Future Skies Workshop: Private Industry and Public Policies Shaping the Space Sector

On June 21, 2019, Oxford University's Centre for Technology and Global Affairs – in collaboration with The Flying Object and the UK Space Agency – held its Future Skies Workshop: Private Industry and Public Policies Shaping the Future of the Space Sector in Oxford.

The workshop was the launch event of a leading effort to explore the future of the global space and aviation sectors. It followed from the successful Robotic Skies Workshop on policies and regulations of drones, which the Centre held in Oxford's Rhodes House in June 2018. The initiative seeks to create a cross-disciplinary research programme and sustainable forum for discussion and analysis gathering leaders from industry, government, and academia to explore the complex interplay between international relations, commerce, policy, governance, and technological innovation in the space sector.

The panel discussions explored the challenges and opportunities facing the global space sector – including commercialization, technological innovation, and regulatory uncertainty under conditions of economic and geopolitical flux. Panellists highlighted the potential for formidable disruption of the industry with the entry of diverse private companies, leading to the development of new technologies that present new investment opportunities and governance needs.

This report summarizes key points of the workshop proceedings. Setting the stage was the Keynote Speaker, Bas Landsdorp of Mars One, who discussed his vision for establishing a human outpost on Mars. We then held a series of panel discussions delving into the future of the space economy. The remainder of this report synthesizes the workshop proceedings and findings under the following three headline themes: (1) Existing Ecosystem, (2) Headwinds, (3) Opportunities, and (4) Questions for Further Discussion.


View full report here