SGAC is getting ready to kick off a donation campaign: link. I think it’s a good idea to support the organization, but I won’t be since I’ve had some experience with their fiscal creativity. As a minor example, you can donate to help Chris and Kevin pay their own salaries. Why do I even note this? In November I resigned from the SGAC Executive Committee due primarily to a lack of financial and executive accountability. Since I believe in the premise of the organization, and was not successful in getting some elements of the executive leadership to be accountable for what they spend and what they do, I’m going to do some cleanup from the outside. And I want to purge the frustration that I harbor from being a member of their organization–lots of nice people and a good email list, but I’m not really sure what we accomplished.
(And after looking at their budget, I would mention the “Launch your space mission” campaign that they are trying to raise 10,000 euros for. I’m not sure how that fits in their mandate to “focus on pragmatic space policy advise”… Zero people have signed up for this mission since its release in the summer. It’s vexing since another one of their mandates is to promote cooperation between organizations, and this mission is in competition with other programs, some of which run for free and thus are better suited to a large portion of their constituency which reside in developing nations. See PongSat for a free alternative that launches regularly, albeit not to the same altitude.)
I have a few other notes to make on this point, plus some commentary on the neglect (refusal?) of the Space Generation Congress to cooperate with the SEDS International Conference. Last year it was a refusal–the design decision to not collocate made some sense, but the refusal to help advertise or even mention the event, as was done by SEDS for SGC, did not. This year, despite the fact that one of the SGAC co-chairs knows who is the proper contact from the host organization UKSEDS (Alex had forwarded an email about the UK Space Conference to the Global list), the SGC local organizing team has scheduled a meeting with the IAC local organizing committee without any coordination from UKSEDS. It is more detrimental for them. Also, they know that I am a contact person as adviser. Communicate and coordinate indeed…
So, I’m hoping for the best. In the meantime, I’m going to do what I think is the most effective thing to improve the SGAC organization by performing what they will not: transparency. The purpose is to improve, not destroy, since working with students and young professionals is what I do in SEDS and AAS (and soon IAF). Let’s see what we can do. I complain because I intend to make better.