Space Economy Camp for Writers

What could a sustainable, non-exploitative economic model for space look like?

The purpose of this project is to equip storytellers with a solid foundation of economic theory that can drive new and expansive world-building based on sustainable, non-exploitative economic models for space. To achieve this we will bring together a small cohort of storytellers of different media for an in-person interactive “Space Economy Camp.”

Key accomplishments

  • Hosted a multi-day Space Economy Camp for Writers from November 9-12 bringing together 20 respected economists and skilled writers to create new concepts for worldbuilding in speculative fiction.
  • Completed an event summary and lessons learned document to inform future camp iterations.
  • Completed a content summary that overviewed the purpose of the camp, summarized the lectures, and detailed the creative ‘zines’ output.
  • Completed four art prints reflecting the Space Economy Camp themes: Asteroid Belt, Mars, Moon, Space Station.
  • Secured $10,000 in matching funds from Breakthrough Initiatives to offset costs of the upcoming camp.
  • Developing an initiative called, “Choose Your Own Adventure Economics,” a cheat sheet for science fiction writers to incorporate economics accurately into storytelling.
  • Presented the Lessons Learned document and infographics at the ASU Space Futures Convening in January 2024. Published Lessons Learned Infographics based on the group presentations of 4 shared world space economies to encourage stories beyond the participating writers.
  • Received the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association(SFWA) Givers Grant Award.

Team members

Project contact: 

Joffa Applegate

Funding years:


Joffa Applegate

Project Lead

Mary Robinette Kowal


External Co-Lead

Kim Macharia

Executive Director at Space Prize Foundation

External Co-Lead

Sarah Sward

Event Coordinator

James Schalkwyk

Breakthrough Initiatives

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