The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) President, Jean-Yves Le Gall, presented the Federation at the meeting on ‘The Impacts of Diversity and Mixity on the Activities of Research and Innovation‘ organized by the Association Nationale Recherche Technologie (ANRT), PINK Innov’, and Femmes & Sciences Association in Paris, France on 7 March 2018. He introduced the “Global Innovation Agenda 2016-2019” as a tool to ensure the development of the IAF and prepare it for the challenges the space community is facing. Le Gall explained in particular that this agenda aims to change the space community towards a more open world, and is based on seven key points, one of which he is particularly committed to: “Promoting the principles of diversity 3G – Gender, Generation and Geography”.
Of particular note is the first G (Gender): the absence of women in education and the professional world in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is in fact a missed opportunity for these fields. Women bring a different perspective that shapes and influences STEM disciplines. Concerning the second G (Generation) the enthusiasm of young people must be recognised and valued because in research, an experimental approach is necessary to advance to new solutions. As for the third G (Geography), ethnic diversity is a richness to exploit because it brings a wealth of talents, experiences, cultures and stimulates creativity and boosts the innovative capacity of a society. Jean-Yves Le Gall then presented the new platform created for an intensive and open exchange on diversity and equality within the IAF: IDEA (International Diversity and Equality in Astronautics). The IDEA platform plays a leading role in promoting the principles of diversity and equality in the global space community. It fits perfectly within the motto of the IAF: Connecting @ll Space People. Jean-Yves Le Gall concluded his presentation by saying: “Born with the aim of bringing cultures and generations together, the IAF is now trying to create a harmony between us all, because when we are projected into space, we are simply human beings, there is no longer any difference in gender, generation or geography. We are all connected together to Earth. “