Our Partnership




Visit the IAF website!

SGAC has been an IAF member since 2004. In 2011, IAF formally invited the Executive Director of SGAC to become an Ex-officio member of both the Space Education and Outreach Committee (SEOC) and the Workforce Development-Young Professionals Programme Committee (WD-YPP Committee). This involvement in IAF committees has been the primary interface between SGAC and IAF and has ensured more coordinated interaction between SGAC and IAF student and young professional activities. This arrangement is intended to maximise benefits to the next generation population, minimise overlap and strengthen communication between the two organisations.  

In 2013, SGAC formally invited SEOC and WD-YPP Committee representatives to become full members in SGAC planning boards (Advisory Board and SGC Organising Committee). It is intended that this ex-officio membership in SGAC activities will ensure robust communication and coordination on all planned activities, especially with regard to SGC and the International Astronautical Congress (IAC).  In addition to SGC, SGAC members have actively contributed to the technical and administrative committees of the IAF. IAF and SGAC agree that increased coordination through these reciprocal memberships will ensure the best use of resources of both organisations and will lay the groundwork for future opportunities for additional collaboration between IAF and SGAC. 

The IAF and SGAC are pleased to have cooperated for many years. In 2018, with the development of SGAC and of the IAF initiatives focusing on generational diversity as one of the key pillars of the IAF Agenda, SGAC and the IAF have determined that entering into an even more formal cooperative arrangement would enhance their collaboration and be mutually beneficial.  SGAC and the IAF will work hand-in-hand on more initiatives focusing on generational diversity and other aspects of the 3G initiative put forward by the IAF president.


Our Collaboration

Dubai, UAE
25 – 29 October 2021
Students and Young Professionals, We Want Your Input!

Every year, SGAC supports the NextGen Plenary Steering Committee of the International Astronautical Federation to bring Students and Young Professionals on the Stage of the IAC’s Plenary Sessions. We look for your ideas – join as panelist and let your voice be heard!

This year, two different sessions are currently taking shape: 

  • Space for Bending the Global Warming Curve and Protecting the Biosphere Download the call!
  • Social Responsibility in Space: How the Next Generation is Leading the Charge – Deadline passed!

Make sure to check the call for applications below, you can also download them and share them further!

IAC 2021 Next Generation Plenary Proposal
Space for Bending the Global Warming Curve and Protecting the Biosphere


Dubai, UAE

25 – 29 October 2021

Students and Young Professionals, We Want Your Input!


We are living in an era whereby human activities have a dominant and defining influence on the environment, sometimes termed the “anthropogenic era.” . Global warming, climate change, and the decrease in biodiversity are the prominent existential issues of our time. With rising sea levels increasing the risk of flooding and with shifting weather patterns and human development threatening the biosphere, the impact of climate change and biodiversity reduction is unprecedented in scale. 

Global temperature and other key indicators of climate and biodiversity change, such as weather patterns, sea level, terrain, atmospheric pollution, and ecosystem health, are monitored through different space-based solutions which start with the unique vantage point of satellites. This year, our Next Generation Plenary will focus on how students and young professionals are utilizing space technologies to combat global warming and protect the biosphere. We want to know how you are participating in mitigating the effects of climate and biodiversity change through your work or research in the space sector.

Climate change is captured in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through SDG 13, Climate Action, which calls for ‘urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts,’ including those on biodiversity. According to the UN, 2019 was the second warmest year on record and the end of the warmest decade (2010-2019) ever recorded. We are looking for students and young professionals in the space sector who are actively involved in any aspect of characterizing and mitigating the effects of climate change to join our plenary and to share their expertise on this topic to a wide audience.

Are you an entrepreneur who’s utilizing space technologies to tackle issues faced due to climate change? Are you a student conducting research to discover the effects of climate change or developing cutting edge technology? Perhaps you’re a young professional working for a government agency or private company on a climate change initiative and you want to share your unique perspective on how the industry is working on this global issue? We want to know how space technologies have enabled you to protect the biosphere by combating climate change and protecting biodiversity, and we encourage you to apply today!

We want your input now! We invite you to share your ideas in a plenary panel with an audience of senior space leaders in government, industry and academia at the International Astronautical Congress in Dubai 25-29 October 2021!

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to address and influence the international space community.

Though this plenary is still in the application stages, if approved, it will take place during the week of 25-29 October 2021 in Dubai, at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) (www.iac2021.org). We will be notified of its selection outcome following the IAF Spring Meetings in March 2021. The Next Generation Plenary Steering Committee is committed to the success of our proposed panels and will therefore find an appropriate venue for this panel during IAC2021 in the event its plenary application process is unsuccessful.

