ICSD 2018

  • September 26 – 28, 2018 Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University, New York, USA
  • @ICSD_Conf #ICSD2018

Thanks for a successful ICSD 2018! Watch the full plenary day here.

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Featured Speakers

  • President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica

    President Carlos Alvarado is the 48th President of the Republic of Costa Rica. He was inaugurated into office on May 9, 2018. He was born in San José, Costa Rica, on January 14, 1980, and is a professor, politician, and author. He studied journalism at the University of Costa Rica, obtaining a Master’s Degree in Political Science. He also has a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the University of Sussex in England.

    President Alvarado is an expert in communication, public policy, and public-private partnerships, with five years of experience in political communication and parliamentary advising. He has taught communication at the School of Social Science at the University of Costa Rica and the Latina University of Costa Rica. He also served as an advisor to the Citizen Action Party's group in the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica from 2006 to 2010.

    During the Solís Rivera administration, Alvarado served as Minister of Human Development and Social Inclusion and Executive President of the Joint Social Welfare Institute, the institution charged with combating poverty and giving state aid to the population of scarce resources. In 2016, Alvarado was appointed Minister of Labor and Social Security.

  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand

    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (38) was born in the city of Hamilton, and grew up in a small rural town. She graduated from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Communication Studies majoring in Professional communication.

    Post-university, she worked as an advisor in the office of then New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, and then worked in London for the British Cabinet Office. She also enjoyed a stint volunteering at a soup kitchen in New York.

    Ms Ardern entered New Zealand’s Parliament in 2008 at the age of 26 and nine years later became the youngest ever leader of the Labour Party. Only two months after assuming the leadership she led her party to electoral victory and was sworn in as Prime Minister heading a three-party government involving the New Zealand First Party and the Greens.

    She is currently the youngest female elected head of Government in the world and only the second elected head of Government to have had a baby while in office; giving birth to her first child, Neve, in June this year.

    As well as Prime Minister, she holds the roles of Minister for National Security and Intelligence, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Minister for Child Poverty Reduction, an issue particularly close to her heart and her self-proclaimed reason for entering politics.

  • His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway

    His Royal Highness has a broad national and international engagement. Youth leadership and global development are issues particularly close to his heart. Since 2003, Crown Prince Haakon has been Goodwill Ambassador for the UNDP – today focusing in particular on the Sustainable Development Goals. He is co-founder of Global Dignity, and is actively engaged in The Crown Prince and Crown Princess’s Humanitarian Fund. The fund identifies and supports projects for young people at risk and aims to strengthen youth leadership. As heir to the Norwegian throne, the Crown Prince has an extensive number of official engagements in Norway, and is patron of various associations. Every year, he is leading Norwegian delegations abroad to strengthen bilateral relations within trade and industry, science, and humanitarian fields. He has also represented Norway in the UN. Over several years, the Crown Prince has had a special interest in development issues, in particular the role of technology and how innovation can contribute to move the world forward.

    Crown Prince Haakon graduated from the Norwegian Naval Academy in 1995. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. The Crown Prince is a passionate surfer, kiter, and music lover. He lives in Asker, outside Oslo, with the Crown Princess and their children.

  • Amina J. Mohammed UN Deputy Secretary-General

    Ms. Amina J. Mohammed was Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from November 2015 to December 2016, where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action, protecting the natural environment and conserving resources for sustainable development.
    Prior to this, she served as Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning, where she was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Before joining the UN, Ms. Mohammed worked for three successive administrations in Nigeria, serving as Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals, providing advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development, and coordinating programmes worth $1 billion annually for MDG-related interventions.

    She is also an Adjunct Professor in Development Practice at Columbia University, and served on numerous international advisory boards and panels, including the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the African Women’s Millennium Initiative, Girl Effect, 2016 African Union Reform and the ActionAid International Right to Education Project.

    Ms. Mohammed began her 35-year career in the private sector with architects and engineers responsible for the project management of health, education and public sector buildings.

