The Province of Mankind Providing Sustainable Benefits for All of Mankind –The Role of Industry

When: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Where: European Space Policy Institute, Schwarzenbergplatz 6, 1030 Vienna, Austria


Space is the province of Mankind and free for use by all. With the very rapid growth of space applications the question is increasingly how the global community can ensure that the benefits of space are spread around in a fashion that truly benefits all. Governmental actors are particularly challenged in this yet the focus should not only be on the role of states in ensuring equitable enjoyment of sustainable benefits of space – also industry has an important and partly independent role.

The issues facing industry in this endeavour can roughly be seen as two clusters of issues: first, how to ascertain that existing space systems are leveraged in an optimum fashion to achieve the broadest possible sharing of benefits, and, second, how to create new space systems and applications which are especially targeted to provide sustainable benefits for developing countries and emerging economies.

Regarding the best possible harvesting of benefits from existing systems, it would appear that more could be done to extend existing capabilities in order to assist the development agendas of countries, their populations and their entrepreneurs. This might cost little or even bring net benefits to commercial operators: a question of picking the low-hanging fruit!

Regarding the establishment of new systems and functionalities there are many salient issues on establishing credible business plans, obtaining project funding, getting the right licenses and so on. Yet, particularly in view of the mandates of development banks and the increasing profitability of space endeavors it would appear possible that more could be done to use space also in a more targeted way to assist development.

The event will take place in Vienna on Wednesday, February 13th, at 18:30pm, at the premises of the European Space Policy Institute located on Schwarzenbergplatz 6, 1030 ViennaThe ESPI/SWF event will address the two issue clusters separately at first, and will at the end attempt to draw a first set of conclusions, which, however, would need to be developed further in different fora by the relevant stakeholder communities.

Event Programme

18:30—18:40 Welcome on behalf of SWF and ESPI, Peter Hulsroj, ESPI Director
18:40—19:00 Keynote "Picking the low-hanging fruit—planting new orchards“ Ray Williamson, SWF
19:00—19:15 Space in the economic context of the development agenda, Cenan Al-Ekabi, ESPI
19:15—19:30 The Role and process of Expert Group A, Enrique Pacheco, Filipe Duarte Santos
Open Discussion Forum
19:30—20:00 Part 1 Reaping better the benefits of existing capacities, Moderator: Peter Hulsroj
20:00—20:30 Part 2 Establishing new projects, Moderator: Ray Williamson
20:30—20:45 Conclusions, Moderator: Peter Hulsroj
20:45-22:00 Reception

The open discussion forum will seek to engage the audience and the many experts on the topic who will be present. The discussions will be moderated but depend critically on the active participation of the audience. Through this format it is hoped that there will be a considerable element of spontaneous comment, and hence Chatham House rules will apply.

Please, find below the presentations from the event:

For more information please contact
Senior AdvisorRay Williamson or Brussels Office Director Agnieszka Lukaszczyk

Last updated on December 11, 2013