Space Generation Advisory Council
|Founded||Vienna, Austria (July 1999 )|
|Members||13,000 members from 150 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 13,000 members in 150 countries in 6 different regions 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).
SGAC has been accepted as a voting member of the International Astronautical Federation.
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 13,000 members from 150 countries in 6 different regions.
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, 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 nation, and the 13,000 members 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 propositions introduced by the Executive Council and to change statutes of the organisation.
SGAC works with many outside space-related organisations from all around the world. The list of SGAC partners includes organisations from industry, government, academia and other non-profits. A complete list of the sponsors and supporter is available on the SGAC website .
The organisation receives advice from its Advisory Board, composed of twelve 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 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 and the Space Generation Fusion Forum.
- 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). SGAC is proud to be member of the UN Economic and Social Committee since 2003. In this position, 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 (SGC). The SGAC holds an annual event called the Space Generation Congress, which is held in conjunction with the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) organized by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). The event is attended by approximately 150 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 university students and young professionals on the topic of international space development through the future leaders of the space sector. The Congress explores numerous themes including: Agency, Industry, Society, Exploration, and Outreach. The results and recommendations of the congress are presented at the United Nations, during the UN COPUOS meetings of the following year. The Space Generation Congress 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 rotates on an annual basis. Past and future locations include:
|2009||Daejeon, South Korea|
|2010||Prague, Czech Republic|
|2011||Cape Town, South Africa|
|2019||Washington D.C., U.S.A|
Space Generation Fusion Forum (SGFF). 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 resort. The SGFF has since become an annual event in conjunction with Space Symposium in Colorado, USA. The SGFF 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.
Space Generation Forum 2.0 (SGF 2.0). In 2018 the Space Generation Forum 2.0 was held to celebrate almost two decades since SGAC's first Space Generation Forum (now SGC) at UNISPACE III in 1999. The Forum was held in Vienna from the 16 to 17 of June 2018 as the international space community convened for the High Level Forum, UNISPACE+50 and the sixty-first session of COPUS. Seven Working Groups were created taking into consideration the four pillars (Space Economy, Space Diplomacy, Space Society, Space Accessibility) and the seven Thematic Priorities that represent the framework in which UNISPACE +50 was developed.
Space Generation Workshop (SGW). The Space Generation Workshop series started with the aim of providing an opportunity to our members to share regional perspectives on space activities. They are large regional events that bring together students and young professionals to discuss current and upcoming space sector opportunities and challenges with a regional perspective. Through these regional workshops, SGAC aims to promote the voice of the next generation of space leaders in each of our six regions. Past and future locations of the SGW include:
|Region||Name||Year - Location|
|Africa||African Space Generation Workshop (AF-SGW)||2017 - Akure (Nigeria); 2018 - Port Louis (Mauritius)|
|Asia-Pacific||Asia-Pacific Space Generation Workshop (AP-SGW)||2014 - Yokohama (Japan); 2015 - Bali (Indonesia); 2016 - Los Baños (Philippines); 2017 - Bengaluru (India); 2018 - Singapore (Singapore)|
|Central America||Central American Space Generation Workshop (CA-SGW)||2018 - San José (Costa Rica)|
|Europe||European Space Generation Workshop (E-SGW)||2016 - Budapest (Hungary); 2017 - Paris (France); 2018 - Bucharest (Romania); 2019 - London (UK)|
|South America||South American Space Generation Workshop (SA-SGW)||2015 - Buenos Aires (Argentina); 2016 - Lima (Peru); 2017 - São José dos Campos (Brazil); 2018 - Bogotá (Colombia)|
SGAC's Advisory Board is designed to give strategic direction and advice to SGAC in order to help guide the organisation in its fulfilment 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 twelve 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.