  • Chris Bataille Researcher, IDDRI

    Chris Bataille has been involved in energy and climate policy analysis for more than 20 years as a researcher, energy systems and economic modeller, analyst, writer, project manager, and executive. Chris is currently an Associate Researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations in Paris, and conducts freelance energy and climate policy consulting. Chris recently completed a 1.5 year project as lead editor of a special issue of Climate Policy on the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP). He also helped manage the global DDPP and was co-author of the Canadian chapter. He is currently lead of the DDPP Heavy Industry Deep Decarbonization Project, which recently published a review paper in the Journal of Cleaner Production. He is an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

    From 2011-‘14 Chris was a founding managing partner of Navius Research Inc., a Vancouver based energy policy consulting firm. Prior to helping found Navius in 2011, he was executive director of MK Jaccard & Associates Inc. (another energy policy consulting firm) for 5 years. He has managed many projects, including several large national climate change and energy policy studies for Natural Resources Canada, the Canadian National Roundtable of the Environment and the Economy, Environment Canada, the Pembina Institute and the David Suzuki Foundation, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, and the Ontario Power Authority. In addition to his consulting practise, Chris has published peer reviewed articles in the Journal of Cleaner Production, Energy Economics, The Energy Journal and Climate Policy, edited a special edition of the Energy Journal on hybrid energy economy modelling, and has written a number of public policy publications, including “Pricing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The impact on Canada’s competitiveness” for the C.D. Howe Institute.

  • Gloria Benedikt Research Associate for Science and Arts, International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

    Gloria Benedikt was born in Austria and trained at the Vienna State Opera Ballet School and English National Ballet School (London). Since 2002 she has worked as a dancer and choreographer across Europe and the USA. A graduate of Harvard University (2013), she is particularly interested in connecting art and science, thus defining her dance pieces as choreographed papers and in creating artistically innovative, impact-driven arts projects that link the humanities and sciences to solve global challenges. In 2015 she became the first Research Associate for Science and Arts at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), since 2018 she leads the Science and Art Project. She is explores how artistic and scientific processes can be connected to tackle global challenges more effectively and support transformations to sustainability. Recent performance and speaking engagements include the Kennedy Center, Washington DC; Carnegie Hall, the House of the European Union, Vienna; the European Culture Forum, Brussels; the European Forum, Alpbach; the Bridging Europe Festival, Budapest; the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, Ispra; the Forum on European Culture, Amsterdam; the Stockholm Act and ESOF 2018. She co-curated the UN Concert for a Sustainable Planet 2017. 

  • Paul M Cunningham Director, IST-Africa Institute; Chair, IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee

    Paul M Cunningham is Director of the IST-Africa Institute ( www.IST-Africa.org ). Supported by the European Commission and African Union Commission, IST-Africa is a strategic collaboration with ministries and national councils responsible for innovation, science and technology across Africa, and a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

    Paul is the 2018 Chair of the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC), which is focused on strengthening the capacity and impact of IEEE volunteers in the global sustainable development and humanitarian technology space. IEEE HAC facilitates necessary education and training, builds strategic partnerships, provides funding for projects and
    events and supports multi-stakeholder collaboration through IEEE SIGHT.

    As President and CEO of IIMC (the International Information Management Corporation), Paul leads a team providing technology, strategy, and policy expertise to international and national government organizations and international and nationally funded research and innovation programs in Europe and Africa.

    Paul is an Adjunct/Visiting Professor at the International University of Management (IUM, Namibia), a Visiting Senior Fellow at Wrexham Glyndŵr University (Wales), and an IEEE SSIT Distinguished Lecturer, focusing on sustainable and ethical technology solutions.

    Paul is Coordinator of mHealth4Afrika (www.mHealth4Afrika.org), which is co-designing and validating a modular state-of-the-art primary healthcare delivery platform for resource constrained environments. Supported by the European Commission, mHealth4Afrika is collaborating with Ministries of Health, local universities, district health offices and clinic healthcare staff in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa.

    Recognized by Enterprise Ireland as an Irish Champion of EU Research (2015, 2017), Paul’s research interests include the social implications of technology, ethics, entrepreneurship in Africa, and leveraging technology to address societal challenges related to health, food security, energy and education.

    Paul is the 2017-2018 President of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT), a member of the IEEE Global Public Policy Committee, and an IEEE Access Associate Editor.

