Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, or SEDS, is an international student-led movement dedicated to supporting students in the space sector and promoting public interest in space. Countries with active SEDS groups include the USA, the UK and India, among others.
In Canada we are a federally incorporated non-profit dedicated to empowering students in the space sector and advocating for space in the public sphere. Run by students for students, we are a chapter-based organization with chapters at schools and universities across the country.
We develop pioneering projects such as the Young Space Entrepreneurs competition and the Canadian Reduced Gravity Experiment Design Challenge that allow students to learn key skills and participate in exciting and relevant experiences for their own professional development.
We are students from all walks of life with a common thread: we believe that enabling humanity to become a space-faring civilization is critical for our future prosperity. By training the next generation of space leaders, we contribute to the advancement of the space sector and opening up the frontier for the betterment of all of humanity.
As a non-profit with a national scope, SEDS-Canada is driven by a Board of Directors that is elected annually by our student members across the country, and Staff appointed by the Directors to manage our projects and operations.
While our Staff may not necessarily be students, our Directors are required to be students at the time of their elections. We provide a unique experience to students in the space community in that they learn how to manage and grow a national organization while making long-lasting and close relationships with our advisors and partners.
At the national level, one person from a chapter, a chapter representative, communicates with the Director of Membership to provide updates on chapter activities and raise any concerns or issues. A chapter representative also votes on behalf of their chapter, at annual elections of the Board of Directors, as well as on other resolutions that may come up from time to time. To provide equal representation, a chapter is given 2 votes by default, and 1 if there are 2 chapters per university campus.
SEDS was founded by Peter Diamandis while he was a sophomore at MIT in October 1980, with founding chapters also started by Scott Scharfman and Richard Sorkin at Princeton University and Yale University respectively.
Shortly after, in the Spring of 1981, SEDS was initiated in Canada by Bob Richards. Together with Todd Hawley, Peter and Bob established SEDS as an international movement in 1982 at the first SEDS conference held at George Washington University.