ICSD 2020

Thank You for Attending ICSD 2020:

Cross-Cutting Solutions for the Decade of Action!

You can watch all the recordings of our plenaries in the YouTube playlist below. We invite you to read our full summary of ICSD 2020. Our conference proceedings are now available online.

Featured Speakers

  • Keynote: H. E. Mia Mottley Prime Minister of Barbados

    The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C., M.P., became Barbados' eighth and first female Prime Minister on May 25, 2018. Ms. Mottley was elected to the Parliament of Barbados in September 1994 as part of the new Barbados Labour Party Government. Prior to that, she served as one of two Opposition Senators between 1991 and 1994. One of the youngest persons ever to be assigned a ministerial portfolio, Ms. Mottley was appointed Minister of Education, Youth Affairs and Culture from 1994 to 2001. She later served as Attorney General and Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados from 2001 to 2008 and was the first female to hold that position. Ms. Mottley is an Attorney-at-law with a degree from the London School of Economics, specialising in advocacy. She is also a Barrister of the Bar of England and Wales. In 2002, she became a member of the Local Privy Council. She was also admitted to the Inner Bar, becoming the youngest ever Queens Counsel in Barbados.

  • Keynote: Inger Andersen Executive Director, UN Environment Programme

    Inger Andersen is Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Between 2015 and 2019, Ms. Andersen was the Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Ms Andersen brings a passion for conservation and sustainable development with more than 30 years of experience in international development economics, environmental sustainability and policy-making, as well as in designing and implementing projects and generating on-the-ground impact. She has played a key role in supporting riparian countries on international water management and hydro diplomacy. Ms. Andersen also held various leadership roles at the World Bank for 15 years including as Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa and Vice President for Sustainable Development and at the United Nations starting in the UN Sudano-Sahelian Office working on drought and desertification issues.

  • Keynote: Tao Zhang Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

    Mr. Tao Zhang assumed the role of Deputy Managing Director at the IMF on August 22, 2016. He is responsible for IMF operations in about 90 countries as well as policy issues related to anti-money laundering / combating the financing of terrorism, climate change, fintech, gender, and statistics, among other areas. He also supervises the IMF’s work on the Financial Sector Assessment Program and information technology, and is responsible for coordination with other international organizations, including the United Nations agencies.

    Mr. Zhang has extensive international economic expertise and policymaking experience, including as Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and IMF Executive Director for China. Earlier in his career, he spent many years at the PBOC in various senior roles and also worked at both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

    Mr. Zhang holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in International Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, California, as well as a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Finance from Tsinghua University in Beijing.

  • Suharso Monoarfa Minister of National Development Planning and Chairman of the National Development Planning Agency, Republic of Indonesia

    Suharso Monoarfa, nicknamed Sumo by his closest friends, had a career as a businessman for 20 years. After showing some successful results in business, Suharso became a professional politician in 2004. Suharso actively participates in numerous development projects in the country. These experiences have shaped his career as well as equipped him with various essential soft skills. Suharso’ contribution to public affairs started when he served as Minister of Public Housing and a member of the Presidential Advisory Council. Currently, Suharso is Minister of National Development Planning and Chairman of the National Development Planning Agency.

  • Mirko Armiento Senior Research, Enel Foundation

    Mirko Armiento holds a PhD in socio-economics and statistical studies (Sapienza University, 2016) and a master’s degree in economics (Bocconi University, 2007). Previously, he attended the Military School Teuliè and had a brief experience as a pilot officer cadet at the Italian Air Force Academy.

    He was an intern at the United Nations in New Delhi and then a researcher at IEFE Bocconi, where he dealt with projects on renewable energy technologies. In 2008, he worked in Brussels at the European Commission and at DigitalEurope. In 2009 and 2010, he served as an international affairs analyst in charge of energy issues within the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. From 2010 to 2017, he worked at GSE (Italian Agency for Energy Services) mainly within the energy forecasting and trading unit, dealing with variable renewable energy issues.

    He joined Enel Foundation in January 2018, bringing his experience in renewable energy technologies, electricity markets and sustainability, where he has published articles in international journals.

  • Béatrice Buffon Group Senior Executive Vice-President, International Division, EDF

    Béatrice Buffon began her career as Finance Manager at COGETHERM, an EDF subsidiary specialized in the development of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) projects. In 2001, she joined SIIF Energies, which later became EDF Renewables, where she would take up office as Project Director in 2003. Her activities focused on developing onshore wind farm and biomass projects, as well as offshore wind farm projects in France, Belgium and the United Kingdom. From 2007 to 2009, she undertook the functions of Deputy Executive Director of POWEO Renewable Energies.

    She returned to EDF Renewables in 2010 as Director of Development for large-scale, ground-mounted solar power projects; then in 2011, she became Director of Development for Offshore Wind Power France. In April 2012, her team was awarded the contract for three offshore projects in France, representing a total generation capacity of 1500 MW. The development phase of these projects is now complete and, in August 2019, construction began of the first offshore wind farm in France, with a further two due to kick-off this year.

    In June 2019, she and her teams were also awarded the contract for the construction and subsequent operation of the Dunkirk offshore wind farm in the Northern part of France. Her team is also working on a pilot project for a floating wind farm in the Mediterranean. In 2014, Béatrice Buffon became Executive Vice President of EDF Renewables, in charge of renewable marine energies and a member of the EDF Renewables Executive Committee. She is a graduate from both the École Polytechnique and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. She is Chevalier de l'Ordre National Du Mérite, a distinction awarded by the President of France for distinguished civil and military achievements.

  • Yongsung Cho President, Korea Energy Economics Institute


    Ph.D. in Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, USA (October 1996)

    M.S. in Resource and Environmental Economics, Korea University, Seoul, Korea (August 1991)

    B.A. in Agricultural Economics, Korea University, Seoul, Korea (February1987)


    Feb. 2020 ~ Present | Member, The Presidential Committee on Northern Economic
    Cooperation, Korea

    Mar. 2019 ~ Present | Member, Energy Committee under the Ministry of Trade, Industry
    and Energy, Korea

    July 2018 ~ Present | President, Korea Energy Economics Institute, Korea

    Apr. 2018 ~ Present | Member, Committee on Green Growth, Korea

    Sept. 2018 ~ Present | Advisory Board Member, Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC), Japan

    Mar. 2018 ~ Present | Vice President, Korea Environmental Economics Association

    Feb. 2017 ~ June 2018 | Director, Institute of Life Science & Natural Resources, Korea University

    Aug. 2017 ~ June 2018 Director, Energy Research Center, Seoul Energy Cooperation

    Mar. 2011 ~ Jan. 2013 | Vice President for External Affairs & Development, Korea University

    Aug. 2010 ~ Aug. 2014 | Advisory Committee Member, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Korea

    Mar. 2000 ~ June 2018 | Professor, Dept. of Food and Resource Economics, Korea University

    Dec. 2008 ~ Jan. 2020 | Advisory Committee Member, Ministry of Environment, Korea

  • Maria Cortes Puch Vice President for Networks, SDSN

    María Cortés Puch is the Director of the Networks Program for the SDSN. She leads the SDSN efforts to build a global network of universities, research centers and civil society organizations to support the sustainable development goals. The Networks Program works with the members of the SDSN, organizing them around National and Regional Networks. These Networks pursue sustainable development innovation locally through research, degree programs, executive training, public education, demonstration projects, convening of social stakeholders and incubation of new companies.

