A small group of female Saudi spacetweeps has taken the challenge to organize the first SpaceUp Unconference in the Middle East. It is really great to see the US-born SpaceUp movement now quickly taking over the world. Last September we saw the first non-US event take place in Europe, while this December 1st we will see the first @SpaceUpIndia event in Bangalore. But the event in Saudi Arabia in January 2013 promises to be a breakthrough event for several reasons:

  • The space industry in Saudi Arabia is underdeveloped, but growing at high speed
  • There are lots of Saudi investors looking at the (commercial) space industry as an interesting growth market
  • The SpaceUp Unconference series is independent, organized by passionate space volunteers
  • SpaceUp is an unconference, offering a platform for all space stakeholders, including the general public and students
  • SpaceUp Saudi Arabia is organized by a female space team, unique in this part of the world!
  • Space is one of the few themes that is bringing people together on a common human goal, away from religion and politics
  • This event deserves to be put into the global spotlights as an example of global human cooperation!

As you can see, this event is very close to my heart. I will follow it very closely and report on it through my usual livetweeting on Twitter, postings on Facebook, and writing blogs and space magazine articles. I will do this remotely, but would much rather do this at the actual event in person…

Special request: In order to report on SpaceUp Saudi Arabia live, I am looking for a little support from the space community. In exchange for a guaranteed high reach and lots of impressions on social and traditional media, I would love to find a sponsor for my travel expenses for this short trip from Europe to the Middle East. So if you know someone or a company that would like to be in the spotlights on social media through this event, please contact me.

Whatever the result, this event is one to put on your space calendar to follow! Make sure you follow @SpaceUpSaudi on Twitter and check www.spaceup.org for details on exact dates, times and venue.