IAC 2020 Next Generation Plenary Proposal

Inspiration & Innovation: Public /Private partnerships as a catalyst for the Next Generation


12 – 16 October, 2020

Students and Young Professionals, We Want Your Input!


No one goes to space alone, nor do they work in it without help. This year, our Next Generation Plenary will focus on how students and young professionals are participating in Public/Private Partnerships (PPP) to inspire and innovate for the next generation. Public/Private Partnerships are vital to the growing space economy and for the future of space exploration. Such partnerships are characterized by government organizations and private companies sharing cost, risk, and benefits of success. We want to know how you are participating in Public/Private Partnerships in your work or research.

PPPs usually have documented agreements delineating the shared risk and shared investment as well as the roles, responsibilities, and other shared elements between the participants. In space, these partnerships take many forms, from direct government funding to programs designed to build space architecture. Governments and public agencies are working hand in hand with their industry partners to build rockets, to conduct cutting-edge research, and to utilise technology developed for space for applications here on Earth. We are looking for students and young professionals who are actively involved in any aspect of Public/Private Partnerships to join our plenary to share your expertise on this topic to a wide audience.

Are you an entrepreneur who’s taking advantage of Public/Private Partnerships to start an innovative new company in the space sector? Are you a student conducting research to discover more about our universe or develop cutting edge technology? Perhaps you’re a young professional working for a government agency or private company on a Public/Private Partnership and you want to share your unique perspective? We want to know how Public/Private Partnerships have enabled you to inspire and innovate for the next generation, and we encourage you to apply today!

We want your input now! We invite you to share your ideas in a plenary panel with an audience of senior space leaders in government, industry and academia at the International Astronautical Congress in Dubai 12-16 October 2020!

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to address and influence the international space community.

If approved by the IAF International Programme Committee (IPC), this event will take place during the week of 12-16 October, 2020 in Dubai, at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) (www.iac2020.org). The participants will engage in a panel discussion with other students and young professionals from around the world and interact with the audience while discussing their efforts to inspire and innovate for and contribute to the Next Generation through Public/Private Partnerships. The plenary will be moderated in a format similar to a talk show, interweaving clips from the panellists’ audition videos with questions and comments from the moderator, other panellists, and the audience.

The video clips will be used to enhance the audience’s understanding of the ideas of the plenary participants. This is an exciting opportunity that you do not want to miss!

This sounds great! What do I need to do to participate?

Panellists will be selected via a global competitive process to identify the best candidates and showcase the diversity of successful efforts in the area of Public/Private Partnerships. Their contributions to the space community will be assessed by a group of subject matter experts.


As governments and their agencies increasingly partner with the private sector, it is increasingly important to highlight how these partnerships are allowing the next generation of space professionals to inspire and innovate for a global world.

The plenary serves to:

  • Highlight significant contributions from the next generation of generation of students and spaceprofessionals who participate in Public/Private Partnerships.
  • Showcase unique ways in which students and young professionals have leveragedPublic/Private Partnerships to inspire and innovate for and contribute to their communities, regions, and the world.

Panellists will be selected who demonstrate outstanding existing contributions to one or more of the following categories:

  • Researching/studying the impact of Public/Private Partnerships
  • Utilizing Public/Private Partnerships in their current work or studies and projections of its futureimpact
  • Demonstrating/advocating to decision-makers how Public/Private Partnerships can solvechallenges in their country or region

To apply, you must be a student or young professional, aged from 21 to 35 years old on 1st January 2020.



ROUND ONE: 15 Seconds of Fame!

Create a 15-second video telling us very briefly the subject of the project you are working on that you would speak about on the panel, and why you should be selected to address the IAC. The video must be posted on YouTube. You must be on screen and be speaking for the full 15 seconds. We will only watch/listen for 15 seconds, so be sure to not exceed 15 seconds! In addition to uploading your video, you must complete the Plenary Application by the deadline by filling out this form.

Deadline for Round 1 submissions: By 7 February 2020 (11:59 pm GMT)



Please record your video in a high-quality audio and video format. If you are selected as a panellist, segments of your videos will be used during the plenary and leading up to it to promote the plenary. Please limit special effects and no music. The video is about you, not your video editing skills. Please do not use copyrighted video, images, or music.

ROUND TWO: Three Minutes!

The IAF will select the Round Two subset of candidates from the above and notify all entrants by 21 February 2020. Specific details of Round Two requirements will be sent to the candidates in the notification. Selected candidates will be asked to create and post a three-minute video on a specified YouTube site by 13 March 2020 (11:59 pm GMT). 


The IAF will select the finalists from these entries based on their creativity, efficacy of messages and relevance to the plenary topics. We will be looking for concrete descriptions of how you are actively engaged with Public/Private Partnerships, and why these partnerships are vital to your work or studies.

The IAF will make the final selection of plenaries for the IAC in Dubai during its annual IAF Spring Meetings, in the week of 25 March 2020 and will notify the finalists of its decision by 1 April 2020.

Who Will Sponsor Me to Travel to Dubai, UAE?

Plenary participants will be responsible for finding their own sponsor or sponsors for their travel to and accommodations at the IAC. In addition to the obvious sources of sponsorship – yourself and your family, employer or school, and industry contacts – we want to share with you some great programs for students and young professionals that occur in conjunction with the 2020 Dubai IAC. The following are all distinct programs related to the IAC but are not directly related to this plenary opportunity.

  • IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme. See http://www.iaf-grant-programme.org/
  • Space Generation Advisory Committee(SGAC) offers a number of travel scholarshipopportunities for students and young professionals to attend the Space Generation Congress (SGC) and International Astronautical Congress. The SGC event is held prior to the IAC in Dubai. Visit spacegeneration.org for more information.
  • Space agency education programmes. Students in Europe, Japan, Canada and the United States are encouraged to contact ESA, JAXA, CSA and NASA respectively to apply to their space agencies’ student programmes at the IAC in Dubai, UAE.
  • The Future Space Leaders Foundation offers grants to students and young professionals in the United States. More information can be found at http://www.futurespaceleaders.org/about.html.
  • Be innovative! Previous Next Generation Plenary panellists have been successful in raising funding through other means such as crowd funding and local community organizations.

    For questions, contact nextgenplenary.iaf@gmail.com.