    Prior to joining the SDSN, María worked for UNESCO at the Science Policy and Sustainable Development Division. Previously, she coordinated the European energy and transport programs at the Polytechnic University in Madrid, and worked for two years as a Scientific Officer at the Spanish Office for Science and Technology in Brussels, analyzing EU policies for international cooperation, transport and energy. She began her professional career with the National Institute of Aerospace Technology in Madrid as a Technology Transfer Officer.

    Maria holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University (Fulbright scholar) and BSc. and MSc. degrees in physics from the Complutense University in Madrid (with one year at Paris VII as an Erasmus scholar). She currently lives in Madrid with her family.

  • Karen Cowe CEO, Ten Strands

    Karen Cowe is an education-industry executive with over 30 years of experience in sales and fund development, marketing, program design, professional learning, business development, and operations.

    She is currently the CEO of Ten Strands, a California-based nonprofit focused on strengthening the partnerships and strategies that will bring environmental literacy to all of California’s public school K–12 students. Karen is also the project director for the California Environmental Literacy Initiative, a statewide public-private partnership that was launched in 2016 to advance the environmental literacy of all students in California.

    Prior to joining Ten Strands, she was President and CEO of Key Curriculum Press, an innovative and award-winning K-12 STEM publisher. Before that she was Managing Director of Burlington Books in Athens, Greece—the first publisher in Greece to offer locally-focused English language instructional materials for Greek students. In addition to her understanding of the complexities of the U.S. education landscape, she has valuable insights into education in other nations, having built relationships in Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

    Karen serves on the boards of Cognia and Open Up Resources and on the advisory board of the Biomimicry Institute. She holds a Bachelor in Business and a minor in Education from Saint John’s College, York and a Master of Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College, California.

  • Michael Crow President, Arizona State University

    Dr. Michael M. Crow is an educator, knowledge enterprise architect, science and technology policy scholar and higher education leader. He became the sixteenth president of Arizona State University in July 2002 and has spearheaded ASU’s rapid and groundbreaking transformative evolution into one of the world’s best public metropolitan research universities. As a model “New American University,” ASU simultaneously demonstrates comprehensive excellence, inclusivity representative of the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the United States, and consequential societal impact.

    Lauded as the ”#1 most innovative” school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2020), ASU is a student-centric, technology-enabled university focused on complex global challenges related to sustainability, economic competitiveness, social embeddedness, entrepreneurship and global engagement. Under Dr, Crow’s leadership, ASU has established twenty-five new transdisciplinary schools, including the School of Earth and Space Exploration, the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and launched trailblazing multidisciplinary initiatives including the Biodesign Institute, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, and important initiatives in the humanities and social sciences.

  • Amadou Thierno Diallo Director of Global Practices, Economic and Social Infrastructure, Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDBG))

    Amadou Thierno Diallo is the Director of Global Practices, Economic and Social Infrastructure at the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDBG), where he has been employed since 2011. He was also acting director of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department and Director of the Office of the Vice President Operations at the IsDB.

    Before joining the IsDB, he served as Resident Representative of the African Development Bank in Mali and Manager of the Energy and ICT Division. He also has 10 years’ experience in the mining sector in Guinea as well as in the private sector in the United States.

    He has over 30 years of comprehensive experience in the origination and management of small and large-scale infrastructure and sustainable development projects around the world. He is bestowed by the President of Mali with the Officer of the Order of Merit (Officier de l’Ordre de Merit) of the Republic of Mali for services rendered for the development of the country.

    He holds a B.S in Mining Engineering from the University of Conakry, Guinea, an M.S. in Mineral Economics from the University of Montana, an MBA in Finance, and a Master’s in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, United States.

  • Koen Doens Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission

    Koen Doens is a classical philologist, who was a professor of Latin and Greek in his early days. After joining the Belgian diplomatic service, he was posted to Syria, Iran, and the Russian Federation. Upon his return to Belgium, he joined the Cabinet of the Belgian Minister for Foreign Trade, Annemie Neyts, and subsequently the Cabinet of the Belgian Vice-Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Louis Michel.

    In 2004, he joined the European Commission as Deputy Head of Cabinet of Louis Michel, Commissioner in charge of Development and Humanitarian Aid. In 2007, he became his Head of Cabinet. He continued as Head of Cabinet until 2009, when Karel De Gucht took over as Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid.

    On 1 February 2010, President Barroso nominated him as Head of the Spokespersons' Service, a job he occupied until the end of President Barroso's mandate on 31 October 2014. On 1 November 2014, he became Director for EU-Africa Relations, East and Southern Africa, in the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development. On 1 March 2018, he became Deputy Director General responsible for Africa, Asia, Middle East/Gulf, Pacific, Latin America and Caribbean in the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development.

    As of 1 October 2019, he serves as the Director-General for International Cooperation and Development.

  • Dawn Freshwater Vice-Chancellor, University of Auckland

    Professor Dawn Freshwater has been globally recognized as a leader in world-class universities for more than a decade, whilst remaining committed to her academic discipline.

    She became the University of Auckland’s first female Vice-Chancellor in March 2020, after serving as the University of Western Australia’s Vice-Chancellor and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (2014-2020). Professor Freshwater was the first female Chair of the Go8 Research Intensive Universities in Australia, and Deputy Chair (2018-2020). She is currently Chair of the Partnership Board of the World University Network (WUN), sits on the Asia Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), and is a member of the Executive Committee for U21. She is also Board Director of Research Australia.

    As an academic, Professor Freshwater has contributed to almost 200 publications, including peer-reviewed papers, research reports, books, editorials and media contributions, and she continues to supervise PhD students.

  • Maria Garcia Alvarez Lecturer, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences

    Maria Garcia Alvarez is originally from Asturias, Spain, but has been living in the Netherlands since 1999. She holds a master degree in Communication Sciences from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. After several years working in the field of corporate communication, Maria decided to switch her career to the field of education due to her passion for learning and working with young future professionals. Since 2011 she has been part of the team of the Windesheim Honours College at the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in Zwolle in the Netherlands. The Windesheim Honours College offers a BBA in Global Project and Change Management. She is a lecturer in Geopolitics & Globalization, Global Challenges and Value Creation. She is also member of the Curriculum Committee. She is also one of developers and coordinator of the innovative educational concept Value Creators. Maria’s expertise and research focus lies in the field of Education for Sustainability, transdisciplinary collaboration and emergent learning through character qualities. She is a certified lecturer in ESD by the Earth Charter. She has proven experience in developing educational concepts which integrates uncertainty and complexity, addressing the SDG agenda. She is member of different international networks and committees working with transdisciplinary and sustainability: Windesheim Change Agents group (Netherlands), Experts Committee of Ocean i3 (Spain/France), Advisory Board of TrUST (Italy), Intrepid Cost EU network, UN SDSN, UN Habitat Uni and the Earth Charter International. Maria is a firm believer that addressing the complexity of the challenges we have today will take much more than foundational literacies, knowing what and knowing how. She believers it will take character. Therefore, she is very interest in exploring, developing and implementing educational models which focus in transformative and emergent learning.

