“Going to space will become like taking a plane today; working in space, living in space, having a one-week holiday in space.”

Simonetta Di Pippo is the Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs. Trained as an Astrophysicist in her native Italy, Di Pippo was the first female director of the European Space Agency. Since then, her work has been integral in using space for our common wellbeing here on Earth - from monitoring soil and water through meteorological data so farmers can grow healthier crops to tracking climate change using satellites. Simonetta shares her passion for space being preserved as a global common benefiting all humanity and on the importance of ensuring peace in outer space.



Full Transcript +


Melissa Fleming 00:00

From the United Nations, I'm Melissa Fleming and this is Awake At Night. Joining me today at UN headquarters in Vienna is Simonetta Di Pippo, the director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs. Simonetta, you trained as an Astrophysicist in your native Italy. At what age were you when you started to think about outer space?


Simonetta Di Pippo 00:43

I don't know exactly. But I believe that probably was around when I was around 10. Because [it] was when the first human being landed on the moon. And I remember this episode with my family rushing towards our summer house, where we were spending a few weeks not so far away from Rome where I was born, but there was a lot of traffic, it was a traffic jam. So my father was stuck in traffic and said, ‘Please rush, rush, because they’re landing today. They’re landing today.’ 

So it was quiet in the evening so he rushed to try to reach the place. But then we have a lot of boxes. And so we had to find the right box where the small TV was. So we started to open all the boxes, we found the TV, we put the TV on another box, and then sitting down on the floor, all the four of us, my family started to watch one of the most important events that I ever attended which is, I mean the event from far away, the landing of the first human on the moon.



Melissa Fleming 01:55

But why was it so important for you? Just described what struck you at that moment as a 10-year-old girl.


Simonetta Di Pippo 02:02

The point was not the fact that there was another celestial body. But the fact that [there] was the expression of ingenuity, creativity, the possibility for us, for humanity, to do big things. And that's what always is driving me, even today.


Melissa Fleming 02:20

Okay, but you're sitting on the floor as a 10-year-old girl watching this TV and seeing a landing on the moon. What was your specific reaction to that?


Simonetta Di Pippo 02:32

I said, ‘Okay, this is what I want to do.’ Not necessarily going to space, but doing something great, doing something that would have been helpful for humanity. So being part of a process in a way. So that's the reason why I then decided to go for scientific studies and then when I was at the high school I decided to go for Astrophysics and space physics.


Melissa Fleming 02:56

Was your dad a scientist or your parents?


Simonetta Di Pippo 02:58

No, absolutely not.


Melissa Fleming 03:00

So how...usually the kid’s interest in science comes from somewhere?


Simonetta Di Pippo 03:06

Well, I don't know exactly. I was reading a lot of books. When I was very young, I was quite a silent person, you would never say that today. But it was really, really not talking too much and spending a lot of time in my small room reading, reading, reading, reading. So I read a lot of books,


Melissa Fleming 03:28

So you were not reading mystery novels?


Simonetta Di Pippo 03:30

No, I even... I was not so passionate about science fiction. I always loved books, which were giving me the possibility to think, to see the world from a different perspective, to develop my own thinking.


Melissa Fleming 03:48

What were your next steps? You had to, at some point, decide on university and what you were going to be studying? 


Simonetta Di Pippo 03:54

Well, my parents, in particular, my father, who has been always very supportive of the idea that women have to be fully independent. And this was the main message that I got from him. And until... I really wanted to decide about my own life. Well, when I was very close to the side of going for Astrophysics, my parents said, ‘Okay, but you are a woman while you're going to do them. You probably will get a family and then are you sure you can make it? You probably will go for teaching somewhere.’ 

I said, ‘Okay. I don't know what is going to happen. So what I know is that I like this field. I believe this is projecting me towards the future. I want to think. I want something that is allowing me to wake up every morning happy. And so that's what I did.


Melissa Fleming 04:53

Your dad, you said, wanted or urged you to be independent. Now tell me about him, why was he like that?


Simonetta Di Pippo 05:01

My dad now is 93 and I have a sister. So in the family, we were two female kids and I don't know why but he always pushed for us to be independent; mentally, financially. He always was pushing us in and looking for something challenging and not necessarily, you know, easy. And then this was up to a certain point because after high school, I was already fully convinced of what I wanted to do. 

