Science-policy interface: New ideas, insights, and solutions
The session is organised in support of the function of the high-level political forum on sustainable development to strengthen the science-policy interface.

The accelerating accumulation, use and diffusion of scientific knowledge and its application in technological innovations is reshaping our world. It has solved many of humanity’s problems and led to unprecedented levels of prosperity. Yet, our current model of science, technology and innovation engagement has also created many challenges and has left many behind. The roundtable aims to take stock and to facilitate the ongoing conversation on these issues.

To this end, the session will bring together eminent natural and social scientists, government officials, and civil society representatives. It will identify and take stock of new ideas, scientific insights and technological solutions, including those contained in recent UN scientific assessments and studies by expert groups, for consideration by the forum. It will identify key research gaps in sustainability science that policy makers would like to see filled, in view of the challenges faced by developing and developed countries. The roundtable will discuss ideas and specific actions on how scientific and technological communities could be more effectively mobilised by the high-level political forum in support of achievement of the SDGs.

The session will explore future opportunities for strengthening the science-policy interface in a variety of contexts, including through the future editions of the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR). As background, the 2016 pilot GSDR will be presented together with an overview of lessons learned from the GSDR process that can be instructive moving forward.

Possible questions for discussion:
  1. What are important new ideas, scientific insights and technological solutions that have been proposed by scientists for policy consideration, including those contained in UN scientific assessments and suggested by expert groups? What are key research gaps in sustainability science that need to be filled?
  2. How could the high-level political forum more effectively mobilise scientific and technological communities in support of the achievement of the SDGs? What specific actions should be taken, for example, for developing societal STI action plans and roadmaps, science advisory ecosystems at various levels?
  3. What role will the Global Sustainable Development Report process play in further strengthening the science-policy interface on the global policy stage?

Chair:
  • H.E. Mr. Hector Alejandro Palma Cerna, Deputy-Permanent Representative of Honduras to the UN and Vice President of ECOSOC

Presenter of the pilot GSDR 2016:
  • Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Moderator:
  • Ms. Lucilla Spini, Head of Science Programmes of the International Council for Science (ICSU)

Roundtable members:
  • Mr. Gueladio Cisse, Head of the Ecosystem Health Sciences Unit at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
  • Mr. E. William Colglazier, Senior Scholar at the Center for Science Diplomacy, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Mr. Aurélien Decamps, Assistant Professor at Kedge Business School, Sustainability Literacy Test and the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI)
  • Mr. Donovan Guttieres, Focal Point for the Youth Science-Policy Interface Platform of UN Major Group for Children and Youth and Policy Focal Point for the Youth Gateway, the Global Youth Partnership for the SDG
  • Mr. Peter Messerli, Director and Professor for Sustainable Development, Centre for Development and Environment, Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Mr. Patrick Paul Walsh, Professor and Chair of International Development Studies of the School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin
Biographies (alphabetical order)
Dr. Lucilla Spini
Head of Science Programmes, International Council for Science (ICSU)
Dr. Lucilla Spini

Head of Science Programmes, International Council for Science (ICSU)

Dr. Lucilla Spini, a biological anthropologist with expertise in sustainability science and international science/policy bridging, is the Head of Science Programmes at the International Council for Science (ICSU). Before joining ICSU, she has worked on biodiversity conservation, global environmental change, sustainable development and S&T capacity building for a number of international organizations including UNESCO, UNU, and FAO of the UN. Dr. Spini holds a B.A. in anthropology from New York University (USA), as well as a M.Sc. in human biology and D.Phil. in biological anthropology, both from the University of Oxford (UK). She has been an Adjunct Professor at the School of Geography and Earth Science at McMaster University (Canada) and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Waterloo (Canada). Dr. Spini is an Old Member of Linacre College (Oxford) and an Alumna Fellow of the Sustainability Science Program at the Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Mr. Aurélien Decamps
Assistant Professor at Kedge Business School, Sustainability Literacy Test and the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI)
Mr. Aurélien Decamps

Assistant Professor at Kedge Business School, Sustainability Literacy Test and the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI)

Dr. Aurélien Decamps is Professor at KEDGE Business School (France). PhD in Economics from the University of Bordeaux, his research activity is specialized in two main fields: Regional and Urban Economics with a focus on the impact of sustainability and CSR on urban dynamics and territorial attractiveness; Education for Sustainable Development. His professional activity also includes his contribution to HESI (the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative launched during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20) by serving as General Secretary and Academic Coordinator for a flagship initiative: the SULITEST (Sustainability Literacy Test), an international open online assessment tool endorsed by many UN agencies and academic networks.

