ICSD 2017

  • September 18 – 20, 2017 Faculty House, Columbia University, New York, USA
  • @ICSD_Conf #ICSD2017

Thank you everyone for your great contributions to another successful ICSD 2017! Check out our news page for information about best papers, conference proceedings, and to see videos and photos that will be uploaded over the upcoming weeks. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to receive information about ICSD 2018, which will be held on September 26th to 28th, 2018! The theme for ICSD 2018 is “Breaking Down Silos: Fostering Collaborative Action on the SDGs.”


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.

  • Shaida Badiee Managing Director and Co-Founder, Open Data Watch

    Shaida Badiee is Managing Director and co-founder of the Open Data Watch, an NGO providing knowledge and assistance to promote open and high-quality development data. She brings several decades of experience in managing global development statistics as the long-time Director of the World Bank’s Development Data Group. During her tenure, flagship global statistical products were launched such as the World Development Indicators, Global Development Finance, and the Atlas of Global Development. In 2010, she led the World Bank’s Open Data Initiative, a ground-breaking program to provide full and free access to the World Bank’s extensive statistical databases. Prior to that, she played a key role in the creation and operation of PARIS21 as well as leading international efforts to coordinate technical and financial support for statistics through initiatives like the Marrakech Action Plan. Shaida was recently a member of the UN Secretary General’s Independent Expert Group on the Data Revolution (IAEG) and is also currently involved in the establishment of the Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data.

  • Chandrika Bahadur President, SDSN Association

    Chandrika Bahadur is the President of the SDSN Association. Previously she was Director of Education Initiatives at the UN SDSN. From 2008-2011, she was advisor to the Chairman and Managing Director at Reliance Industries, where she helped set up Reliance Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic foundation focusing on areas of education, health, rural development, and urban renewal.

    From 2001-2008, Chandrika worked with the United Nations in different roles. In her last assignment, she was a Policy Advisor at UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy in New York, working in Africa to help Ministries of Finance and Planning align their strategies to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), across 20 countries. From 2003-2006, she was part of the leadership team of the UN Millennium Project, an advisory group convened by the then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to recommend strategies for the MDGs. From 2001-2002 she worked on trade and HIV and AIDS programs at the United Nations. She has prior teaching experience at Harvard and Columbia universities.

    Chandrika holds a Masters degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a BA (Honours) in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.

  • 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.

  • Ramu Damodaran Chief, United Nations Academic Impact

    Ramu Damodaran is Deputy Director for Partnerships and Public Engagement in the United Nations Department of Public Information’s Outreach Division and is Chief of the United Nations Academic Impact initiative, which aligns institutions of higher learning and research with the objectives of the United Nations and the States and peoples who constitute it. He is also the current secretary of the United Nations Committee on Information. His earlier posts with the Organization have included the Departments of Peacekeeping and Special Political Questions, as well as the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.

    Ramu Damodaran has been a member of the Indian Foreign Service, where he was promoted to the rank of Ambassador, and where he served as Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister of India as well as in the diplomatic missions in Moscow and to the United Nations, and in a range of national governmental ministries. He has been actively involved in mass media in India, including print, radio and television, and was a recipient of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union award for the best radio documentary.

  • 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).

  • Alexander De Croo Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation, Belgium

    Alexander De Croo (°1975) is currently Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Post and Telecom in the Belgian Federal Cabinet. From 2012 to 2014 he was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Pensions. Before taking the office of Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo was Party Chairman of Open Vld, the Flemish liberal-democrats. In 2010, he was elected Senator, scoring third in the popular vote in Flanders.

    In 2015, he was selected as Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF). He is also member of the Global Agenda Council on Europa at the WEF. Prior to politics, Alexander De Croo was an active entrepreneur in the field of intellectual property rights. He started his professional career as a business consultant for The Boston Consulting Group. Alexander holds a degree in Business Engineering from the Free University of Brussels and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University, Chicago).

  • Hervé Duteil Regional Coordinator for Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainable Finance, BNP Paribas North America

    Hervé P. Duteil has spent most of its career with BNP Paribas in New York, with the exception of two short stints in Sydney, Australia and with a fund of hedge funds. For over 20 years, he specialized in trading derivatives and managing capital market activities, spanning from commodities, currencies, and fixed income instruments to electronic markets. In 2014, he was appointed Regional Coordinator for Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainable Finance in North America, bringing a heavy focus on the development of innovative responsible financial products and the promotion of business solutions to address some of society’s challenges.

