ICSD 2016

The aim of the conference is to identify and share practical, evidence-based solutions that can support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s conference theme is Moving Forward: The SDGs in Practice. The ICSD provides a unique opportunity to bring together stakeholders from government, academia, the United Nations, international agencies, NGOs, and grassroots organizers to share practical solutions towards the achievement of more sustainable and inclusive societies.

Can’t come to New York? Join the global conversation by attending an affiliated event or organizing one at your own institution.

Photos from ICSD 2015

Featured Speakers

  • Savaş Alpay Chief Economist, Islamic Development Bank

    Professor Savaş Alpay joined the Islamic Development Bank as Chief Economist in June 2015. Professor Alpay received his PhD in economics from Johns Hopkins University in 1997, and taught at different universities in Turkey. Outside of academia, his professional experience includes consultancy services at a policy institute in the USA, and board membership in a Public Regulation Authority in Turkey. The principal focus of his earlier research has been on interactions among economic growth, international trade and the environment with an emphasis on the design and implementation of policies towards sustainable growth. More recently, his research focuses on policies towards boosting equitable and inclusive socio-economic development as well as knowledge economics, science and technology policies in developing countries. His first book, entitled “Trade and the Environment,” was published by Kluwer in 2002, and more recently he has edited many books on social and economic issues pertaining to OIC Member Countries. He has authored many articles published in different journals and conference proceedings, and has also been the editor of the Economic Cooperation and Development Review and the Journal of Economic Cooperation and Development, which publish scholarly articles on socio-economic development in the OIC Member Countries as well as in other developing countries. Previously he served as the Director General of the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) between 2006 and 2015.

  • Grete Faremo UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UNOPS

    Ms. Grete Faremo joined UNOPS as Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director in August 2014. Before this appointment, Ms. Faremo held various senior-level positions for the Government of Norway. Most recently she was Minister of Justice and Public Security, a role she held for two years. During her first appointment as Minister of Justice, Ms. Faremo initiated negotiations between Schengen member countries and Norway on security and free movement in Europe, which culminated in the Nordic Schengen Agreement, signed in 1996 by the Governments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. She was Minister of Defence (2009-2011), Minister of Oil and Energy (1996), Minister of Justice (1992-1996), and Minister of Development Cooperation (1990-1992) for the Norwegian Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was elected member of Parliament from 1993 to 1997.

    Ms. Faremo also brings a wealth of experience from the private sector, working as the Executive Vice President for the Norwegian insurance group, Storebrand, from 1997 to 2003. From 2003 to 2008, she held the position of Director of Law and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft Corporation’s Western European Office, where she developed the legal and public affairs division responsible for corporate compliance in the region.

    Ms. Faremo has sat on various advisory boards and associations throughout her career, including Norwegians Peoples’ Aid, the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, the Competence Development Fund of Southern Norway, Norsk Hydro ASA, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the University of Bergen.

    Ms. Faremo graduated from the University of Oslo in 1978, with a degree in Law, specializing in International law. She entered the public service in 1979, as an executive officer in the Norwegian Government’s Ministry of Finance, later moving to NORAD in 1980, and the then newly established Ministry of Development Cooperation, where she worked for six years.

    Ms. Faremo was born in 1955 in Byglandsfjord, Norway. She is quadrilingual, fluent in English, Danish, Swedish, and her Norwegian mother tongue. She is married and has one daughter.

  • Rebeca Grynspan Mayufis Secretary General, Ibero American Conference

    Rebeca Grynspan, economist and former Vice President of Costa Rica, was unanimously chosen as the Latin American Secretary General on 24 February 2014 in Mexico DF, by the 22 countries that form part of the Latin American Conference. Her term of office began on 1 April 2014.

    Before her appointment as the Latin American Secretary General, Mrs. Grynspan was a UN Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), appointed by the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on 1 February 2010. During her term in the UNDP she was President of the GSIC (Gender Steering and Implementation Committee), a high level corporate mechanism commissioned with designing and ensuring implementation of the gender equality and parity strategy within the entire UNDP, from which she promoted the transversalization of gender equity in the organisation scheduling. She was also the spokesperson for gender before the UNDP Executive Board.