Mr. Donovan Guttieres
Focal Point for the Youth Science-Policy Interface Platform of UN Major Group for Children and Youth and Policy Focal Point for the Youth Gateway, the Global Youth Partnership for the SDG
Mr. Donovan Guttieres

Focal Point for the Youth Science-Policy Interface Platform of UN Major Group for Children and Youth and Policy Focal Point for the Youth Gateway, the Global Youth Partnership for the SDG

Mr. Donovan Guttieres is Focal Point for the Youth Science-Policy Interface Platform of the UN Major Group for Children & Youth (UN MGCY) and Science-Policy Focal Point for the Youth Gateway, the Global Youth Partnership for the SDGs. He is also a Technology Policy Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and part of the Young Engineers / Future Leaders Committee of WFEO. A graduate from Boston University, he holds a B.S in Biomedical Engineering and has received several awards for excellency in leadership and academia. His undergraduate thesis centered on global health technologies and applied public health, developing point-of-care technologies for chronic non-communicable diseases in resource-limited settings. For two years, he was president of the Engineers Without Borders - Boston University Chapter, leading the development of mHealth and W.A.S.H projects through a community-driven program in rural Zambia. He also founded the Global Development Community @ Boston University, a campus wide initiative meant to facilitate a more concerted and collective approach to achieving the SDGs at a local, grassroots level. He is currently working on modeling supply chain logistics in health-systems within East African countries in order to identify interventions that will help optimize access to health commodities. A speaker at the ECOSOC Youth Forum 2016, he is Interested in using on-the-ground experience, evidence-based approaches, and innovative solutions to close gaps between policy and practice.

Mr. E. William Colglazier
Senior Scholar at the Center for Science Diplomacy, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Mr. E. William Colglazier

Senior Scholar at the Center for Science Diplomacy, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Prof. Dr. E. William Colglazier is currently Senior Scholar at the Center for Science Diplomacy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is also co-chair of the 10-Member Group of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism. He served as 4th Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State from 2011 to 2014. His role was to provide scientific and technical expertise and advice in support of the development and implementation of U.S. foreign policy. Previously, he served as Executive Officer of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Research Council (NRC) where he helped to oversee the studies that provide independent, objective advice on public policy issues, and as Executive Director of their Office of International Affairs. From 1983 to 1991, he was a Professor of Physics at the University of Tennessee where he directed several research centers: Energy, Environment, and Resources Center; Waste Management Research and Education Institute; and the Water Resources Research Center. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1971, and prior to 1983 worked at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. While at Harvard, he also served as Associate Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Humanism of the Aspen Institute. In 1976-77, he was an AAAS Congressional Science Fellow. He is past chair of the Forum on Physics and Society of the American Physical Society (APS) and a Fellow of the AAAS and APS.

Mr. Guéladio Cissé
Head of the Ecosystem Health Sciences Unit at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Mr. Guéladio Cissé

Head of the Ecosystem Health Sciences Unit at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

Guéladio Cissé is sanitary engineer and environmental epidemiology researcher, currently research professor and head of the ecosystem health sciences unit in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, an institute of the University of Basel. He holds a specialization in sanitary engineering, a master in environmental sciences, a PhD in sanitary engineering and a certificate of advanced studies in disaster risks reduction. His work experience over almost 30 years includes successive positions as head of a national service for hygiene and sanitation in a central government ministry of health, professor and head of the sanitary engineering department in an international engineering school, regional coordinator for an international program on sustainable development and global change, and director general of a regional Swiss center for scientific research.

Mr. Patrick Paul Walsh
Professor and Chair of International Development Studies of the School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin
Mr. Patrick Paul Walsh

Professor and Chair of International Development Studies of the School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin

Prof. Dr. Patrick Paul Walsh is the Professor of International Development Studies in University College Dublin, Ireland. He is 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 co-ordinates the UCD Ph.D. in Global Human Development which trains academic staff in East African Universities up to a Ph.D. level across several subject areas. He co-directs the TCD-UCD Masters in Development Practice. His professional activities include honorary secretary, and editor of the Journal, of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland. He has extensive experience providing external services for the Irish Competition Authority, la Fiscalía Nacional Económica in Chile, European Commission and World Bank. His current research is on Agricultural Productivity in East Africa, Social Security for all, Socioeconomic impact of HIV/AIDS, Elections in Malawi, Post-Conflict Resolution, Cartels and Global Food Security and issues surrounding the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Mr. Peter Messerli
Director and Professor for Sustainable Development, Centre for Development and Environment, Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland
Mr. Peter Messerli

Director and Professor for Sustainable Development, Centre for Development and Environment, Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Peter Messerli is professor for sustainable development at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the director of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE). As a land system scientist and human geographer his research interests lie in the sustainable development of social-ecological systems in Africa and Asia. He focuses on increasingly globalized and competing claims on land, rural transformation processes, and spatial manifestations of their outcomes in the Global South. Peter Messerli has lived and worked more than 10 years in Madagascar and Laos directing large-scale research projects focusing on inter- and transdisciplinarity. He has an extensive experience in science-policy interactions from the local to the global level. Peter Messerli is also the co-chair of Future Earth’s Global Land Programme (GLP) and occupies many functions in advising and guiding governmental, scientific, and civil-society organisations related to sustainable development.

Mr. Wu Hongbo
UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
Mr. Wu Hongbo

UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Mr. Wu Hongbo was appointed United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs on 1 August 2012. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Wu served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Federal Republic of Germany. Among his various diplomatic assignments, Mr. Wu served as China’s Ambassador to the Philippines.

Statements
Statements
Major Group: NGOs
Mr. E. William Colglazier, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Together 2030
Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs