ICSD 2017

  • September 18 – 20, 2017 / Lerner Hall, Columbia University, New York, USA
  • @ICSD_Conf #ICSD2017

Please mark your calendars for ICSD 2017 which will take place on September 18 & 19, 2017, on the Columbia University Campus in New York! Our theme for this year is The World in 2050: Looking Ahead for Sustainable DevelopmentRegistration is currently open. If you submitted an abstract, it is currently being reviewed. Decision letters will be sent around June 1.

Please also note that we will have additional side events on September 20, 2017! A list of side events and registration information will be posted in the conference agenda below!

Featured Speakers

  • H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President of Ghana

    Born on March 29, 1944, in Swalaba, Accra, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was raised in Accra, Ghana’s capital. His father’s residence in Accra was effectively the headquarters of the country’s first political party, the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC). Three of the Big Six (founding fathers of Ghana) were Nana’s blood relatives: J.B Danquah (grand uncle), William Ofori Atta (uncle) and his father Edward Akufo-Addo, who became the third Chief Justice and later ceremonial President of the Republic from 1970-72.

    Akufo-Addo received a Batchelor's in Economics from the University of Ghana in 1964 and received a law degree in the UK. He lived in France for five years working as a lawyer and is fluent in French. In 1975, he returned home to Accra to continue with his legal career, first joining the chambers of U. V. Campbell and later working for his own firm, Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co. The practice championed human rights, rule of law, justice, freedom, and democracy, and Akufo-Addo became well-known for giving free legal assistance to the poor. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant advocates in the history of the Ghanaian Bar.

    Akufo-Addo has served on the boards and committees of a number of political, legal, commercial, and social organizations in the country, most notably serving as the first Chairperson of the Ghana Committee on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He was also responsible, through his association with the US company, Millicom, for introducing mobile telephony into the country.

    Akufo-Addo also worked for the People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ), which led the “NO” campaign in the UNIGOV referendum and ultimately brought about the downfall of the Acheampong military government in 1978, restoring multiparty democratic rule to the country. Akufo-Addo was briefly in exile after the referendum, when his life was in danger. Akufo-Addo was elected a Member of Parliament three times between 1996 and 2008, and served as Cabinet Minister from 2001 to 2007. As Attorney-General, he was responsible for the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law, which, hitherto, had been used to intimidate the media and criminalise free speech. As Foreign Minister, he was fully involved in the successful Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) peace efforts in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Guinea Bissau.

    He was elected President of Ghana in the December 2016 elections, and took office in January of 2017. He also serves as a Co-Chair of the SDG Advocates.

  • H.E. Juan Manuel Santos President of Colombia

    President Santos was born in Bogotá on August 10, 1951. He was a cadet of the Naval Academy in Cartagena, studied economics and business administration at the University of Kansas and took postgraduate courses at the London School of Economics and Political Science and at Harvard University, at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

    He served as Head of the Delegation of Colombia to the International Coffee Organization (ICO) in London. He has also served as Minister of Finance and Public Credit and Minister of National Defense. In this last position he was responsible for leading the implementation of the Democratic Security Policy.

    He founded the Good Government Foundation and in 2005, founded the Party of the U, which is collectively the greatest political force in the country today.

    He practiced journalism as a columnist and deputy editor of El Tiempo newspaper. He received the King of Spain Prize and was President of the Commission of Freedom of Expression of the Inter American Press Association (SIP). He has published several books, including The Third Way, which he wrote with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Jaque al Terror, in which he describes the hardest blows dealt to the FARC during his period as head of the Ministry of Defense.

    On June 20, 2010, after taking the lead in the first round of the presidential election held on May 30, he was elected in the second round as President of the Republic of Colombia for a four year term, between August 7, 2010 and August 7, 2014. He obtained over 9 million votes, the highest obtained by any candidate in the history of Colombian democracy. From his campaign he offered to lead a Government of National Unity that makes the transition from Democratic Security to Democratic Prosperity.

    In August 2012, he announced to all Colombians that his Government was advancing a peace process with the FARC.

    On June 15, 2014, in the second round and with more than 7.8 million votes, he was re-elected as President of the Republic for the constitutional period 2014 - 2018, with a government plan based on three pillars: Peace, Equity, and Education.

    Thanks to his tenacity and determination to achieve peace and reconciliation in Colombia, in 2016 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his "determined efforts" to end the armed conflict. The Nobel Committee added that the award "is a tribute to the people of Colombia who, despite the great difficulties and abuses, have not lost hope in a just peace, and to all parties that have contributed to the peace process" .

    President Santos is married to Mrs. María Clemencia Rodríguez, with whom he has three children: Martín, María Antonia and Esteban.

