Governing Space Activity in the 21st Century

When: Monday, March 13, 2017

to Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Where: Wilton Park, Wiston House, Steyning, West Sussex, United Kingdom

Secure World Foundation co-sponsored "Governing Space Activity in the 21st Century," a Wilton Park conference. This invitation-only event was held March 13-15, 2017, in Wilton Park, West Sussex, United Kingdom, in association with the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin; Secure World Foundation; Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London; Airbus Defence and Space.

This event brought together representatives of government, industry, and the scientific community from developed and developing nations to assess the prospects for improving the governance of human activity in outer space.

The economic security of countries is increasingly reliant on space-based technology and activities. There has also been a significant shift towards industry, rather than government, being primarily responsible for activity in space. Lines between commercial, government, and defense systems in space have become blurred, and unilateral space activities are being replaced by bilateral, regional and multinational activities.

The growth in amount of human space-activity, coupled with the increased diversity of space operators, makes it both more complicated and more necessary to develop new norms and rules governing human activity in space. This event heard from a diversity of stakeholders on this topic with a particular emphasis on the voice of industry from emerging and established space faring nations.


  • To engage an international network of technical experts and policymakers to promote informed decision making, responsible behavior and to share best practice and ideas.
  • To identify the areas of space activity where greater international cooperation is most needed, analyze potential pathways towards formal agreements or treaties, and assess risks and opportunities from a multisector perspective.
  • To work towards creating a more comprehensive rules-based framework on space activities that can underpin behavior, build trust between states as well non-state actors, and create a formal set of norms for space to guide future developments.

For more information, please contact SWF Washington Office Director Victoria Samson.

Event Materials: 

The agenda can be found here.

The final report from the event can be found here.

Summary video concerning "Space Security"


Last updated on June 21, 2017