Working Groups

Below you will find a brief overview of each working group for SGF 2.0

Working Group 1: Space for Women

  • There is no greater indicator of an innovative culture than the empowerment of women. Fully integrating and empowering women in leadership positions is the most important step that a country or organization can take to strengthen its competitiveness. However, a look into the gender distribution at a “Head’s of Space Agencies Panel” is enough to understand that space leadership has largely remained a “men’s club” — a surprising fact, considering that the space sector is built on the achievements of women such as Valentina Tereshkova, Katherine Johnson, or Margaret Hamilton just to name a few. Our challenge: How do we change the  numbers at the top? This working group will explore what holds women back from stepping into leadership and decision making roles in the space sector and suggest specific actions for empowering young women in the space sector, with a special focus on developing countries.
  • Working Group 1 Subject Matter Expert: Markus Woltran, Program Officer, Office of the Director, United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs
  • Working Group 1 Subject Matter Expert: Ersilia Vaudo, Chief Diversity Officer, ESA
  • Working Group 1 Subject Matter Expert: Dr. Diane Howard, Executive Secretary, IISL and Professor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Working Group 2: Space and the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Space services are enablers of change, playing a substantial role in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Space applications can help in identifying the existing gaps and leveraging technologies. But Space is not only technology is also cooperation. Cooperation not exclusively among institutions but also with non-governmental organisations active in different areas of the world as well as private actors as supporting actors for the development of new technologies. In this context UNISPACE+50 and the Space2030 Agenda represent an important opportunity to demonstrate how much the society should rely on space to improve life on Earth. For this reason, to fully support the achievement of the SDGs, it is important to show the youngest generation the support that space technologies give us in everyday life, raising the awareness and motivating the future generations.
  • Working Group 2 Subject Matter Expert: Dr. Stefano Ferretti, Resident Fellow, ESPI/ESA
  • Working Group 2 Subject Matter Expert: Sergio Camacho, SGAC Honorary Board
  • Working Group 2 Subject Matter Expert: Luciano Saccani, BD Director, Sierra Nevada Corporation
  • Sponsored by: Sierra Nevada Corporation

Working Group 3: Space for Society

  • In recent decades governments around the world have invested public funds in building space infrastructure and services that can bring benefit to society in the fields of telecommunication, navigation and Earth observation. Eurisy’s aim is to ensure a proper communication between end users, who may know nothing about space, and service providers who may know little about the needs of society. By bridging space and society in this way, Eurisy acts as a link between the upstream and downstream space industry. The key is the users expressing their needs in a way that service providers can respond, and service providers informing users about their capabilities in a way that users can see the benefits. The Working Group will study some examples of good practices covering a wide range of applications, and will examine one case study in detail concerning the use of satellite applications in the Alps.
  • Working Group 3 Subject Matter Expert: Toby Clark, Secretary General,  Eurisy
  • Working Group 3 Subject Matter Expert: Fredrik Aarestadt, Project Administrator, Eurisy
  • Sponsored by: Eurisy

Working Group 4: Capacity Building in the Space Sector

  • “Capacity-building for the twenty-first century” is one of the seven thematic priorities of UNISPACE+50. It is therefore appropriate, in the context of SGF2.0, to take stock of the current challenges of the capacity-building activities in the space sector, to review the relevant policies and activities and to consider the necessity to strengthen and better align them with future needs and in particular with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    Space-based technologies are instrumental in every country as a crucial aspect of a country’s infrastructure. With the increasing number of countries involved in space activities, the need for effective laws and policies on space activities, not just on an international level but also on the national level, is becoming more and more apparent. One of the pillars that support the development of legal and policy frameworks at the national level is the availability of professionals able to provide services in that field. Capacity-building, training and education helps to promote international development and cooperation in space activities, and helps build national expertise and capacity in countries with emerging space capabilities. It also provides the means for a better understanding of the interdependent roles of science, technology and law in space activities.

    At the same time, what better way to learn about space engineering than to design, build, launch and operate your own satellite? The opportunity to work on a real space mission from start to finish, including operating the satellites and conducting science experiments in space, can help students learn about space while at the same time give them useful experience and skills in project management, leadership, marketing and communications, equipping them well for the jobs of the future.