Current Members in alphabetical order:
|Abimbola H. Alale||Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT)|
|Ali Nasseri||Former SGAC Chair (2016-2018)|
|Andrea Jaime||Business Development Manager at OHB System|
|Clayton Mowry||Sales, Marketing and Customer Experience, Blue Origin|
|Danielle Wood||Assistant Professor in the MIT Media Lab|
|Jonathan Hung||President and Founder of the Singapore Space and Technology Association (SSTA)|
|Kai-Uwe Schrogl||Chief Strategy Officer of the European Space Agency; President of the International Institute of Space Law|
|Kevin Stube||Chair of the IAF Workforce Development and Young Professionals Programme Committee|
|Miglena Zhekova||Project Manager at SMG Aerospace|
|Pablo Gabriel de Leon||Director of the Human Spaceflight Laboratory at the University of North Dakota|
|Reinhold Ewald||Professor of Astronautics and Space Stations, University of Stuttgart; Pre-2009 ESA Astronaut|
|Steve Eisenhart||Senior Vice President - Strategic & International Affairs, Space Foundation|
Projects and Scholarships
In addition to the Space Generation Congress and the Space Generation Fusion Forum, SGAC hosts a number of competitions and projects. The technical competitions at SGAC, such as the Move an Asteroid Campaign, Entrepreneurship Paper Competition and others, enable young professionals and university students to submit their work and ideas, giving them the chance to get awarded with participation to space conferences to present their work.
SGAC acts as a forum to discuss and debate current topics in international space policy. This is done in a number of project groups. As of 2018, the organisation has a number of active projects:
- Commercial Space Project Group. The Commercial Space project group understands itself as a forum and “think tank” on topics regarding the commercial use and the vibrant commercialization of space activities for members of the young generation. The group’s research interests lay in 1) the Context of Commercial Space, 2) Commercial Space Models and Market Segments, 3) the Role of Policy and Law in Shaping the Commercial Space Industry, and 4) Business Models / Entrepreneurship. Besides academic research, the group’s goal is to motivate and support the involvement of young people in commercial space activities, through competitions, round tables, webinars and the like.
- Space Law and Policy 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 Project 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 Project Group (NEO). The Near Earth Object (NEO) Project Group is dedicated to helping the worldwide planetary defence community to meet one of nature’s greatest challenges. The group provides a youth perspective to planetary defence through annual reports, competitions, conference attendance, and public outreach projects related to Near Earth Objects.
- Space Technologies for Disaster Management Project 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 Project 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.
- Small Satellites Project Group (SSPG). SSPG provides career and project assistance for young professionals and students active in the small satellite community and current information on small satellites topics as well as recommendations for future research and development and/or policy and legal issues. The project group aims to attract young professionals and students to the topic of small satellites and in general encourage the interest in space exploration.
- Space Exploration Project Group (SEPG). SPEG focuses on ongoing and future deep space manned and unmanned missions. The main aim of the Group is to create an international and interdisciplinary forum focused on different aspects of space exploration, including: development of exploration technologies and capabilities; safety enhancement; performance of space, Earth and applied science; search for life; stimulation of economic expansion, and many more. Our focus is the Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) currently being developed by 14 space agencies around the world. The GER Strategy reflects the international effort to prepare collaborative space exploration beginning with the International Space Station, continuing to the Moon, near-Earth asteroids and with the ultimate goal of a manned mission to Mars.
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. 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. The Scholarship page of SGAC regularly publishes the available scholarship opportunities to attend the Space Generation Congress (SGC), International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Space Generation Fusion Forum (SGFF), Space Symposium (SS), Space Generation Workshops (SGWs) and other space events.
The SGAC Alumni Programme was launched at the Space Generation Forum 2.0 in 2018 (after a series of successful alumni activities from 2015-2018) to help reconnect with SGAC Alumni, and use the potential of the SGAC alumni network in support of other SGAC activities. SGAC Alumni are SGAC members (with a registered account on our website) who have not interacted with SGAC in the past three years or those who care about the SGAC mission and vision, but are over the age limit of SGAC (past their 36th birthday). SGAC organizes a series of activities to help connect it current members with the SGAC alumni, and help facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences in this context. These activities include SGAC Alumni Gatherings, SGAC: Through the Generations Event, Alumni Spotlight, and mentoring SGAC members as advisors to different projects.
- SGAC official website: www.spacegeneration.org