  • Kathy Calvin President and CEO, United Nations Foundation

    Kathy Calvin is President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation. She is a passionate advocate for multi-sector problem-solving, U.S. leadership on global issues, and the inclusion of women at all levels and in all sectors. The UN Foundation, created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes, advocates for the UN and connects people, ideas and resources to help the UN solve global problems.

    Kathy’s career has spanned the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Before joining the UN Foundation as Chief Operating Officer in 2003, she served as President of the AOL Time Warner Foundation. She previously served in senior positions at AOL, Hill and Knowlton, and U.S. News & World Report. From 1976 through 1984 she was Senator Gary Hart’s press secretary.

    Kathy was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Rock the World” in 2011 and listed in Fast Company’s “League of Extraordinary Women” in 2012. Her innovative work in the philanthropy and international development sectors has been featured in the New York Times and the Washington Post, and she has received numerous other awards for philanthropy and leadership.

    She is a graduate of Purdue University.

  • Fiona Dawson Global President, Mars Food, Drinks, and Multisales

    Fiona serves as Global President of Mars Food, Drinks, and Multisales and is a member of the Mars, Incorporated Leadership Team, overseeing sales in excess of $35B. Fiona has had a long career with Mars, Incorporated, serving previously as the President of Mars Global Retail and Mars Chocolate UK, during which time she was a pivotal member of the UK Responsibility Deal. Mars Food is the third largest segment of Mars, Incorporated and is the proud provider of much-loved brands like UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO® and MASTERFOODS®. Mars, Incorporated has over 85,000 Associates worldwide operating in over 80 countries across six business segments including Petcare, Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Food, Drinks, and Symbioscience.

    Fiona has a passion for the advancement of women’s entrepreneurship and human rights, especially in the developing world. She is a member of the Women’s Business Council and has served on the Economic Development Advisory Group to the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID).

  • Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet Executive Director, Merck for Mothers

    Dr. Etiebet is a physician, researcher and strong advocate for women's health, with extensive experience working with international development partners to design, manage and evaluate programs that address the needs of vulnerable and at risk populations. As the Executive Director of Merck for Mothers, Dr. Etiebet is responsible for successfully implementing a robust set of innovative programs across the globe, designing new high-impact partnerships, managing relationships with important external stakeholders, and serving as an internal and external ambassador of the initiative.

    She combines clinical expertise as a Board Certified Infectious Disease physician with global experience in healthcare strategy, health systems strengthening and performance improvement in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Dr. Etiebet earned her MD and MBA from Yale University, and completed her residency and fellowship training at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital System.

  • Mary Ellen Iskenderian President and CEO, Women’s World Banking

    Mary Ellen Iskenderian is President and CEO of Women’s World Banking, the global nonprofit devoted to giving more low-income women access to the financial tools and resources they require to achieve security and prosperity. Ms. Iskenderian joined Women’s World Banking in 2006 and leads the Women’s World Banking global team, based in New York and also serves as a member of the Investment Committee of its $50 million impact investment fund. Prior to Women’s World Banking, Ms. Iskenderian worked for 17 years at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank. Before, she worked for the investment bank Lehman Brothers. Ms. Iskenderian is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a 2017 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Fellow, as well as a member of the Women’s Forum of New York and the Business and Sustainable Development Commission. Ms. Iskenderian holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in International Economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

  • Dr. Amy Jadesimi Managing Director and CEO, LADOL

    Dr. Amy Jadesimi is the Managing Director and CEO of LADOL, a maritime and multi-logistics services base in Nigeria. Beyond LADOL, Amy is on the Prince’s Trust International global advisory board, a founding commissioner of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission and a Forbes contributor. Amy cut her teeth at Goldman Sachs and Brait Private Equity in London, before returning to Nigeria to join LADOL’s management team. Amy has a number of accolades under her belt: in 2012, she was named an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow; in 2013, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum; also in 2013, a Rising Talent by the Women’s Forum for Economy and Society; in 2014, Forbes included her in The 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa; and in July 2015, the Financial Times named her one of top 25 Africans To Watch.

    Amy holds a MBA from Stanford University, as well as a BA and BMBCh from the University of Oxford.

  • Gail Klintworth Director, Business Transformation, Business and Sustainable Development Commission; Partner, SYSTEMIQ

    Before joining the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, Gail served as Executive Director for Old Mutual PLC, leading their global customer, brand and digital portfolio. Under Gail’s leadership, Old Mutual developed their Positive Futures Plan which placed financial wellbeing and responsible investment as key drivers of their growth strategy. Previously Gail held the role of Chief Sustainability Officer at Unilever, positioning the group as a pioneer in corporate, social and environmental stewardship. Prior to that Gail led a number of Unilever’s businesses including as executive vice president for Unilever's global savoury category and CEO of the group’s South African business. She is also a partner at SYSTEMIQ, an advisory and investment business which works with various industries to help drive systemic change to a more sustainable economy.