In a way, I never had a real objective to reach. My objective was to, as I said, have a job that was fun, hard, interesting learning, a learning tool, something allowing me to travel, to learn about other cultures. So at the very end, these were the elements that I wanted to, very clearly, I wanted to have in my future.


Melissa Fleming 06:04

At what point were you aware that this was more unlikely for girls to be able to have that kind of career that you just described?


Simonetta Di Pippo 06:14

Well, this became clear to me more when I was at the university. When I started, we were 300, more or less 50% were women. When I graduated, there was one out of ten. And then, after I got the Master’s, I went visiting my professor, and I said, ‘Okay, I would like to make some experience in the United States or in another place where I can continue my research.’ And he said, ‘No, you are a woman. I have just one fellowship.’ And then there was another very good astrophysicist with me, graduated at the same time, a good friend of mine, now a very good astrophysicist. But was a man. So he said, ‘I have just one, so I'll give it to him. Because you will marry, you will get kids. So it's a waste.’ 

So what I did, I spent one month, more or less, without talking to anyone and even at home my parents were a little bit puzzled. But this is what I do. When I have a big issue. I try not to talk to anyone because I have to concentrate. I mean, I have to regroup in my...My neurons need to follow certain processes. And it works even today. It works very well. And so I decided that ‘Okay, I have to find a job.’ And I started to apply here and there. And I got the job in a big software house just a few months later. 

But after a few months, I was there, I was called by the soon-to-be-created Italian Space Agency. They offered me a contract for five years. While at the software house, I had the indefinite contract, also far higher in terms of salary at the end of the month, and I decided to take the opportunity, and I left where I was...risk management, I'm always in favour of risk management. Risk avoidance is not my call. And so I decided to go and here I am. 


Melissa Fleming 08:30

So you gave up a very secure job at a software company for the chance to work for the Italian Outer Space Agency. What was it like when you first walked in the door? Can you remember your first day?


Simonetta Di Pippo 08:45

It's interesting because when I joined this organisation, [it] was not yet the Italian Space Agency. It was a group of pioneers who built the Italian Space Agency, it was 1986 and the Italian Space Agency was created in ‘88. And so in a way we started to write the National Space plan. And I was sent around the world to talk to other space agencies and to try to develop some joint programmes. So I started with space diplomacy and multilateralism since now thirty-five years. 

And so it was very interesting because the point today is that all the young colleagues that I met in Japan and Europe in the United States and Canada, in India, now all of them are in very top-level positions in their respective countries. So I have really a huge network, which comes from my longer participation in this journey. I will say it's a journey.


Melissa Fleming 09:53

I guess when you were starting out it was more of scientific pursuit, but you just mentioned space diplomacy. You know, is it something that was a surprise to you?


Simonetta Di Pippo 10:04

Well, yeah, but the point it says space activities are all done international collaboration can be bilateral, could be multilateral. I mean in different manners. Each experiment I mean, for planetary exploration or on the International Space Station, for climate science, for whatever, are always done in collaboration, so really everything in space is international. And so if you don't have this angle or this view in your activities, you cannot have any accomplishment in space activities. It’s international by the finish.


Melissa Fleming 10:41

So I guess, I mean, you would really quickly realise that you had reached your childhood dream of having a job where you learn something every single day, where that is engaging, that involves science, and where you could travel. So talk about a little bit, some of those travels - one trip that you can really remember that just inspired you and really stuck with you?


Simonetta Di Pippo 11:04

If I have to tell you something about probably the trip at the very beginning of my career that I remember really well, was not necessarily so positive. In the sense that I started to study English in Italy and I was seven or eight so I thought, ‘Okay.’ I mean, all my exams were wonderful. I mean, nine, ten; you know, the top, top-scoring. But then I arrived for the first time in the United States and I had to deal with the Customs. And I didn't understand anything of what they were saying. 

I was young, I was yes, dressed, you know, a hoodie, things like that. And so the guy at the Custom was not so convinced that I was entering and was (this is Washington DC. by the way) that I was entering the United States to really deliver a speech to a conference the day after. So they put me in a sort of a jail, a sort of a box, an equivalent of, for a couple of hours. And they were asking me questions, and I was so blocked, I don't know what happened. It was ‘86, by the way, the first year. 

