Partnered Global Networking Forums (GNFs)

In line with the International Astronautical Federation motto “Connecting @ll Space People” and its mission of promoting partnerships in the space community, advancing international development, sharing knowledge and preparing the workforce of tomorrow, the Federation felt the need to create a global, comprehensive and appealing platform, targeting young professionals, students, experts, decision and policy makers and all actors that could contribute to the networking spirit of such platform. For this reason, the IAF developed the concept of the IAF Global Networking Forum (GNF) and was proud to introduce it during the IAC 2012 in Naples.

Not only at the IAC, but also during the IAF Spring Meetings and other partner events, the GNF format is successfully used to promote cooperation in the space community.

SGAC has been involved in the organization of two GNFs during IAC 2019, partnering with the Luxembourg Space Agency and the European Space Agency. We can’t wait to see you there! Join us at the SGAC/LSA GNF “SpaceGen Entrepreneurs” and at the SGAC/ESA GNF “Space Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals”.  


SGAC/LSA – SpaceGen Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, 23rd of October
9:40-10:40 am
Grand Ballroom C, Walter E. Convention Center

The SpaceGen Entrepreneurs held for the first time during IAC 2017 in Adelaide, Australia, is an event organised by the Space Generation Advisory Council designed to connect entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs with startup veterans and venture capitalists, investors, business angels and business incubators. This year, SGAC proposes a joint GNF with Luxembourg Space Agency focused on the concept of space commercialization. Luxembourg has a dynamic and growing space sector, with more than 50 private, public and academic players. In the context of its unique framework for the exploration and commercial utilization of resources in space and the initiative, about 20 space companies have established a presence in Luxembourg in the last 3 years. Technological progress, cheaper access to space and interest from investors is expected to fuel the growth of the industry in the near future. The SpaceGen Entrepreneurs will feature high-calibre entrepreneurs, business investors and startup experts that will analyse how to capitalize new commercial opportunities in the space industry, discuss the most effective ways to succeed in startup ventures and share the human story behind space entrepreneurs.

Supported by:



The SpaceGen Entrepreneurs format is the following:

  1. Keynote speech (10 min)
  2. Startup ecosystem panel (25 min): The panel will feature several prominent space entrepreneurs and CEOs from the space startup world sharing their experiences and tips for success
  3. Entrepreneur’s TED-style talk (25 min): Three inspiring entrepreneurs from all over the globe will share their personal stories behind their ventures. Learn about the challenges they overcame, their experiences in the start-up world, and how they found their path to success.

Keynote Speaker: 



Etienne Schneider

Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy


Born on 29 January 1971 in Dudelange.

Education and qualifications

  • Degree in commercial and financial sciences from the Institut catholique des hautes études commerciales (ICHEC) in Brussels and Greenwich University in London (1995)
  • Final school-leaving diploma from the Lycée technique d’Esch-sur-Alzette (1990)

Ministerial posts

  • Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade (2012)

Other political posts

  • Municipal councillor in Kayl (1995-2005)
  • Secretary general of the parliamentary group of the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) in Parliament (1997-2004)
  • First alderman of the municipality of Kayl (2005-2010)

Professional activities

  • Research assistant at the European Parliament in Brussels (1995-1996)
  • Economist for the parliamentary group of the LSAP in Parliament (1996-1997)
  • Project leader with NATO in Brussels (1997)
  • Government advisor to the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade (2004-2009)
  • Chairman of the executive board of Cegedel SA (2004-2010)
  • Chairman and managing director of the Société électrique de l’Our (2005)
  • Senior government advisor to the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade (2009-2011)
  • Chairman of Enovos International SA and Enovos Deutschland AG (2010)
  • Chairman and managing director of grid company Creos (2010)
  • Vice-chairman of the National Credit and Investment Company (Société nationale de crédit et d’investissement – SNCI) (2010)

Startup Ecosystem Panel: 

Gary Martin

Luxembourg Space Agency, Senior Advisor

Gareth Keane

Promus Ventures, Partner

Andy Boyer

Kleos Space
CEO and Co-Founder

Lynn Zoenen

ispace Europe, Global Affairs Manager

Christopher Nie

Space Generation Advisory Council, SGC 2019 Manager

Pete Worden

Chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation




Want to be a Speaker?

