International Space City (ISC), the world’s first virtual commercial city dedicated to advancing the business of space, has launched Spacehackers, an initiative to create 1 million Arab women space entrepreneurs. Under the campaign ‘Inspire Generations’, the initiative intends to provide online training and guidance to support 1 million Arab women launch their own space-related and responsible business in three key areas: law & ethics, social impact and trade & business.
Spacehackers is an online, six-week leadership and mini-MBA training programme that will provide participants with the tools, entrepreneurial mindset, and community support needed to turn an idea into a business idea and become one of the future leaders of the global space industry. The name ‘Spacehackers’ is a term created by Space City to describe someone who uses creative, low-cost strategies to accelerate the commercialisation of the space industry. The next intake starts on Nov.17, 2020.
According to a 2020 research report, Morgan Stanley estimates the global space economy to be worth $350 billion and is expected to generate $1 trillion revenue by 2040. Space City believe the future of the space industry requires accelerated commercialisation of space with a strong emphasis on responsible business.
“Space 4.0 is an emerging industry, if we encourage responsible business from the start we won’t have to try and fix it later,” said Helen Rankin, Executive Director at International Space City.
“There are many similarities between the Internet boom of the 90s and the current state of the space industry, we can repeat our mistakes or learn from them. We need entrepreneurs to lead the way, to set the agenda now on outer space law & ethics, off-planet social impact, and interplanetary trade & business.”
Anyone can apply for the Spacehackers programme, although applications are encouraged from adult women, non-graduates and graduates of all ages and backgrounds in the GCC. This is due to the high percentage of female STEM graduates, government support for entrepreneurism and the presence of two national space agencies – Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
In Fifty Million Rising, Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum, provides research-based context to the current generation of women transforming business in the Arab world, where the percentage of female STEM graduates far exceeds the United States and Europe and women represent 50 per cent of the talent pool. When combined with government economic innovations to enable and support entrepreneurism, this makes the region well-placed to accelerate the commercialisation of the space industry.
“Spacehackers are the new generation of space entrepreneurs,” said Rankin. “Many of today’s mainstream jobs didn’t exist 10 years ago, they were created by commercialisation of the Internet and this is where the space industry is today. Affordable technology and increased entrepreneurship globally has decentralised and accelerated commercialisation of the space industry – now is the time for creativity, innovation and responsible business.”
Led by International Space City, brands and government agencies can support the creation of 1 million Arab women space entrepreneurs by sponsoring potential candidates and registering their own employees onto the programme. Group packages from 10 to 100,000 Spacehackers are available.
The initiative was originally scheduled to launch in March 2020. The decision was taken to reschedule to enable individuals, business and government agencies an opportunity to prioritise their attention towards COVID-19 and the implications of the pandemic.