And then I said, ‘Okay, probably the only solution is to show him that I am in the programme of the conference, but this happened after two hours, because I was really, you know, like a punch bowl where you are! Ok, so I said… And then he said, in which language do you expect to deliver your speech tomorrow? I remember this very well and then I spent 24 hours again, trying to regroup. And then from that moment on, it was okay.


Melissa Fleming 12:58

You used this process that you explain... you explain this process that you use a scientific process to unblock your brain? How do you do that?


Simonetta Di Pippo 13:08 

Well, this is interesting. But the point is that I need to, in order to process information that I have, I need to have a sort of a segment and all the elements have to be separated from the others because I need to understand where the problem is. Because if you put everything together, it is confused. Instead, if you separate the various elements, sort of a puzzle, then you understand where you have to look at, in order to solve the problem, and usually [it] works very well. 


Melissa Fleming 13:43

Okay. So in this case, you were completely blocked, sitting shocked in this Customs and you forgot all your English. 


Simonetta Di Pippo 13:49



Melissa Fleming 13:50

And then the next day, you had to deliver a major speech in English


Simonetta Di Pippo 13:53

In English. 


Melissa Fleming 13:54

So you went to the hotel, and you did what?


Simonetta Di Pippo 13:58

Well, in the hotel, I decided to rest. And then the morning after, I woke up quite early. And I learned what it means to do a dry run. Because I didn’t know at the time, I was very young, I have to say. And so I learned by myself without no one telling me what the dry run is. And so I went into the bathroom, in front of the mirror, and I was looking at myself, I said, ‘Oh my god, I don’t like myself.’ 

You know, because I always use my face a lot. I know that. And so sometimes if I try to be more serious, and more stable, I don't feel natural so I have to be myself. And so that's also something that I learned. And then after that, my speech was good, and then also the moment in which I started to develop a lot of relationships with the space community was interesting.


Melissa Fleming 14:57

Tell us about what happened next in your career. I believe you'd at some point joined the European Space Agency?


Simonetta Di Pippo 15:05

Yeah, after the Italian Space Agency, I started putting together this new programme. Then, you know, the idea was that I had to present some new projects in bilateral collaborations. So I started to work a lot with NASA and, in particular, with the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. JPL is the place where they are managing all the missions to the solar system. And it's a place, a wonderful place, very close to the San Bernardino mountains and plenty of very clever people. 

And I remember, if you allow me, quite an interesting episode. And we were very excited because it was the moment in which the spacecraft had to cross twice the rings of Saturn. And in doing so, the spacecraft was supposed to go with the antenna in the direction of flight. And so we were very excited, but also hungry because we didn't have time to eat. A little bit sleepy because we didn't have time to sleep. And so at a certain point in time, the director of the JPL came to me with a huge bundle of what he called lucky peanuts. 

Simply peanuts. But it seems that every time they were landing something from the Jet Propulsion Lab, there was this, you know, ritual that you had to eat lucky peanuts, so I had to eat these peanuts but I was so hungry that I was really eating a lot without realising that NASA TV was streaming the entire event, everything was done, everything was perfect. So I said, ‘Okay, after 48 hours, rather, I go to sleep.’ But before doing that, I went to a supermarket and bought some, you know, nuts and yoghurt and things like that. 

And then I went to pay and then the guy was very, very young, he looked at me and he said, ‘You are the one.’ I said, ‘Oh?’ Because I had all the badges here. I said, ‘I am the one for what?’ He said ‘You are the director of the universe.’ I said, ‘What?’ Well, it seems that since, you know, usually you have your name in front of you when you are in a conference room or doing something. And then for whatever reason, instead of writing Director for the Observation of the Universe, I became Director of the Universe, but I didn't know because it was written. And NASA TV was streaming me as the Director of the Universe eating like peanuts so that was very interesting. 

I don't know if this was true or not, this is what the guy told me. But it was very interesting, it is one of the moments, I mean, that I remember like it was yesterday. In any case, yes, I had all this experience with astronauts and then with expert exploratory missions for the solar system. And when the announcement came out for the position of Director of Human Spaceflight at the European Space Agency, I applied. And I became the first woman director at the European Space Agency since 1975.  After 10 days, another woman was hired. And now, still, they have yes, just one. Since ‘75, we have been in total three directors of female gender.