  • Dr. Alaa Murabit UN Sustainable Development Goal Global Advocate

    A medical doctor, Alaa Murabit is one of 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Global Advocates, a United Nations High-Level Commissioner for Health Employment and Economic Growth, a TED speaker, founder of VLW, co-founder of Omnis Institute and a MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow. She was recently named a 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30, an Aspen Institute Spotlight Health Scholar for her work in global health policy and a Harvard University Law 2017 “Woman Inspiring Change”. Her TED Talk was named “TED Talk of the Day” and one of four “moving TED Talks to watch right now” by The New York Times.

    Nicknamed the “Libyan Doogie Howser” by Jon Stewart, Alaa was driven by her desire to create inclusive processes and institutions and founded VLW at the age of 21. With a strong focus on challenging societal and cultural norms and utilizing traditional and historical role models Alaa champions women’s participation in peace processes and conflict mediation. Her programs, such as the groundbreaking “Noor Campaign” have been replicated internationally.

    She currently serves as a trustee for The Malala Fund, International Alert, Malaria No More, Keeping Children Safe and is an advisor to ConnectHer. Named The New York Times “International Trust Women Hero 2014”, Alaa is an Ashoka Fellow, Alaa is the youngest Marisa Bellisario International Humanitarian Award recipient, a Newsweek “25 under 25 to watch”, a BBC News “100 Top Woman”, the 2015 SAFE Global Hero and a Virgin Unite Changemaker.

  • General Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Republic of Indonesia

    General (Ret.) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan is the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. The Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs coordinates the following portfolio Ministries: Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Tourism, and Energy and Mineral Resources.

    Recently Luhut Pandjaitan was elected as Vice President of the United Nations Ocean Conference in New York representing the interests of Asia/Pacific countries. He led several dialogue sessions to promote Indonesia’s commitment to sea conservation and to combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

    Prior to his present appointment, Luhut Pandjaitan was the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, and previously the Presidential Chief of Staff.

    He was the Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore in 1999-2000 and served as Minister of Trade and Industry in 2000-2001.

    Luhut Pandjaitan holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from George Washington University, Washington DC, USA. He received the Adhi Makayasa award as top graduate from the military academy (AKABRI) under the army category in 1970.

    He is also active in various philanthropic activities. He established the DEL foundation with his wife in North Sumatra, Indonesia in 2001 – a non-profit organization that focuses on education. He received "Businessman of the
    Year Award in Corporate Social Responsibility," given by Ernst & Young, a multinational professional service firm in 2012.

    Luhut Pandjaitan served over the course of thirty years in the Army Special Forces before his retirement from the military. He was also the founder and first commander of the Kopassus (Special Forces) CounterTerrorism
    81 Detachment.

  • 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.

  • John Thwaites Chair, ClimateWorks Australia; Chair, Monash Sustainable Development Institute

    John Thwaites is a Professorial Fellow, Monash University; Chair of ClimateWorks Australia and the Monash Sustainable Development Institute; and the Chair of Melbourne Water, which is responsible for Melbourne’s water supply and sewerage treatment and the rivers and catchment around Melbourne. John also chairs the Australian Building Codes Board, which develops Australia’s building codes and standards, the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust, has been President of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), and a director of the Australian Green Building Council.

    He is a Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (“SDSN”) launched by the Secretary General of the UN to provide expert advice and support to the development of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2013, John was named as one of the 100 Global Sustainability Leaders by ABC Carbon Express. From 2012-2013, John was Chair of the National Sustainability Council, an independent Council appointed by the Australian Government, which produced the Sustainable Australia Report in 2013. John has provided extensive advice to the Australian, state and local governments on climate, environmental and water issues and been appointed to many government advisory bodies.

    In 2008-2010, John was a special adviser to the Timor-Leste Minister for Infrastructure and helped develop an Infrastructure Plan for Timor-Leste.

    John Thwaites was Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. During this period he was Minister for Health, Minister for Planning, Minister for Environment, Minister for Water, Minister for Victorian Communities and Victoria’s first Minister for Climate Change. In these portfolios he was responsible for major reforms in social policy, health, environment and water. Prior to being elected to Parliament, he was a barrister and Mayor of South Melbourne. He has degrees in Law (Honours) and Science from Monash University. He is a Fellow Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Patrick Paul Walsh Professor of International Development Studies, University College Dublin

    Patrick Paul Walsh is the Professor of International Development Studies in University College Dublin, Ireland. He also a Senior Advisor to the UN SDSN, New York and chair of the Academic Steering Committee of the Global Association of Masters of Development Practice that is based at the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

    During the academic year 2014-2015 he was a Visiting Senior Research Scholar and Senior Advisor to the UN SDSN at the Earth Institute and adjunct Professor in the School of International Public Affairs, Columbia University, New York. During 1992-2007 he worked in Trinity College Dublin. He left Trinity College Dublin as a College Fellow and Dean of Social and Human Sciences. He was a Visiting Professor at K.U. Leuven during 1997-1999 and a Research Scholar in the Department of Economics, Harvard University, during the academic year 2002-2003.