  • Working Group 4 Subject Matter Expert: Ana Avila Becerril, Permanent Mission of Costa Rica for International Organisations
  • Working Group 4 Subject Matter Expert: Dr. Carsten Scharlemann, Head of Aerospace Engineering Department, FH Wiener Neustadt
  • Sponsored by: Austrospace

Working Group 5: Building Partnerships in Space with Industry and the Private Sector

  • The future — the vast frontier of space — is here now before us. We are at a critical and amazing point in humankind’s interaction with space: we are moving from exploration toward utilization. The global effort to develop space will continue to attract new actors, many from the private sector. Partnerships that cross national borders, sectors, and disciplines are necessary and will increase as activity in space grows. Through UNISPACE 50+, we have the opportunity to present specific considerations for these partnerships.
  • Working Group 5 Subject Matter Expert: Micah  Walter-Range, President, Caelus Partners
  • Working Group 5 Subject Matter Expert: Kelsey Ocasio-Christian, CFO, Caelus Partners
  • Sponsored by: Caelus Partners

Working Group 6: Space Weather and Space Safety

  • Space weather is under the spotlight of the international space community and is stimulating discussion around it regarding safety and security measures to be used in space and on Earth.  A space weather phenomena can have several consequences on space infrastructures, affecting, not exclusively, on orbit missions and human spaceflight, but also our everyday life on Earth. Considering the damages of a space weather phenomena on space infrastructures and space-based services, discussions and policy measures can be taken by space governances at the national and international levels in order to create best-practices against space weather. Both a technological and a policy level discussion is key to creating safe and secure space operations with regards to space weather.
  • Working Group 6 Subject Matter Expert: Anna Chulaki, Lead of CCMC Education on Space Weather and Coordinator of CCMC Simulation Services
  • Working Group 6 Subject Matter Expert: Dr. Christina Giannopapa, Strategy Department, ESA
  • Working Group 6 Subject Matter Expert: Dr. Yaireska Collado-Vega, the Lead of the Space Weather Research team at the Community Coordinated Modeling Center 

Working Group 7: Space for Global Health

  • There are about 1,400 infectious diseases, some of which are among the most important causes of death in developing countries. Half of the world’s population lives in affected areas but it is not yet  clear how decision support and early warning can be provided to them through space technology. Ultimately the impact of all climate change threats to the environment, economy and security will be on human health. To combat epidemics with coordinated responses, there is a need to establish an integrated global alert system. Information derived from Earth observation and meteorological satellites in combination with GIS and GNSS has increasingly been used to study disease epidemiology, enabling increased use of spatial analysis to identify the ecological, environmental and other factors that contribute to the spread of vector-borne diseases by locating “hot spots”, monitoring disease patterns and defining the areas that require disease-control planning. Moreover the International Space Station is a unique laboratory for performing investigations that affect human health both in space and on Earth. Throughout its assembly, the space station has supported research that is providing a better understanding of certain aspects of human health. Several biological and human physiological investigations have yielded important results, including improved understanding of basic physiological processes normally masked by gravity and development of new medical technology and protocols driven by the need to support astronaut health. Advances in telemedicine, disease models, psychological stress response systems, nutrition, cell behavior and environmental health are just a few examples of benefits that have been gained from the unique space station microgravity environment. This Working Group will discuss the challenges and opportunities for the using space for global health: Raising awareness of the potential contribution of space technology and applications to global health; Engaging with users, researchers, decision makers and other stakeholders in the public health sector to identify further needs in tools and data that could be provided with the means of space technology and its applications; and strengthening capacities in terms of the discovery of, access to and processing and use of space-derived data and promoting international cooperation for increased use of space-derived data and information for planning and decision-making processes in public health, including for the mitigation of impacts of humanitarian crises.
  • Working Group 7 Subject Matter Expert: Dr. Melanie Platz, Space for Global Health Expert Group at UN COPUOS STSC
  • Working Group 7 Subject Matter Expert: Adrianos Golemis, Flight Surgeon, ESA/EAC