Yana Smelyansky: “We must do everything for future generations to have better lives”

Yana Smelyansky was vice president and technical officer at JP Morgan & Chase, and then founded the Global Asset Management Company where she gained extensive experience in investment management. Ms Smelyansky has led a number of successful projects, such as Children's Museum of Science, Centre for Contemporary Art, Children's Music Production Centre, and many other educational projects. She is also a member of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce since 2009. In early March, Yana Smelyansky was appointed as Acting Minister of Equity and Resources of Asgardia. At the Executive Congress of April 10-12 in Vienna, the appointment was finalised. In an interview with Asgardia Space News, the Minister shared her short-term work plans, and spoke of the space dream she is pursuing in Asgardia

Yana, you are the Minister of Equity and Resources. What are the key goals of your Ministry?

It was a great honor to be elected as a Member of Asgardian Parliament, and then, to be moved to a position in the Government. The Ministry of Equity and Resources has its own important and unique mission; of all the Asgardian Ministries, it will be the only Earth-based one. The Ministry will develop the economy in a way that will give ensure prosperity for all, so that no one will experience financial problems. As a result, people will be free to live ambitiously and seek fulfillment. We will work to guarantee that when the first child is born in space, every opportunity for living a successful life will be within their reach. Our job is to make Asgardia the first-ever Space Nation to become a platform for global future innovation, so that the next generations can embrace a free-spirited life of love, courage, and kindness.

What are the Ministry's short-term plans?

The Ministry's tasks are many, however, one that's certainly a high priority is to open Asgardian representative offices throughout the world. At present, the Ministry plans to open 6 continental and 6 subcontinental offices; in the future, the plan is to have them in each of the world’s countries. These representative offices will be a meeting place for Asgardians, and a place where Asgardian language courses will be taught. Lectures on space and modern technology in the space industry will be held there as well.

First and foremost, Asgardia is constituted by people who met each other online, on the Space Nation's web page. The representative offices that we will place around the world will make it possible for all Asgardians to eventually get to know each other in person. I can't wait to see Asgardians of different generations travelling the world and staying in our offices, which will also have comfortable rooms to accommodate our citizens, a kind of on-site space hotels equipped for the future. For example, there’ll be training centrifuges for everyone who’s willing to test their vestibular system. We’ll invite scientists and astronauts for Asgardians to meet, and offer a variety of exciting educational activities. 

Another ambitious task set before the Ministry is to create a laboratory for space research, a scientific incubator that will bring together the world's most prominent scientists.

You may think I’m a dreamer, but I assure you that all of these ideas are workable, and I will see to it that they are brought to life. My hope is that the Ministry of Equity and Resources will be granted land and documentation to set up infrastructure for construction of space centres and their subsequent management. Administering all of Asgardia’s property on Earth and in space, and even in flight, is the duty of the Equity and Resources Ministry, which is a great honour, and also, a tremendous responsibility. I have not yet had an opportunity to discuss the subject of intellectual property rights in Asgardia with the Ministers of Citizenship and of Science, but I assume that this will be the prerogative of the Ministry of Equity and Resources as well.

What principles will the Ministry abide by when recruiting its staff? 

The Ministry is in no rush to hire. We will deal with everything related to this process in due time. The Cabinet of Ministers is a well-coordinated team where the tasks of one Ministry are closely connected with the work of all or some of the other Ministries. For example, opening, and setting into operation, any of Asgardia's representative offices, would be completely impossible without the involvement of the Ministries of Citizenship, Information and Communication, and Foreign Affairs. The Ministry has no plans to hire new employees until the end of this year. All subsequent decisions will be made after the number of representative offices and other Asgardian facilities is determined, as at that point we will have an understanding of how many employees we will need to manage these offices.

Will the geographical location of the employees make a difference to the Ministry (one time zone, the same language environment)? 

We will have a language of our own - the Asgardian language. At present, we understand each other perfectly, using gesticulation and electronic dictionaries. 

What best practices from the experience of other similar bodies of power will Asgardia’s Ministry of Equity and Resources use? 

Equity and Resources in all of the world’s countries are regulated by international legislation and bilateral agreements between countries. Asgardia, as a state of the future, will abide by these regulations, making amendments to them where Asgardians themselves deem necessary to benefit the progress and unity of the Asgardian community throughout the world.

In 2042, Asgardia plans to build a settlement on the Moon. The Ministry of Equity and Resources will be directly involved with this project from the very start. Will an estimate of resources required to create space stations, and then a Moon base, be made at any time soon? 

