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Gregg A. Maryniak, ditch and egress training with Erik.

What do you do if you are underwater, upside-down, inside a plane? And how does this help a non-profit raise $1,000,000?

Gregg A. Maryniak. Ditch and egress survival training with Erik Lindbergh.
Gregg A. Maryniak. Ditch and egress survival training with Erik Lindbergh.

About this Episode

Fundraising for non-profits can look completely different from black tie galas or phone-a-thons. In this fun episode Gregg Maryniak and Erik recount their underwater survival training and how it resulted in $1,000,000 being raised to keep the XPRIZE Foundation alive during a very pivotal period of time in the XPRIZE Foundation's history.

View the XPRIZE series here:

Mentioned in this Episode

Follow along as you listen to bring your listening experience to life.

Some of our favorite quotes

What about the chances of Erik not making it (not surviving)? Gregg: He's going to learn how to get out of airplanes upside-down, under water, in the dark.

You're way to gleeful when you explain about how I'm going to get tortured.

The discovery we made was, when you are under water you can't breathe. I swear to god.

We didn't want to screw up, we didn't want to look bad, and we wanted to survive it.

At the end of the day, after doing it 13 times, we were so confident. We knew we could do it.

Electric windows in cars don't short out under water.

People radiate 80 watts of energy.

Don't worry sir, no one has ever died of sea-sickness. Don't tell me that, it's only the thought of dying that's keeping me alive right now.

Wow, you must be the world's worst pilot.

Even though I know historically that small teams of people have been able to accomplish what other folks thought was impossible, to live through that gives me hope.
There are really smart people in the world. If you challenge people to difficult and meaningful problems, they'll find the solution.

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About Gregg A. Maryniak

Gregg Maryniak is the Co-Founder and Secretary of the XPRIZE Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors. He was the Foundation’s original Executive Director through 2005 (and has almost completely recovered from that experience.)

He is Co-Chairman of the Energy and Space Tracks at Singularity University.

He previously served as Vice President of the St. Louis Science Center, Director of the McDonnell Planetarium, Senior Scientist of the Futron Corporation and CEO of the Space Studies Institute of Princeton.

He has served on many boards including the International Space University, the SUNSAT Energy Council, the Chicago Society for Space Studies, the Director’s Council of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation where he is currently Vice Chairman.

An Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics he has lectured throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia on spaceflight and energy. He received Russia’s Tsiolkovsky Medal for his work on space resources and the Space Frontier Foundation’s Vision to Reality award for creating the Lunar Prospector Team which ultimately found water at the moon’s poles.

(Bio courtesy of

On Amazon

Book by Gregg A. Maryniak

The Spirit of St. Louis movie mentioned in this episode.

An Erik Lindbergh original.

Lyn Lindbergh's award winning book.

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Gregg A. Maryniak. Ditch and egress survival training with Erik Lindbergh.
Gregg A. Maryniak. Ditch and egress survival training with Erik Lindbergh.


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