  • Jessica Espey Senior Advisor and Director of TReNDS, Sustainable Development Solutions Network

    Jessica is a Senior Advisor to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Before moving to Cambridge she was Associate Director and Head of SDSN’s New York Office. In her current role Jessica directs SDSN’s work on data, monitoring and accountability for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She also manages much of SDSN’s work on sustainable cities.

    Current projects include lead-authoring SDSN’s forthcoming flagship report on new data systems for sustainable development, in partnership with SDSN’s expert thematic network on data; overseeing four data-oriented Solution Initiatives which are attempting to trial new technologies and approaches for data collection, management, storage and dissemination; managing a body of work on subnational implementation of the SDGs (including SDSN’s Sustainable Cities Initiative); and acting as official liaison for the Scientific Steering Committee of the IPCC Conference on Cities and Climate Change. Jessica is also a member of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data’s Technical Advisory Group and represents SDSN within the Cities Alliance.

    Prior to joining SDSN, Jessica served as a special adviser on the post-2015 agenda within the Office of the President of Liberia, supporting the work of The High Level Panel of Eminent Persons (of which President Sirleaf was co-chair) and the development of the Common African Position on the Post-2015 Agenda. She has also worked as a senior researcher at Save the Children UK, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA). She has particular expertise in the study of inequality, age and gender discrimination, as well as data systems for sustainable development.

    Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Modern History from the University of Oxford and a Master of Sciences degree in the Political Economy of Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Over the past 12 years she has lived and worked in Liberia, Kenya, Rwanda, the UK and the US.

  • Chris Fabian Principal Advisor on Innovation, UNICEF Office of Innovation

    Christopher Fabian (@hichrisfabian) is a technologist who co-founded UNICEF's Innovation Unit in 2006. He currently leads UNICEF Ventures. Together with Sunita Grote, Chris led the launch of the $17M UNICEF Venture Fund in 2015, creating the first fund of its kind in the United Nations. The Fund uses a venture capital approach to invest in startups working on frontier technology like virtual reality, machine learning, and blockchain technology that can have a positive impact on humanity.

    The Ventures team also makes larger secondary investments in platforms like UNICEF’s drone testing corridors in Malawi and Vanuatu, as well as the Magic Box, an open source analytics platform that combines data and engineering skills from companies like Amadeus, IBM, Google, Redhat, and Telefonica to produce insights that help the organization make better real-time decisions.

    Previously, Chris's teams have built solutions for problems facing low-infrastructure environments, including award-winning work on RapidPro, an SMS-based information system with more than 4.5M active users in 50 countries.

    Chris’s teaches at NYU, Tsinghua University, IIT Delhi, and Singularity University and is an invited speaker for major technology companies, national governments, and United Nations senior leadership fora exploring how to create fairness in a world of rapid technological change. His is a fellow at the Tribeca Disruptor Foundation and holds an Edmund Hillary Fellowship, both focusing on investments in a more equitable global future. In 2013 he was recognized as one of TIME Magazine's "100 Most Influential People."

  • Silvia Figueira Director, Frugal Innovation Hub, Santa Clara University

    Dr. Silvia Figueira received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil, and her Ph.D. degree also in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering at Santa Clara University, where she is also the director of the SCU Frugal Innovation Hub, in which she leads the Mobile Lab and advises students working on mobile applications for under-served communities and emerging markets. She has published over 70 papers and has established several collaborations with both companies in Silicon Valley and social entrepreneurs in the United States and abroad.

  • Chad Frischmann Vice President and Research Director, Project Drawdown

    Chad Frischmann is the Vice President and Research Director of Project Drawdown, a nonprofit organization that assesses, maps, models, and communicates the world’s most substantive solutions to global warming. A coalition-builder and systems strategist, Chad works to reverse global warming and build a new, regenerative future with cascading benefits to the environment and to human well-being.

    Chad is the lead researcher and principal architect of the methodology and models behind the New York Times best-seller Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming (Penguin, 2017). In collaboration with leading environmentalist Paul Hawken and a global team of researchers and thought leaders, Chad designed sophisticated models to assess the world’s most effective climate solutions and determine if, when, and how the world can reach “drawdown,” the point in time when the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases begins to decline on a year-to-year basis. Drawdown was the #1 best-selling environmental book of 2017 and is currently being translated into over six languages. Booklist calls it “a rigorous and profoundly important resource.” Vox says, “the public is hungry for this kind of practical wisdom.” According to The Nation, Drawdown offers “the best kind of hope, the kind that balances realism with radical vision.” As head of research since Project Drawdown’s inception, Chad is a key spokesperson and coalition-builder dedicated to sharing the message and model of Drawdown with the world.

