An MIT Alumni Association Publication

Video: Designing for Sustainability on Earth and in Space

  • Julie Fox
  • Slice of MIT

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“There are existing technologies from space that actually have great potential to contribute to sustainability on Earth and in space,” says Danielle Wood ’04, SM ’08, PhD ’12, assistant professor of media arts and studies and director of the Space Enabled research group at the MIT Media Lab, in a recent Faculty Forum Online. “We must design them in a way that is very conscious and focused on sustainability as a vision.” 

In this recording of the livestreamed webinar, Wood discusses her group’s research on advancing justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space. Some projects that her group is studying include reducing space debris by replacing satellite fuel with beeswax at times and using Earth observation satellites in coastal communities to inform community management of invasive plants and traditional fishing practices.  

Wood also answers questions from the virtual audience of MIT alumni about what disciplines her students and researchers come from and how to ensure that space exploration doesn’t harm other planets.

The talk was moderated by Sarah Simon ’72, one of the leaders of the MIT Alumni/ae Energy, Environment, and Sustainability Network—a group that aims to inform alumni/ae about and enable them to collaborate in finding solutions for today’s complex energy, climate change, and environmental challenges for a sustainable future.

Watch more archived Faculty Forum Online webinars, and register for upcoming MIT Alumni Association virtual programming.

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