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Joint Colloquium with the George Perkins Marsh Institute
MIT Media Lab, Director of the Space Enabled Research Group
Sustainability in Space and on Earth: Research Initiatives of the Space Enabled Research Group
The presentation will present the work of the Space Enabled Research Group at the MIT Media Lab. The mission of the Space Enabled Research Group is to advance justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space. Our message is that six types of space technology are supporting societal needs, as defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These six technologies include satellite earth observation, satellite communication, satellite positioning, microgravity research, technology transfer, and the infrastructure related to space research and education. While much good work has been done, barriers remain that limit the application of space technology as a tool for sustainable development. The Space Enabled Research Group works to increase the opportunities to apply space technology in support of the Sustainable Development Goals and to support space sustainability. Our research applies six methods, including design thinking, art, social science, complex systems, satellite engineering and data science. We pursue our work by collaborating with development leaders who represent multilateral organizations, national and local governments, non-profits and entrepreneurial firms to identify opportunities to apply space technology in their work. We strive to enable a more just future in which every community can easily and affordably apply space technology. The work toward our mission covers three themes: 1) Research to apply existing space technology to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; 2) Research to design space systems that are accessible and sustainable; and 3) Research to study the relationship between technology design and justice. The presentation will give examples of research projects within each of these themes. https://www.media.mit.edu/people/drwood/overview/