  • Elkhonon Goldberg Founding Directo, Luria Neuroscience Institute

    Elkhonon Goldberg, Ph.D., ABPP/ABCN, is a clinical professor of neurology, New York University School of Medicine, and the Founding Director of Luria Neuroscience Institute and Goldberg Brain-Mind Symposia. He is a diplomate of The American Board of Professional Psychology / American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology, with over 40 years of experience in neuropsychological diagnosis, cognitive rehabilitation, and forensic neuropsychology.

    Dr. Goldberg is internationally renowned for his research, writings, clinical work, and teaching in the area of clinical neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. He is particularly well known for his work on executive functions and dysfunction. His other areas of expertise include memory disorders, attention deficit disorder, dementia, traumatic brain injury, and others.

    Dr. Goldberg was a student and close associate of the great neuropsychologist Alexander Luria, whose memory he honored in two edited volumes: Contemporary Neuropsychology and the Legacy of Luria (Laurence Erlbaum, 1991) and The Legacy of Luria in the 21st Century (Oxford University Press, 2009).

    Goldberg’s books The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind (Oxford University Press, 2001); The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger as Your Brain Grows Older (Gotham Books, Penguin, 2005); The New Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes in a Complex World (Oxford University Press, 2009) have received international critical acclaim and have been published in 20 languages. His book Executive Functions in Health and Disease (Academic Press, 2017) has received a “highly commended book” award by the British Medical Association. His most recent book is Creativity: The Human Brain in the Age of Innovation (Oxford University Press, 2018).

    Goldberg is a foreign member of The Venetian Institute of Science, Literature and Arts; as well as a recipient of Copernicus Prize for contributions to neurosciences and neuropsychology, and of Tempos Hominis medal for international medical sciences educations. Goldberg has served as Visiting Scholar at The Institute for Advanced Studies of Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Visiting Professor at University of Sydney. He lectures worldwide. His current research spans a wide range of topics, which include the brain mechanisms of decision making, cross-cultural cognitive neuroscience, and Artificial General Intelligence.

  • Radhika Iyengar Education Sector Director, Center for Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

    Dr. Radhika Iyengar is Director of Education and Research Scholar at the Center for Sustainable Development of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. She leads the Education for Sustainable Development initiatives as a practitioner, researcher, teacher and a manager. Her research interests consist of conducting evaluations of educational programs and international educational development. In addition to directing education initiatives at the Center and fieldwork in over 10 countries, she contributes to the scientific community focusing on international educational development with articles published in reputed journals and reports that are used by both domestic and international stakeholders. She received a distinction from Teachers College, Columbia University on her Ph.D. dissertation Social capital as a determinant of schooling in rural India: A mixed methods study. She received her Master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, India.

    Radhika has been working in the areas of sustainable development and environmental education at the Center for Sustainable Development since 2011. At the Center she collaborated with scientists, health experts, environmentalists and others on various topics such as education on COVID, mental wellbeing, environmental science education, water testing and other topics. She has been working in collaboration with various levels of the Government and NGO’s in multiple-countries advising on designing environmental education programs. Her current research includes testing for high fluoride content in water sources in Central India. She received the Earth Frontiers grant in 2020 on community-based education on fluoride testing. Currently she is working with the Ministry of Environment, Indonesia on controlling plastic pollution through education. She has over 15 years of experience in international education development. She has recently co-edited two books, Teacher Education in South Asia with Palgrave Macmillan and Interrogating and Innovating Comparative and International Education Research with Sense Publication in 2019.

    Her full bio is here at https://csd.columbia.edu/people/radhika-iyengar.

  • Tahl Kestin Project Manager, Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI); Manager, SDSN Australia, New Zealand and Pacific

    Dr. Tahl Kestin is a Project Manager at the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI), and Network Manager for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Regional Network for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, which is hosted by MSDI.

    As Network Manager, Tahl works with SDSN member institutions and other organisations in the region on initiatives to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular through national implementation and mobilising the university sector. Tahl led the writing of the globally renowned guide Getting Started with the SDGs in Universities, co-led the organization of the Australian SDGs Summits in 2016 and 2018, and facilitated university input into Australia’s Voluntary National Review. She also works with the SDSN Secretariat to run global SDSN activities relating to SDGs and universities, including a guide that will be published in September on Accelerating Education for the SDGs in Universities.

    At MSDI, Tahl also contributes to the Institute’s extensive SDG-related activities, including Transforming Australia: SDG Progress Report. Prior to her current role, Tahl managed a range of interdisciplinary initiatives at MSDI, including Climate Scientists Australia, the Australian Bushfire Arson Prevention Initiative, and the Indigenous Communities and Climate Change Program.

    Previously, Tahl held roles at the Technical Support Unit for Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability – Oceania; and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) at Columbia University in New York.

  • Phoebe Koundouri Professor of Sustainable Development, Athens University of Economics and Business

    Professor Dr. Phoebe Koundouri holds a PhD and MPhil in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Cambridge (UK). She is Professor (Chair) of Sustainable Development (Economics and Econometrics) at the School of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business Greece) and she is the elected President of the European Association of Environmental and Natural Resource Economists (EAERE) (with more than 1200 scientific member institutions, from more than 75 different countries). Prof. Koundouri is listed in the 1% of most-cited women economists in the world, with 15 published books and more than 250 published scientific papers.

    Prof. Phoebe Koundouri is also the Founder and Scientific Director of the Research laboratory on Socio-Economic and Environmental Sustainability (ReSEES) at the Athens University of Economics and Business and an affiliated Professor at the ATHENA Research and Innovation Center (Greece) where she directs EIT Climate-KIC Hub Greece of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. She is also the co-chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Network Greece (UN SDSN Greece), chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Centre for Research on the Environment and the Economy (ICRE8) and chair of the scientific advisory board of the European Forest Institute.

    In the past, Professor Koundouri has held academic positions at the University of Cambridge, University College London, the University of Reading and the London School of Economics. She acts as an advisor to the European Commission, World Bank, EIB, EBRD, OECD, UN, NATO, WHO, numerous national and international foundations and organizations, as well as national governments in all five continents. Notably she is currently member of the drafting Priministerial Committee for 10-year development plan for Greece, as well as in the Climate Change Committee of the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy. She holds a global leadership role in the UN SDSN for European Green Deal (EGD) implementation, Sustainable SHipping and Ports, 4-seas Blue Growth Initiative and is leader (together with Prof. Jeff Sachs) of the Senior Working Group on Transformation Pathways for the implementation of EGD. She is also a member of the CEPR (Center for European and Policy Research) Network (RPN) on Climate Change and a Commissioner of the New Lancet Commission on COVID-19 of the Lancet and the Sustainable Development Institute of the University of Columbia, US.

    Since 1997, she has coordinated more than 77 interdisciplinary research projects and has attracted significant competitive research funding. Professor Koundouri and her large interdisciplinary team have produced research and policy results that have contributed to accelerating the research commercialization for the sustainability transition in Europe, as well as shaping European policies. Over the last two decades, Professor Koundouri has given keynote and public lecturers all over the world and received various prizes for academic excellence.

  • Ram Kumar Co-Founder and Lead Strategist, UniGlow

    Ram Kumar is Co-Founder and Lead Strategist of UniGlow, an organization that links grassroots social impact projects with the United Nations Global goals and provides structured training for students to get involved in Social impact projects. He was selected as Youth Delegate from the UK for the High-Level Event of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, and was also Vice-President of the United Nations Youth Association in Leicester, UK. He started his journey as a grassroots volunteer and field worker from India before founding of Uniglow.

