Our Mission

The Mission of EarthLight is to support the expansion of life and humanity beyond the Earth by creating, catalyzing and managing projects and activities that lead to public inspiration, education and action relating to space exploration and settlement – and to protect and expand the domain of life and humanity on this world by returning and applying the knowledge thus gained.

Who We Are

The Earthlight Foundation (ELF) is a US based but global oriented non-profit, non-partisan organization founded to support the expansion of life and humanity beyond the Earth by providing vision, leadership and credibility.

The organization is run by a small core team encompassing broad field expertise relevant to space exploration, settlement, engineering and communications. ELF is minimalist in management structure to remain flexible and drive effective execution.

Our Vision

ELF believes the Purpose of living is to treasure and celebrate life, to explore everywhere that we can, to always push beyond what is known, to seek, to learn, to live and carry life with us where it does not exist, and experiencing all that can be seen, touched and known of this incredible universe. This is belief is captured in our overarching vision statement:

“To carry the light of life to places now dark, the seeds of life to places now dead, and the eyes, hands and minds of humanity to places yet unseen, untouched and unknown.”​

What We Believe

EarthLighters believe humanity is here for a Purpose. We believe that You have a Purpose. To put it simply, we can break that Purpose down into three aspects:

To preserve and advance the state of human civilization and culture

No matter the headlines, we believe human beings are basically good, and given the chance can be even better. We have barely begun to realize who and what we are, and even as we have made many mistakes, we are optimistic that given the chance to grow, to reinvent and re-imagine ourselves offered by opening the Frontier of space we can improve (and in all its meanings – there is a lot of Room to do so.)

To preserve, protect and expand the domain of life

We see life as precious. No matter how many worlds are out there where it may exist, we are only certain of one of them. The MotherWorld of Earth is alive, and although since the rise of civilization we have taken what we need from her no matter the consequences, EarthLighters believe it is our duty to transform that way of thinking. It is our job and duty to not only preserve this world, but to expand the domain of her life to places now dead.

To enable the universe to know of itself, by our exploration and experience of all it has to offer

Whatever one’s religious beliefs, there is something utterly amazing about our existence – against all odds. And regardless of how we (or any other sentient beings out there) came into that existence, it is by and through us that the universe becomes aware of itself. Thus we feel it is our Purpose to explore and experience every and all things it has to offer.

What We Have Done

Until now ELF has been a very small organization. A dedicated group of people leveraging the few tools we have to accomplish great things.

Pioneering Space Summit

Our first event, the Summit was held in Washington D.C. in early 2015. We brought together US top space leaders, from left and right, private space and NASA to unite under the idea that the human development and settlement of space was the prime goal of America’s human spaceflight program.
The event was the harbinger and partial cause of a sea change in NASA and US space policy, as permanence, space resources and commercial space activities are now central to the government space program and agenda.

New Worlds Conferences

Starting in 2015 the New Worlds Conferences and Symposia in Austin, Texas have become a well known and respected event in the global space calendar. A small and curated event focused on combining space science, exploration, technology, business with the humanities and other elements of a rising space culture, New Worlds is becoming a “want to attend” gathering of both those making space happen and those wanting to join the space tribe. new Worlds features technical papers, a space business plan competition, TED style talks and a side event where hundreds of school children develop their own plans for Cities in Space.


STEAM Space Education

Starting as an auxiliary event running alongside the “adult” track at New Worlds, the original Cities In Space conference was designed to create a positive chemical reaction between those “doing space” today and those young people who dream of making space happen tomorrow. The event features an approach that is inclusive, engaging students of all types who have all types of interests in designing their own Cities in Space. With over 2000 students having participated, STEAM Space Education was successfully spun off into its own organization in 2019, while still holding its leadership event parallel to New Worlds.

Space Cowboy Ball and Awards

We believe space is exciting and fun. We also believe the culture of space is being created right now. And it’s Cool. Thus we created the Space Cowboy Ball as a wild and wonderful celebration of our future on the Frontier. With a theme that asks “What would you wear to a party on Mars in a hundred years?” we combine the serious goal of honouring our heroes in space and STEAM space education with a party that has been called “Burning Man on a rocketship”. Past winners  of the prestigious Space Cowboy Award have included Jeff Bezos, Buzz Aldrin and the Former Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg.


What We Plan to Do Next

In 2020 EarthLight is going to be entering the global conversation about Earth and our future for the first time. It is time for a voice that ties together the need to save the planet with the overview and Vision of space to engage in this most important of moments in our history.

We will also be announcing a few new projects. We are eager to find partners and Visionary donors and serious professional volunteers to help us plan and execute these initiatives. Those listed below are examples of what we are considering. Frankly, to become real each will require their own Champions, be they financial or in the form of volunteers and team members. Thus this list will be revised within the next six months.