    With a multidisciplinary background in public policy, human rights, sustainable development, and environmental conservation, Chad provides a systems-based approach to research and strategic leadership. Previously, Chad was the Senior Program Officer at The Europaeum, an association of leading European universities; taught at the University of Oxford and the University of California at Berkeley; and worked as a consultant and researcher for numerous organizations, from small grassroots non-profits to UN agencies such as UNESCO and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Chad’s talks have been featured at the University of Oxford, Harvard, COP23 in Bonn, World Business Council on Sustainable Development, 1% for the Planet Global Summit, Engineering for Change, ISEN Climate Change Symposium, University of California at Berkeley, the University of Washington, and the AIA Conference on Architecture, among others.

    Chad holds a master's degree in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley, a master's degree in Art History from the University of Oxford, and a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from George Washington University.

  • Hannah Kickert Dancer

    Hannah Kickert was born in Austria and trained at the Vienna State Opera Ballet School for nine years. Immediately after graduating with honors (2014) she started working as a corps de ballet member at the Vienna State Opera. Over the course of three years dancing at the well renown ballet company, she had the chance to participate in various choreographies of Nurejew, Balanchine, Robbins, Ekman, etc.. Due to multiple interests she started studying Political Science at the university of Vienna and proceeds to study at Fernuniversität Hagen. Being a scholarship holder of the European Forum Alpbach 2016 she got in touch with Gloria Benedikt and participated in her next piece InDilemma performing at the EFA 2017 and at the OSCE Ministerial Council of the former Principal Imperial Palace. She then proceeded to study dance in New York with teachers such as Wilhelm Burmann and Marijke Eliasberg, whilst performing at the Viennese Opera Ball in New York or at UNI, a dance event celebrating and showcasing Haitian arts and culture. In future endeavors she would like to combine politics with dance.

  • Piotr Magnuszewski Research Scholar, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

    Piotr Magnuszewski works on the question of what makes things complex and how to understand and manage this complexity. He has been working for decades as a systems modeler, game designer, professional trainer, facilitator and researcher to provide tools for people in all sectors to make better policies and decisions about the society and environment. He designed and applied many social simulations and role-playing games addressing the issues of resilience and sustainability such as climate change, energy transition, management of natural resources. The tools the designed and applied enable more effective collaboration for groups and organizations. Piotr has been working with diverse groups of scientists, businesses, NGOs and international organizations including the European Commission, OECD, African Development Bank and the Zambezi Watercourse Commission. Piotr works as a research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria). He is also co-founder and managing director of the Centre for Systems Solutions (Poland). He is an author of many research and educational publications.

  • 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.

  • Mimmo Miccolis Teacher and Choreographer, The Washington Ballet

    Mimmo Miccolis, born in Italy, is a contemporary teacher and choreographer at The Washington Ballet. He was the winner of the “Outstanding Choreographer Award” at the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) Finals 2015 in New York City and at the Indianapolis International Ballet Competition 2017. In 2011, he was also a recipient of the BBC Performing Arts Fund in London, UK. Most of Mimmo’s choreographic work focuses on social issues and have been performed in venues such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Forum and the House of the European Union in Austria, at the EuroScience Open Forum 2018 Toulouse in France and the European Commission Joint Research Center in Italy. Mimmo’s work incorporates elements from his background in dance, opera, TV, cinema and dance illusion.

  • Claude Nahon Executive Vice President for Sustainable Development, EDF

    Claude Nahon was named EDF Group’s Executive Vice President for Sustainable Development in January 2003. Prior to her appointment, she was Head of Hydro and Renewable Energies. A graduate of France’s prestigious École Polytechnique, Claude Nahon has been with EDF since 1978, holding managerial positions in both generation and distribution. In addition to her responsibilities at Electricité de France, Claude Nahon represents EDF Group on different occasions and at different institutions. She is Liaison Delegate of Henri Proglio in the WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development). She sits on IDDRI (Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales) and EPE (Entreprises pour l’Environnement). She is a chair person of a working group in EURELECTRIC about Energy.

