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Activist Space Conferences
- CONFERENCES LIST
- HOSTING A CONFERENCE
- FINDING SPEAKERS
- CONFERENCE NETWORKING
- CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS
- CONFERENCE ASSISTANCE
- SURVIVING A CONFERENCE
Upcoming Conferences for 2008
- International Space Development Conference, Oklahoma City, OK - May 27-31, 2004
- Return to the Moon Conference - 2004 , Las Vegas, NV - July 16-18, 2004
* Formerly the Lunar Development Conference
- Mars Society Convention 2004, Chicago, IL, Chicago, IL - Aug. 19-22, 2004
- Space Frontier Conference 14 - 2004, Los Angeles, CA - Sept.
CONFERENCE LISTS by Organization
National Space Society
International Space Development Conferences
A project has begun to ARCHIVE (or create from existing documents) websites for past ISDCs on the NSSChapters.org/isdc/ server - The Tucson link on this page needs to be updated.
The purpose of this effort is not to dwell on the past, but to be of help to future ISDC conference committees, by making available to them a record of what has been tried, and what has been accomplished previously. The purpose of this archive is thus to build a stronger future for the International Space Development Conference.
- ISDC '87 Pittsburgh
- ISDC '88 Denver
- ISDC '89 Chicago - site to be created from documents?
- ISDC '90 Anaheim
- ISDC '91 San Antonio - documents not accessible
- ISDC '92 Washington, DC
- ISDC '93 Huntsville
- ISDC '94 Toronto - site to be created from documents?
- ISDC '95 Cleveland - site could be created from documents?
- ISDC '96 New York
- ISDC '97 Orlando
- ISDC '98 Milwaukee
- ISDC '99 Houston - files irretrievably lost
- ISDC 2000 Tucson
- ISDC 2001 Albuquerque
- ISDC 2002 Denver
- ISDC 2003 San Jose, CA
- ISDC 2004 Oklahoma City, OK
- ISDC 2005 Washington, DC
- ISDC 2006 Los Angeles, CA
- ISDC 2007 Dallas, TX
- ISDC 2008 Washington, DC
Mars Society Conventions
Note: When the Mars Society website was rebuilt two years ago, the sites for the first seven conventions seem to have been lost.
- Founding Convention '98 Boulder, CO - 1998
- Convention II '99 Boulder, CO -1999
- Convention III '00 Toronto -2000
- Convention IV, Stanford, CA - 2001
- Convention V, Boulder, CO -2002
- Convention 2003, Eugene, OR
- Convention 2004, Chicago, IL
- Convention 2005, Boulder, CO
- Convention 2006, Washington, DC
- Convention 2007, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
- Convention 2008, Boulder, CO - 2008
Artemis Society & Moon Society Conferences
- Moon Society Organizing Conf. 2000 - no conferences since, but significant contributions to the annual International Development Conferences
Space Frontier Foundation Conferences & Return to the Moon Conferences
HOSTING A CONFERENCE
CONFERENCE NETWORKING - Many go to conferences to hear the latest news, learn about promising new developments and technologies, and to meet speakers.
But the heart and soul of any Space Conference - its "chemistry" - is the Networking. The real Life of the Conference unfolds not so much in the session rooms, as between sessions: in the hallways, at meals, and after hours. Here is where ideas come together to forge the first humble beginnings of new projects, even of dynamic collaborations and joint ventures.
Networking inevitably produces unexpected results. Given this fact, it is not possible to write the final chapter on a conference until years later, when the seeds sown during the conference and in its aftermath come to bear fruit. In retrospect the '88 Denver ISDC, called a divisive failure by many, was the birthplace of Lunar Prospector, a monumental achievement.
This in mind, there are some little things the host organization can do to promote vigorous networking:
- Badges - at the Tucson 2000 ISDC, the badges had ample blank space at the bottom preceded by the prompt: "ask me about ...." with the attendee filling in his or her favorite topic. What a great way to break the ice and encourage strangers to start talking!
- Mischievously planned Workshops which will bring together a critical mix of persons who normally have no mutual contact - and watch the productive results that spring from it.
- Invite some Guest Speakers for some of the Meal Functions who bring in an outsider point of view.
- Plan Panel Discussions with participants from different organizations
You get the idea. Like successful hosts of dinner parties, you must pay attention not just to whom you invite, your menu, and your entertainment, but to "whom you seat next to whom." Therein lies the creative mischief, a mischief that starts things, hopefully productive and exciting things.
- An option to passive listening to speaker after speaker
- A chance to offer and reshape opinions as part of a brainstorming process
- Some workshops are aimed at improving ongoing efforts
- Others seek to flush out fresh design approaches to some problem or challenge
- Then there are workshops that seek to start or advance an exciting project
Mission Control Workshops - The Lunar Reclamation Society has conducted successful workshops at four ISDCs, several Science Fiction Conventions, and at other conferences and is available to conduct workshops at future conferences.
The Foundry Project Incubator, run by Greg Allison, can be a one or two day track. The Foundry has given birth to several exciting and successful projects and companies, including TransOrbital, Inc.
CONFERENCE ASSISTANCE - Not all conference hosting chores and tasks need to be done locally. Some jobs, even some major jobs, can be farmed out to willing and capable persons elsewhere.
- Programing - Speakers - Track Chairs - Workshops (see above)
CAN YOUR CHAPTER SURVIVE HOSTING A CONFERENCE?
You have to have a strategy in which the Conference is not the be-all and end-all of your chapter's efforts, but a way to accumulate assets (financial, physical e.g. display paraphernalia), local networking and media contacts, and expertise.
To survive the burst of intense effort and the aftermath of exhaustion, you have to have more relaxed, but exciting follow-on projects already defined, that the new assets your chapter will gain will allow you to do. Only that way, will you keep some of the key new people who will come aboard with fresh enthusiasm to help you pull off the conference.
First consider what potentially exciting and useful projects math both the interests and talents of your members and the assets you are likely to gain.
Conduct workshops at the conference planned to launch or prepare the way for such follow-on projects. Include a full Foundry Project Incubator track at the conference, and have your follow-on Project Leaders attend it.
Use the conference as a way to identify expertise and talent that you will need for post-conference chapter projects.
Chapters which follow The Project, i.e. the conference, with a vacuum, will inevitably get swallowed by that vacuum and whither away and die.
Plan the conference so that is a fresh beginning, not a swan song.