As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks vast changes on people’s daily lives, ESA is examining how space can help improve life on Earth both during and after the outbreak.
Experts in economics, geopolitics, psychology, medicine, data science and digital services will contribute to a series of online seminars organised by the agency and led by its Director General, Jan Wörner.
The interactive sessions aim to leverage collective intelligence and expertise to build a better world.
Life has changed profoundly since the arrival of the coronavirus. Many shops and restaurants have closed as people stay at home, and millions of people have lost their jobs. Schools have struggled to rapidly shift teaching online.
Demand for delivery services is booming, but public transport has plummeted. Environmental pollution has fallen significantly, as industry and transport emissions reduce.
Donatella Ponziani, Downstream Gateway Officer at ESA, said: “ESA is leading actions to leverage space to support the management of the crisis and contribute to the resilience needed in possible post-crisis scenarios. The world may experience an acceleration in technological developments such as digitalisation, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, and the prioritisation of axes of research such as healthcare and biotechnology.
“Access to health, ubiquitous communication and remote access to education are no longer problems just for isolated areas; new business models and solutions are also needed for big cities.
“Last but not least, the impact of the measures taken to contain the spread of the pandemic gives an outstanding demonstration of how slowing down society can have a tangible impact on the environment, as reported by the Earth observation data.”
Five one-hour webinars have been scheduled so far, each featuring a range of invited guests. “Climate care: remote life, better life?” will take place on 4 May at 17:00 CEST. It will be followed by “Healthcare” at the same time and place on 20 May, “Post-millennials education and social life” at the same time and place on 3 June, “Working efficiently, working remotely” at 15:30 CEST on 9 June and “COVID-19: Reinvent your business model” at 17:00 CEST on 15 June.