Each year, the SXSW Conference kicks off the season by calling on its community to help source the lion’s share of programming by entering session ideas through the PanelPicker® proposal process. SXSW spent the last few months using a mix of community votes and input from the SXSW Staff and Advisory Board members to meticulously sort through the over 4,440 entries and curate the best of the best.
We are pleased to announce that our session, ASCEND: Creating Our Off-World Civilization, was one of the 600+ sessions selected for SXSW 2020. Thank you for voting for us!

Session Details: ASCEND: Creating Our Off-World Civilization

We live in a time where the development of an off-world civilization might become the solution to one of the Grand Challenges of our time. As we venture off of Earth, experienced space and ethics professionals can help us face challenges and questions such as how we will adapt, survive, and thrive in outer space. Where does the human ecosystem begin and end? Do we have a responsibility to protect inhospitable planets? As we evolve off our planet as a species, will we mature and choose to be the best version of ourselves, or will our ego-driven selves prompt us to repeat the same mistakes? An astronaut, a veteran space executive, an ethicist, and a visionary engineer explore the possibility and potential of a future space civilization and the chance we have to build on lessons of our past.


  1. Dealing with the inherent human challenges – both physiological and psychological – to living and working off-Earth.
  2. Technical and design solutions needed to expand off of planet Earth to other worlds.
  3. Our ethical responsibility as this journey unfolds, and how we ensure we meet it.



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Jaclyn Vann

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