Have you wondered how and why Space Apps recruited "Local Leads" to organize and host events in their communities? When Space Apps launched in 2012, we wanted to focus on bringing a community together at the local level. However, we realized we couldn’t have our Space Apps Global Organizing team in 20 different cities. We looked to our communities for leaders and the term “Local Leads” was born. As the program grew, the Local Leads began to play a vital role as leaders of their local space and science communities. Our growth and global impact wouldn’t be possible without our incredible Local Leads.
As Space Apps continues to evolve and our global community grows, Local Leads are more important than ever. By 2021, Space Apps had expanded to 323 locations around the world! When we look back at our first year with 20 locations, we are so proud of the growth and global scale we have achieved.
Local Leads Defined
Space Apps Local Leads implement events in their local community, bringing teams together to prototype solutions over the course of a 2-day hackathon. Local Leads share the Space Apps Challenge experience with their local communities through participant recruitment and help guide participants throughout the hackathon journey. They also act as event coordinators that set up and host a location for problem solvers to come together, whether that be in person or virtually, and they work with local speakers, sponsors, and partners to create a rich experience for local participants.
Olivia Boretti, Local Lead of Cuiabá, Brazil, and her team brought creativity to their event by hosting it at a local museum with a historic water reservoir. Hosting Space Apps Cuiabá, in this creative venue with historic significance, offered perspective to participants on achievements of the past and how we can learn to effectively build and innovate for the future! This team modeled for participants the value of history, creativity, ingenuity, and stepping out to try something new.
What It Takes to Be a Local Lead
Local Leads are approved on an individual basis, and only one Local Lead is approved per location. Once approved, Local Leads are invited to attend Global Planning Calls with hundreds of other Local Leads around the world. The Space Apps Global Planning Calls create an environment for Local Leads to learn new skills, network, design inclusive and accessible events, and find new inspiration from different communities. We’ve seen Local Leads from opposite sides of the globe develop connections and learn from each other on how they can become stronger, more inclusive leaders in their communities.
Opportunities for Local Leads
Local Leads have a variety of unique opportunities through their role supporting Space Apps, including their work with the Space Apps Global Organizing team, interacting with NASA challenges created by its experts, and networking with a diverse global community of like-minded space and science thinkers, doers, and problem solvers.
Benefits of being a Local Lead:
- Work alongside NASA and the Space Apps Global Organizing team to develop the world’s largest annual global hackathon, with participants and volunteers in 160+ countries.
- Champion Space Apps in your local community, recruiting local coders, scientists, students, artists, storytellers, designers, engineers, data experts, and others who may participate over the 2-day Space Apps event (October 1-2, 2022).
- Serve as a thought leader in your city’s space, tech, innovation, and creative communities.
- Support noteworthy participants in their hackathon journeys and nominate top projects for judging at the global level, with Global Nominees, Global Finalists, and Global Winners being recognized by NASA.
Become a Local Lead
Space Apps Local Leads play an important part in our ability to encourage and expand collaboration, innovation, and positive global problem-solving. Space Apps encourages participants from all backgrounds, experiences, and professions, and we believe that some of the most innovative solutions come from diverse collaboration.
If you are interested in leading and solving some of the world’s most interesting Earth and space related challenges using NASA and partner space agency data, apply to host your own local Space Apps 2022 event here by June 15, 2022!