The EarthLight Endowment

Designed to be a constant wellspring of funds to support fulcrum level activities in STEAM space education and pre-settlement research E2 has a unique design and strategy that is both “foundational” and a bit entrepreneurial. We believe that within a year of reaching our first $100k to be held in the endowment, we will be able to begin giving away small prizes and grants at the k-12 level – even as the endowment grows.

Earth One

Still in early planning, a workshop/summit to discuss, investigate and perhaps initiate those types of large scale projects possible in space that can effect the Earth in a positive way. Three possible topics include planetary defense, energy production in space and an Earth Shade program to reduce the amount of sunlight hitting the Earth.


What We Are Doing Now

The EarthLight Foundation exists to carry the torch of our destiny to open space to humanity and life. It is our role to take a stand for what this means and why it is important and to support those who want to make this happen.
It is our job to find ways to catalyze, inspire and enable their work and dreams.
This will sometimes take the form of our own projects and initiatives and at other times acting as a home to others.

The spin off of the STEAM Space Education project is an example of one kind of success for us. The ongoing New Worlds Conference (and Space Cowboy Ball) is another.

We are also developing the New Worlds Institute (NWI) as an affiliated organization focused on the hard core nuts and bolts of how to open the frontier. NWI runs our Space Settlement Symposium segment of the New Worlds Conference and is developing it’s own plans and projects to enroll and support the scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs who are responsible for allowing us to live, work and play in space. While ELF carries on our supporting role and focuses on the Vision and culture of the breakout into space, NWI is the nuts and bolts – get it done organization.

What You Can Do

The first thing you can do is to consider the ideas we offer you. If you agree with them, then share them with others. For us the greatest success will be an empowered and emboldened humanity that shares our principles moving forward into the future as it moves outwards beyond the Earth. The EarthLight philosophy is yours. Give it away.

Next, join us. You can join ELF for free. Just give us your name, email etc. here:

And of course, you can get involved. We need your help. Be it as a member, donor or active volunteer we need you. We are a small band of people right now. You can help us grow and get the word out to a world that desperately needs to know there is a positive Vision out there for their future, a world that needs to know that we are not at the end of times but barely beginning a new age, and a world that is ready to hear something new, exciting and bold – You have a Purpose.

Why EarthLight?

The term EarthLight comes from a story told by Apollo astronaut John Young, who described a haunting blue green light bathing the lunar surface whenever the sun was down and the Earth was up. This blue green light was bright enough to read by and illuminated the world’s surface, although the cameras of the day could not capture it in the way the astronaut’s eyes were able to do.

This color of light, and its inherent spectrum, can only be created by the reflection of the rays from a sun of the same magnitude as ours, bouncing off of a living planet like the Earth.

It is unique.


Space Innovation and Enterprise Conference

November 2021

The Space Cowboy Ball

Scheduled for this fall, however due to the C-19 pandemic, we will be holding our decision on whether to proceed until the data is in this summer.

Rocket Man Meets Burning Man Meets the Wonder Women of Tomorrow

A Space Awards, Entertainment, Dance Party Like No Other On Earth!

It’s 2120. You’re invited to a formal affair on the Moon or Mars. What on Earth (or space) will you wear?

From sci-fi celebrities to space heroes, awards to entertainment, music and a little mayhem, the Space Cowboy Ball is THE Cool space event of the fall.

Aerialists, artists, musicians, incredible Texas barbeque, and of course amazing costumes and exhibits surround the presentation of awards to the best Science Fiction on TV or Film, the best Space Educator and Inspirers, and of course the Space Cowboy Award, presented to to those who have changed the future. Jeff Bezos, “Buzz” Aldrin and others who are creating the history of the future will join you in a celebration of Earth, Life, Space and imagination.

Who will win this year?

Join us and find out!

Space has been too boring for too long. We are committed to both the technology and culture of tomorrow. From tux to tech, all are welcome to our celebration of the future. It’s a little like a second Halloween, this time for grown ups, space geeks and cos play gamers. From the Expanse to Serenity, Star Wars to Star Trek, and all the best science fiction futures in between, come join us on a micro-Burning Man rocket ride. We’ll give out some awards, eat some great barbeque and then we dance!

All funds raised go to ELF’s educational and research projects, so it’s for a good cause to boot!

Events Registration for 2021 will open this fall

You have to show up – if you want to Go UP!

Contact Us

Questions? Comments? Want to Volunteer? Use the form below to send us an email and we’ll get right back to you.

Press Passes and Media Inquiries

Are you a member of the media and interested in attending the New Worlds Conference? Click here to email us about a FREE press pass or to learn more about the event.


New Worlds Conference and New Worlds Institute are part of the EarthLight Foundation, an international 501c3 charitable education and research organization registered with the IRS and the Texas Secretary of State. EarthLight and its affiliates and DBAs do not participate in lobbying or any political or direct advocacy or other policy activities. Our Mission is to catalyze, facilitate, enable and help lead the human settlement of space.