New global health governance publication

I have recently received the positive news that the main article arising out of the research project on “How to break the gridlock in global health governance“, in which I have been involved for more than two years in my previous position with the Global Health Centre of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, has been accepted for publication in the Global Policy Journal.

The project, hosted by the Global Health Centre in collaboration with Durham University and funded by the Swiss Network for International and Development Studies (SNIS), brought together different strands of governance theories to analyse the interweaving pathways to increasingly difficult cooperation and innovation that have operated in global health governance over the past three decades. In particular, the project explored this rapidly-changing sector of global governance by relying on three case studies of significant political, social and health relevance which also exemplify different types of health threats, namely HIV/AIDS, the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Its ultimate aim was to better understand how the institutions and processes of global health governance can adapt to a new era characterised by growing insecurities, continuing to deliver positive health outcomes for vulnerable communities while also contributing to wider sustainable development objectives and provision of global public goods.

‘Governance starts and ends with the individual human person […] This is why the process of governing must always aim at generating concrete results that benefit the people on the ground. If we are not generating meaningful change in people’s lives, then we are failing.’

I look forward to the dissemination of this significant research output, on which I worked alongside David Held (Durham University), Ilona Kickbusch and Michaela Told (Global Health Centre), and Kyle McNally (Médecins Sans Frontières), as well as of the rest of the planned publications. In the meantime, you can read more about the completed project here: https://snis.ch/project/gridlock-global-health/. In addition, you can watch the final symposium of the project, held in Geneva in March 2018, in the YouTube video pasted below.

Launch of the 2018 Youth Solutions Report

Once again, I had the opportunity of serving as the editor of the Youth Solutions Report, the flagship initiative of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth.

I am particularly proud of this 2018 edition, which was presented during a launch event in New York on July 16th. Like its 2017 predecessor, the new Report showcases 50 youth-led innovations that are successfully contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and seeks to provide them with a platform for increased visibility, access to funding, and expert advice. At the same time, however, the Report significantly expands on our previous efforts. Through in-depth research and analysis, the publication specifically focuses on the challenges facing young people within larger innovation systems and in the context of a rapidly changing economic landscape, providing timely recommendations for stakeholders including governments, businesses, acceleration programs, academia, and civil society.

With high-level contributions including that of Mariana Mazzucato, Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, and endorsements from the likes of Paul Polman and Forest Whitaker, among others, I am sure that the Report will provide a lot of interesting inputs for policy-makers, investors and everyone seeking to understand how to harness youth skills in support of the SDGs.

You can read the Report at http://www.youthsolutions.report.

Media InquiriesFor media inquiries please contact solutions@sdsnyouth.org. The social media kit for the launch of the Youth Solutions Report can be downloaded here.

Interview in new BCFN book ‘Nourished Planet’

Island Press will soon release ‘Nourished Planet‘, a volume edited by Danielle Nierenberg for the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition which explores potential solutions to the many sustainability challenges facing the global food system.

The book contains a long interview in which I discuss a range of questions relating to the actions that governments should undertake to support local communities and young farmers, invest in job creation in the agri-food sector, and promote sustainable rural development more generally:

“It is crucial, for both ecosystem resilience and economic development, to ensure that we get the issue of sustainable agricultural systems right in the next few decades. Thriving rural areas, both in developed and developing countries, hold the key to solving the challenges lying at the interface of food security, land use change, energy production, biodiversity loss, air and water pollution […].”

I would like to thank again Danielle, BCFN and the Food Tank staff for the interesting opportunity. This is a highly recommended read, and I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and feedback.

You can read a preview of the interview on Google Books at this link: https://bit.ly/2xD24Ip. You can also pre-order the book here: https://islandpress.org/books/nourished-planet.

Youth-led innovation for a world in transition: launching the 2018 Youth Solutions Report’s Call for Submissions

The following is the official announcement, made on behalf of SDSN Youth, of the call for submissions to the 2018 edition of the Youth Solutions Report. You can learn more at http://www.youthsolutions.report.

We are in the midst of an era of unprecedented transformation. Be it in the context of the rapid modifications of the global economy, in the difficulties our societies face in coping with massive technological and other societal changes, or in the dramatic ways in which our ecosystems are adapting and reacting to increased anthropogenic pressures, the world is calling for solutions that can embark us upon a trajectory of sustainable development.

Yet, worryingly, we seem to have lost the notion that it is young people who are the best positioned to analyze and solve this sort of novel challenges. Young men and women between the ages of 15 and 30 today represent the best-educated generation ever; are more intelligent than the average of the adult population, and are far more knowledgeable about new technologies. In addition, and mainly as a consequence of these other characteristics, younger generations also have a grasp of uncertainty and complexity that other age groups often lack. On the one hand, this leads to a better understanding of the synergies and trade-offs involved in addressing the cross-sectoral challenges enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. On the other, it allows young people to think of institutional arrangements and innovations that confront the many forms of path dependency which exist in international organizations, governments, and businesses and usually lead to inefficient, inequitable and unsustainable outcomes.