  • Martin A. Nowak  Director, Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard University

    Martin A. Nowak is Professor of Mathematics and of Biology at Harvard University and Director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. He works on the mathematical description of evolutionary processes, including evolution of cooperation and human language, as well as dynamics of virus infections and human cancer. An Austrian by birth, he studied biochemistry and mathematics at the University of Vienna where he received his Ph.D. sub auspiciis praesidentis. He went to the University of Oxford as an Erwin Schrödinger Scholar and worked there with Robert May, with whom he co-authored numerous articles and his first book, Virus Dynamics" (2000). Nowak became head of the mathematical biology group in 1995 and Professor of Mathematical Biology in 1997. A year later, he moved to Princeton to establish the first program of theoretical biology at the Institute for Advanced Study. He moved to Harvard University in 2003. Nowak is a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the recipient of the Weldon Memorial Prize, the David Starr Jordan Prize, and the Akira Okubo Prize. He is author of over 475 papers and four books. "Evolutionary Dynamics" (2006) provides an overview of the laws that govern the evolution of living systems. "SuperCooperators" (2011) argues that cooperation is the third fundamental principle of evolution. 

  • Cherie Nursalim Vice Chairman, GITI Group

    Cherie Nursalim is Vice Chairman of GITI Group, with diversified interests in real estate development, manufacturing, retail and natural resource development. Ms. Nursalim is a Member of the International Advisory Board of Columbia University and the Asia Advisory Board of the MIT Sloan School of Management. She also sits on the boards of the Yale Center for Environmental Law Policy and the University of Indonesia Climate Change Center, as well as the China Disabled Persons Foundation Board and the United in Diversity Foundation. She is a Founding Member of the Global Philanthropic Circle under the Synergos Institute in New York. She has helped develop HIV/AIDS awareness initiatives for the GT organization, which has won awards from UNAIDS, ILO and Indonesian government. Ms. Nursalim has recently been appointed to the Executive Board of International Chamber of Commerce. She is a frequent organizer of international and education forums and has won the Baiyulan Award from the Shanghai government and was listed among the 48 Heroes of Philanthropy by Forbes. Ms. Nursalim received a BA in Engineering Science and Economics from Oxford University and an MBA from the Columbia Business School. She also attended the Harvard Kennedy School Young Global Leader program.

  • Rémy Rioux Chairman, International Development Finance Network (IDFC)

    Rémy Rioux is the Chairman of the International Development Finance Network (IDFC) and the Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement (AFD). An expert in public finance, economic governance, and international financial institutions, Rémy Rioux has a proven track record in advancing the sustainable development and climate agendas. He was the lead negotiator of the climate finance agenda of the Paris Agreement. According to its new strategy, the AFD Group has set the objective of becoming “100% compliant with the Paris Agreement”. The IDFC, a network of 23 development finance institutions from all over the world, committed USD $159 billion in climate finance in 2016. The Club is delivering and advocating "to make all financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low-emissions, climate-resilient development" – a key goal of the Paris Agreement.

  • Jeffrey Sachs University Professor, Columbia University; 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 is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership, and many other international awards and honors. 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 survey by The Economist in 2011 ranked Professor Sachs as amongst the world’s three most influential living economists of the first decade of the 21st century.

    Professor Sachs serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He is University Professor at Columbia University, the university’s highest academic rank. During 2002 to 2016 he served as the Director of the Earth Institute. Sachs is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the Sustainable Development Goals, and previously advised UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on both the Sustainable Development Goals and Millennium Development Goals and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria.

    Sachs is currently Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network under the auspices of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development. He is Chair and Founder of SDG USA, a non-governmental initiative to promote the Sustainable Development Goal concepts in the United States. Sachs is also co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and was director of the Millennium Villages Project (2005-2015).

    Sachs has authored and edited numerous books, including three New York Times bestsellers: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). His recent books include: To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace (2013), The Age of Sustainable Development (2015) and Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair & Sustainable (2017).