    She worked as a UN Representative on the Temporary Committee for the Reconstruction of Haiti, a board comprising Haitian government officials, former President of the United States Bill Clinton and other high-level international partners. From 2006 to 2010 Mrs. Grynspan was Assistant Secretary General and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the UNPD. Prior to this appointment she has been Director of the Subregional Headquarters in Mexico of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), from which she co-chaired the International Food Policy Research Institute’s Executive Board and took part in the advisory group for the PROLEAD Programme (supporting women’s leadership in Latin America) of the IADB.

    Before entering the SEGIB and the United Nations, Mrs. Grynspan was elected Vice President of Costa Rica, 1994-1998. She was also Minister for Housing, Minister Coordinator for Economic and Social Affairs during that same period and Deputy Minister for Finances for her country in Oscar Arias’ Government.
    As Vice President she coordinated the creation and implementation of the Task Force on Poverty from the Social Council within the framework of which she created the first programme aimed at female heads of households, a programme that became a Republic Law through at the initiative of the then MP Maria Lydia Sánchez.

    Since 1 May 2014, Rebeca Grynspan has served as the President of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). In addition to her experience as an adviser, lecturer and author, Mrs. Grynspan has been actively involved in key United Nations initiatives such as the Millennium Project’s Task Force on Poverty and Economic Development and on the High-Level Panel on Financing for Development. She is also a member of the International Advisory Group of the Think Tank Initiative of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). She has worked with several governmental institutions, and national and international organisations as an adviser, consultant and researcher.

    Mrs. Grynspan is the author or co-author of numerous articles and books on social and economic policy, and on gender and poverty. Born in San José, Costa Rica, she has a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Sussex (United Kingdom).

  • Amina Mohammed Minister of Environment, Nigeria

    Ms. Amina J. Mohammed is Minister of the Environment in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria. She is also the CEO/Founder of the Center for Development Policy Solutions and an Adjunct Professor of the Master’s Programme for Development Practice at Columbia University, New York. Prior to that, Ms. Mohammed served as the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the Millennium Development Goals after serving three Presidents over a period of six years. In 2005 she was charged with the coordination of the debt relief funds ($1 billion per annum) towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria. Her mandate included designing a Virtual Poverty Fund with innovative approaches to poverty reduction, budget coordination and monitoring, as well as providing advice on pertinent issues regarding poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development. From 2002-2005, Ms. Mohammed served as coordinator of the Task Force on Gender and Education for the United Nations Millennium Project. Prior to this, she served as Founder and Executive Director of Afri-Projects Consortium, a multidisciplinary firm of Engineers and Quantity Surveyors (1991-2001) and worked with the architectural engineering firm of Archcon Nigeria in association with Norman and Dawbarn UK (1981-1991).

    Ms. Mohammed currently serves on numerous international advisory panels and boards, the Hewlett Foundation on Education, African Women’s Millennium Initiative, the Millennium Promise Initiative, and the Institute of Scientific & Technical Information of China. Ms. Mohammed received the National Honours Award of the Order of the Federal Republic in 2006 and was inducted in the Nigerian Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

  • Femi Oke Internationally-Renowned Journalist, Writer and Moderator

    Femi Oke is an international journalist, writer and moderator. Since the 1980s, she has worked for BBC television and radio, Sky TV, all U.K. terrestrial television networks, CNN and U.S. public radio. Oke’s reporting has been recognized by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Communications Agency and InterAction. Her engaging moderating style is well known at the United Nations, World Bank, European Union and numerous NGOs where she regularly moderates at high profile events. You can connect with her anytime via Twitter @FemiOke.

  • John Cardinal Onaiyekan Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria

    H.E. John Cardinal Onaiyekan is the Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria, and a Co-Moderator of the World Council and Co-Chair of the African Council of Religious Leaders at Religions for Peace.

    His Eminence Onaiyekan was elevated to Cardinal on 24 November 2012. He was born on 29 January 1944 in Kabba, Nigeria. He received a licentiate in theology, a licentiate in Sacred Scriptures and a doctorate in theology from Pontifical Urbanian University. Cardinal Onaiyekan was ordained in 1969 at Sacred Heart Church in Kabba. He served in a variety of posts as a priest before he was ordained titular bishop of Tunusuda and auxiliary bishop of Ilorian on 6 January 1983. He was later appointed Bishop of Ilorin in 1984 and then Coadjutor Bishop of Abuja in 1990. Cardinal Onaiyekan became Bishop of Abuja on 28 September 1992 and Archbishop of Abuja on 26 March 1994.

