Space Symposium

What’s New for New Gen? An Update on New Generation Initiatives at the 32nd Space Symposium

Written by: developer

by Bernadette Maisel and Jillianne Pierce, Space Foundation New Generation Program Leads

In 2008, the Space Foundation’s New Generation Initiatives (‘New Gen’) program was created to foster meaningful, long-term peer relationships between space professionals aged 35 and younger, and to provide access to top space leaders and opportunities for individual career development and mentorship. New Generation Initiatives have become an important part of the programming at the Space Symposium, held annually at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA.

Over 200 young space professionals representing various facets of civil, commercial and national security space annually participate in the specialized agenda. The New Gen programming at the 32nd Space Symposium will feature fresh perspectives from companies brand new to the Symposium, enhanced opportunities for professional development and greater emphasis on fostering a sense of community among the young professionals in attendance.

This year, the New Gen curriculum will begin on Monday, April 11 with a welcome luncheon and program kickoff co-sponsored by United Launch Alliance. The program kickoff is a new addition and will lay the foundation for an exciting week at the 32nd Space Symposium by introducing the Space Generation Advisory Council’s Fusion Forum participants into the Space Symposium, welcoming all of our New Generation Symposium attendees, and providing guidance on how to maximize opportunities at the Space Symposium (hint: it’s a marathon, not a sprint)!

The popular “speed mentoring” event will return this year, with a diverse and passionate group of senior space leaders who will meet with our New Gen participants to provide insight and career advice. Based on previous years’ feedback, we have extended the length of the speed-mentoring event by 30 minutes. The mentoring session will be followed by a reception co-sponsored by Aerojet Rocketdyne, which will allow the career conversations to continue in a less structured format.

The increasingly global nature of the space community is reflected in our young professional Symposium attendees. Last year, attendees at the 31st Space Symposium hailed from 12 countries! To celebrate this rich cultural diversity and our shared interest in propelling humanity forward through space, please join us during our first Space Foundation New Gen International Star Party on the evening of Tuesday, April 12. At this event, New Gen attendees will be encouraged to share musical performances, dance, comedy and snacks from their homes (more details/specific guidelines will be provided to each registrant).

To start the morning on Wednesday, April 13, we will meet for breakfast to discuss the popular topic of “space mining.”  Additional panel workshops and presentations throughout the day will address key issues to be faced by the burgeoning New Gen community including space policy, the future of human spaceflight, and non-traditional advances in satellite technology.

This year, we have placed great emphasis on opportunities to highlight leadership within the New Gen community by inviting exceptional young professionals to participate on panels. In addition, our daily Space Symposium main agenda master moderators all hail from the New Gen ranks.

If you are a young space professional, 35 and younger who wants to help set the direction for the future of the space industry, seek career advice from industry leaders, meet like-minded young professionals, and be introduced to new opportunities, then we hope you will join us at the 32nd Space Symposium’s New Generation Space Leaders program April 11-14 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs!

This article is part of Space Watch: March 2016 (Volume: 15, Issue: 3).