  • Sonia Sachs Director of the Health Sector, Center for Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

    Sonia Ehrlich Sachs, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician, endocrinologist, and public health specialist. She received a BA from Harvard University, an MD from the University of Maryland Medical School, and an MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Sachs practiced medicine for over 20 years, 14 of which she spent at the Harvard University Health Services in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since 2005 she has been leading efforts at The Earth Institute, Columbia University, to design and implement low-cost primary health systems in low-income rural Africa and India. Her focus is on systems delivery, primarily for improvement of maternal and child health, at local and national scales. Sachs coordinated the health sector of the Millennium Villages Project, overseeing all health-related interventions and research. The Millennium Villages Project, operating in ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa, was an integrated rural development initiative, designed as a proof of concept in helping poor rural communities accelerate reaching the Millennium Development Goals, using a science-based, community-led approach of integrated interventions to increase food production, access to health care, education, water, infrastructure and business development. Dr. Sachs was also involved in The Earth Institute's advisory work to the governments of Haiti, India, and Nigeria. She is also the Director of the One Million CHW Campaign advocating for professionalized Community Health Workers, a cadre that is paid, supervised and supported by use of information communication technology. Sachs and her team currently advise the government of Ghana on the national scale up of Community Health Workers, including the national scale up of mHealth and Telemedicine.

  • Guido Schmidt-Traub Executive Director, SDSN

    Dr. Guido Schmidt-Traub is Executive Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which operates under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. Guido leads the SDSN’s policy work, including on long-term pathways for sustainable land-use and food systems, financing for development, and the SDG Index and Dashboards. He serves on the Governing Council of Future Earth and other advisory bodies.

    Previously, Guido was CEO of Paris-based CDC Climat Asset Management, an investment company regulated by the French financial markets regulator; climate change advisor to the Africa Progress Panel secretariat; and Director and Partner at South Pole Carbon Asset Management in Zurich. He managed the MDG Support Team at UNDP (2006-2008) and served as Policy Advisor and then as Associate Director of the UN Millennium Project in New York, which was tasked with developing an action plan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and advised countries around the world on their implementation.

    Earlier Guido was Partner at IndexIT Scandinavia, a private equity fund for early-stage technology companies, and consultant at McKinsey & Company in Germany.

    Guido holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Wageningen University & Research, an M.Phil. in Economics from Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar), and a Masters in physical chemistry from the Free University Berlin. He resides in Paris with his family.

  • Henoch Spinola Dancer

    Henoch Spinola, a native of Cape Verde Islands, began his classical training with Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre, graduating from the Young Dancers Program in 2006 to become a full company member 2007. After leaving JMBT, Henoch began working with Prometheus Dance from 2011–2012, along with other dance companies local to Boston. He then moved to New York City to dance in a work by Itzik Galili at the Metropolitan Opera from 2013-2014. He recently completed the Master of Fine Arts program within the Creative Practice: Dance Professional Practice Pathway at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London.

  • Jessie Jeanne Stinnett Choreographer and Co-Artistic Director, Boston Dance Theater

    Jessie Jeanne Stinnett holds a BFA in Dance Performance from The Boston Conservatory and an MFA in Creative Practice: Dance Professional Pathway from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, in conjunction with Independent Dance/Siobhan Davies Dance. She has performed for the Metropolitan Opera, Tate Britain, Prometheus Dance, Anna Myer and Dancers, Rebecca Rice, The Boston Baroque Opera, Bard College’s SummerScape Festival, and Boston Dance Theater; most notably in works by Itzik Galili, Pablo Bronstein, Marjorie Folkman, Sidra Bell, and Gigi Caciuleanu. Jessie’s choreographic work has been described by Hannah Chanatry of WBUR as “conceptually driven performance that unpacks the complexities of being female, and pushes the academic boundaries of choreography.” Her recent choreographic commissions include Keene State College, Providence College, Emmanuel Music, and The Purcell Society of Boston. Jessie's work as a choreographer and also as co-artistic director of Boston Dance Theater has been sustained in part by grants from The Boston Foundation with support from The Barr Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, Live Arts Boston, New England States Touring Grant, New England Dance Fund, Assets4Artists, Boston Cultural Council, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Boston Mayor’s Office, and Fidelity Charitable donor-advised fund.

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

    Patrick Paul Walsh is the Chair of International Development Studies in University College Dublin, Ireland, and a former Visiting Scholar at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is a Government of Ireland, Marie Curie (Brussels), IZA (Bonn), RSA (London) and REPOA (Tanzania) Fellow.