    Cardinal Onaiyekan has served as President of the Christian Association of Nigeria and President of the Catholics Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria. He has also served as President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar. He currently serves as a Member of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and as a Member of the Presidential Committee of the Pontificial Council for the Family. Cardinal Onaiyekan was named Paz Christi International’s 2012 Peace Laureate.

  • Jeffrey D. Sachs Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network

    Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time Magazine “the world’s best known economist.” A recent survey by The Economist Magazine ranked Professor Sachs as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past decade.

    Professor Sachs serves as the Director of The Center for Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium Villages Project. Sachs is also one of the Secretary-General’s MDG Advocates, and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development. He has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the past seven years: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). His most recent books are To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace (2013) and The Age of Sustainable Development (2015).

    Professor Sachs is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on economic development and the fight against poverty. His work on ending poverty, promoting economic growth, fighting hunger and disease, and promoting sustainable environmental practices, has taken him to more than 125 countries with more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more than a quarter century he has advised dozens of heads of state and governments on economic strategy, in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

    Sachs is the recipient of many awards and honors, including membership in the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Society of Fellows, and the Fellows of the World Econometric Society. He has received more than 20 honorary degrees, and many awards and honors around the world. Professor Sachs is also a frequent contributor to major publications such as the Financial Times of London, the International Herald Tribune, Scientific American, and Time magazine.

    Prior to joining Columbia, Sachs spent over twenty years at Harvard University, most recently as Director of the Center for International Development and the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Sachs received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard.

  • Achim Steiner Director, Oxford Martin School

    Achim Steiner was appointed Director of the Oxford Martin School in February 2016. Previously, he served as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme from 2006 to 2016. Before joining UNEP, Mr. Steiner served as Director General of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) from 2001 to 2006, and prior to that as Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams. His professional career has included assignments with governmental, non-governmental and international organizations in different parts of the world. He worked both at grassroots level as well as at the highest levels of international policy-making to address the interface between environmental sustainability, social equity and economic development.

    Mr. Steiner, a German and Brazilian national, was born in Brazil in 1961. His educational background includes a BA from the University of Oxford as well as an MA from the University of London with specialization in development economics, regional planning, and international development and environment policy. He also studied at the German Development Institute in Berlin as well as the Harvard Business School. He serves on a number of international advisory boards, including the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED).


  1. Early Registration & Cocktail Reception

    Union Theological, 3041 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

  1. Registration Opens

    Alfred Lerner Hall, 2920 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

  2. Keynote Addresses

  3. The Role of the Private Sector

  4. Coffee Break

  5. Youth Solutions

  6. Lunch (on your own)

  7. Data for the SDGs

  8. Keynote Addresses

  9. Wrap Up

  10. Music for A Sustainable Planet


    Join us for a special musical event at Zankel Hall within New York’s historic Carnegie Hall! Music for a Sustainable Planet will feature contemporary orchestral works celebrating the Sustainable Development Goals. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased from the Carnegie Hall Box Office in person or online. Student and senior discounts of 50% are available, but only if you purchase in-person at the box office.


    • ÆON Music Ensemble
    • DJ Spooky
    • Ruth Reinhardt, Conductor
    • Éru Matsumoto, Cello
    • Revital Hachamoff, Piano
    • Gloria Benedikt and Mimmo Miccolis, Dancers


    • Peng-Peng Gong, Ode to Limpidity – SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
    • Ronen Shapire, Piano Plus – SDG 9: Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
    • Tae Hong Park, Big Noise, Big Cities, Big Data – SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
    • DJ Spooky Arctic Rhythms – SDG 13: Climate Action
    • Vladislav Boguinia, Psalm – SDG 15: Life on Land
    • Gloria Benedikt / Yuri Boguinia, In All – SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
  1. Registration Opens

    Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive, New York, NY 10027

  2. Parallel Sessions

    1. A draft program of parallel session is now available!

      Click here to view the draft program. Please send any requests or corrections to info@ic-sd.org.

  3. Coffee Break

  4. Parallel Sessions

    1. A draft program of parallel session is now available!

      Click here to view the draft program. Please send any requests or corrections to info@ic-sd.org.

  5. Luncheon and Poster Reception (lunch provided)

  6. Parallel Sessions

    1. A draft program of parallel session is now available!

      Click here to view the draft program. Please send any requests or corrections to info@ic-sd.org.

  7. Closing Session

    Tishman Auditorium, The New School, 63 Fifth Avenue, Room U100, New York, NY 10003


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