The participants will engage in a panel discussion with other students and young professionals from around the world and interact with the audience while discussing their efforts in utilizing space to curb global warming and protect our biosphere. The plenary will be moderated in a format similar to a talk show, interweaving clips from the panellists’ audition videos with questions and comments from the moderator, other panellists, and the audience. The video clips will be used to enhance the audience’s understanding of the ideas of the plenary participants. This is an exciting opportunity that you do not want to miss!

This sounds great! What do I need to do to participate?

Panelists will be selected via a global competitive process to identify the best candidates and showcase the diversity of successful efforts in the area of leveraging space technologies for climate change. Their contributions to the space community will be assessed by a group of subject matter experts.


As the impacts of climate change alter our lives and the environment drastically, it is imperative to showcase the efforts of the next generation in leveraging space to mitigate the effects of global warming. 

The plenary serves to:

  • Highlight significant contributions from the next generation of students and space professionals who participate in activities related to climate change characterization and mitigation.
  • Showcase unique ways in which students and young professionals have leveraged space technologies to innovate in addressing the impacts of climate change.

Panelists will be selected who demonstrate outstanding existing contributions to one or more of the following categories:

  • Researching/studying the impact of climate change in a space-related context
  • Utilizing space technologies in their current work or studies geared towards climate change effects and mitigation 
  • Demonstrating/advocating to decision-makers how space can be used to address climate change challenges in their country or region

To apply, you must be a student or young professional, aged from 21 to 35 years old on 1st January 2021.


ROUND ONE: 15 Seconds of Fame!

Create a 15-second video telling us very briefly the subject of the project you are working on that you would speak about on the panel, and why you should be selected to address the IAC. The video must be posted on YouTube. You must be on screen and be speaking for the full 15 seconds. We will only watch/listen for 15 seconds, so be sure to not exceed 15 seconds! In addition to uploading your video, you must complete the Plenary Application by the deadline by filling out this form.

Deadline Extended! Round 1 submissions: January 8 January 22 (11:59 pm GMT)


Please record your video in a high-quality audio and video format. If you are selected as a panelist, segments of your videos will be used during the plenary and leading up to it to promote the plenary. Evaluators are looking for videos that are aligned with the theme of this plenary and that incite curiosity and interest among the viewer. Please limit special effects and no music. The video is about you, not your video editing skills. Please do not use copyrighted video, images, or music.

 ROUND TWO: Three Minutes!

We will select the Round Two subset of candidates from the above and notify all entrants by 1 February 2021. Specific details of Round Two requirements will be sent to the candidates in the notification. Selected candidates will be asked to create and post a three-minute video on a specified YouTube site by 19 February 2021 (11:59 pm GMT).


We will select the finalists from these entries based on their impact, efficacy of messages, and relevance to the plenary topics; we also take into consideration the IAF’s 3G diversity criteria when selecting the finalists. We will be looking for concrete descriptions of how you are actively engaged with climate change initiatives, and why this is vital to your work or studies.

The IAF will make the final selection of plenaries for the IAC in Dubai the week of 22 March 2021 and will notify the finalists of its decision by 1 April 2021.

 Who Will Sponsor Me to Travel to Dubai, UAE?

Plenary participants will be responsible for finding their own sponsor or sponsors for their travel to and accommodations at the IAC. In addition to the obvious sources of sponsorship – yourself and your family, employer or school, and industry contacts – we want to share with you some great programs for students and young professionals that occur in conjunction with the 2021 Dubai IAC. The following are all distinct programs related to the IAC but are not directly related to this plenary opportunity.

  • IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme. See http://www.iaf-grant-programme.org/
  • Space Generation Advisory Committee(SGAC) offers a number of travel scholarship opportunities for students and young professionals to attend the Space Generation Congress (SGC) and International Astronautical Congress. The SGC event is held prior to the IAC in Dubai. Visit spacegeneration.org for more information.
  • Space agency education programmes. Students in Europe, Japan, Canada and the United States are encouraged to contact ESA, JAXA, CSA and NASA respectively to apply to their space agencies’ student programmes at the IAC in Dubai, UAE.
  • The Future Space Leaders Foundation offers grants to students and young professionals in the United States. More information can be found at http://www.futurespaceleaders.org/about.html.
  • Be innovative! Previous Next Generation Plenary panellists have been successful in raising funding through other means such as crowd funding and local community organizations.

