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2019 Candidate Statements - Europe
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Statements from IPS Board Candidates in Europe

Vote for no more than two; ballot available 1 Oct 2019.

photo of Björn Voss

Let me introduce myself: my name is Björn Voss. I work at LWL-Planetarium in Münster, Germany. I have been active in the planetarium field for more than 20 years now, but I’ve only been employed at a planetarium as my "daytime job” since 2007. Before that, I worked as an astrophysicist at Kiel University (Germany) and briefly for ESA’s GAIA project. During my time in Kiel, I was lucky to have the opportunity to create and present planetarium shows as a volunteer at Europe’s first fulldome planetarium (Mediendom Kiel).

Besides now running a planetarium, I am committed to cooperations between planetariums. My latest production, The Planets, was created in a group of 20 planetariums (and was lucky to win one of the awards at the IPS2018 fulldome festival).

I am one of the founding members of GDP, the Society of German-Speaking Planetariums, and I’m currently serving as GDP’s president. I’ve worked with the IPS council for some years as GDP’s affiliate representative. Also, I serve IPS as the chair of the new Centennial Working Group, preparing for the 100th anniversary of the planetarium.

Should you elect me to serve on IPS‘s board, I will stay in close contact with my fellow affiliate representatives, and with IPS members in countries that are not (yet?) served by an affiliate organization, to always represent your interests in the best way. Also, I will work with all affiliates to further increase IPS‘s membership throughout our region. I especially plan to explore opportunities to work together with you on Europe-wide planetarium projects, e.g. with organizations like ESO or ESA. Let’s see how we can be stronger together!

Nominated by: Italian Association of Planetaria and Society of the German-Speaking Planetariums

photo of Kai Santavuori

I have put myself forward as a board candidate for the NPA, which supported the nomination, as I believe that I have much to contribute to the IPS organisation and its members.

I have been working in the planetarium business for over two decades. I have personally seen and experienced the tremendous progress that has taken place in the planetarium presentation technology and made it a success story.

I have been a member of IPS, NPA, and GSCA since 1997 and taken part in their conferences. For the last 5 years, I have also attended IMERSA summits. I am a member of Euromax and ICOM and have been an IPS Fellow since 2016.

I am currently working as a consultant in planetarium related matters around the world. Together with my customers I try to find the right tools for different types of projects. With the customers, I identify, for example, their equipment, seating, sound system and lighting needs, seeking solutions that serve the customers and their needs. I also provide assistance in planning the programme and with activities that support operations, such as exhibitions.

My job also involves helping the customer to choose shows. I oversee and manage translation of the shows into different languages, voice-overs and image and audio editing. Thanks to my wide circle of friends and networking, I have been able to design planetariums and help planetariums develop their operations and become more efficient.

Short CV
1980–1997: Camera assistant, cameraman, sound engineer, director (short films, commercial films, etc.)
1997–2015: Planetarium manager, Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre, Helsinki, Finland
2015: Consulting, Scandinavian FullDome Agency & Sweco Structures LTD Finland


One of the largest planetariums in Scandinavia will be opened in the autumn of 2019. This planetarium, designed by me, is 18 metres in diameter and is located in the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland.

From 2006 to 2008 I worked as project manager for the theatre and planetarium renovation project at the Finnish Science Centre Heureka. The core idea was to discontinue the use of the 70-mm film projector and start using digital 360° fulldome technology. The project was executed according to plan and completed within the schedule and below budget.

In 2011, my team and I initiated a new type of public lectures, using the fulldome planetarium system in a new way, taking the audience to the very core of science. Images, sounds, and elements that titillated one’s senses were combined with top science. The lectures from among Finnish researches were at the cutting edge of their field, and the topics ranged from studying the brain to expeditions, and from journeys into the space to genetic engineering.

I organized the annual NPA (Nordic Planetarium Association) meeting in Helsinki September 2015 together with my partners, The University of Helsinki, Helsinki Observatory, Sky-Skan, Spitz, Goto and RSA Cosmos.

Nominated by: Nordic Planetarium Association

Photo of Jiří Dušek

A miracle machine. This is what we call a digital planetarium. Justly, because after all it’s an amazing audiovisual device, a virtual spaceship taking you to places that are very difficult to get to or even don’t exist at all. But it’s still a machine that needs its pilots and engineers. Somebody has to control it in front of the audience and another one has to make and create its program.

I graduated from astrophysics with specialisation in carbon stars and earned my PhD degree from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. I’ve been working at the Brno Observatory and Planetarium since 1994. And I’ve been its director since 2008.

I’m an honorary member of the International Astronomical Union, a member of the Scientific Board of National Geographic Czech Republic, and also a member of the Senate of the Czech Republic, where I deal with scientific and technical activities. I’ve prepared two dozen shows for the Brno Planetarium and I’ve also written several astronomical books.

The IPS has given my professional life almost everything. The first conference I was able to attend was in Alexandria and it opened my eyes and inspired me to transform our planetarium. During my second conference in Baton Rouge, we definitely decided to install a digital projection system. And thanks to the conference in Warsaw, we started organizing the Fulldome Festival Brno.

But IPS hasn’t been just a professional inspiration to me. I’ve met a lot of new friends I’m still cooperating with now. I even like to have a glass of beer or wine. Preferably red.

It would be a great honour for me to work for the International Planetarium Society. I offer a view of this planet and the whole adjacent universe from Central Europe. Oh, and I like backpacking in Asian countries.

Nominated by: IPS member Tomáš Gráf (non-affiliate region)

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