    Mr. Duteil holds a Master in Business Administration with distinction from the Harvard Business School, a Master of Science from the University of Cambridge, and a Bachelor in Mathematics & Physics from the University of Paris.

  • 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.

  • Enrico Giovannini Professor of Economic Statistics, University of Rome Tor Vergata

    Enrico Giovannini is an Italian economist and statistician, member of the Club of Rome. Since 2002 he is full professor of economic statistics at the Rome University “Tor Vergata”. He is professor of public management at the LUISS University, Senior Fellow of the LUISS School of European Political Economy, Visiting Fellow at the European Political Strategy Centre of the European Commission, Vice-president of the High Level Group on Competitiveness and Growth of the European Council, Member of the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (ESGAB) responsible for supervising the functioning of the European Statistical System, Co-chair of the “Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development” established by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Member of the “Commission économique de la Nation” established by the French government. From 28th April 2013 to 22 February 2014 he was Minister of Labour and Social Policies in the Italian Government. From August 2009 to April 2013 he was President of the Italian Statistical Institute (Istat). From January 2001 to July 2009 he was Director of Statistics and Chief Statistician of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He is author of more than ninety articles on statistical and economic topics, as well as four books.

  • Thomas Gloria Director, Sustainability Program, Division of Continuing Education, Harvard University

    Thomas P. Gloria is the director of the Sustainability Program at the Harvard University Division of Continuing Education. He is also managing director of Industrial Ecology Consultants, a sustainability management consulting firm. He has more than twenty years of professional experience in sustainability management consulting and information technology engineering design. His work encompasses product innovation, environment life cycle assessment (LCA) and management (LCM), corporate sustainability strategy, enterprise and product-level greenhouse gas emissions tracking, and energy efficiency feasibility analysis.

    Gloria is a life cycle assessment-certified professional and member of the advisory board of the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment. He regularly lectures for the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, the Presidio Graduate School, and Tufts University. His research interests include life cycle sustainability assessment and social network decision analysis. Gloria holds a PhD and an MS in civil and environmental engineering from Tufts University, and a BSc in electrical and computer science engineering from the University of Connecticut.

  • 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.

  • Stefano Manservisi Director-General, European Commission, International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)

    Stefano Manservisi is the Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO). An Italian national, he previously served as Head of Cabinet of the High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini.

    With over 30 years of experience in the Commission prior to this job, including six years as Director-General of the Department for Development and Relations with Africa, Caribbean, Pacific countries and four years leading the department for Migration and Home Affairs, Mr Manservisi brings a wealth of expertise to his new role.

    He has also worked in the field as Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey. Prior to that he served in the private office of four different Commissioners, including two as Head of Cabinet. He started his career in the private sector before joining the Commission in 1983.

    Mr. Manservisi also enjoys teaching. He has been a visiting professor in the University of Bologna, University of Roma III and the College of Europe.

  • 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.

  • Anthony Nsiah-Asare Director-General, Ghana Health Service

    President Nana Akufo-Addo appointed Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare as the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service with effect from March 1, 2017. He has over 36 years in experience in senior management positions in the health sector, including as Chief Executive Officer of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), where he also served as a Consultant General Surgeon. Dr. Nsiah-Asare also worked as a Surgical Specialist at the St Patrick Hospital in Offinso-Ashanti and at Tamale Teaching Hospital. Between 1997 and 2001, Dr. Nsiah-Asare was a part-time lecturer in Clinical Anatomy at the University of Development Studies (UDS), School of Medical Sciences, Tamale.

  • Femi Oke 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.

  • 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.

  • Aniket Shah Program Leader, SDG Financing, SDG Center for Africa

    Aniket Shah has been seconded from Investec Asset Management to join SDSN, where he is the Program Leader of the Financing for Sustainable Development Initiative. At Investec Asset Management, an international investment management firm based in South Africa and the UK, Aniket currently serves as an investment strategist. In this role, Aniket works with the world’s largest institutional investors, from both the public and private sectors, to develop long-term portfolio investment strategies with a focus on emerging markets and Africa.

