On October 25, Downtown Magazine participated in the Insights Salon; an exclusive, salon-style event focused on a theme of outer space.

The Salon was co-organized by Cristy Kaur, a wealth manager and investment advisor from The Heim Group, and Aleksandra Lacka, a market insights and strategy expert with a keen eye for identifying new areas of opportunity – such as space exploration.

The goal of the event was to bring together international experts in the space industry and executives from across several other industries. These leaders engaged in a meaningful conversation about the impact of advancements in outer space industry on our lives and wealth here on earth.

The topic of outer space may not be on everyone’s radar yet, but the latest developments in this field will have a profound impact on our lives and wealth in the near future.

From left to right: Harumi Urata, Keri Kukral, Aleksandra Lacka. Cristy Kaur, Adrianne McMillian, Jean-Marie McEvilly.

Bank of America recently published a report evaluating the opportunities and challenges posed by Space. One of their conclusions was that the market is set to grow from US$339bn today to US$2.7tn by 2045.

Such expansive growth creates a vast array of possibilities. Much of the new wealth created in coming years is going to be related to space explorations.

Space experts at the Salon provided a macro perspective on those opportunities, specifically on the kind of space-related projects that are currently underway.

Keri Kukral, the founder of Raw Science Media and the organizer of the annual Raw Science Film Festival in Los Angeles shared her insights on how space expeditions have increasing influence in media and entertainment as well as other industries here on Earth: examples are medicine and sustainable energy.

“Before telemedicine on Earth, astronauts required remote monitoring and treatments in space. Now, those data communication channels are being developed for broadband with low latency which will impact everything from video broadcast from space to improved communication everywhere on Earth,” stated Kukral.

“In my recent conversation with John Spencer, the founder of Space Tourism Society and Chief Designer of Mars World, I learned that currently – just in the US – there are proposals amounting to US$3bn for space-themed attractions,” said Lacka.

“That alone creates new opportunities for brand partnerships and innovative space-inspired marketing campaigns, as well as retail and product concepts. Those ‘outer space experience hubs’ will offer the opportunity to re-imagine and re-design our everyday life as we know it,” she added.

Salon experts (from left to right): Dr. Martina Zorc, Harumi Urata and Keri Kukral.

Lacka also noted that spearheading this ‘Space Renaissance’ are some of the world’s most influential innovators who have founded their own space-focused companies: examples are Elon Musk (Space X), Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin), Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic), and Robert Bigelow (Bigelow Aerospace). Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, and Ram Shriram of Google are also among the billionaires who have substantially invested in space.

Harumi Urata, an investment expert, further shed light on the fragmented nature of space venture financing and the predominant role being played by the private sector.

“VCs, angels and private equity investors are funding the commercial space business. Of the $2.8 billion total investment, VCs alone invested more than 50% of that in 2016. It is down from 77% that was recorded in 2015 which was partially offset by seed, price, and grant money increase – total investment has gone up by $400 million,” explained Urata.

Dr. Martina Zorc, the founder of Zorc Space consulting and an international outer space law expert, facilitated a discussion on how international space law will impact space investments, including any wealth derived from resources extracted from celestial bodies, such as asteroids.

“Ignoring the international aspects of space law when investing in space ventures is a lot like gambling. Domestic space laws are important, but not everything,” said Dr. Zorc, who also concluded that “In light of all the phenomenal progress in space exploration and commerce, we shouldn’t forget that what is ultimately at stake is world peace.”

The participants of the salon found the discussion to be truly eye-opening. While at this stage the topic of outer space is still largely confined to the industry insiders and early investors, the World Space Week in October, Raw Science Film Festival, and Insights Salons are bringing the topic to broader audiences. October’s executive salon on space was just the beginning of many more future conversations on the subject.

For more information about future Insights Salons and to receive updates and invitations or to host your own salon, please email info@insightsatelier.com.

About the organizers:

Aleksandra Lacka is a market insights expert and strategy consultant with a passion for sharing her innovative, no constraints thinking. She has a keen eye for identifying new opportunities and tapping into uncharted territories – even space exploration. She believes that most breakthrough ideas and conversations happen in small rooms. That’s why she came up with a concept of Insights Salons, exclusive salon-style discussions facilitated by top global experts. Every Salon participant becomes a part of a highly engaging and inspiring exchange of ideas.

Cristy Kaur is a wealth manager and investment advisor at The Heim Group. In her capacity as a financial advisor she can help individuals, families and business owners through the many financial challenges they face, Cristy is committed to engaging and educating clients in the process of creating customized wealth management strategies that consider their risk tolerance, current income, lifestyle needs, future goals, liquidity needs and time horizon.

Photography by Mandira Bahl

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