This conference aims to bring together scholars and practitioners on the commons in space. The increasing dependence of our societies on space infrastructures (GPS, remote sensing, internet access, etc.) and the potential mining of rare minerals for energy transitions are causing new sustainability challenges due to the lack of governance of human activities in outer space.
Topics such as space debris and congesting orbital space due to increasing satellites, mining of celestial bodies, protection of dark night sky, utilization of different space resources in our solar system, and earth-space sustainability challenges will be covered. The increasing number of private and state actors involved in space exploration and the utilization of Earth’s orbit without a clear governance framework points to an urgent need to debate governance solutions.
With rapid technological innovation and space commercialization, how can existing studies on the governance of global commons consider the steering power of non-state actors, industries and sectors? As a virtual conference organized by the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC), we will facilitate a discussion between space scholars and scholars studying more traditional commons. What are the challenges ahead as humanity has to increasingly ensure earth-space sustainability? Importantly, how can commons scholarship provide models for diverse stakeholder groups to have agency and voice as humanity rapidly expands their activities on the Moon, Mars, and beyond?