    Prior to this role, Aniket worked at The Earth Institute at Columbia University where he served as Special Assistant to the Director, Professor Jeffrey Sachs. In this capacity, Aniket worked on international development projects in Africa, Asia and North America. Prior to that, Aniket was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs & Co, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions in the Financial Services Group.

    In late 2013, he released his newest book, Learning from the World: New Ideas to Redevelop America, published by Palgrave Macmillan. Aniket has written for various publications and is often quoted in financial press including Institutional Investor around the world.

    Aniket is a graduate of Yale University, where he collaborated closely with former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo and UN Deputy Secretary General Mark Malloch Brown. Since 2006, Aniket has been a member of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA.

  • Jenna Slotin Senior Director for Policy and Strategy, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

    Jenna Slotin is Senior Director for Policy and Strategy for the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. Prior to this she was Director, Sustainable Development Policy at the UN Foundation. She has over 12 years of experience at the UN and working on UN policy issues related to sustainable development and peacebuilding with a particular focus on analyzing the political dynamics around the 2030 Agenda, financing for development, sustainable development data, and the UN’s peacebuilding architecture.

  • Erik Solheim Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

    Following an extensive career focusing on environment and development in government and international organizations, Erik Solheim was elected to become Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on May 13, 2016.

    Prior to joining UNEP, Solheim was the chair of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As head of the DAC, which is the main body of the world’s development donors, Solheim emphasized the role of private sector and tax in development finance, spearheading the Sustainable Development Investment Partnership and the Addis Tax Initiative. Solheim also focused on the need to channel more aid to least-developed countries, and bring new members and partners to the DAC.

    From 2007 to 2012, Solheim held the combined portfolio of Norway’s Minister of the Environment and International Development, and from 2005 to 2007 served as Minister of International Development. This unique portfolio mixture allowed him to bring a coherent approach to development and the environment.

    During his time as Minister, Norwegian aid reached 1%, the highest in the world. Solheim also put into place the Nature Diversity Act, which many consider to be Norway’s most important piece of environmental legislation in the last 100 years. The Norwegian Climate and Forest Initiative, in which Norway cooperates closely with Brazil, Indonesia, Guyana and other countries to conserve rainforests, was also established under Solheim. This initiative provided critical input to the establishment of UN REDD, the global coalition to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

    Solheim is also an experienced peace negotiator, having acted as the main facilitator of the peace process in Sri Lanka from 1998 to 2005. The peace process led to a ceasefire and the Oslo Declaration in 2002, where parties welcomed a federal state in Sri Lanka. He continued to lead peace efforts in Sri Lanka as Minister, and has contributed to peace processes in Sudan, Nepal, Myanmar and Burundi.

    In addition to his career as a Minister and at the OECD, Solheim has served as UNEP’s Special Envoy for Environment, Conflict and Disaster since 2013 and a Patron of Nature for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2012. He has also received a number of awards for his work on climate and the environment, including UNEP’s Champion of the Earth award, TIME Magazine’s Hero of the Environment, and an honorary doctorate from TERI University in Delhi, India. He has also written three books:Den store samtalen, Naermere, and Politikk er a ville.
    Solheim holds a degree in history and social studies from the University of Oslo. He is married with four children.

  • Larry Swatuk Professor, University of Waterloo

    Dr. Swatuk was initially trained in political science and international relations. In the early 1990s, his research shifted focus toward enviromental and natural resource governance and management with a specific focus on water resources. While his particular geographic expertise is sub-Saharan Africa, he has worked in many parts of the world including Europe, Latin America and Central Asia. Prof. Swatuk lived for 14 years in Africa, primarily in Botswana, where he was a lecturer at the University of Botswana and Associate Professor of Resource Governance at the Okavango Research Institute (see https://www.orc.ub.bw/). His current research interests focus on the unintended negative consequences of climate change adaptation and mitigation interventions, a concept he labels ‘the boomerang effect’. He is author of A Glass Half-Full: Water in Southern Africa, forthcoming from UKZN Press. Dr. Swatuk is also Adjunct Professor of International Development, St. Mary's University, Halifax; External Research Fellow, Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax; Senior Research Fellow, Bonn International Centre for Conversion, Bonn, Germany; Visiting Professor, Institute for Water Studies, University of the Western Cape; and a Research Fellow of both the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Water Institute here in Waterloo, Ontario. Follow him on twitter @lswatuk

  • 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. With apologies, pre-registration has been canceled!

