I can remember — and it was not that long ago — when, to outsiders, the satellite industry seemed an outdated, possibly even stuffy industry that looked more like an exclusive club than a dynamic industry leading change. However, the satellite industry appears to have been turned on its head this year.
The likes of Facebook and Google, two of the so-called “coolest” companies on the planet are serious about their satellite ventures. Facebook, while still being relatively coy about their plans for the industry, clearly believes satellite is part of the solution in terms of connecting the “unconnected.” Google, which acquired Skybox Imaging, is also looking more and more into satellite.
When you think about it, it is quite a massive change to have happened to this industry, and it could also be a key in attracting new talent to it. We often talk about the “Millennial” generation; from someone who, unfortunately, now is too old to be part of that, it appears to be a very idealistic generation that really does want to use technology to change the world. This can only be good news for our industry, as it needs to tap into this generation more than ever to secure its own future.
Via Satellite itself is committed to giving this generation more of a voice. We already have a regular monthly feature called Generation Next where we talk to a young engineer about how they joined the industry and what future they see for it. We have also started the Young Engineers Satellite Society (YESS), which aims to provide a platform for the younger generation to engage with one another as well as the industry.
Over the next two years, we could see huge changes in our industry and I, for one, am interested to see how new visions and ideas will impact humanity as well as our industry. The Millennial generation wants in, and this is a pretty exciting development for all of us. VS
Mark Holmes is the editorial director of Via Satellite and Avionics magazines.