Statement 8th October 2021
The last few days have been difficult for all of us in the space sector, as we saw shocking allegations come to light. These allegations triggered a necessary conversation within our organisation. At this point we don’t just want to talk about it, we want to take action.
At Powering Space we want to build an organisation that is safe for EVERYBODY, no matter what cultural background, gender, religion, or sexuality. This means acknowledging that there will always be instances where we will need to learn, unlearn and listen, so we can truly be that safe space that we aim to be. As an organisation and as individuals, we want to do everything in our capability and capacity to be better.
Firstly, we absolutely condemn the reported behaviour. We have removed content from our website that was recorded during Impulse2021 that included the accused ISU Professor in question. We will not work with him in upcoming events.
Secondly, we want to allow room for all conversations necessary, and that includes uncomfortable ones. It starts with conversations about unconscious biases, unlearning assumptions, and correcting language. We are always learning, and while it is our job to educate ourselves, sometimes we miss things. Please feel free to make us aware of these things. It helps change them!
Our commitment also includes making our own staff and those involved with us feel safe to speak up if mistreated or if there has been any kind of misconduct within our organisation by a member, a speaker, or guest during one of our events. We will listen, believe you, not judge, investigate, and take positive action to help solve the issue.
For all of this to happen we have created a new email address firstname.lastname@example.org. We realise that these situations are often, but of course not exclusively, experienced by females, who might not feel safe confiding in a male person, so the email account will be managed by a female. For now, this is our executive board director Judith Delany.
In addition to taking our own responsibility, we URGE every national and international space association to follow suit. We especially urge the IAF, as one of the oldest and largest international space organisations, to take up their position as a role model to the industry. Being a role model in our view includes the creation of hotlines, dedicated email addresses, or really any kind of safe pathway for people to report misconduct in the organisation and its networks.
It is important for people to be heard, to be believed and to be confident that action will be taken to investigate a situation and to protect them during investigation. People need to be able to safely report incidents that occur in organisations and at events. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us in this industry to make space a safe space.
We want to thank every survivor having suffered abuse in our industry brave enough to come forward to share their experience. Your voice makes a difference and we are dedicated to helping you amplify your voice.