    During 1992-2007 Walsh 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 is the 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. He is a member of the Social Science Committee for Science Europe. 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 Journal of Comparative Economics.

    His current research is on Agricultural Productivity in East Africa, Social Security for all, Socioeconomic impact of HIV/AIDS in clinical trials, Election Outcomes in Malawi, Patterns of Post-Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes Region, Cartels and Global Food Security and issues surrounding the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, among other issues.


  1. Pre-Conference Panel & Cocktail

    SOLD OUT. This event has reached capacity. 

    3:30 pm – 6:30 pm at Faculty House (64 Morningside Drive, entrance via the campus gate on 116th St.)

    IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, would like to invite ICSD conference participants, delegates attending the UN General Assembly, and other key stakeholders active in the sustainable development space to join us at a pre-conference panel (3:30 to 5:00). This will be following by the ICSD Best Paper Awards Ceremony and a Networking Reception (5:00 to 6:30).

    This forum will share insight into how technologists, scientists, and engineers are contributing in the sustainable development space and the importance of co-design and local ownership, use of standards, ethics and informed consent. Participants will share ideas and lessons learnt, recognise some great talent, reconnect with friends and colleagues, and identify potential partners with common interests and complementary expertise.

  1. Day 1

  2. Registration Opens

  3. Parallel Sessions

    A final program of the parallel sessions and the complete abstract book are now available!

  4. Coffee Break

  5. Parallel Sessions

    A final program of the parallel sessions and the complete abstract book are now available!

  6. Poster Session (Lunch will be Served)

    A final program of the parallel sessions and the complete abstract book are now available!

  1. Day 2

  2. Registration Opens

  3. Welcome Remarks, World Leaders Forum and Kapuscinski Development Lectures

    Patrick Paul Walsh, Welcome
    Stefano Manservisi, Introduction of Kapuscinski Development Lectures
    Jeffrey D. Sachs, Introduction of Speakers

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand

    His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
    Development and Human Progress: Why I Believe in a Brighter Future

  4. Coffee Break

  5. Innovative Solutions for Financing the SDGs

    Patrick Paul Walsh, Moderator
    Jessica Espey, Senior Advisor, SDSN
    Cherie Nursalim
    , Vice Chairman, Giti Group
    Rémy Rioux, Chairman, International Development Finance Network (IDFC)

  6. Dancing with the Future

    Are humans able to cooperate with future generations? In this joint production of IIASA and Harvard’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, five dancers and two scientists explore the mechanisms of cooperation. Martin Nowak will speak about natural cooperation and then a stage game, designed by Piotr Magnuszewski, will invite the audience to find out whether or not they leave enough resources behind for future generations. Performers include acclaimed dancers Gloria Benedikt, Mimmo Miccolis, Jessie Stinnett, Henoch Spinola and Hannah Kickkert. more information

  7. Lunch (on your own)

  8. Low-Emissions Solutions: The Land-Energy Nexus

    The Land-Energy Nexus in Climate Change Mitigation, is a conversation about the role of energy in low-carbon land use scenarios and land use in low-carbon energy scenarios. This session aims to challenge assumptions that could lead to unworkable approaches to decarbonization, and discuss frameworks for land-energy integration that are conceptually sound and implementable on the ground. The panel will present solutions that their organizations have identified to help the world transition to a carbon neutral future.

    This session is brought to you with support from Enel.

    Guido Schmidt-TraubModerator, Executive Director, UN SDSN
    Chris Bataille, Researcher, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI)
    Chad Frischmann, Vice President & Research Director, Project Drawdown
    Katie Guerry, Head of Regulatory Affairs, Enel X North America
    Claude Nahon, Executive Vice President for Sustainable Development, EDF

  9. Technology and Innovation for the SDGs

    Just as technological innovation is critical to driving socio-economic growth, it can also play a critical role in supporting successful implementation of the UN SDGs. Led by IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, this panel will discuss how to maximize the potential benefits of leveraging technology, innovation and standards while taking account of ethical considerations (including informed consent) and the potential impact on local socio-cultural norms.