For the first time in history, young people from different countries and regions often share the same objectives and grievances, usually linked with the negative impacts of globalization and poor governance, and are increasingly part of a common culture as well. This goes beyond the usual notion that “all young people are idealistic”, even though idealism itself is everything but a negative word, in the context of the major challenges we are facing. Rather, it speaks of the incredible, untapped potential of 1.8 billion global citizens who largely hold the same ideas about how to transform our societies for the better through innovative forms of problem-solving along the four dimensions of sustainable development.

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At SDSN Youth, we believe that failing to partner with young innovators and change-makers would represent the biggest waste of human capital in the history of mankind. This is why we are proud to announce that we will be launching the second edition of our Youth Solutions Report in July 2018.

Like its 2017 predecessor, this year’s Report also seeks to identify and celebrate 50 youth-led solutions that are succesfully contributing towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in business, charity, education and research. However, the new Report comes with a wider scope and greater ambitions, aiming to inform the policies and actions of all stakeholders through in-depth research and analysis, with a view to substantially increase the support that young innovators receive in their countries and communities.

In 2017, with the first edition of the Youth Solutions Report, we offered young innovators the opportunity to present their solutions and take part in international conferences and events, including the UN High-Level Political Forum, the International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD), EXPO 2017 Astana, COP23, the Youth Assembly at the United Nations, and UNLEASH Lab 2017. We also helped youth-led solutions become more visible online, not just through our media channels but also with collaborations with websites and media outlets including National Geographic, Impakter, Virgin Unite, and Connect4Climate, among others. Lastly, we shared funding and mentoring opportunities, matched innovators with interested experts and supporters, and launched the first edition of our Investment Readiness Program in collaboration with Babele.co in January 2018.

With this year’s Report, we are confident that we will significantly build on our past successes, establish new meaningful partnerships with UN Agencies, NGOs, companies and media outlets, and overall step up our support to youth-led initiatives in their quest to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through holistic and innovative approaches.

“Young people not only have a stake because they will be the ones implementing the SDGs and because their well-being will depend on achieving them. They also have a stake because they are part of the most educated generation in the history of the world, and through their skills, creativity, and enthusiasm they are uniquely positioned to deliver transformative change across multiple sectors of society.”

Submissions to the 2018 Youth Solutions Report are open until April 30, 2018, at this link.  For more information, contact us at solutions@sdsnyouth.org

EULawSD Webinar with Guido Schmidt-Traub

On March 1st, in my position of Programme Manager for the the Jean Monnet Module on European Union Law and Sustainable Development (EULawSD), I had the pleasure of hosting the first session of our EULawSD Webinar Series 2018 on YouTube.

The EULawSD Webinar Series complements the activities of the EULawSD Jean Monnet Module, which is coordinated by Prof. Riccardo Pavoni (Department of Law, University of Siena) and co-funded by the European Commission for the period 2017-2020. Each webinar is aimed at fostering a lively public debate on the role of the European Union as a key actor in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and offers all interested citizens the opportunity to engage with leading experts and practitioners in the fields of European Union law and governance, sustainability science, international economics, and many more.

EULawSD’s first guest was Dr. Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).  One of the world’s leading experts on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda, Dr. Schmidt-Traub engaged with the audience to discuss the current trends and scenarios for their implementation in the European context, the challenges of financing and monitoring of progress, and the role that the European Union can play in the achieving sustainable development in third countries. I wish to thank him deeply for his participation in the webinar, which can be watched on EULawSD’s YouTube Channel.

For more information on the future project activities of the EULawSD Module, visit http://www.eulawsd.org.

#2030WhatAreUDoing? SDG ambassador for the 2018 Lavazza Calendar

“These Goals seem very academic and complicated, so we tried to humanize the data and statistics so everyone could see themselves in the story. […] In my role as cultural provocateur, with this project I have tried to ignite a respectful debate about moral compass, and the importance of good leadership. Because here there’s no negativity, no blame is laid, there’s just energy and passion: and so it’s a positive revolution. These are 17 extraordinary stories, which could be a source of inspiration and become the force leading a community of responsible global citizens, driven by compassion and a deep respect for service.” – Platon

Buddy Icon 1Earlier this year, I had the privilege of being invited as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals ambassadors to feature in the 2018 edition of the Lavazza Calendar, representing SDG8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth due to my role in the Solutions Initiatives team of SDSN Youth. The Calendar’s theme is “2030, What Are You Doing?“, and tries to convey the message that the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ultimately rests on the skills and vision of real human beings, coming from all countries and sectors of society.

From the Lavazza family to the incredible Platon, all the way to ASviS and my fellow ambassadors, I would like to congratulate everyone who has been involved in the launch of this project. Communicating the vision of the SDGs through the faces of those who are contributing to their implementation is an extremely powerful idea, and can strengthen civil society engagement across the full spectrum of the challenges addressed by the 2030 Agenda.

PS: if you haven’t already, I urge you to check out (and consider supporting) The People’s Portfolio, Platon’s wonderful initiative to use visual language in support of dignity and human rights for all.