31st Workshop on Space Technology for Socio-Economic Benefits:
"Space Sustainability as a Game-Changer for Development"

In partnership with the International Astronautical Federation (IAF)

and in cooperation with the Government of the Italian Republic

at MICO Convention Centre, Milan, Italy, on 11 - 13 October 2024
in conjunction with the 75th International Astronautical Congress hosted by
the Italian Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIDAA)

(Update on 16 April) The call for abstracts is now open until 9 June 2024.


The United Nations, through its Programme on Space Applications implemented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), and the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) are co-organizing the Workshop on Space Technology for Socio-Economic Benefits on the theme "Space Sustainability as a Game-Changer for Development."

The workshop takes place at the venue of the 75th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) and the theme of the Workshop is aligned with the theme of the Congress: "Responsible Space for Sustainability."

The purpose of the Workshop is to bring together people from either government, space agencies, research institutes, academia, or non-governmental organizations who prepare and carry out space activities and are specifically interested in making space activities sustainable, so that their benefits on Earth will continue to be provided to future generations. Those who are interested in building partnerships, notably to raise awareness of initiatives about sustainability of the space environment or capacity building activities about reducing the impact of the space industry on the Earth environment are also particularly welcome to participate.

The Workshop will be hosted by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and held in Milan, Italy, from 11 to 13 October 2024.


Space applications are a game-changer in many sectors of the economy, and they have revolutionised the way services essential for socio-economic development are provided in many areas, from agriculture to transport or telecommunications. However, for these benefits to remain available, space activities themselves need to be sustainable. The concept of sustainability will be addressed from several angles, looking at how to ensure that activities in space will remain feasible for all stakeholders in the long-term despite the strong increase of the number of objects in Earth orbit, looking at how to make the space industry itself more aligned with environmental concerns on Earth, and looking at how space-based tools are essential enabler for sustainability initiatives on Earth.
The Workshop will provide a platform for discussion about how to increase capabilities in a sustainable way, explore innovative technologies and approaches to reduce the contribution of the space industry itself to the climate crisis, and increase awareness of technical means to improve the long-term sustainability of outer space activities. The Workshop will provide a platform for discussion about technical solutions already in use so that the benefits that space activities offer remain available in a wide range of applications. The main objectives of the Workshop are to:

  1. Raise awareness of the various initiative to measure and predict the impact of space activities (spacecraft manufacturing, launch and re-entry) on the Earth environment;
  2. Showcase changes in space engineering practices to reduce the carbon footprint of the space sector overall, with technical innovations for greener technologies, financing of innovations and regulatory incentives for their adoption;
  3. Capacity building activities on space sustainability, especially from the perspective of new space faring countries and non-space faring countries keen to adopt best practices and preserve the sustainability of the space environment;
  4. Share challenges and success stories to de-orbit spacecraft responsibly, such as technical de-orbiting methods and tools, to discuss what methods are the most effective;
  5. Showcase success stories of technical coordination for space activities that have been impacting each other, such as astronomical observations and satellites operations, or activities of various nature on the surface of the Moon and Mars
  6. Share information on innovative space-based applications and services contributing to environmental sustainability on Earth.

Presentations made during the Workshop will be published on the website of the Office for Outer Space Affairs, while the report of the Workshop and its recommendations will be distributed to the participants and to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.


Speakers are selected via a call for abstracts.
Speakers and attendees will be selected up to the maximum capacity of the room, based on relevant professional or academic experience.

The workshop programme includes four types of formats:

  • Keynote presentations given by invited speakers.
  • Sessions during which presenters will make presentations followed by questions from the audience.
  • Panels: roundtables during which speakers will have the opportunity to make short introductory statements, followed by a moderated panel discussion and questions from the audience.
  • Networking opportunities.

Following the successful trial in 2023, the workshop will include a 'match-making' interactive activity between all participants.
The first draft programme will be published in September 2024.

Call for Abstracts (Update on 16 April)

The call for abstracts is now available here.

Abstract submission deadline: 9 June 2024
Selected speakers will be informed by the end of June 2024.

Deadline for registration as self-funded attendee: 20 June 2024
Selected attendees will be informed by the end of July 2024.


The working language of the Workshop will be English.
All participants are required to have good English language skills.


UNOOSA and the IAF are responsible for organizing the Workshop. Sponsorship of the workshop is still open to interested entities who may contact UNOOSA at unoosa-events@un.org.


The Workshop is being planned for a total of 150 participants. They include technical experts, innovators, educators, policy- and decision-makers from international, regional, national and local institutions, United Nations agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, research and development institutions, and also from industry.

Participants will be selected up to the maximum capacity of the room, based on relevant professional and/or academic experience.


Within the limited financial resources available, UNOOSA may provide funding for individuals selected as a speaker and whose nationality is classified as a developing country. They will be selected on a competitive basis, depending on their place of origin and relevant professional or educational background. For the list of developing countries, please refer to the annex of the "World Economic Situation and Prospects 2024" report, available at https://desapublications.un.org/publications/world-economic-situation-and-prospects-2024.

Please note that financial support will only be considered for applicants who submit an abstract that is retained in the programme for an oral presentation at the workshop.


Health insurance for each of the selected participants is necessary and is the responsibility of the person or his/her institution or Government. UNOOSA will not assume any responsibility for life and health insurance, nor for expenses related to medical treatment or accidents.


For additional information on the Workshop programme, please contact UNOOSA at unoosa-events@un.org.


Copyright ©2024 UNOOSA, All Rights Reserved