Melissa Fleming 19:00

So you were the first, you were a pioneer? You were not just the Director of the Universe. So you were the first woman director at the European Space Agency agency. Did you ever face any discrimination or did you feel any issues with being a woman in this field which is such a rarity?


Simonetta Di Pippo 19:25

Yes. Because I was a woman, because I was young in their view and also because I was Italian. It's interesting because you have… you feel this bias not only in men but also in women, probably for different reasons. And the main issue that I still have is that I try always to be inclusive and open and listen to everyone. But at the very end, I am the accountable one, I have to take the decisions. 

If being a man with the same approach, I would have been considered a very good manager. Sometimes here instead, not here but in general, this is recurrent as an issue. I may be considered a little bit assertive. What I believe is that instead, what I tried to do is always to do things to the best of my abilities. And this is true in my professional life, in my relationships with people, and in my family, then if I succeed or not, it's not up to me to say, but I do my best always. And so I feel rewarded by the fact that I cannot do more.


Melissa Fleming 21:06

Well, that is actually a trait that is not typically female, because most women feel like they're never doing enough. So that's a good thing. You've trained your brain and the puzzle of your brain to recognise that you're doing your absolute best. I wonder, back to your family. How did you meet your husband? And is he also in this field?


Simonetta Di Pippo 21:28

No, no, no. I met him on a beach in Rome. And it was very strange because I went to the north of Italy for a trip. I was 16 and Rome was very, very hot. And so my family decided to go to the beach, which is a few kilometres from Roma. At the same place that was this group of young men and women, regularly every day on the beach. So when I arrived from my trip, I started to talk to them and then among them, was my husband. 


Melissa Fleming 22:14

And what is his profession? 


Simonetta Di Pippo 22:15

He is now retired. He worked for Alitalia, ground staff.


Melissa Fleming 22:22

So airline, also something that has to do with going up into the skies! And you had a son together? And did your son follow in your footsteps at all? 


Simonetta Di Pippo 22:32

No, he is a strategic consultant. Business. 


Melissa Fleming 22:38

Let's talk about your UN work. So why does the UN have an office for Outer Space Affairs? 


Simonetta Di Pippo 22:47

Well, the Office for Space Affairs started its activities in 1959, which was immediately after the first satellite was launched. And just before the first man flew in space, and the idea was to develop activities with the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, develop a framework, regulatory framework, but also to have an office able to follow the developments in order to maintain the best for the usage of outer space, which was the main goal, and still is the main goal. 

And then we started with some guidelines and the office started to grow, becoming more and more supportive for developing emerging countries in particular, which means how to help, let's say, to develop a good quality of life on Earth using space. And in fact, our motto today is ‘Bring the benefits of space to humankind to everyone, everywhere so that no one is left behind.’


Melissa Fleming 23:54

Let me just unpack this a little bit, because I think you said a lot of surprising things there. I would like you to give us at least an example of how we could imagine the benefits of outer space for the wellbeing of people on earth.


Simonetta Di Pippo 24:10

Okay, you can use space for agriculture. For example, when you use your navigator in the car, it's a constellation of satellites that gives you the position and allows you to move from point A to point B combined with meteorological satellites. You put all the information together, you can monitor crops, you can monitor soil, you can monitor water, and you can combine all this data provided to farmers in order to better plan how to use their soil and to understand what is going to happen if you have a flood. Or if you have a hurricane, you can monitor. Thanks to this, you can inform the Civil Protection Entity in the country affected, or potentially affected. We have currently more than 25 regional support offices all over the world as a network in order to help all these Civil Protection Entities to prepare for using space-based data in understanding what is going to happen and what is happening.


Melissa Fleming 25:16

How does it make you personally feel to be working on these kinds of issues in addition to what you originally thought you would be working on in this field? 


Simonetta Di Pippo 25:23

Well, it's interesting because in my previous professional lives in a way, I did a lot in terms of big missions, exploring the solar system, sending astronauts to the International Space Station, selecting astronauts, doing a lot of big missions, right? But then what I was not doing, never, I mean, I never did until I reached the UN, the use of this data for improving quality of life. So, in a way, it was a very positive surprise.


Melissa Fleming 25:59

Just a question, thinking about that, because now you're working for the benefit of others, so they can all benefit from what space has to offer, as part of the UN, but then when you see individuals who are billionaires, like recently Jeff Bezos, going up into space for adventure. What do you think about that? 