  • Are you an entrepreneur with a start up or have a unique story to share related to space?
  • What kind of life lessons or concepts would you transmit to inspire attendees?
  • What were the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?
  • Ultimately, what is the source of your passion and why do you dedicate all your efforts to space?

From SGAC, we are providing an opportunity to three people to show their passion, talent and vision. The talk is meant to explore the human side of space, from the entrepreneur running a startup to the esoteric with an inspiring research project.

Time: 10 minutes

Topic: personal story behind your space startup or idea. This is not a business pitch event, rather it is about telling a story around space to inspire attendees around the theme of entrepreneurship.

Format: inspired by the TED talks format (Examples)

Potential audience:

SpaceGen Entrepreneurs Forum is part of the IAF Global Networking Forum programme (GNF programme). Your talk will be recorded and posted on the International Astronautical Federation Youtube channel. IAC 2019 attendees, SGAC members, entrepreneurs, investors, etc. will watch you on stage. 

This is your chance to showcase your story to the international space community!


Application Timeline: 

Application open: 15th of July 2019
Application close: 12th of August 2019
Review period: 12 –  18 August 2019
Announcement: 19 August 2019

Applications are closed

Entrepreneur’s TED-style talk Speakers: 

Oniosun Temidayo Isaiah

Space in Africa

Temidayo is the Managing Director for Space in Africa, the authority for news, data, and business analysis for the African Space Industry. In 2018, he was listed as one of the World 24 Under 24 Leaders and Innovators in SPACE and STEAM by The Mars Generation, one of the 25 under 25 Nigerians who are influencing and disrupting the world of Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Corporate World by BellaNaija, and a recipient of 35 Under 35 space industry recognition award by the International Institute of Space Commerce. The former SGAC Regional Coordinator has appeared on Forbes, ChannelsTV, Guardian, etc for his work in the Industry.

William Crowe

HEO Robotics

William co-founded High Earth Orbit Robotics, a company with a vision to prospect and utilise asteroid resources and an immediate goal of using the same technology to inspect and resolve anomalies on satellites. His company counts the Australian Air Force as a customer. He has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from UNSW Sydney, where his research focussed on using swarms of spacecraft to characterise asteroids. He won several international awards for his research, including the SGAC’s “Move an Asteroid” scholarship for his work using small spacecraft in Earth orbit to intercept asteroids as they pass through the Earth-Moon system.

Joost van Oorschot

Maana Electric

Joost van Oorschot is a serial entrepreneur with an educational background in Economics and Space Studies. He has build several startups with 6 years of entrepreneurial experience as well as working at a VC in the space sector.
Joost currently runs Maana Electric as its CEO and Founder. Maana Electric is a New Space startup located in Luxembourg and the Netherlands specifically focussed on utilising In-Situ Resource Utilisation technologies for the production of solar panels from regolith for Space applications and from Sand for Terrestrial applications. The company currently has 20 employees and is expected to have >50 by the end of 2020.

Missed SpaceGen Entrepreneurs last year? Check out the recording! 

Space Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda

Wednesday, 23rd of October
3:55-4:55 pm
Grand Ballroom C, Walter E. Convention Center


Since the adoption in September 2015 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there has been an increased understanding that space programmes, projects, applications or technologies are and can be great contributors to the measurement and the achievement of the Goals. Initiatives have been developed at local, regional or global level. Still much has to be done in order to take full benefit of “space” and make sure those tasked to implement the Goals are aware of what exist, or find the right ways to pass the message on what they would need. The Goals have to be reached by 2030, that gives little time to act. The GNF will give the opportunity to some of the actors to exchange on what they propose and what they need.

Supported by: 


Isabelle Duvaux-Bechon
(Panel Moderator)

European Space Agency, Head Member States Relations & Partnerships Office

Jan Woerner

European Space Agency, Director General


Chris Lee

United Kingdom Space Agency, Chief Scientist/Head of Science Programmes

Davide Petrillo

SGAC, Space Generation Congress Deputy Manager

Sirish Ravan

Senior Programme Officer, UN Office for Outer Space Affairs

Ganiy Agbaje

Executive Director, ARCSSTE-E