    Paul Cunningham, Director, IST-Africa Institute; Chair, IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee
    Chris Fabian, Principal Advisor on Innovation, UNICEF Office of Innovation
    Silvia Figueira, Director, Frugal Innovation Hub, Santa Clara University
    Sonia Sachs, Director of the Health Sector, Center for Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

  10. Live Video Address from UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed

  11. World Leaders Forum Address

    President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica (via videolink)

  12. Best Paper Awards


  1. Side Events

  2. Renewable Energy and the SDGs: Exploring Links with Extractives, Agriculture, and Land Use

    *free, separate registration required*

    The event will begin with a few short presentations on new research projects, including a report about how the use of renewable energy by the extractive sector can scale-up the deployment of and access to clean energy, and a report mapping renewable energy investments to the SDGs. Then, attendees will break into small groups to discuss problems that the field faces and identify next steps, including how the Network can facilitate improved knowledge-sharing and collaboration. More information and registration is available online.

  3. Climate Change, the Courts, and the Paris Agreement

    *free, separate registration required*

    This conference, co-hosted by the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment and the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, will examine how sub-national governments and NGOs use litigation to hold governments and corporations accountable for their contributions to climate change. More information and registration is available online.

  4. The Global Pact for the Environment: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on the Future of International Environmental Governance

    *free, separate registration required*

    In early May the UNGA voted to create a working group to identify and assess gaps in international environmental governance, kicking off formal diplomatic work for a Global Pact for the Environment. This follows a year of exciting developments on the Pact, including the initial drafting of a pact “blueprint” in Paris, President Macron’s Summit to introduce the Pact at the UN in September, and a program of conferences and consultations around the world. This conference will build upon this work, bringing together a group of leading experts to discuss the path forward. More information and registration is available online.

  5. Concert for a Sustainable Planet

    *separate ticket required, conference participants can use promo code SDG29583 for 15% off tickets*

    This concert, taking place at Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall, will feature classical, contemporary, and jazz pieces that communicate the themes of the SDGs. Please see the concert website for more information and the Carnegie Hall website for tickets.

  6. IEEE Participatory Workshop: Technology for the SDGs

    *free, separate registration required*

    IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, would like to invite ICSD conference participants, delegates attending the UN General Assembly, and other key stakeholders active in the sustainable development space to join us and contribute during this full-day participatory workshop.

    This participatory workshop will combine theory, practice and working group collaboration. Participants will have the opportunity to take a deep dive into how science, technology and engineering can make a significant contribution to successful implementation of SDGs. Total beginners, enthusiastic amateurs, experienced practitioners and scientists, technologists and engineers will have the opportunity to learn from one another by combining personal experience with the diversity of perspectives and lessons learnt shared during the conference. Kindly register online as space is limited!

  7. International Forum on Food and Nutrition

    *free, separate registration required*

    How do food systems and nutrition patterns affect and/or contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? How do we ensure healthy diets while protecting the planet and ensuring peace and prosperity for all? This event will address these questions and serve as a global platform to promote a dramatic change in the mindset of all stakeholders, from government to civil society organizations, research, and the private sector. More information and registration is available online.

  8. 13th Annual Columbia International Investment Conference: Rethinking International Investment Governance: Principles for the 21st Century

    *free, separate registration required*

    This conference seeks to elaborate principles of a progressive investment agenda. It will reflect on the current investment regime – of the network of over 3,000 investment agreements – and the extent to which the regime aligns with or undermines the principles. We will then re-imagine investment governance, and consider the role that international cooperation could play to advance sustainable, development-oriented investment. More information and registration is available online.

  9. Aligning the Local and Global: TReNDS' Annual "Data Day"

    *free, separate registration required*

    This year’s annual TReNDS event, produced in partnership with SDSN’s USA Sustainable Cities Initiative, centers on the theme “Aligning the Local and Global: Supporting cities to produce the data they need for both local and national SDG reporting.” The half-day event will explore the relationship between national and sub-national data reporting for the SDGs: top-down approaches, achieved by compiling and analyzing readily available federal and nationally comparable statistics, and bottom-up approaches to data compilation at the local level, providing proxies for the national SDG indicators. Through presentations and panel discussions featuring local and national stakeholders, as well as breakout sessions designed to encourage collaboration on emerging research and potential projects among attendees. More information and registration is available online.


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