Plenary 4 : Inspiring by Leading: Building and Sustaining the Global Space Workforce for the Future

Tuesday 22 October 2019, 13:30 – 14:30
Location: The Walter E. Washington Convention Center – Grand Ballroom B

Given this year’s IAC theme is “Space: The Power of the Past, the Promise of the Future”, a discussion on the future of the global space workforce is critically important and relevant. The panel will explore one of the key challenges that the global space community is facing: the attraction and retention of young professionals across a spectrum of career fields to the space sector.
Today’s dynamic space industrial community is seeing the interplay between large long-established corporations that had their origins since the beginning of space-faring activity, and a new generation of startups that is pushing the boundaries of space activities beyond those of traditional government-sponsored activity. The interplay of talent between these two communities is compelling, especially in light of generational knowledge transfer. Space engineering is as much art as science and technology, so how are lessons learned from past historical failures propagated into a diverse industrial workforce as standards and best practices to maximize mission success?
In addition, the nature of the workplace continues to change as we see movements such as “Industry 4.0” or the “Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)” associated with new ways of learning, new design approaches, more digitization and more reliance on a highly networked computational environment. These movements are also having an impact on the global space workforce and should be discussed.
The challenge to the panel and the audience is to think about what is required to recreate and nurture an environment that will spawn future generations of space leaders. Each of the panelists represents a major global aerospace organization or entity, all continuously challenged with building and sustaining a space workforce equipped with skills to address future opportunities.


Clémentine DECOOPMAN

Associate Director Space Stream, Creative Destruction Lab




Ministry for Industry, Science and Technology, Australian Government



President, International Space University (ISU)



Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force



CEO, Blue Origin

United States

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