Space Generation Advisory Council
|Founded||Vienna, Austria (July 1999 )|
|Members||4000 members from 90 countries|
The Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) in support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications is a non-governmental organisation and professional network which "aims to bring the views of students and young space professionals to the United Nations (UN), space industry and other organisations". While the term "Space Generation" defines the generation born after October 4, 1957, the launch of Sputnik, the network is geared towards university students and young professionals in the space sector, aged roughly from 18-35.
The organisation is based in Vienna, Austria, and is also a registered 501c3 organisation in the United States. The volunteer network has over 4000 members in 90 countries between the ages of 18 and 35. The official languages of the SGAC are the six official languages of the United Nations, yet the official working language is English.
SGAC's primary work is in advancing space policy development, representing the world's young adults in space policy to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and other international organisations. SGAC continues to present perspectives of university students and young professionals to the UN through its Observer Status with the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS).
In December 1997, the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs Secretariat invited the International Space University (ISU) to organise a young adult forum as part of the UNISPACE III Conference, in July 1999 in Vienna.
The Space Generation Forum, organised by ISU alumni volunteers, hosted 160 participants from 60 different countries. Experts explored a wide variety of topics relating to the field of space, which included: science, engineering, technology, law, ethics, art, literature, anthropology and architecture. More than 100 visions and ideas were generated during the conference, written in the form of recommendations. The ten most important ones were drafted as the “Declaration of the Space Generation” which got approved by the UNISPACE III Plenary as the SGF’s Technical Report (refer UN-Document A/Conf.184/L.14) [Reference: click here) Of these ten recommendations, five were integrated into the Vienna Declaration. One of the recommendations was "To create a council to support the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, through raising awareness and exchange of fresh ideas by young adults. The vision is to employ the creativity and vigour of younger generations in advancing humanity through the peaceful uses space". From this directive, the Space Generation Advisory Council in Support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications was established.
Since its establishment, SGAC has grown rapidly, in 2001 earning Permanent Observer status in UN COPUOS and earning consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 2003. The organisation officially opened its headquarters at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in 2005 in Vienna, and hired its first paid employee in 2006. Today, the organisation’s professional network is made up of over 4000 members from 90 countries.
SGAC is headed by the Executive Council, which consists of two elected co-chairs as well as 12 elected regional coordinators, two per UN region. The Executive Council is supported by an appointed Executive Office, which is made up of a treasurer, executive officer, secretaries, two co-secretaries and other members. The rest of the organisation is made up of the National Points of Contact, up to two per participating state, and the 4000 volunteers who make up the supporting Space Generation Network.
A General Assembly is held annually and serves to bring the National Points of Contact and the Executive Council together, in order to approve or reject proposition introduced by the Executive Committee and to change statutes of the organisation.
SGAC works with many outside space-related organisations from around the world. Examples of SGAC’s partners, sponsors, and collaborators include UNOOSA, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Secure World Foundation, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), The European Space Policy Institute, ISU, the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement. (A complete list of the sponsors and supporter is available on the SGAC website ).
The organisation receives advice from its Advisory Board, composed of eight current space sector leaders who represent the views of the organisation in promoting space among young generations of the world. The board serves to evaluate work of the organisation and suggest ways to improve its functions and its engagement.
There is also an Honorary Board which is composed of distinguished individuals who have served the organisation in the past and whom SGAC wishes to “recognise for their furtherance of goals similar to those of SGAC.”
SGAC Involvement with the UN
SGAC works constantly to accomplish a key component of its mission as an organisation: to be the dialogue agent between UN Member States present at the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the next generation of international space sector leaders.
United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space (COPUOS) SGAC has Permanent Observer status in UN COPUOS and is regularly present at its annual meeting (in June) and at its two subcommittees' meetings: Legal (in March) and Scientific and Technical (in February). As one of only twenty Permanent Observers in COPUOS, SGAC contributes to the activities and action teams of COPUOS. SGAC at each meeting contributes to the discussion by making statements and presentations on the various work that SGAC's network produces throughout the year. This includes the reporting of the recommendations gathered at the annual Space Generation Congress.
United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) SGAC works together with OOSA in promoting United Nations workshops and in supporting SGAC members to attend various conferences around the world.Its partnership with OOSA is also manifested throughout its networks.
United Nations Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) The SGAC is proud to be members of the UN Economic and Social Committee since 2003. In this position, annually SGAC attends the UN General Assembly every year, and represents young professionals and university students in this important world forum. SGAC ECOSOC representatives report back on the important recommendations from all UN Member States.
Vision and Goal
The guiding vision of SGAC is “to employ the creativity and vigour of young generations in advancing humanity through the peaceful uses of outer space.” Furthermore, the organisation states that “[we] believe that the voice of students and young professionals should be heard in the creation of international space policy. As those who will be becoming the key policymakers, providers and users of space, we believe that it is imperative that their opinion is taken into account.”
The primary goal of SGAC is “to provide access to our members to inject their thoughts, views and opinions on the direction of international space policy.” Other goals include:
- to undertake projects on key topics of relevance to the SGAC members and to international space policy
- to present the university students and young professionals viewpoint around the world
- to provide a dynamic forum in which university students and young professionals can expand their knowledge of international space policy issues, build networks and think creatively about the future direction of humanity’s use of space
Space Generation Congress The SGAC holds an annual event called the Space Generation Congress, which is held in conjunction with the International Astronautical Conference. The event is attended by approximately 130 top university students and young professionals with a passion for space who are selected from among applicants from the Space Generation international network. With the Space Generation Congress, SGAC aims to hone and promote the voice of the young adults on the topic of international space development through the future leaders of the space sector. The 2011 Congress was held in South Africa and explored numerous themes including: Agency, Industry, Society, Exploration, and Outreach. The results and recommendations of the congress are always presented at the United Nations, during the UN COPUOS meetings.
