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Designing Complex Systems to Apply Space Technology for Sustainable Development

Donnerstag 14.06.2018, 17:00 - 19:00


H.004, Hochschule für Politik, Richard-Wagner-Str. 1 

Prof. Danielle Wood

The presentation outlines the research agenda of the new Space Enabled Research Group of the MIT Media Lab. Space Enabled is built on the premise that technology from the space sector has the potential to contribute profoundly to reaching the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including the eradication of extreme poverty and ensuring that all have access to clean water, food and education. Six space technologies are already being used to support sustainable development, including satellite earth observation, satellite communication, satellite positioning, microgravity research, technology transfer and inspiration via research and education. Meanwhile, there are still major barriers that limit the impact of space technology, especially for communities that have traditionally faced economic exploitation or disconnection from technology. The Space Enabled Research Group implements projects with development leaders at the multi-lateral, national, regional and local scale to apply space technology in support of their initiatives. During these projects, Space Enabled implements an integrated design process that includes techniques from engineering design, art, social science, complex systems modeling, satellite engineering and data science. This work includes creating new applications of space for development, new methods to apply complex systems modeling and new approaches within satellite engineering. This research agenda builds on a decade of research led by Professor Wood that draws on social science, engineering and policy. As part of this long term research activity, Professor Wood has studied decision making among emerging satellite programs in Africa and Asia, examined the design of international collaborations focused on technology and implemented new initiatives to apply satellite applications for societal needs such as food security.

Professor Danielle Wood serves as an Assistant Professor in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences within the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Within the Media Lab, Prof. Wood leads the Space Enabled Research Group which seeks to advance justice in earth's complex systems using designs enabled by space. Prof. Wood is a scholar of societal development with a background that includes satellite design, earth science applications, systems engineering, and technology policy for the US and emerging nations. In her research, Prof. Wood applies these skills to design innovative systems that harness space technology to address development challenges around the world. Prof. Wood’s research also develops systems analysis tools to improve decision making during the design of complex systems. Most recently, Prof. Wood worked as the Applied Sciences Manager within the Earth Science Division of Goddard Space Flight Center. Previously, she served as Special Assistant and Advisor to the Deputy Administrator at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Prior to working at NASA, Prof. Wood held positions at the Aerospace Corporation, Johns Hopkins University, and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs. Prof. Wood studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned a PhD in engineering systems, SM in aeronautics and astronautics, SM in technology policy, and SB in aerospace engineering.

Research Group ISPP, Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS)

Kilian Weißer @ ISPP

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