Our Islands, Our Future

The 2nd annual EMER-GEN™ program, which preceded the 2019 Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference (AMOS), is a joint initiative of the AMOS Conference and the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), for those age 18 to 35 who are enthusiastic about space careers.

In 2018, Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) created the two-day program with the help of advisors from industry, government, academia and several nonprofits. EMER-GEN™ offers mentoring with renowned space specialists drawn from an array of fields related to Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Traffic Management (STM). Networking with industry peers, this year’s participants joined in skill-building sessions and a short course to enhance their success in a global space environment.

“SGAC has 13,000 members from more than 150 countries,” said Victoria Carter-Cortez, SGAC representative and EMER-GEN™ participant. “Forty-one EMER-GEN™ delegates came together to share their thoughts and experiences in the space industry. We learned a lot about leadership and cultural awareness as well as technical issues that will help us go forward in our careers. It was an enriching experience!”

Secure World Foundation’s Washington D.C. Office Director and EMER-GEN™ mentor Victoria Samson said, “One of the highlights of the program is how participants are making real- life issues relevant and applying them to the current use of space. Discussing obligations at a national level, then going a step further with global discussions about what other countries are doing, was a critical-thinking exercise for a shared approach towards international cooperation.”

EMER-GEN™ participant Jamil E. Castillo, Policy Research Fellow at the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, Washington D.C., explained, “One activity consisted in building consensus for space sustainability according to the United Nations Outer Space Treaty Guideline B.3− promoting collection, sharing and dissemination of space debris monitoring information. We were assigned countries to represent within different sectors such as industry, academia, civil and military space. Then, we met with like-sector representatives from other countries to develop international consensus on the guideline. The delegates came to understand how nations reach agreements, and learned about the objectives of each sector.”

This is my second year as an EMER-GEN™ participant. The conference offers a big picture in a dynamic and inspiring space-industry environment. Thanks MEDB, for bringing numerous educational opportunities to Maui!

Diana Agdeppa, Boeing Corporation, Maui