Simonetta Di Pippo 26:27

Well, the adventure part is what is presented. In reality, there is a lot hidden, at least for most of the people. For example, the Unity, the spaceship of Richard Branson, can host a lot of scientific experiments. And there are also plans for hosting some payloads - experiments - from developing and emerging countries potentially even free of charge. Bezos, for example, yes, theirs is quite an iconic mission because of the fact that he decided to have with them, Wally Funk. This lady, she's 82 years old and she was part of the Mercury 13 project, which never allowed these 13 women to fly, none of them. So for her, it was, you know, a dream in a way. 

But it's full of symbolism. We saw the oldest and the youngest human being who ever flew in space. In my opinion, they are pioneers of something that cannot be seen now. But there's the expansion of humanity beyond the earth's limits, because it's like when the aviation sector started, [it] was something just for few people. No one was thinking about what we see today. I mean, planes going back and forth everywhere. 

I see going to space will become probably like taking a plane today, catching a plane will be exactly the same in a few years from now going to space; for working in space, for living in space, for having one week holiday in space. And in my opinion, this will help a lot. People understanding that the earth is a planet. And we have to protect the planet, where we live, that is the only one we know for the time being where we can live. And you understand that there are no borders and that it’s fragile. Space is really important for everything we do.


Melissa Fleming 28:50

So if you had a message to the billionaires who were going up into space, you know, your colleague at WFP (World Food Programme) David Beasley had a big message for them, which was that he thought it was very nice that they were going up and exploring but with that same amount of money, you could solve world hunger. Yet you believe that they could contribute, this could be an important contribution to our knowledge of space. What would your message be to them?


Simonetta Di Pippo 29:19

Well, I know in detail what they're doing so clearly, it's probably easier or easier and difficult at the same time. I believe that progress is key. Innovation is key. It’s the future. Space is [the] future, it’s our future. And what they're doing and my opinion is part of this progress. So we have to look... we collectively have to look at space, as a resource is something that can help us get better on earth. And when we go to the moon or to Mars and be very honest with you, I mean, the question of why spending money to go to Mars instead of building a hospital or trying to solve different problems on earth? 

Well, a lot of technologies, a lot of things we do, cannot be done without space. Even taking, I mean if you want to withdraw some money from an ATM machine, it is not even possible anymore without space or without satellites. Or you can do telemedicine or teleducation and you can reach out to very remote villages in Africa, for example, or you can do telesurgery, which was not possible before, with the precision that was not possible before. 


Melissa Fleming 30:54

What keeps you awake at night? 


Simonetta Di Pippo 30:58

At this age, a little bit... I always slept very well, as I always say, I believe that I do the maximum I can. So there are two things that are keeping me awake at night. One is the fact that sometimes people don't understand that we are on a planet, that we should look at the situation from an external perspective, and try to be more kind with each other. So sometimes you are… You have to deal with issues that should not exist, let’s put it like that because we have bigger challenges to deal with as humanity. And sometimes I don't understand [the] attitude of some people. And so this is something that sometimes doesn't allow me to sleep well. 

But the main point now that I've just turned 62 is that I feel that I have so much to do. I would like to do a lot more. But I also understand that probably sooner or later, I don't know, probably in a few years, my retirement age will come and so I have to find something for the future. 


Melissa Fleming 32:24

I believe you have something up there in space named after you. Can you tell us about that?


Simonetta Di Pippo 32:29

Yes, it’s an asteroid. Asteroid 12887 named Di Pippo. It happened in 2008. It's in the database of NASA as an asteroid in the main belt, which means between Mars and Jupiter orbiting around the earth. And they decided to... and I was not aware I was informed when it was done. And it was because they felt that my contribution to the exploration of the solar system and, you know, towards innovation and the future and progress was important. Already, this was 2008.


Melissa Fleming 33:10

I guess that's for people in the space business the highest honour to have an asteroid named after you.


Simonetta Di Pippo 33:18

Yeah, it's good, I have to say and also, sometimes I joke saying that my birthday is the 30th of June. And a few years ago, the General Assembly decided to declare the 30th of June, the International Asteroid Day. And so I was joking, the very beginning it's for different reasons, obviously, there was a famous event on the 30th of June a long time ago. It's the sort of link between what I do and the solar system.