For questions, contact [email protected]

Foster the Principles of “3-G” Diversity within the Federation and the Space Sector

  • Geography
  • Generation
  • Gender

These are the main pillars of a “3-G” Diversity principle of the Federation. Geographical diversity and global reach have been traditional features of the IAF since its creation. Attracting the young generation has been in the focus of the IAF during the recent years with manifold newly created activities and programmes tuned to this target community. This has resulted in a significant increase of the number of young people engaged and participating in IAF activities. Gender diversity is still an area where strong progress needs to be achieved. Dedicated promotion of opportunities for female space actors within the Federation and the space sector in general, presenting successful role models and encouraging the young generation of the female space community to aim for leadership positions shall help to reach a balanced and inclusive representation within the governance of the IAF, its Technical and Administrative Committees, as well as the IAC speakers’ and authors’ community.

Learn more!

What is Diversity?

Diversity encompassess many things – gender, age, culture, religious and political beliefs, nationality, language, academic background, heritage, and more. In the space industry it takes all kinds of people to make space exploration and the use of space possible.  

“Diversity in the space industry refers to individuals of all types of backgrounds working in unity towards the success of space exploration. Diversity extends to more than cultural as it is also the appreciation of different roles within the space industry, particularly occupations that are unique and contribute towards the progress of the space sector.”

Bijou Mwaura, Kenya, SGAC

What is 3G Diversity?

3G IDEA Logo


The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) has developed an initiative called the IAF International Platform for Diversity and Equality in Astronautics (IDEA) fostering the principles of 3G – Geography, Generation, Gender.

Learn more about the IAF 3G IDEA

SGAC and 3G Diversity

3G Diversity

In 2018, the Space Generation Advisory Council is the recipient of the IAF Excellence in 3G Diversity Award because the organization upholds the 3Gs – Geography, Generation and Gender through its members, alumni, activities and leadership positions.

IAF and SGAC Fostering Generational Diversity

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I Accept

The IAC is the one time of the year when @ll space actors come together. The IAC is organised by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). Global, multidisciplinary and covering all space sectors and topics, it offers everyone the latest space information, developments but above all contacts and potential partnerships. Each year, the IAC changes country, theme and local organiser, enabling all to learn more about, and be a part of the world space scene.



For the very first time, the IAC will open its doors to the global space community in the United Arab Emirates, the first Arab country to host the IAC since its establishment in 1950.

Learn more!


The Space Generation Congress (SGC) is the annual meeting of the Space Generation Advisory Council always held in conjunction with the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) at the same hosting Country. The Delegates are ~150 top university students and young professionals with a passion for space. They are selected with a highly competitive application process open to our Space Generation international network. With SGC, SGAC aims to promote the voice of the next generation of space sector leaders on the topic of international space development. The Space Generation Congress is an associated event to the International Astronautical Congress (IAC). 



The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) is pleased to invite you to the Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX) 2021 to take place in St. PetersburgRussian Federation from 14– 18 June 2021.

The Conference, co-organized by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and ROSCOSMOS, will bring together leaders and decision-makers within the science and human exploration community – engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, educators, agency representatives and policy makers. The leaders in the field will converge in St. Petersburg to discuss recent results, current challenges and innovative solutions and it will contain several opportunities to learn about how space exploration investments provide benefits as well as discuss how those benefits can be increased through thoughtful planning and cooperation.

Learn more and register!

IAF Spring Meetings

The IAF Spring Meetings gather every year in March the IAF community in Paris. For three days IAF Administrative and Technical Committees meet and the International Programme Committee selects the abstracts to be presented during the year’s IAC.

As each year, the IAF is pleased to invite you to its IAF Spring Meetings taking place in Paris, France where the IAF community will get together for three days, from 24 – 26 March 2020 in New CAP Conference Centre.

Register now!

IAF Committees

The IAF Administrative Committees provide specialized advice and recommendations to the IAF, supporting the Federation’s work. They play a key role in the Federation’s internal affairs, including the provision of guidance, recommendations and related support to the IAF Bureau and the IAF General Assembly.

The IAF Technical Committees are powerful sources of knowledge. They are composed of experts and global leaders in difference fields of space activities, who discuss and anticipate the evolution of space activities.

During the IAF Spring Meetings, the committees are in charge of selecting papers presented at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) and thereby contribute to the definition of the IAC technical programme.

Learn more!


The SGAC will nominate members to the different committees for their consideration.

To be nominated by SGAC, please fill out this form.  

The application form is now closed, we will re-issue a new call in 2021.

IAF Education & Young Professionals’s Activities

In accordance with its mission to prepare the workforce of tomorrow, the IAF actively supports and has a growing number of activities targeted at students and young professionals.

The nearly one quarter of attendees at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) under 35 years testify to the success of these efforts.

The primary education activities of the IAF are:

– The Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme;
– The Young Space Leaders Recognition Programme;
– The Young Professionals Programme;
– The IAF Student Competition;
– The Malina Astronautics Medal and Napolitano Award.

In addition, three dedicated IAF committees guide and supervise activities dedicated to students and young professionals involved in education, including the:

Learn more!