Looking back and getting ready:
The 18th and 19th Space Generation Congresses

by Davide Petrillo – SGC2020 Manager

As the only event of its kind, the Space Generation Congress offers the next generation of space leaders the opportunity to network and to examine critical questions that are facing the space and international community at large.

The 18th Space Generation Congress (SGC) was the most successful to date in terms of the number and national diversity of attendees, scholarships given, the calibre of speakers, and overall conference professionalism. The SGC 2019 hosted 150 delegates from 51 different nationalities, 68 of those attendees were given full scholarships to be able to come to Washington DC. SGC had 7 Working Groups and the delegates were mentored by more than 50 experts from the industry. The Working Group topics were extremely diverse and our delegates provided useful recommendations on the topics of:

  • Post-ISS Activities in the Low Earth Orbit
  • Space Exploration
  • Pioneering the Moon – development of lunar surface mission objectives
  • Space & Global health
  • The need for innovation in Mars exploration
  • Mobilising and engaging the #SpaceGen to deliver the SDGs
  • Education to meet future space sector competencies and skills’ needs


A key highlight of the event was the SGC 2019 Closing Dinner, which took place at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM): a wonderful evening where SGAC got the opportunity to thank all the employees, volunteers and sponsors that made the Space Generation Congress possible. During this celebration, SGAC also announced the Secure World Foundation as the first recipient of the SpaceGen Ambassador Award & James D. Burke as the first recipient of the SGAC Alumni Award.

During the 70th International Astronautical Congress, SGAC organised two Global Networking Forums (GNF). The traditional SpaceGen Entrepreneurs Forum was supported by the Luxembourg Space Agency and welcomed Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy. The GNF was followed by a networking reception. The second GNF on Space Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda was supported by the European Space Agency and discussed the full benefit of using “space” to contribute to the SDGs. SGAC and the Space Foundation hosted once again a booth reception with SGAC partners and friends and used this opportunity to announce the 2019 Pioneer Award recipient.


After the success of SGC 2019, SGAC will open its doors to the global space community in the United Arab Emirates with the 19th Space Generation Congress that will take place in Dubai on 8 – 10 October 2020.

One of the priorities of SGC 2020 is to plan the event with a particular concern for environmental, economic and social issues based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

It involves sustainable development principles and practices at all levels of the event planning, including reduction of food waste, reduction of water waste, gender equity, plastic free utilization, use of public transportation and increase of public awareness and engagement with sustainability principles and sustainable living.

If you are interested in learning more about SGC 2020, please visit the website https://spacegeneration.org/sgc2020 or reach out to [email protected].

Davide Petrillo has a M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Padova, Italy. Davide is the SGC2020 Manager, and before this he was the SGC2019 Deputy Manager. Davide supported SGAC since joining 2016, being part of the 3rd E-SGW organizing team, the SGC2018 organizing team and the first Italian Space Startup Competition Organizing team.