The Space Stage agenda at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023
Space tech, while one of the most complex and costly endeavors, provides enormous opportunity to advance humankind. But this new space age comes with a host of challenges and uncertainties, and we’ll have some of the most knowledgeable leaders join us to unpack both.
The Space Stage agenda covers a lot of parsecs — the role of American public- and private-sector partnerships; venture capital’s unease with the U.S. Defense Department; quantum and espionage; AI and warfare and more.
Check the agenda below and keep checking back for updates!
The Most Exciting Time in Space: How We Got Here and What Comes Next
Expanding the frontiers of human spaceflight. Establishing a sustained presence on the moon. Building a thriving commercial economy in low-Earth orbit. The unprecedented moment we find ourselves in space today offers untold possibilities to transform humankind’s relationship with the cosmos and benefit the prosperity and security of all those here on Earth. Join leading experts as they explore what’s new and what’s next in space, from the mega-trends and cutting-edge technologies that will define the next decade to the critical role commercial companies will play in making the most of this exciting time.
The Future of Sending Human Beings into Space
Commander Jared Isaacman (Entrepreneur, Pilot, Philanthropist and Commercial Astronaut)
With commercial organizations playing a more prominent role in sending humans into space, governments, regulators and even companies are not quite sure what this heralds for the new space age. This panel will help us understand the future of sending humans into space and the respective roles of governments and companies.
Commercial Space Power and the Next Space Age
John Plumb (U.S. Department of Defense) and Brian Weeden (Secure World Foundation)
In the United States, private industry plays perhaps the most important role in keeping America’s space aspirations aloft. This has created both opportunities and challenges as the U.S. government and the private sector try to chart a path forward together into the heavens. This panel unpacks the technologies the American public and private sectors are sending into space and the incentives that bring them together and drive them apart.
Why Is Venture Capital Still Uneasy with the World’s Largest Customer?
Dan Gwak (Point72 Private Investments) and speakers to be announced
The U.S. Department of Defense is the world’s biggest customer and is eager to work with innovative companies backed by venture capital. Unfortunately, most of the largest venture capital firms in the United States are gun-shy when it comes to backing companies looking to tackle federal markets. Why is this? Are they being foolish and leaving money on the table? Or do they understand something important?
Quantum and a New Age of Espionage
Debra Emmons (Aerospace Corp.), Herbert Lin (Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation), Laura Thomas, (Infleqtion, formerly CIA), and Andrew C. Wilson (NIST Quantum Physics)
From busting open sensitive encryption to creating new unbreakable codes, quantum technologies have the potential to transform the world of espionage and cryptography. A government official and physicist, a former CIA officer now in the industry, and a Stanford professor join forces to explain why and how some of these technologies are related to things in orbit.
AI and Warfare
Tara Murphy Dougherty (Govini), Benjamin Jensen (Marine Corps University), and Torsten Reil (Helsing)
The lightning-fast adoption of ChatGPT supercharged conversations about how AI promises to transform warfare. But will it? Is the technology ready or overhyped? Are military institutions ready? Are the right companies ready to work with the military? This panel — representing industry, the academy and the Department of Defense — will unpack these questions and more.
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