Since I can remember and probably influenced by my family, I have developed an interest for space. The most vivid memory of something related to it, were movies. My favourite ones: Apollo 13, Contact, Gattaca, the Star Wars franchise, The Martian, etc. Which has contributed to develop an awareness of the opportunities that the outer space can offer. Every now and then I have been looking for ways to be informed and participate in events connected to this world.
The ESA (European Space Agency) organized in September 2016 the first public consultation opened to the citizens of all the state members of the organization. This public consultation, ‘Citizens’ debate on space for Europe‘ was connected to the worked carried by the agency along the years, and the impact it has on society at large. The event held in Denmark, took place in Odense.
It was an informative and promotional event more than anything. The participants selected and attending the event were given different sets of questionnaires covering various aspects of the strategy and projects implemented by the agency. It gathered people with diverse interests and educational / professional backgrounds which allowed for a lively and rich debate.
The debate was structured in several stages, letting participants interact more effectively with one another. In each stage, participants were rotating along the groups set, covering various aspects emphasizing the connection of projects launched by the agency or other projects that occurred in the history of space to the impact on societies’ daily life, such as, GPS systems, satellite tv, etc.
The rotations allowed me to come across people that were working in companies involved in the space industry to just curious citizens that understood the event as an opportunity to learn about the agency and space.
On a personal level, I hoped for an event involving more information on projects or including the participation of ESA employees to provide a direct exchange citizen – ESA. In this case, the one in Denmark, hosted by an intermediate initiative named CoworkingOdense, got a good atmosphere.
This kind of initiatives, can be a good point of contact between decision makers at institutions, such as ESA or other governmental administrations with citizens, becoming a fora of understanding and exchange of ideas and opinions.
Dear reader, I will see you in my next post.