An estimate of the necessary resources will be carried out jointly with the Finance Ministry, as well as the Ministry of Science and Manufacturing. We’ve already made a start, with Asgardia launching its Asgardia-1 satellite with its own intellectual property. Therefore, Asgardia-1 is our first asset. 

"History is written by fearless dreamers who dare bring to life their most incredible fantasies."

What is the dream you are pursuing by being involved with Asgardia? 

Asgardia is above politics and petty differences that plague every Earthly nation. We are like no other country that has ever existed, and it is with this uniqueness that we are building something entirely new, a peaceful state that holds tolerance and logic as its innermost core principles.

I admire the idea of our Head of Nation, Dr Ashurbeyli, to create a Space Kingdom with a Parliament consisting of 150 members that follows timeless traditions set by the world’s royal dynasties. Since times immemorial people have composed sagas of cities in the sky. Many science fiction authors have written books about humanity living in space. Dr. Ashurbeyli took these dreams from fiction to life by creating the first space state in the world! Asgardia is for everyone living on our planet, without exception or discrimination, and it provides an equal opportunity at space exploration for all. Just think of it: this is simply incredible! The formation of a space state is a complex process, with Asgardia pioneering on this path. Earlier, when I was a member of Parliament, we had a lot of controversy on how to best implement the project, but every time I go to the Asgardia.space web page and see over 18,500 residents and over a million subscribers, I feel infinitely proud to be part of such a grand-scale project, or, as some media call us today - part of the space scientific community. 

I think the dream I’m pursuing by being with Asgardia will be easy to bring to life. I am confident that I can make a great contribution to the development the economy of Asgardia as an innovation platform, and that I can take it to the level of success that will allow Asgardians all over the world not to feel dependent on material wealth. I feel very encouraged when I meet representatives of the Asgardian community, when I learn about their preferences in choosing a language for communicating with each other, and when I hear which cities they consider most suitable for setting up Asgardia's first representative offices... I see this important task as one of the steps that will facilitate the recognition of Asgardia as a country by the United Nations.

What, in your opinion, will be the common idea that will unite all the Asgardians in the future?

With the spark of hope, the light of science, and every human's drive to expand and explore every possible horizon, we can achieve that which has never been done before.

Today, all Asgardians share the dream of travelling to space, everyone being given equal opportunities in its exploration. I believe that our children and grandchildren will certainly find something in Asgardia and its unique concept to inspire and unite them. Most importantly, they must have the courage to hold on to their dreams, pursue their goals, and embrace happiness. 

What, in your opinion, are the most anticipated events for Asgardia in 2019? 

In my view, UN recognition of Asgardia as a country, alongside with at least five of its member states, is a very important stage for Asgardia in its establishment. I hope that it  happens this year. 

Asgardia’s First Executive Congress in Vienna was a pivotal point for us. It was a beautiful tribute to the greatness of the human spirit, to lovingkindness, to professionalism. Many of us were seeing each other for the first time, and clicked instantly. Our sincere passion for Asgardia helped form these bonds between us as we shared business and personal experience and presented new ideas for Asgardia’s further development. All of the three days of the Congress were warm and inspiring. All Ministers and Committee Chairs were sworn in, with Asgardia’s Supreme Leaders present, and the 3rd Parliamentary digital session voted for some very important agenda. When HoN Dr Ashurbeyli said  “…let’s make sure that the spark of hope for mankind’s continued existence and procreation in the endless Universe burns bright, and never goes out…” I saw many people in the room had tears in their eyes. 

I sincerely hope that every event held by Asgardia, even the Investment Congress and the Science conference, will have the same amazing impact on those present. 

In conclusion, what would you like to tell all of the Asgardians? 

History is written by fearless dreamers who dare bring to life their most incredible fantasies. 

Asgardia is a chance to apply knowledge accrued from many years of advancing civilization, and it is my profound hope that we will generate a nation that is seen as a beacon of democracy, social parity, justice, and fulfillment.

Together, we, Asgardians, are building a new society that is tolerant and peaceful when it comes to diverging viewpoints. In a world of continuingly building tension over personal beliefs, it is my sincere hope to see the 150-million Asgardian Nation lead the way in promoting discussion stemming from difference of opinions, where all those involved treat each other with due respect.

We have to do everything in our power for future generations to live a better life, to fulfill their own aspirations. Our population is more diverse than any nation on the planet. We must work together in unity to make sure that we will keep our Asgardia true to her purpose. Let us keep the mistakes humanity made on Earth from getting into space.

Together, we, Asgardians, and then every human being in the entire world, will become United, as we, the Asgardians, are today! 

We all know that we are One Unity, One Humanity!

Anastasia Sinitskaya