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Innovative Sessions

Innovative Sessions

Exploring the interface of Earth and Space governance


21 October 2022





Xiao-Shan Yap (Utrecht University; Eawag), Rakhyun Kim (Utrecht University)
Krystal Azelton (Secure World Foundation), Frank Biermann (Utrecht University), Luisa Innocenti (European Space Agency (ESA)), Susmita Mohanty (Spaceport Sarabhai and Liquifer), Aarti Gupta (Wageningen University), Thomas Schildknecht (University of Bern; member of United Nation COPUOS), Jean-Frederic Morin (Laval University)
Space governance is gaining increasing policy and scholarly attention given the exponential rise in activities and discussions since the last decade, ranging from satellite constellations to colonization on Moon, Mars, and asteroids. These developments promise new solutions to sustainability problems on Earth but they also bring new environmental challenges such as Space debris and resource extraction for Space programmes, while raising questions on societal equity and justice on a planetary scale. Global Space governance therefore needs new conceptual and analytical tools to manage these fundamental trade-offs.

The aim of this session is to generate interest in this topic among the community of the Earth System Governance Project and brainstorm key research themes from the perspective of ESG, which will lead to setting up a task force in the coming months.

Our overarching question is: how would an integrative model of Earth-Space governance look like from the ESG perspective? We see great potential to build a new research agenda with Anthropocene as a core contextual condition:

(1) Architecture and agency: How to consider the complex configurations of institutional rationalities among different actors in Space, and how do they steer the development trajectories of Space;

(2) Justice and allocation: How to address planetary justice and equity when it comes to governing and distributing benefits from Space;

(3) Anticipation and imagination: In what ways can Earth-Space governance relate to studies on emerging technologies, and to what end “Earth-Space” should be governed?

Yap and Kim will start by giving an introductory presentation. We will also share some early insights on the interrelations between Earth- and Space governance. The session will proceed to the roundtable discussion, with speakers from the Space sector and leading scholars of the ESG Project. We will end with a Q&A session involving the audience.

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Twitter updates

📢Important update: 📢
Because of strong interest we have postponed the deadline for abstract submissions for GLOBALGOALS2024 until Friday 12 April 4pm CET.
Join us @UniUtrecht @UUGeo to discuss the future of the #SDGs!

🔔 Network Update!

#Welcome Transformations Community, ESGs newest affiliated project!

@TransformComm unites 'pracademics' to tackle climate change & other issues via core principles #Transdisciplinarity #Translocalism #TransformativeLearning #Temperance

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2021 opening plenary of #ESG2021

Karen O’Brien at the 2021 Conference for Earth System Governance. The official opening session of the 2021 Bratislava Conference on Earth System Governance was hosted at the conference venue and streamed live to virtual attendees.

Introduction by the conference chair: Professor Tatiana Kluvánková (SlovakGlobe at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, and the Slovak University of Technology, and CETIP – Earth System Governance Research Centre)

Earth System Governance International Project Office

If you have any questions about the 2022 Toronto Conference on Earth System Governance, you can reach out to our international project office. We will get back to you regarding your questions within a few working days.


Utrecht University
Faculty of Geosciences
Princetonlaan 8a
3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands