Articulating Ethical Foundations for Effective Space Governance

Our mission is to ensure that ethical considerations continuously serve a foundational role in shaping the legal and normative frameworks governing the exploration and use of outer space, with the goal of enhancing mutual understanding, transparency, trust and the sustainable use of space and its resources for the benefit of all humankind while minimizing misunderstandings and the potential for conflict.


The Institute’s Statement on the Relationship Between Law and Ethics

Ethics ought to have a bearing on the foundation of law. It should be recognized as an enabler of, and not a constraint on, the exploration and use of space.  Ethics derive from our understanding of our historical context, including our diverse geopolitical and social communities. Ethics parallel the course of our evolution and will evolve as our knowledge and technology advance. The basis and structure of future laws should derive from evolving ethics, as considered and discerned from broad multicultural perspectives. We do not seek to impose an ethical standard; however, we can articulate and develop agreed standards upon which to shape the law.

The Institute’s Statement on Sustainable Use

Sustainable use requires meeting the needs of the present while taking into consideration: future generations of human communities wherever they may exist; environments here on Earth and elsewhere that support biodiversity; and natural phenomena of universal value wherever they may manifest.

The Institute’s Goals

The Institute’s principal goal is to initiate conversations within and between multiple stakeholders on what it means to be ethical on Earth and elsewhere in space. Our goal is to instigate change within the lifetime of our members that will positively impact the future of humanity.

Humans have succeeded in building thriving communities on Earth, but not without strife. Our expansion into the rest of space presents challenges and risks unlike any humans have ever faced. Some of these can be predicted, however, there will be many that will only become evident once we start to build communities off-Earth.  These will test our current ethical constructs in unpredictable ways.  This fascinating prospect affords humanity a unique opportunity to enhance the human experience both on Earth and beyond and set an example for future generations.

Drawing on the geographical, gender and generational diversity of the Institute’s membership, we will:

  • Encourage, support and amplify thought leadership on ethical issues posed by the past, current and future development of space activities and space governance strategies.
  • Educate, build awareness and share expertise regarding the impacts that outer space activities have on daily life with the goal of developing a broad and diverse foundational knowledge-base that supports and influences outer space policy.
  • Create dialogue on the future of the development of space activities and aid in the democratization of outer space by amplifying and stimulating diverse ethical perspectives.
  • Challenge stakeholders to think beyond tomorrow.

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