    As an MBA student at the University of Leicester, he received the Most Dedicated Volunteer Award and was nominated for the Association of MBAs Student of the Year Award. He also works as a strategic consultant for the United Actions society to encourage students to get involved in social impact projects and TEDtalks, and is a Chief Advisor of the International Indians society.

    Ram's mission is to help grassroots projects reach the UN and to make students champions for change. He firmly believes that education is not about just scoring marks but making a mark and delivering a positive change. To make this a reality Ram started Champions for Change to help students and youth develop skills beyond academics. He piloted this in the UK higher education system and got an Outstanding Achievement Award during his role as Coordinator of Quality and Development Projects at the University of Leicester School of Management. He has started a similar program for Indian organizations.

    Ram’s favorite quote is, “If someone could do then I can also do. If no one could do, then I should do.”

  • Tawana Kupe Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Pretoria

    Professor Tawana Kupe has served as the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria since January 2019. He holds a BA Honours and Masters degree in English from the University of Zimbabwe, and a DPhil in Media Studies from University of Oslo, Norway. Prof Kupe has been the Africa Co-Chair of the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN) since 2019 and an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities was bestowed on him by Michigan State University in December 2019. Prof Kupe has a notable publication record, having authored journal articles, books and book chapters in his main discipline, Media Studies and Journalism. Over the years, Prof Kupe has played a key role in the establishment of select new innovative initiatives at Wits, of which the latest in 2018 the Africa Centre for the Study of the United States. He is an active member of several Civil Society Organisations, including the AmaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism and is Chairman of the Board of Media Monitoring Africa since 2005. He has been a judge and convenor of multiple major journalism awards in South Africa. He is also the Co-Chairperson of the Kifra Prize Selections Committee coordinated by the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Rwanda from 2020. He serves on the board of a major private company and is a member of Council of the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) and The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) Council. Professor Kupe is a popular invited speaker, academic expert and regular commentator on issues of media performance on radio, television and the print media in South Africa for local and international media. He has also been a columnist for several newspapers and magazines in South Africa.

  • Christina Kwauk Fellow, Center for Universal Education, the Brookings Institution

    Christina Kwauk is a fellow in the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. Her current research focuses on gender equality in education, education and climate change, and 21st century skills and youth empowerment. Christina is a co-author (with Gene Sperling and Rebecca Winthrop) of What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment. Her most recent work includes publications on girls' life skills education for transformative social change, the inclusion of menstrual hygiene management in national education policies, as well as the intersections between girls' education and climate change. Christina has published on a wide range of topics in sport, education, and health in academic peer-reviewed journals, including the International Journal of Educational Development, Critical Discourse Studies, and Journal of Sport and Social Issues. Christina also leads the Echidna Global Scholars Program and previously served as chair of the Girls CHARGE initiative. Christina holds a PhD in Comparative and International Development Education from the University of Minnesota, a MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, and a BS in Psychology from Sewanee: The University of the South.

  • Leslie Maasdorp Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, The New Development Bank

    Mr. Leslie Maasdorp is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the New Development Bank. In this role he is responsible for the treasury, portfolio management, finance and accounting functions of the Bank.

    Over the past 25 years he has occupied senior leadership roles in both private and public sectors. Most recently he served as a Managing Director and President of Bank of America Merrill Lynch for Southern Africa for a period of four years. Prior to that he served in a dual role as Vice Chairman of Barclays Capital and Absa Capital. In 2002 he was the first African to be appointed as International Advisor to Goldman Sachs International.

    Before his 13 years as a global investment banker, he served in several senior leadership roles in the Government of South Africa. In 1994 after the transition to democracy, he was appointed as Special Advisor to the Minister of Labour and in 1999, in his role as Deputy Director General of the Department of Public Enterprises, he lead the restructuring and privatization of state owned enterprises for the South African Government.

    He is a former Chairman and CEO of Advtech, a leading provider of private education in South Africa. Leslie is a young global leader of the World Economic Forum. He holds a BA degree in Economics and Psychology from the University of the Western Cape and a Master of Science degree in Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, at the University of London.

  • Carlos Mataix Director, itdUPM

    Carlos Mataix is a professor in the School of Industrial Engineering at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), and director of UPM’s Centre for Innovation in Technology for Human Development (itdUPM). He began his university career in 1991, receiving a scholarship from the Ministry of Education for his doctoral thesis, completed in 1994 on the study of small businesses in the informal sector. Since then, his career has allowed him to not only observe, but also participate in the organizational design and change management of various organizations.

    Carlos has always been interested in strengthening the university’s relationship with civil society, having been the assistant director of student affairs and university extension of the School of Industrial Engineers at the UPM. In terms of public administration, he joined the Office of the Director at the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) in 2008, and was tasked with launching the Planning and Quality Unit. Since then he has worked as an expert adviser to the cooperation council.

    Within the third sector, Carlos co-founded Ingeniería Sin Fronteras (Engineers Without Borders) and is Vice President of the Coordinator of Spanish Development NGOs. He is also a board member and advisor for various Spanish and international civil society organizations. In the private sector, Carlos directs business chairs, is a member of the Iberdrola stakeholder council, and an advisor to corporate foundations, such as Fundación Carasso, Cotec and the Spanish Network for Sustainable Development (REDS).

    Carlos served as a visiting professor at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in 2013, and in the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) in 2016, both at the University of Sussex, as well as shorter periods at Latin American and European universities. During this time, Carlos learned to appreciate stronger connections, the difficulties in tackling working in silos, and the potential for collaboration. As a result, his work today is centered on the design and management of organizational contexts that promote collaboration between organizations and knowledge. The processes of sociotechnical transformation required in the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for new organizational infrastructures, based on networks and partnerships. Public universities are also called upon to be key actors in this process.

  • Adrian Monjeau Professor, Fundación Bariloche

    Adrian Monjeau holds a Ph.D. in Natural Sciences and served as a post-doc in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Minnesota, USA. He is a Senior Researcher at the National Scientific Council (CONICET) in Argentina and a Full Professor at the Fundación Bariloche. He also serves as coordinator of the Argentine FABLE team and the Argentine Nature Map team. He is also the Director of the Complex Systems Analysis Department of the Bariloche Foundation, and has extensive experience in coordinating multidisciplinary teams modeling complex systems, with an emphasis on land use modeling and identification of conservation priorities. He has authored nearly 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles, edited of 3 books, and coauthored 18 books. Monjeau is also the Associate Editor of Frontiers in Environmental Science and has coordinated more than 60 multidisciplinary technical in the implementation of environmental projects.

  • Neha Mukhi Senior Specialist – Energy and Climate Change, The World Bank

    Neha Mukhi is a Senior Specialist – Energy and Climate Change at the World Bank based in Washington, DC. She led the World Bank initiative on the World Bank Outlook 2050 Strategic Direction Note: Supporting Countries to Meet Long-Term Goals of Decarbonization, a multisectoral effort that identifies key economy-wide actions to achieve decarbonization and development goals. She is now building World Bank engagement to support countries on long-term decarbonization strategies. She has led several initiatives on mainstreaming climate change at the World Bank. Neha also works with World Bank’s Energy practice on low-carbon and resilient investments in power systems in Latin America and the Caribbean. In previous roles, she worked on low emission development strategies for countries in East Asia and South Asia. Neha has an M.S. in Energy and Climate Policy from Harvard University and B.Engg. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering.