The conference is held in a different location every year. The reason for this is that the congress is held in conjunction with the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), which is held at a different location every year. Past and future locations include:
|2009||Daejeon, South Korea|
|2010||Prague, Czech Republic|
|2011||Cape Town, South Africa|
Space Generation Fusion Forum The inaugural Space Generation Fusion Forum took place in conjunction with the National Space Symposium on April 15 & 16, 2012 in Colorado, USA at the Broadmoor Hotel. This is the first major US event for SGAC since 2002, and it offers the next young generation of space sector leaders from government, industry, and academia the opportunity to come together to exchange views on current, hot space topics via interactive panels. The programme also allows these top delegates to network with each other as well as with today’s current space leaders, who will be speaking and moderating the panels. The Fusion Forum provides an ideal atmosphere for discussion about international collaboration since the participants come from all over the world.
Confirmed speakers and moderators for the Space Generation Fusion Forum 2012 include:
- Elliott Pulham, Chief Executive Officer Space Foundation
- Lori Garver, Deputy Administrator NASA
- Clayton Mowry, President of Arianespace, Inc.
- Michael Simpson, Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation
- Chummer Farina, Vice-President of the Canadian Space Agency
- Yasushi Horikawa, Technical Counselor of JAXA
For more information about the event, visit the official Fusion Forum webpage 
Current Advisory Board Members
SGAC’s Advisory Board is designed to give strategic direction and advice to SGAC in order to help guide the organisation in its fulfillment of its goals and objectives. It provides comment substantively on the work of the organisation and suggests ways in which to improve its functions and its engagement. The board is composed of eight board members, each of whom serves for a two-year term. The Advisory Board members are influential members of the international space community who have been strong supporters of the goals of SGAC and of the organisation itself.
Members in alphabetical order
|Michael Brett||Outgoing SGAC Chair|
|Norbert Frischauf||Future Studies Systems Engineer for Spacetec|
|Yasushi Horikawa||Chairman of UN COPUOS and Technical Counselor at the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)|
|Agnieszka Lukaszczyk||Former SGAC Chairperson and Brussels Office Director for the Secure World Foundation|
|Peter Martinez||Chairman of the South African Council for Space Affairs|
|Tanja Masson-Zwaan||President of the International Institute of Space Law|
|Nicolas Peter||Exploration Strategy Officer in the Director General's Cabinet - European Space Agency|
|Dumitru Prunariu||Former Chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS)|
Projects and Scholarships
In addition to the Space Generation Congress and the Space Generation Fusion Forum, SGAC hosts a number of competitions and projects such as the Space Entrepreneurship Paper Competition (“Move an Asteroid”) and the Barcelona Zero-G Aerobatics Challenge.
As of the beginning of 2012, the organisation has undertaken few large projects:
Commercial Space:Driven by the game-changing current developments in the commercial space world and their foreseeable importance in the future,it aims to equip the young generation with knowledge, tools and network to be active in the realm of commercial space and entrepreneurship.
Space Law Project Group:Dedicated to investigating and addressing current issues in international and national space law, and anticipating likely space law issues in the coming decades, the Project Group will pursue projects relevant to the field of space law, and to the broader international space community.
Youth Promoting Cooperation and Education in Global Navigation Satellite Systems Working Group (YGNSS): YGNSS is a team of university students and young professionals who aim to promote the benefits of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and promote activities relating to international cooperation in GNSS. YGNSS supports the International Committee on GNSS (ICG), an international forum for cooperation on Global Navigation Satellite Systems recognised by the United Nations.
The Near Earth Object Working Group (NEO): NEO is dedicated to helping the worldwide planetary defence community observe and track planetary comets and asteroids which have a possibility of colliding with Earth. The group provides a young adult perspective to planetary defence through annual reports, competitions, conference attendance, and public outreach projects related to Near Earth Objects.
Space Technologies for Disaster Management Working Group (STDM): STDM, created in June 2009, aims to provide universal access to all types of space-based information and services relevant to disaster management. The group strives to inform the general public on how space technologies are valuable in disaster management as well as to provide a channel for new perspectives allowing for greater research elements, and a forum for those interested in disaster management and space activities.
Space Safety and Sustainability Working Group (SSS): SSS Identifies and examines key issues concerning the safety and long-term sustainability of current and proposed space operations. Additionally, SSS seeks to provide an international space forum to showcase ]the young adult’s perspective on the safety of space activities, and the sustainability of the space environment for future generations.
In SGAC’s quest to increase youth input and engagement on international space issues, the organisation works to provide financial resources for its members. The SGAC therefore awards numerous scholarships throughout the year to university students and young professionals interested in the field of Space. Since the council is made up of such a globally diverse network, these scholarships allow for a greater number of members to take part in the international space policy creation process from attendance and presentations at UN COPUOS to participating in SGAC’s annual congress, the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) or issue-specific seminars around the world.
Most recently, on 6 June 2013, the council announced that in partnership with the German Aerospace Center, it would award three university students from Germany who demonstrate outstanding activity and motivation in the space sector to attend IAC 2013, which is to going be held in Beijing,China.
SGAC official website: www.spacegeneration.org