Duke Space Diplomacy Lab at One Annual Media Roundtable Perspectives on 2023 Space Priorities with Leonard David (Inside Outer Space) and Joey Roulette (Reuters)
The Duke University Space Diplomacy Lab (SDL) was founded as a part of the Duke "Rethinking Diplomacy" Program in January 2022. The central objective of the SDL has been to provide a vehicle to advance thought leadership on the burgeoning field of space diplomacy through a multidisciplinary focus, working across its inaugural year at the intersection of emerging space trends and technology, foreign policy and national security, and diplomatic engagement strategies to advance policies and practices supporting a safe and sustainable future in outer space.
During the SDL's "first orbit around the Sun," the lab has considered diplomatic strategies to avoid conflict reaching orbit, whether it be through the emergence of commercial space assets as key tools to both understand trends and support communications and humanitarian efforts to support Ukraine's struggle to restore its sovereignty and territorial integrity, or longer-term geopolitical trends associated with the possibility of future great power competition throughout the cislunar environment. The lab has also taken a detailed look at diplomatic engagement pathways to advance regulatory statutes and norms for the reduction of dangers associated with the proliferation of space debris in low-Earth orbit and beyond, including inputs from participants in a Space Diplomacy Hackathon that the lab hosted in partnership with the National Science Policy Network (NSPN). The SDL has also hosted multiple discussions on the vital role that satellite platforms have in delivering and coordinating humanitarian aid around the globe, while taking a lessons-learned approach to diplomatic and normative trends that can be applied in space from other terrestrial domains, including the field of ocean diplomacy.
For its one-year anniversary event, the Duke Space Diplomacy Lab will host its annual media roundtable on perspectives of space priorities that are likely to emerge over the course of 2023. The discussion will ask another set of space media members to discuss what they believe to be some of the most pressing space issues that the globe will face over the next year, both headline-grabbing launches, technologies, and innovations, as well as emerging trends that could have impacts for years to come. For this year's edition, the Space Diplomacy Lab is excited to welcome Leonard David (Inside Outer Space) and Joey Roulette (ThomsonReuters), who will offer their perspectives on space trends in 2023.