Published on November 14, 2019

Tuesday IAC 2019 Plenary 4 Inspiring by Leading

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.