The Lore within Elite Dangerous is created by Frontier Developments themselves and by players which might be put up on the GalNet. Within each faction there are Key Persons that play a leading role in what each faction does and what will happen, factions are similar to Earth's countries. Within the galaxy there have been several Events which were caused by players' and Frontier's actions.
Drew Wagar and David Hughes, writers of the official fiction, are collaborating on a definitive guide to the background lore. It is currently a work in progress and can be found here.