  • Frank Niepold Climate Education Coordinator, NOAA Climate Program Office

    Frank Niepold is the Climate Education Coordinator at NOAA's Climate Program Office in Silver Spring Maryland, Climate.gov Education section lead, a co-chair of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Education Interagency Working Group, the U.S. Climate Action Report Education, Training, and Outreach chapter lead for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Education and Youth delegate for the United States at the 2015 Conference of Parties (COP21), and a member of the Federal Steering Committee for the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4). At NOAA, he develops and implements NOAA's Climate goal education and outreach efforts that specifically relate to NOAA's Climate goal and literacy objective. Frank is the “Teaching Climate” lead for NOAA’s Climate.gov web portal that offers learning activities and curriculum materials, multi-media resources, and professional development opportunities for formal and informal educators who want to incorporate climate science into their work. Additionally, he is the managing lead of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) document, Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science. NOAA, NSF, NASA, AAAS Project 2061, CIRES, American Meteorological Society, and various members from both the science and education community worked to define climate literacy in the United States.

    He received a MSEd in Earth Space Science Education (2006) from John's Hopkins University with areas of concentration in Earth Observing Systems, Scientist/Teacher/Student Collaboration and Earth Systems science education focused on climate.

  • Chief Nathaniel Ebo Nsarko Executive Director, Millennium Promise

    Chief Nathaniel Ebo Nsarko is a Fellow of the American Academy of Project Management (AAPM), and holds a Masters in Project Management (MPM), MBA-PH, MCH, BFA, DIP-TEC. Chief Nathaniel Ebo Nsarko is the Executive Director of Millennium Promise, Chief Advisor to UN Youth, Ghana, and President of the Coffee Federation of Ghana. Nsarko has over 17 years of practical field experience as a community health and development communication expert, having held various managerial positions at the national, regional, district, and community levels in Ghana. As a communications and sustainable project concept designer, Chief Nat has been a social development consultant to Morehouse College Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

    His rich experience has earned him deep involvement with Ministries of Health, Employment, Education, Gender, and local governments in Ghana over the years. He has worked directly and indirectly with five successive Ministers of Health. Chief Nat’s extensive knowledge, practical experience, unparalleled understanding of the socio-cultural dynamics in Ghana, great negotiation and lobbying skills, and project implementation skills are verified by his dual position as the Executive Director for Millennium Promise and Country Director for the ImCHW Campaign. He has been a principal investigator for several research programs including CHW research in Ghana, a Tele-Dentistry research program with Boston University, the Duke Global Health Institute, and a North Carolina – MP research program. He also heads the implementation of Teleagric in Ghana and the corporate affairs directorate of Kuapa Kokoo Union-Ghana, a cooperative of over 100,000 farmers in Ghana. His long standing relationship with the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service, as a lead scout for Ministers of Health and the Regenerative Health and Nutrition department under the Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of the Ministry of Health Ghana from 2004 -2011, offered him a great opportunity to serve on several ministerial committees in various capacities. He was the lead consultant for the training and deployment of over thirty-one thousand Health Promotion Assistants under the Better a Ghana Management – MoH program across the country.

  • 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 board of 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 programme.

  • Robert Pollin Distinguished University Professor of Economics and Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst

    Robert Pollin is Distinguished University Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He is also the founder and President of PEAR (Pollin Energy and Retrofits), an Amherst, MA-based green energy company operating throughout the United States. His books include The Living Wage: Building a Fair Economy (co-authored 1998); Contours of Descent: U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity (2003); An Employment-Targeted Economic Program for South Africa (co-authored 2007); A Measure of Fairness: The Economics of Living Wages and Minimum Wages in the United States (co-authored 2008), Back to Full Employment (2012), Greening the Global Economy (2015), and Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal (co-authored 2020). He has worked as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Energy, the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and numerous non-governmental organizations in several countries and in U.S. states and municipalities on various aspects of building high-employment green economies. He has also directed projects on employment creation and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa for the United Nations Development Program. He has worked with many U.S. non-governmental organizations on creating living wage statutes at both the statewide and municipal levels, on financial regulatory policies, and on the economics of single-payer health care in the United States. In 2018, he co-authored Economic Analysis of Medicare for All. Between 2011– 2016, he was a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Commission project on Financialization, Economy, Society, and Sustainable Development (FESSUD). He was selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the “100 Leading Global Thinkers for 2013.”

  • Kit Poon Professor, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University

    Kit Poon is a Professor at the School of Public Policy and Management and a Key Researcher at the Institute for the Sustainable Development Goals at Tsinghua University in China.

    Before joining the Tsinghua University in 2018, Professor Poon was Undersecretary for the Environment in the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. She led the formulation of sustainable development strategies for the Greater Pearl River Delta Region in the period of 2008 to 2012. She was responsible for managing a public-private partnership fund to promote clean production in the Region. At the Tsinghua University’s Institute for Sustainable Development Goals, her research specialties include environmental governance and the development of low-carbon strategies for mega cities. She teaches graduate courses on sustainable development in China and the world.

  • Shakira Provasoli Environmental Science Teacher, Public School 333, New York City

    Shakira Provasoli is a K–5 environmental science teacher at PS 333 in New York City. Ms. Provasoli began teaching 21 years ago as an early childhood teacher before following her passion for the natural world to become an educator of the environment. Ms. Provasoli teaches a course on Sustainability for teachers, and she has written curriculum for New York Sun Works’ Greenhouse Project. Ms. Provasoli received a B.A. and an M.S.Ed. from Sarah Lawrence College and STEM certification from Teachers College. She was also honored at the White House, receiving the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Education. Ms. Provasoli is currently a Math for America fellow and a member of the New York City Elementary Science Leadership Team.

  • Jeffrey Sachs President, SDSN

    Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, 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 served as Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the Sustainable Development Goals, 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.

  • Guido Schmidt-Traub Executive Director, SDSN

    Dr. Guido Schmidt-Traub is Executive Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a member of the Governing Council of Future Earth. He has served as climate change advisor to the Africa Progress Panel secretariat and was CEO of Paris-based CDC Climat Asset Management. From 2008-2010 Guido was Director and Partner at South Pole Carbon Asset Management in Zurich, a leading developer of greenhouse gas emission reduction projects. Prior to managing the MDG Support Team at UNDP (2006-2008) he served as Policy Advisor and then as Associate Director of the UN Millennium Project in New York, which was tasked with developing a concrete action plan for the world to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Earlier Guido was Partner at IndexIT Scandinavia, a private equity fund for early-stage technology companies, and consultant at McKinsey & Company in Germany. He holds a PhD and a Masters in Economics, as well as a Masters in Physical Chemistry.

