Universalisation, the Interconnection of Outer Space Development and the UN 2030 SDGs: The 21st Century Leadership Imperative by Lorna Jean Edmonds and Seth Baker

As we witness the exponential investment in space development, exploration and security, we must pause to think collectively about the governance and sustainability of Earth as control extends into the universe. We need to prepare the next generation of citizens for this emerging field. We are experiencing a shift from globalisation to ‘universalisation’ as this century’s paradigm. Universalisation asserts that we are living in ‘one world within the universe’ and that universal sustainability requires a cooperative and inclusive approach to development for the benefit of all. The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN2030 Agenda) speaks to creating a broad and universal policy agenda devoted to global development and cooperation to benefit all countries and parts of the world. Both universalisation and the UN2030 Agenda share similar core values and are timely given mounting pressures for the effective governance of ‘universal’ issues. This paper aims to contribute to 1) the dialogue of including space activities in the UN2030 Agenda; and 2) the imperative for more students, scholars, citizens and policy makers to be engaged in space development and its implications for the governance of Earth. It is imperative that higher education prepare the next generation of citizens with the skills and tools necessary to confidently and competently live in the new paradigm and lead this development agenda. The paper contends that 21st century leaders be culturally astute, globally discerning, and internationally connected so as to create an atmosphere of cooperation and sustainability.