What is it about?

The International Space University impacts people’s lives beyond their professional lives and this would not be possible if three of its core concepts were not Internationality, Interculturality, and Interdisciplinarity, what we all know as the “3is”. For this conference, we wanted to give the 3is concept a new look, one based on social justice, always in the framework of the space community that we are all proud to be part of. That is why in this session five different sprint working/debate groups will be formed around five different topics.

The objective of the session is to explore how space has been affected or has affected in the past some of these issues, but especially how it can help make them better in the future with practical solutions that can be easily implemented. The participants will be encouraged to leave the room with initiatives to start together, and articles will be produced around each one of the topics for ISU.

Attendance for this session requires filling the following Google Form. Please only register if you are certain you can make it as each working group is limited to 10 people. An appropriate selection of participants based on achieving the most intercultural, international, and interdisciplinary groups will be made.


From “mankind” to “humankind”: gender (in)equality in the space sector – By Giuliana Rotola

Moderated by Giuliana Rotola, this group will focus on discussing the real roots of gender inequality in the space sector and what actions can we implement to effectively change this.

Topics that are often subject of heated debates will be touched on, such as the importance of language in tackling gender inequality issues, the importance of involving men in this type of conversations, and the problem of placing all the focus in increasing the number of women in STEM but not the conditions they have to work under.

Sustainable Development of Space: Space Mining – By Lucy Stojak and David Kendall

Moderated by Lucy Stojak and David Kendall, this group will address the following question:

Does a State, international organisation, company, or private individual have the right to recover and use space resources?   A critical discussion is emerging in space policy and law on the use and possible ownership of space resources, on the governance of these activities in terms of rules and institutions, and on the possible sharing of their benefits. 

The moderators will briefly review the above and stimulate discussion and opinions from the participants on the future governance of space resources, space as a ‘global commons’, and the safe and sustainable development of space for the benefit of humankind.

Space Neo-colonialism in Developing Regions – Joseph U. Ibeh

Moderated by Joseph U. Ibeh, the Space Neo-colonialism in Developing Regions open debate breakout session will analyze the dynamics of geopolitical and commercial influence of established and highly-industrialized space nations on the developing countries. At the end of the discussion, the participants would have arrived at practical recommendations for more inclusive and symbiotic relationships between established space nations and the developing nations.

BLM: Politics, Groups and Identities in the Global and African Space Industry – By Ruvimbo Samanga

The calls for justice and the resounding mantra of ”Black Lives Matter” hardly echoes from our northern counterparts, let alone whispered amongst our own. Instead, the overwhelming focus has centered around the lived experiences of black individuals in majority-white societies, and a racial hierarchy is evident in the priority of the movement. The racial hierarchy of this movement is gravely reminiscent of the same state of affairs in the global space sector, with Africa occupying a lesser role in the democratization of outer space. Sadly then, with a legacy of failed states, failed administration and failed relationships between African populations, one begs the question whether the space industry can at all play a tentative role towards addressing both the global and regional fight against victimization and undermining of black lives and ultimately rethink Africa’s attitude towards the conception of race politics, groups and identities.

Making Mars Like Earth or Earth Like Mars – By Federico Rondoni

Where it would be the future of humanity? Do we really need a planet B to avoid extinction, and could it be possible to bring the human society to another planet, creating a new perspective? This discussion group would be focused on the topic of what would be the steps to create a place suitable for humans on Mars, and if this solution could be the only one to save humanity. The discussion would touch all the aspects fundamentals for a future society: technical, scientific, sociological, and ethical. Moreover, the discussion would also involve thoughts about what having a different society on Mars could mean for the people on the Earth. The main topics would be: technical ideas, scientific investigations, sociological aspects, ethical considerations, climate, and future of the humanity.