  • Isabelle Seckler Second-year Student, Columbia University

    Isabelle Seckler is a second-year student at Columbia University who aspires to solve multifaceted challenges of health, linking communities to their local environment. She is studying Sustainable Development, and hopes to pursue an MD/PhD for science in service of society. Isabelle’s passion for environmental stewardship comes from growing up in South Florida and volunteering as an educator at her local marine nature center. She enjoys speaking with people of all backgrounds about the critical relationship between humans, the ocean, and the effects of a rapidly changing climate. Isabelle is currently working with her school’s Office of Environmental Stewardship on the 10-year Sustainable Columbia plan. She is a Project Officer for the SDG Students Program at SDSN Youth for educational programming. You can find her running webinars with experts in sustainable development for a global network of university students, while building a network of collaboration across different cultures. She is excited to bring SDSN Youth back to Columbia University as a community for sustainable literacy and action for undergraduates and graduates.

    Isabelle hopes to empower other university students towards climate action in how it connects to their own interests. She is dedicated to helping others understand the complex science, economics, and policies that shape our lives. She regularly writes for the Biomimicry Institute on nature-inspired solutions for sustainable development.

  • Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante Senior Manager for Blended Finance, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante is a Senior Manager in IFC’s Blended Finance Department. Since 2013, Kruskaia has managed IFC’s blended finance facilities for climate with more than $1 billion in bilateral and multilateral donor-contributions for climate-smart co-investments in IFC projects. During this period, IFC’s blended climate finance portfolio doubled in volume and helped IFC enter riskier markets. She also manages the Blended Finance Facility of the IDA Private Sector Window, created in 2017 to support private sector development, growth, and job creation in some of the world’s least developed countries. Prior to her current position, she headed the Blended Finance unit, a governance unit performing credit review, quality assurance and knowledge-sharing functions and served as IFC’s Global Lead Counsel for Climate and Blended Finance at IFC.

    Kruskaia holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs, with a concentration in Economics and Public Policy, from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law. Before joining IFC in 2003, Kruskaia was at Chadbourne & Parke, LLP, working primarily in project finance in the power sector.

  • Iveta Silova Director, Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education, Arizona State University

    Iveta Silova is professor and director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. She holds a Ph.D. in comparative education and political sociology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on globalization and post-socialist education transformations, including intersections between post-colonialism and post-socialism after the Cold War. Iveta’s most recent research engages with the decoloniality of knowledge production and being, childhood memories, ecofeminism, and environmental sustainability. Her latest books include Childhood and Schooling in (Post)Socialist Societies: Memories of Everyday Life (2018, co-edited with Millei & Piattoeva) and Reimagining Utopias (2017, co-edited with Sobe, Korzh, & Kovalchuk). She is a co-editor of European Education: Issues and Studies and an associate editor of Education Policy Analysis Archives. Currently, Iveta serves as the President of Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), which dedicated the last two annual conferences to the theme of sustainability and climate crisis, including vCIES "Education Beyond the Human" (www.cies2020.org).

  • John Thwaites Chair, Monash Sustainable Development Institute

    John Thwaites is a Professorial Fellow, Monash University, and Chair of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and ClimateWorks Australia.

    John is Chair of Melbourne Water and a Director of Fair Trade Australia New Zealand. He has been Chair of the Australian Building Codes Board, President of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and a director of the Australian Green Building Council.

    John is the Chair of the National Sustainable Development Council, which has developed the Transforming Australia: SDGs Progress Report 2018. He was previously Chair of the National Sustainability Council an independent Council appointed by the Australian Government, which produced the Sustainable Australia Report in 2013.

    He is a Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (“SDSN”) launched by the Secretary General of the United Nations to provide expert advice and support to the development and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

    In 2013, John was named as one of the 100 Global Sustainability Leaders by ABC Carbon Express. In 2015, he was awarded the “Planning Champion” award by the Planning Institute of Australia and in 2016 was awarded the Richard J Evans Award for excellence in recognition of outstanding contributions to planning in Victoria.

    John Thwaites was Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. During this period he held various Ministerial portfolios including Health, Planning, Environment, Water and was 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.

  • Andre Uhl Co-Founder, Council on Extended Intelligence

    Andre Uhl is a PhD candidate at Harvard University and co-founder of the Council on Extended Intelligence, a trisector working group hosted at the IEEE Standards Association and MIT to promote principles of participatory design, citizen-centric data agency and metrics of wellbeing for the development of autonomous and intelligent systems. His dissertation - Extended Intelligence: Awareness-Based Interventions into the Ecology of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems - explores the ethics and governance of Artificial Intelligence through the lens of cross-cultural complexity and the posthuman predicament of climate change.

    Andre is a reviewer at the Technology and Public Purpose Project at Harvard Kennedy School, a fellow at the MIT Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values, and a member of the Religions and the Practice of Peace Leadership Network at Harvard Divinity School. Furthermore, he served as the founding member and graduate co-chair of the Sustainable Peace Working Group, a One Harvard Initiative committed to promoting and implementing ethical, cultural and spiritual development as a central goal of leadership preparation within and across sectors.

    Andre received an MA from Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan, and a BA from FU Berlin, Germany. He is alumnus of the ‘Studienstiftung’ German National Academic Foundation and the ‘MEXT’ fellowship program of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

  • Bernard Woods Director, Results Management and Aid Effectiveness Division (SPRA), Strategy, Policy and Review Department (SPD), Asian Development Bank

    Mr. Woods is the Director of the Results Management and Aid Effectiveness Division (SPRA) of ADB's Strategy, Policy and Review Department (SPD). SPRA is the division in SPD responsible for managing ADB’s quality review process, for sovereign projects at approval. Prior to joining ADB Mr. Woods was a Partner and co-owner of Goss Gilroy Inc, a mid-sized management consulting firm based in Canada. He also worked with the Aga Khan Foundation. Mr. Woods holds a Master's degree in Public Administration (Development) from Carleton University in Canada.


  1. Side Events

  2. Youth Organizing for Environmental and Social Justice in Education

    Join us for an exciting conversation with youth activists from around the globe!


    • Tara Stafford Ocansey, Center for Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University (Facilitator)
    • Sophia Kianni, Climate Cardinals
    • Mayu Takeuchi & Kimberly Tran, New Jersey Student Climate Advocates
    • Salwa Mansuri, Re(ForYou)gees
    • Otuo-Akyampong Boakye, Eco Warriors Movement
    • Chinedu Mogbo, Green Fingers Wildlife Initiative
    • Anand Kumar, Pakistan National University of Sciences & Technology
    • Frida Ruiz & Bianca Palomino, The Green Cause

    Please register in advance online to join this free event

  1. DAY 1: SESSIONS 1-5

  2. Session 1

    Register for this session

    Plenary 1, University Leadership for the Decade of Action
    03:00 – 04:00 UTC | Watch the Livestream

    The session will showcase innovative approaches that universities in the Asia/Pacific region are implementing to increase their societal value and impact on the SDGs, as well as the challenges and opportunities to accelerate these actions and make them part of a new “business-as-usual” for universities. The session is partially in response to the challenge made by President Mike Crow of Arizona State University at a recent event of the UN Higher Education Sustainability Initiative, that universities need to change the way they operate and be more connected to the community to have real impact.


