Space: The Final Frontier — For Business Schools

The “billionaires’ space race” is prompting one school to launch a new executive master’s in space business

As one billionaire after another launches himself into orbit this summer, one business school is looking to tap into interest in the new space race and all it implies.

The Thunderbird School of Management at Arizona State University has announced the creation of the Executive Master of Global Management in Space Leadership, Business, and Policy, focused on areas like space entrepreneurship, potential regulation and governance, public-private collaborations, economic inequality and other ethical challenges, and future sustainable industries. That last area will include discussion on unusual — and fun — topics like asteroid mining.

Set to receive its first students in January 2022, the new program aims to spark the curiosity of entrepreneurs and build the leaders of tomorrow — as well as address fundamental questions about global leadership and serve as a starting point to understand the space industry.

“We certainly want great entrepreneurs and business people that take this program and go and see the commercial enterprises in the business. We also want individuals to go into government or national organizations to benefit humanity and society,” says Sanjeev Khagram, director-general and dean of Thunderbird School of Global Management.

PROGRAM’S IMPACT: CORE VALUES

Thunderbird Dean Sanjeev Khagram

The “billionaire space race” is prompting a lot of talk about a new chapter in space exploration. Seeking to provide a better understanding of outer space business management and opportunities to network with NASA, the private industry, global nonprofits, and visits to aerospace companies, Thunderbird is styling its new graduate degree as the world’s first in outer space business management — a way to spark the curiosity of entrepreneurs and build the leaders of tomorrow, as well as address fundamental questions about global leadership and fundamentally a starting point to understand the space industry.

What Dean Khagram and Thunderbird’s faculty have envisioned is a strong foundation built around core values in the space sector — the first being inclusivity and aiming to create diverse spaces for students.

“There are so many individuals getting jobs in the space sector and being included, and we want it to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive sector,” Khagram tells Poets&Quants.

The second aim of the new program is to provide a well-rounded understanding of current affairs on a social and environmental scale. “We could come up with ideas, resources, capacities, and data information from our exploration of space that can help us solve these problems,” he says. Thirdly, to encourage ingenuity among the students: As Khagram says, space exploration is “a flicker of inspiration,” and a significant area of opportunity for innovation.

Lastly, Thunderbird hopes to involve entrepreneurs and leaders in policymaking and political involvement to create equitable spaces in the industry.

“In order to do this right, governments around the world will have to cooperate,” Khagram says. “And so that’s an important thing. And there’s a huge opportunity. If we cooperate.”

THE ROLE OF GLOBAL LEADERSHIP

Khagram argues that to develop a global mindset, an individual must have a cross-cultural understanding — vitally, a notion of international law and policy, what happens beyond international borders. The new program will focus heavily on this, he says.

“The program has courses and content and faculty working on all of these areas, so the students really have a transdisciplinary and a multi-sectoral, That is to say, business, government society, understanding of the space sector,” he tells P&Q.

With Thunderbird’s approach, the students will better understand the industry and how to innovate in the global market and digital spaces—for the School of Global Management, merging a sector that has grown exponentially made sense to create space leaders across the globe. “We needed to do both the global, but that the global was increasingly digital… key technologies are transforming our world… we are rapidly expanding, and that we have to as the 21st century, sort of strategy be both global and digital,” he says.

To accomplish these goals, the Executive Master of Global Management in Space Leadership, Business, and Policy will offer courses instructed by faculty with experience in various disciplines. “The program has courses and content and faculty working on all of these areas [global market, emerging technologies], so the students really have a transdisciplinary and a multi-sectoral, That is to say, business, government society, and understanding of the space sector.”

FRONTIER-LESS OPPORTUNITIES

Not only the program sets its path to space and aeronautics, but it also looks at the possibilities to expand technological resources at a global scale, like broadband access.
“Through the technology that we’re able to create is going to give you know millions and millions, if not hundreds of millions of people have access to the internet that I’ve never heard of before and lo, at incredible speeds,” says Khagram.

The program seeks to create entrepreneurs and businesses to build the way for future generations by using the Agile governance method. “When it comes to space, we don’t want to over-regulate either we want what’s called Agile Governance… that is, governance, and regulation that supports innovation, growth, exploration, while making sure that we minimize the risks and the potential costs… because [space] is the final frontier.”

As billionaires continue to boom the space sector, the Thunderbird Master’s program will provide tools to professionals to understand the outer space market and go beyond the Milky Way. The program will be based in Los Angeles, California; it is set to start in January of 2022 and combine in-person courses and online instruction. Learn more by clicking here.

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