Hello, I’m Bart! I grew up in Brussels, with origins in Istanbul, and I now live in Oxford.
I currently work at the Satellite Applications Catapult, where I do research on the space economy and space policy. I am also a guest lecturer at the University of Oxford, where I do some teaching on space innovation for the MBA program. Previously I was at the European Space Agency (ESA), supporting the management of a network of business incubation centers which use space to improve life on Earth, as well as Seraphim Capital, the world’s leading venture fund and accelerator program for space technology.
As an undergraduate, I studied Law at University College London with a focus on the European Union and Environmental Law. For my dissertation, I wrote a paper on the topic of “EU Law’s Globalisation and its Effect on Post-Brexit Regulations”, in which I discuss the Brussels Effect and explore the emerging dynamics between sovereign nation-states and regulatory super-states within the context of environmental and technology policy. In 2016, I was accepted as an intercollegiate student in Philosophy at the London School of Economics, where I co-founded the AIBE Summit – Artificial Intelligence in Business & Ethics. Today, it is one of the largest non-profit AI conferences in the world. After working in venture capital, I then went on to study an MSc in Technology Management, where I founded the UCL Space Society as an interdisciplinary community of space people.
My main interests include space, nature, and philosophy. At the moment, I’m particularly interested in the interplay between space exploration and global governance. We are now in the age of Space 4.0 – a multi-agent landscape where governments, businesses, and citizens are all getting involved in the expansion of our civilization. Within this context, the rise of reusable rockets and small satellites is starting to open up access to space for millions of people around the world. This not only allows us to witness the overwhelming beauty of our planet from above, but also creates a wide range of new opportunities like Earth observation for climate science, satellite constellations for global connectivity, and space stations for commercial activities. With this comes many challenges in space governance, which we will need to address through policy and technology solutions.
In my free time I enjoy baseball, cycling, swimming, chess, photography, and music. One of my greatest passions are maps – whether it’s to visualize the complexity of the world, better understand a conceptual space, or connect all of the thoughts in my mind, I think that mapping is one of the coolest ways to navigate systems and develop new insights. I also love thinking about the many dimensions of aesthetics, including the philosophy of beauty, abstract art, color theory, brand identity, architecture, interior design, and the way in which our physical environment shapes our experience of the world. When I’m not too busy, I like going on long walks and capturing these ideas through my photography.
My life is mostly about exploring the big picture. In doing so, there are many fascinating questions to think about: What is the nature of reality? What are the laws that govern our physics? How does intelligence emerge from complexity? How can we transition into a global economy which achieves sustainable development? Which space governance frameworks will allow us to safely transition into an interplanetary civilization? Are there any star systems out there with signs of astrobiology? How can we explain such elusive concepts as spacetime, consciousness, and love? Let’s find out!