    • John Thwaites, Chair, Monash Sustainable Development Institute (Moderator)
    • Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University
    • Dawn Freshwater, Vice-Chancellor, University of Auckland
    • Kit Poon, Professor, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University

    Parallel 1, 04:00 – 06:00 UTC

    • 1A: Nature Based Solutions to Climate Change
      Sustainable Land Use Planning
    • 1B : Interdisciplinary Approaches to Educate for Sustainable Development

    Parallel Session Details

  3. Session 2

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    Plenary 2, Mapping nature and its benefits to jointly address biodiversity loss and climate change
    07:00 – 08:00 UTC | 
    Watch the Livestream

    Nature Map is launching a decision-support tool for integrated strategies covering biodiversity, carbon, water, and other nature services.


    • Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director, SDSN
    • Piero Visconti, Research Scholar on Ecosystems Services and Management, IIASA
    • Neil Burgess, Chief Scientist, UNEP-WCMC

    Parallel 2, 08:00 – 10:00 UTC

    • 2A: Food Production, Waste Management and the Circular Economy
    • 2B: Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction for Cities
    • 2C: Indigenous approaches to the Sustainable Development Goals
    • 2D: Children, Youth and the SDGs

    Parallel Session Details

  4. Session 3

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    Plenary 3, Multilateral Financing of the SDGs: African & Asian Experiences
    12:00 – 13:00 UTC | Watch the Livestream

    “The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for major societal transformations that will require significant fiscal outlays as well as private investments. The fiscal outlays cover public investments, the public provision of social services, and social protection for vulnerable populations.” SDG Costing & Finance For LIDCS (SDSN 2019).

    This session will showcase organizations that provide multilateral financing of the SDGs on the continents of both Africa and Asia. These organizations provide solutions to development challenges and support in the acceleration of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals through financing and deployment of targeted interventions. The session will also be an opportunity to mobilize efforts through cross-cutting strategies and strong partnerships.


    • Phoebe Koundouri, Professor, School of Economics, Athens University of Economics & Business (Moderator)
    • Jeffrey Sachs, President, SDSN
    • Amadou Thierno Diallo, Director of Global Practices, Economic and Social Infrastructure, Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDBG)
    • Chief Nathaniel Ebo Nsarko, Executive Director, Millennium Promise
    • Bernard Woods, Director, Results Management and Aid Effectiveness Division (SPRA), Strategy, Policy and Review Department (SPD), Asian Development Bank

    Parallel 3, 13:00 – 15:00 UTC

    • 3A: Sustainable Land Use Planning
    • 3B: Sustainable Blue Growth: Shipping and Ports
    • 3C: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Educate for Sustainable Development
    • 3D: Nature Based Solutions to Climate Change
    • 3E: ICT Standards for the Sustainable Development Goals
    • 3F: Safe, Affordable, and Inclusive Transport under the SDGs

    Parallel Session Details

  5. Session 4

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    Plenary 4, 16:00 – 17:00 UTC | Watch the Livestream

    Keynote Address: Dr. Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

    Parallel 4, 17:00 – 19:00 UTC

    • 4A: Multidisciplinary Energy Education for Societal Well-being
      Sustainable Land Use Planning
    • 4B: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Educate for Sustainable Development

    Parallel Session Details

  6. Session 5

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    Plenary 5, Pathways for Progress in Climate Change Education in the US
    20:00 – 21:00 UTC | Watch the Livestream

    This panel will reflect on the treatment of Climate Change Education in the U.S. Education system. It will look at both non-formal and formal pathways to provide life-long learning opportunities to learners. The panel will provide a critical perspective on the educational gaps so far and will discuss the types of interventions needed to fill those gaps. More specifically, the panel will investigate how do children learn about the environment? What kind of support can the education systems (formal and non-formal) provide to strengthen student learning? Finally, the panel will discuss, how can communities and informal networks contribute towards climate change education? The panel will look at key education policies in the U.S. context and suggest concrete ways in which Climate Change Education can be made more effective in imparting knowledge as well as changing behaviors.


    • Radhika Iyengar (Moderator), Education Sector Director, Center for Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University
    • Christina Kwauk (Moderator), Fellow, Center for Universal Education, the Brookings Institution
    • Karen Cowe, CEO, Ten Strands
    • Frank Niepold, Climate Education Coordinator, NOAA Climate Program Office
    • Shakira Provasoli, K–5 Environmental Science Teacher, New York City PS 333
    • Isabelle Seckler, Second-year Student, Columbia University
    • Iveta Silova, Director, Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education, Arizona State University

    Parallel 5, 21:00 – 23:00 UTC

    • 5A: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Educate for Sustainable Development
    • 5B: Children, Youth and the SDGs
    • 5C: Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction for Cities
    • 5D: Avoiding ‘Day Zero’: Challenges and Opportunities for Securing Water for Megacities

    Parallel Session Details

  1. DAY 2: SESSIONS 6-10

  2. Session 6

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    Plenary 6, The Making of Happy Digital Cities & the Role of Blended Finance
    03:00 – 04:00 UTC | Watch the Livestream

    This session will explore the building blocks of Happy Digital Cities and the role blended finance can play in realizing socially and environmentally inclusive investments that meet objectives of social, ecological, and spiritual harmony.

    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Happiness Pyramid provides a point of reference for thriving cities. Based on the Balinese Tri Hita Karana (Three Ways to Happiness) philosophy, it organizes the SDGs in alignment around harmony of people, ecology, and the spiritual, promoting sound policies and governance to support resilient economies, thriving SMEs, sustainable infrastructure, and Happy Digital Cities.

    Blended finance incentivizes private investment to deliver social and physical infrastructure; it involves the strategic use of government funds to leverage private capital for SDGs. Indonesia has championed blended finance as an innovative financial mechanism both domestically and through global fora such as the G20. Indonesia launched its blended financing platform, SDGs Indonesia One, to support large-scale sustainable infrastructure projects through PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur. If you’d like to continue this conversation after ICSD, we invite you to join the Tri Hita Karana Sustainable Development Cloud Forum on 19 – 20 November 2020.


    • H.E. Suharso Monoarfa, Minister of National Development Planning and Chairman of the National Development Planning Agency, Republic of Indonesia
    • Elkhonon Goldberg, Director of the Luria Neuroscience Institute and Clinical Professor in the Department of Neurology, New York University of School of Medicine
    • Leslie Maasdorp, Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, The New Development Bank
    • Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante, Senior Manager for Blended Finance, International Finance Corporation
    • Andre Uhl, Co-Founder, The Council on Extended Intelligence
    • Cherie Nursalim, Co Chair Southeast Asia, UN SDSN and Vice Chair International Chamber of Commerce (Moderator)

    Parallel 6, 04:00 – 06:00 UTC

    • 6A: Cross-cutting, just solutions towards the sustainability of the energy system

    Parallel Session Details

  3. Session 7

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    Plenary 7, Launch of the SDSN report: Accelerating Education for the SDGs in Universities
    07:00 – 08:00 UTC | Watch the Livestream

    Universities and other higher education institutions have a critical role in helping society achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their research, learning and teaching, campus operations, and leadership. The report, Accelerating Education for the SDGs in Universities, is a practical guide on how universities can harness their learning and teaching functions to provide “Education for the SDGs (ESDGs)”, helping learners develop the necessary knowledge, skills, and mindsets to achieve the SDGs.


