, streamline complex financial reporting, and accelerate financial consolidation. With this best-practice active planning process, Adaptive Insights differentiates with easy, powerful, and fast software that empowers more than 3,300 customers in over 50 countries to drive business success.

Adaptive Insights is a privately held company with headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. To learn more, visit