  1. Day 1

  2. Registration Opens

  3. Opening Remarks

    Conference Opening by Femi Oke, Moderator

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

  4. Kapuscinski Development Lecture Series

    Introduction to the Kapuscinski Lectures by Stefano Manservisi, Director-General, European Commission, International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)

    Introduction of the President by Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University; Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network

  5. Kapuscinski and WLF Lecture: President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana

  6. Coffee Break

  7. Panel: Financing the SDGs

    Moderator: Aniket Shah, Program Leader, SDG Financing, SDG Center for Africa

    Hervé P. Duteil, Managing Director, Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainable Finance, BNP Paribas
    Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation, Belgium

  8. Keynote Address: Dr. Alaa Murabit

  9. Panel: Implementing the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

    Moderator: Shaida Badiee, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Open Data Watch

    Enrico Giovannini, Professor of Economic Statistics, University of Rome Tor Vergata
    Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director-General, Ghana Health Service
    Jenna Slotin, Senior Director for Policy and Strategy, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

  10. Video Message from Forest Whitaker, Actor & SDG Advocate

  11. Panel: Training Future Leaders on Sustainable Development

    Moderator: Patrick Paul Walsh, Chair of the Academic Steering Committee of the Global Association of Masters of Development Practice

    Chandrika Bahadur, President, SDSN Association
    Ramu Damodaran, Chief, United Nations Academic Impact
    Tom Gloria, Director, Sustainability Program,Division of Continuing Education, Harvard University
    Larry Swatuk, Professor, University of Waterloo
    John Thwaites, Professorial Fellow, Monash University; Chair, ClimateWorks Australia; Chair, Monash Sustainable Development Institute; Chair, Melbourne Water

  12. Lunch Break

    Lunch on your own

  13. Video Message from UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed

  14. Keynote Address: Erik Solheim

  15. Panel: Behind Every Global Goal: Women Leading the World to 2030

    Welcome & ClosingGail Klintworth, Business Transformation Director, Business & Sustainable Development Commission

    Moderator: Sam Mostyn, President, Australian Council on International Development

    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


  16. Columbia World Leaders Forum Event Keynote Address: President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia

  17. 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. Navigating the Data Revolution: TReNDS Annual Learning Session

    **Free but separate registration required**

    With the launch of the new report “Counting on the World” from SDSN’s Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (SDSN TReNDS), TReNDS is hosting its first interactive half-day learning session as a side event to the annual International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD). This learning session will highlight the potential and urgency of data partnerships for sustainable development. The format of the event will be three sessions drawing from diverse case studies or innovations in data collection and sharing, knowledge management, and localizing the SDGs. After brief introductory remarks, participants will give short 15 minute presentations and/or demonstrations, followed by a half-hour interactive Q&A and discussion with panelists and attendees. These sessions will also highlight lessons from the first years of SDSN TReNDS’ Solution Initiatives.

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Training Future Leaders on Sustainable Development Interactive Session

    **Free but separate registration required**

    Participate in a consultation on the Training of Future Leaders on Sustainable Development Education

    A member from each of the three Task Forces working on the review of the MDP program will each give short (10 minute) presentations, and then participate in a moderated dialogue. Following the panel, each panelist will moderate a break-out session on their particular topic, facilitating a dialogue among conference participants. Each Task Force will have a writer/reporter who will collect the ideas of the participants. Their role would conclude after a second, short plenary session where lessons from the disparate groups would be brought back together. Coffee and tea will be provided with some light snacks.

  8. Operationalizing the SDGs for Extractive Industry Companies

    The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Thematic Network on Good Governance ofExtractive and Land Resources, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), GIZ, theInternational Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), the Responsible Mining Index, the IntergovernmentalForum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF), and the Prospectors &Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), will host a strategic meeting to take stock of initiativesseeking to operationalize the SDGs for companies and other relevant stakeholders; assess whether andhow reporting mechanisms and frameworks can be harmonized and aligned with the SDG IndicatorFramework; and map a forward agenda for advancing the contribution of the extractive industries tosustainable development.

    Email Nathan Lobel (nl2617@columbia.edu) to register!

    Organized by:
    SDSN, CCSI, GIZ, ICMM, Responsible Mining Index, IGF, PDAC

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