    • Maria Cortes-Puch, Vice President for Networks, SDSN (Moderator)
    • Maria Garcia Alvarez, Lecturer, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences
    • Tahl Kestin, Research Program Manager, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, and Manager, SDSN Australia, New Zealand & Pacific
    • Ram Kumar, Co-Founder and Lead Strategist, UniGlow
    • Tawana Kupe, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Pretoria
    • Carlos Mataix, Director, itdUPM
    • John Thwaites, Chair, Monash Sustainable Development Institute

    Parallel 7, 08:00 – 10:00 UTC

    • 7A: Universities Driving Collaborative Solutions for the Decade of Action
      Cross-cutting, just solutions towards the sustainability of the energy system
    • 7B: Socio-technical Solutions for Water-Energy-Food Security Challenges
    • 7C: Gender-based Innovations for Equitable SDG Outcomes
    • 7D: Democratising Renewable Energy in the Global South
    • 7E: Effective Industrial Policy to Achieve the SDGs

    Parallel Session Details

  4. Session 8

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    Plenary 8, 12:00 – 13:00 UTC | Watch the Livestream

    Keynote Address: H.E. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados

    Panel Discussion: Global Leadership for the Energy Transition

    • Lauren Barredo, Head of Partnerships, SDSN (Moderator)
    • Béatrice Buffon, Group Senior Executive Vice-President, International Division, EDF
    • Neha Mukhi, Senior Specialist – Energy and Climate Change, The World Bank

    Parallel 8, 13:00 – 15:00 UTC

    • 8A: Children, Youth and the SDGs
      Turning Supply Chains into Engines to Support the SDGs
    • 8B: Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction for Cities
    • 8C: Universities Driving Collaborative Solutions for the Decade of Action
    • 8D: Economics and Demography of Natural Disasters and Disease Outbreaks

    Parallel Session Details

  5. Session 9

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    Plenary 9, Multilateral action can unlock the full potential of a green COVID-19 recovery
    16:00 – 17:00 UTC | Watch the Livestream

    Keynote & Kapuscinski Development Lecture: Ms. Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

    Introduction by Koen Doens, Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission

    Q&A Moderated by Jeffrey Sachs, President, SDSN

    Parallel 9, 17:00 – 19:00 UTC

    • 9A: Food Production, Waste Management and the Circular Economy
    • 9B: Indigenous approaches to the Sustainable Development Goals
    • 9C: Children, Youth and the SDGs
    • 9D: Gender-based Innovations for Equitable SDG Outcomes

    Parallel Session Details

  6. Session 10

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    Plenary 10, Job Opportunities and the Clean Energy Transition

    20:00 – 21:00 UTC | Watch the Livestream

    Nations around the world are planning for the clean energy transition of tomorrow, one of the key elements of the European Green Deal, the US Green New Deal, and other such frameworks around the world. With this transition comes a great opportunity to revive industry, build local economies, and create a sustainable, highly skilled, healthy workforce.  Several efforts are underway to determine the best way to invigorate this transition with innovative policies to ensure a just and equitable clean energy transition. This panel discussion will showcase job growth opportunities for the clean energy transition in the United States, Europe, and Korea and discuss what policies are available to support the transition in these different contexts.


    • Phoebe Koundouri, Professor of Sustainable Development, School of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business (Moderator)
    • Robert Pollin, Distinguished University Professor of Economics and Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst
    • Yongsung Cho, President, Korea Energy Economics Institute
    • Mirko Armiento, Senior Researcher, Enel Foundation

    Parallel 10, 21:00 – 23:00 UTC

    • 10A: Democratizing Renewable Energy in the Global South
      Effective Industrial Policy to Achieve the SDGs
    • 10B: Socio-technical Solutions for Water-Energy-Food Security Challenges
    • 10C: Universities Driving Collaborative Solutions for the Decade of Action

    Parallel Session Details

  1. Side Events

  2. Amazon Day: Green Economy for the Amazon 2030

    This third edition of Amazon Day will explore a “Green Economy for the Amazon 2030.” The event is organized in partnership with the Green Economy Coalition (GEC), the Sustainable Amazon Foundation (FAS), and the SDSN. The event will discuss solutions through debate and conversation formats.

    Opening Remarks & Video “The Amazon youth dream for 2030″
    13:00 – 13:10 UTC | 09:00 – 09:10 EDT
    Session 1 The progress and challenges for the Pan-Amazon 2030 Agenda
    13:10 – 14:30 UTC | 09:10 – 10:30 EDT

    With just under ten years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the Amazon region still has several challenges. The SDG Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (CODS) has launched an SDG Index for the region, which presents the first comparable monitoring tool among Latin American and the Caribbean countries regarding their progress towards achieving the SDGs. Experts in sustainable development will discuss the main indicators and implications of the Index for the Amazon and propose steps to build back better.


    • Keynote by Felipe Castro, Director of SDG Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (CODS)
    • Emma Torres, Americas Vice President, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) 
    • Beto Veríssimo, Co-founder, Institute of Man and Environment of the Amazon (Imazon)
    • Carlos Lazary, Executive Director, Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) 
    • Diego Pacheco, Technical Assessor, Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) 
    • Juan Pablo Bonilla, Manager of Climate Change and Sustainable Development Sector, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)

    Video “Together for the Amazon”
    14:30 –  14:35 UTC | 10:30 – 10:35 EDT

    Session 2 The Amazon is ‘Too big to fail’: Launch of the Amazon Inclusive Green Economy Hub
    14:35 –  16:00 UTC | 10:35 – 12:00 EDT

    The Sustainable Amazon Foundation (FAS) is joining the Green Economy Coalition (GEC), the world’s largest alliance aiming to accelerate the transition to a green economy, to launch a new Amazon Green Economy Hub based in Manaus. The Hub will develop a network of practitioners, investors, policy makers and small enterprises focused on building a new Green Economy in the Amazon region and will link with 7 other GEC Hubs around the world.


    • Victor Salviati (Moderator), Institutional Development & Innovation Director of the Sustainable Amazon Foundation (FAS)
    • Oliver Greenfield, Convener, Green Economy Coalition
    • Virgilio Viana, Director General, Sustainable Amazon Foundation (FAS)
    • Izabella Teixeira, Former Brazilian Environment Minister
    • Jamie Ervin, Global Programme on Nature for Development, UNDP
    • Gregory Watson, Lead Specialist, Natural Capital Lab, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
    • Asad Naqvi, Head of the Secretariat of The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE)
  3. Interconnected and Indivisible: Strengthening Post-secondary Education for Sustainable Development with Interdisciplinary Ideas

    The SDG Academy will host to discuss strengthening interdisciplinary teaching and learning through resources and dialogues. This session will comprise an overview, panel discussion, and breakout dialogues that focus on both the people and content involved in strengthening the sustainable development narrative in further education. By introducing educational resources and their many uses by stakeholders such as SDG Academy faculty, alumni, and members of the Community of Practice, the SDG Academy hopes to inspire an audience of educators and learners to think creatively about how they can adopt more interdisciplinary approaches to their own teaching and learning activities.

    Please register in advance online to join this free event

  4. Intro to Community Organizing Workshop

    Are you interested in learning how to translate your idea for improving your community into a system-level change?

    This workshop will explore how to:

    • Define your problem, solution, and goal
    • Identify key decision makers and understand their priorities
    • Craft effective messages and recruit messengers
    • Choose advocacy strategies (ex. targeted use of media, coalition partners, visibility, lobbying, direct action, etc.)
    • Set benchmarks to celebrate along the way!

    Please register in advance online to join this free event

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