Who are we?
The Space Generation Advisory Council in Support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications is a global non-governmental, non-profit (US 501(c)3) organisation and network which aims to represent university students and young space professionals ages 18-35 to the United Nations, space agencies, industry, and academia. Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, the SGAC network of members, volunteers and alumni has grown to more than 13 000 members representing more than 150 countries.
SGAC was conceived at UNISPACE III in 1999, whereby states resolved, as part of the Vienna Declaration, “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 youth. The vision is to employ the creativity and vigour of youth in advancing humanity through the peaceful uses space”. SGAC holds Permanent Observer status at the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) and regularly takes part in the annual meeting, as well as its Legal and Scientific and Technical Subcommittees. SGAC holds consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC), contributing to discussions on the role of space in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
What we do?
SGAC works diligently to raise awareness among the next generation of space professionals on a global scale working together with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN OOSA) in promoting UN workshops and activities, and in supporting SGAC members to attend space conferences around the world. By hosting international, regional and local events ,SGAC provides its members with opportunities to expand their knowledge of international space policy issues, think creatively about the future direction of humanity’s use of space and engage with current leaders from space agencies, industry and academia. SGAC stewards the views and opinions of students and young professionals to ensure their creativity and vigour is employed for the advancement of humanity through the peaceful uses of outer space.
Since 2001, the Space Generation Congress (SGC) remains to be our primary conference where top young minds converge annually from all over the world to converse with focal points on key space topics. The Congress takes place in conjunction with the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), and is an associated event of IAC.
The aim of the SGC is two-fold. First, to strengthen the international network of the Space Generation Advisory Council. For the individual delegates, many of whom come from developing countries, it is a chance to interact and engage with the incoming generation of space professionals from all over the world. For the Space Generation Advisory Council, it allows us to consolidate our international links in order to best represent and facilitate the voice of the next space generation. Second, to have the new generation of leaders in space examine and consider key questions that are facing the industry today. The outcomes of these discussions are then shared with the UN, various agencies, industry and academia.
The Space Generation Fusion Forum (SGFF), first held in 2012, was established with the aim of becoming our second annual global event. SGFF highlights international cooperation and thinking geared towards university students and young professionals. This event, held in conjunction with the National Space Symposium, seeks to gather a selected group of up to 60 young adults from various areas of the space sector–government, industry, and academia. These intuitive, interactive panel discussions moderated by today’s international space leaders will gather the perspectives of tomorrow’s space leaders on today’s key space issues. Attendees also have the opportunity to meet many high-level international space leaders through networking events and experience the opening of the Space Symposium.
Introduced in 2016, SGx held in conjunction with Satelite in Washington D.C. is SGAC’s third annual global event.
In addition to our global events, we organise a series of regional Space Generation Workshops (SGWs) with the aim of focusing on topics relevant to different regions. We also hold SGWs on a series of countries. Other network members also organise other events such as World Space Week or Space Up. In conjunction with these and other larger conferences, members are able to attend UN and other key space conferences around the world in order to offer unique perspectives from the next generation of space sector leaders on key space-related issues.
At SGAC, one of our key contributions to the space policy debate, and space education and outreach in all domains is the output of the project groups which SGAC undertakes year-round. Currently, SGAC is working on eight project groups ranging from the SGAC Group on Space Technologies for Disaster Management—an outreach group for space applications for disaster management,—to our YGNSS project—a group promoting cooperation and education in global navigation satellite systems. We work with both our members to generate new ideas for projects and our sponsors who are interested in getting the view point of the next generation of space leaders. Please click here for the our Project Groups page.
If you are an SGAC member and would like to get involved with current projects, please contact a project leader and get involved today!
In our quest to have more input and engagement on international space issues from our members, we work to provide financial resources. SGAC strives to allow our members to take part in the international space policy creation process from many global events such as attendance and presentations at UN COPUOS to participating in our annual events, the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the Space Symposium, or issue-specific seminars. To do so, SGAC has partnered with various organizations to provide scholarships throughout the year which enable our members to attend.
Professional Development Opportunities
As a volunteer-run organisation, we rely on the skills of various members from around the world to operate. Various roles are available within SGAC not only to sustain the organisation, but also to provide an opportunity for our members to gain valuable skills to help promote personal and professional growth. More information about volunteer opportunities are available in the vacancies section of our website.
Work with the UN
Voice of the Next Generation of Space Sector Leaders
Having been created as an outcome of the United Nations environment (UNISPACE III), our work with the UN, particularly the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS), is of central importance to our mission. SGAC works to give regular input to the work of the Committee and its delegates and to act as a conduit for the opinions of our members and the outcomes of our projects. We take part in a variety of UN Action Teams and Working Groups on space issues, as well as the UN Programme on Space Applications. No other space organisation for young adults has a Permanent Observer status with COPUOS and is as active or as engaged in the work of the UN as SGAC. In addition to having Permanent Observer status within COPUOS since 2001, SGAC also has had consultative status within the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 2003.