Incentives and Barriers to Corporate Engagement with the Lunar Registry
As part of my fellowship with Open Lunar, I am exploring the incentive structures that would enable commercial participation in a Lunar Registry through a series of related posts.
A global registry is only as effective as the information it obtains. Voluntary international cooperation takes place through independent contributions from space actors and requires strong incentives for productive engagement. With different political alignments amongst actors, it’s essential that a Lunar Registry is designed to have a variety of stakeholder incentives that outweigh the barriers to engagement.
Possible barriers to corporate engagement include:
- Hesitancy to register because of ambiguity of liability in space and how shared information will be used.
- International agreements not globally accepted yet leveraged in a Lunar Registry can be a barrier to participation from opposed actors.
- Lack of confidence regarding the accuracy and truthfulness of the registry; Lack of clarity on benefits.
- Political competition and mistrust between stakeholders can create barriers to international collaboration (eg. Wolf Amendment).
- Economic competition in the commercial space sphere can deter information sharing with policies protecting IP and classified or sensitive data.
- Poor registration design such as: 1. Non-relevant or beneficial data field requirements. 2. High cost of participation (eg. time-consuming reporting mechanisms, high membership cost, poor performance).
- Perceived redundancy with an unclear value separate from existing international registries.
Possible incentives for corporate engagement include:
- Increased mission success and safety from access to open information.
- Increased clarity regarding international liability.
- Multi-stakeholder representation with participation in the decision-making process.
- Transparency efforts aid peace, conflict evasion, and security cooperation.
- Aids in the practical applications of multilateral and international agreements (e.g., safety zones).
- Lower cost of access to the Moon through collectively shared resources.
The desire for a good-faith reputational status can be achieved by adhering to international norms and investing in social responsibility demands from civil society.
This is a series of posts exploring the design of corporate incentive structures in relation to a global Lunar Registry. We welcome your engagement! Please contact Open Lunar directly if you’re interested in learning more or supporting this work.