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On September 21-22, 2016, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Earth Institute’s Global Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) program are hosting the Fourth Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) at Columbia University in New York City.

ICSD’s purpose is to identify and share practical, evidence-based solutions that can support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). High-level speakers include Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Nigerian Minister of Environment Amina Mohammed, Columbia University Professor and Economist Jeffrey Sachs, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo, Islamic Development Bank Chief Economist Savaş Alpay, former UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, writer and journalist Femi Oke and more.

The ICSD, which brings together governments, academia, the United Nations and other international agencies, and NGOs and grassroots organizers to share practical solutions for the SDGs, already has over 1,500 registered participants from over 60 countries. An additional 2,000+ people will watch the live stream and engage in real-time through Twitter.

The first day of the conference is a high-level dialogue between diverse stakeholders. The second day of the program features over 25 parallel sessions and a poster session for approximately 300 total presentations. Confirmed list of speakers includes:

  • Andrew Holness, Prime Minister, Jamaica
  • Erna Solberg, Prime Minister, Norway
  • Savaş Alpay, Chief Economist, Islamic Development Bank
  • Shaida Badiee, Managing Director and Co-founder, Open Data Watch, Inc.
  • Nicolas de Cordes, Vice President Marketing Anticipation, Orange Group
  • Grete Faremo, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UNOPS
  • Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary General, Ibero American Conference
  • Jody Heymann, Dean, Public Health School, UCLA; Founding Director, WORLD Policy Analysis Center
  • Sanjeev Khagram, John Parke Young Chair in Global Political Economy, Occidental College
  • Claire Melamed, Director of Growth, Poverty and Inequality Programme, ODI
  • Amina Mohammed, Minister of Environment, Nigeria (Keynote)
  • Femi Oke, Internationally-Renowned Journalist, Writer and Moderator
  • John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria
  • Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network
  • Dhananjayan (Danny) Sriskandarajah, Secretary General, Civicus
  • Achim Steiner, Director, Oxford Martin School

About the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to mobilize global scientific and technological expertise and to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Following their adoption, the SDSN is now committed to supporting the implementation of the SDGs at local, national, and global scales. The SDSN aims to accelerate joint learning and help to overcome the compartmentalization of technical and policy work by promoting integrated approaches to the interconnected economic, social, and environmental challenges confronting the world. The SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society. The organization and governance of the SDSN aims to enable a large number of leaders from all regions and diverse backgrounds to participate in the development of the network, while at the same time ensuring effective structures for decision-making and accountability.

About the MDP Program at Columbia University’s Earth Institute

The Global Master’s in Development Practice (MDP), an interdisciplinary graduate degree program, prepares students to better identify and address the challenges of sustainable development. MDP programs generally consist of two years of coursework in four intersecting disciplines—health, natural, social, and management sciences–combined with cross-sectoral field training. MDP programs belong to a global network of universities and collaborating organizations and have been developed according to recommendations outlined in the report of the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice.

For media inquiries, please contact Michael Shank at 646.574.8903 or