Space for Earth and Climate Change – Public Value in a Risk Society

Godard, Estelle, Baldesi, Gianluigi and Wylie, Rick orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8294-4931 (2021) Space for Earth and Climate Change – Public Value in a Risk Society. In: AF Space Education and Outreach Symposium 2021 at the 72nd International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2021, 25 - 29 October 2021, Dubai.

[thumbnail of AAM]
PDF (AAM) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Official URL:


Today our society is confronted with the consequences of a triple crisis, a health crisis, an economic crisis and a climate crisis. Years of progress to reduce poverty and social divide, global cooperation, and efforts to combat climate change are threatened by an abrupt change in our livelihoods. Indeed, responses to the COVID-19 pandemic led to increased tensions between states. However, if challenges emanating from these trends emphasise on the need to anticipate future risks and define measures to mitigate them, they also raise new opportunities, especially for the space sector to show its contributions to the greater good of the society. As part of a research project in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire, the European Space Agency, undertook an analysis aimed at measuring the wider than economic value created by ESA programmes and activities as perceived by the European citizens. The results revealed a positive contribution to the common good. This paper will now present an innovative approach to public value management, to take stock of the results found and use it in its wider policy and resource settings to maximise its contribution to the society, and mission and mandates. At a time of existential crisis in which the anticipation of climate catastrophe caused by mankind drives public perceptions, policy and politics, this public value approach to optimising the impact of Space for Earth, brings imagery and insights into the everyday lives of ordinary citizens. Using public value and the risk society framework to unlock the potential of satellite imagery and information, we show how the impact of ESA’s Space for Earth missions may be optimised. We do this by focusing upon the existential risks associated with climate change to the constellation of universal human value categories, which now bear upon everybody, everywhere. The practicality of this presentation will be to draw upon high-resolution images from inter alia Copernicus, to show the impact of humanity upon the natural environment. This paper will further give insights for action and communication essential to mobilise citizens in the co-production of solutions to mankind’s most pressing problems. Copyright © 2021 by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). All rights reserved

Repository Staff Only: item control page