    He co-ordinates the UCD Ph.D. in Global Human Development which trains academic staff in East African Universities up to a Ph.D. level across several subject areas. He co-directs the TCD-UCD Masters in Development Practice.

    His professional activities include honorary secretary, and editor of the Journal, of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland. He has extensive experience providing external services for the Irish Competition Authority, la Fiscalía Nacional Económica in Chile, European Commission and World Bank.

    Amongst other journals he has published in the Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic Journal, Journal of Industrial Economics, International Journal of Industrial Organization and Electoral Studies. His current research is on Agricultural Productivity in East Africa, Social Security for all, Socioeconomic impact of HIV/AIDS, Elections in Malawi, Post-Conflict Resolution, Cartels and Global Food Security and issues surrounding the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


  1. Welcome Reception and Early Registration

  1. Day 1

  2. Registration Opens

  3. Opening Remarks

    Welcome Remarks by Patrick Paul Walsh, Chair of the Academic Steering Committee of the Global Association of Masters of Development Practice

    Opening Address by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University; Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network

  4. Keynote Address: President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana

  5. Coffee Break

  6. Panel: The World in 2050

    General Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Republic of Indonesia

  7. Panel: Training Future Leaders on Sustainable Development

  8. Lunch Break

    Lunch on your own

  9. Keynote Address: Alaa Murabit

  10. Panel: Women's Leadership & SDGs

    Welcome & Closing:
    Gail Klintworth, Business Transformation Director, Business & Sustainable Development Commission

    Kathy Calvin, President & CEO, UN Foundation
    Fiona Dawson, Global President, Mars Foods, Drinks, and Multisales
    Mary-Ann Etiebet, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers
    Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO, Women’s World Banking
    Amy Jadesimi, Managing Director and CEO, LADOL


  11. Keynote Address: President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia

  12. Concert for a Sustainable Planet

    *Separate ticket required*

    Concert for a Sustainable Planet hopes to foster a dialogue and inspire concrete action towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The program features classical pieces, such as Beethoven’s Eroica, alongside contemporary pieces, including world premieres by composers Ronen Shapira and Merlijn Twaalfhoven. Shapira joins the ensemble, and Twaalfhoven directs the performers together with the audience in an innovative, collaborative piece. Tickets are available now on the Carnegie Hall Website.

  1. Day 2

  2. Registration Opens

  3. Parallel Sessions

    A draft program of parallel sessions and the abstract book are now available! Please send any updates or corrections to info@ic-sd.org.

  4. Coffee Break

  5. Parallel Sessions

    A draft program of parallel sessions and the abstract book are now available! Please send any updates or corrections to info@ic-sd.org.

  6. Poster Session

    Lunch will be served 

    The abstract book is now available! Please send any updates or corrections to info@ic-sd.org.

  7. Parallel Sessions

    A draft program of parallel sessions and the abstract book are now available! Please send any updates or corrections to info@ic-sd.org.

  1. Side Events

  2. Amazon Solutions Day

    **Free but separate registration required (only for persons who wish to attend the event in-person in New York)**

    This official ICSD side event will explore sustainable development in the context of the Amazon Basin Region of South America. Panels will look at the role of young people, biodiversity, and sharing regional science and knowledge with the world. The event will be live-streamed.

  3. Global Pact for the Environment

    *Free but separate registration required*

    Coinciding with the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, this Conference will offer a high-level opportunity to explore the complex legal and political challenges of the Global Pact in light of existing agreements and soft law principles on the environment, and the current global political scene. More information and free registration are available on the event webpage.

  4. Low-Emissions Solutions Conference (LESC)

    **Free but separate registration required**

    The Low-Emissions Solutions Conference (LESC) is aimed at problem solving, brainstorming, and global co-creation to inform nations about the latest technology developments for a decarbonized economy. Outcomes from this event will feed into a special LESC event at COP23 in November 2017.

  5. Make SDGs Happen through Integrated Thinking

    *Free but separate registration required**

    Nowadays business organizations are increasingly called on to contribute to achieving the SDGs by identifying and executing sustainable development strategies. These strategies are viewed as key drivers fundamental to their vision and business models. This workshop examines early experiences from the private sector, and offers an opportunity to discuss the ways in which business organisations can rethink their management processes, accounting tools, and reporting frameworks to meet their objectives for both competitiveness and growth, as well as contributing to the achievement of the SDGs, and long-term value creation more broadly.

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