Melissa Fleming 33:51

I remember when I visited you in your office, a couple of years ago now. And you were actually telling me you were quite worried about the potential of war in space. Is that something you could tell us a little bit about?


Simonetta Di Pippo 34:12

Well, it’s, again, a difficult topic, because what is important in my opinion is to try to maintain transparency and to build confidence between member states. And in this, I believe that the office for Outer Space Affairs has an important role, more and more. So everything can happen. But I believe we're doing whatever we can, in particular, myself but the entire office together with member states, to try to maintain the peaceful use of outer space.


Melissa Fleming 34:57

What could... just describe what are the potential dangers?


Simonetta Di Pippo 35:01

You know it's not easy to explain because it's not a question only to have, for example, a weapon in space. But if you, for example, go with a satellite very close to another satellite of another country and you jam the signal. In a way, these constellations in orbit and these satellites in orbit are critical infrastructures for countries right now. Because everything is based on GPS, on Galileo, on GLONASS on Badal, for example, all the aviation, everything is based on this. 

And you imagine if I don't know, GPS or Galileo or GLONASS are down. Or the signal is not precise, because it's jammed, or spoofed. So, in reality, it's not easy because you don't have a weapon, you have a satellite going close to another one, not even touching it. Still, the effect can be dramatic, really serious. And we have a mechanism that we support with the Office for Outer Space Affairs, is called ICG, International Committee on GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) where we have the four main providers, so the Russians, the Chinese, the Europeans, and the Americans. 

Plus the Indians and the Japanese because they are starting to develop their own constellations. Plus the users. And so what we do is to foster and advocate for interoperability, so that the constellations are used together, we are trying to put in place all the measures we can, having Member States talking in and trying to agree on a lot of different things. And again, it's a long way to go. But I hope to be able to do it.


Melissa Fleming 37:06

Well, it sounds like in some ways, there's a lot more collaboration in space than there is these days on earth between rival countries.


Simonetta Di Pippo 37:17

Absolutely. It is true. Yeah. 


Melissa Fleming 37:20

So you've been sending astronauts up into space, I wonder seeing their emotions and their reaction about, you know, what they were observing, of course, you've seen the pictures of what they brought back. But can you imagine going up there yourself? And what that would do for you, how that would expand your experience?


Simonetta Di Pippo 37:44

Well, yes, I know, a lot of astronauts of different nationalities and I have been talking to them. I also selected the six European astronauts in 2009. Well, at that time, no. At that time, I really was focusing on doing my job. Being sure that the entire team, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people, working for the same goal. And because you know, when you have an astronaut in orbit or on the space station or on a mission, you have thousands and thousands of people in different time zones, I mean, working together for the same goal, which is also quite interesting. 

You need to be very precise, I mean, failure is not an option. Now, getting older, and having done a lot of things, if my physical conditions would allow me to fly? Well, it would be probably quite an interesting step in my life. It’s the combination of what space can give you. It’s the future. It's the understanding of the planet. It’s the benefits. It’s the relationship with people. It’s the fact that you look at things from outside, and you'll have a different perception of the small things on earth. Well, why not?


Melissa Fleming 39:09

Simonetta, thank you so much for joining us on Awake At Night


Simonetta Di Pippo 39:12

Thank you very much for having me. It was really a pleasure.


Melissa Fleming 39:22

Thank you for listening to Awake at Night. We'll be back soon with more incredible and inspiring stories from people working to do some good in this world at a time of this global crisis. To find out more about the series and the extraordinary people featured, do visit un.org-awake-at-night. On Twitter, we're @UN and I'm @melissafleming. Simonetta is @sdipippo_oosa

Subscribe to Awake At Night wherever you get your podcasts and please take the time to review us. It does make a difference. Thanks to my producers Bethany Bell, and the team at Chalk & Blade: Laura Sheeter, Cheri Percy, Fatuma Khaireh, and Matt Nielsen, and to my colleagues at the UN: Roberta Politi, Darrin Farrant, Maria Chiperina, Tulin Battikhi, and Bissera Kostova and the team here at the UN in Vienna. 

The original music for this podcast was written and performed by Nadine Shah, and produced by Ben Hillier. The sound design and additional music was by Pascal Wyse.