New York City – On September 18-20, 2017, the SDSN, Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable Development, and the Global Association of Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) Programs are hosting the Fifth Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) at Columbia University in New York City. The conference theme this year is The World in 2050: Looking Ahead for Sustainable Development.

“This year’s International Conference on Sustainable Development will be the most important and historic yet,” said SDSN Director and Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs. “Not only will the science and policy be at the cutting edge, but ICSD will host students from around the world, top scientists, and world leaders from politics to government to the UN. I urge everybody interested in sustainable development – the great challenge of our age – to come to ICSD.”

The ICSD brings together governments, academia, the United Nations and other international agencies, and NGOs and grassroots organizers to share practical solutions for the SDGs. Over 1,000 participants from over 60 countries will attend, with an additional 2,000 people joining the live stream and engaging in real-time through Twitter.

ICSD’s purpose is to identify and share practical, evidence-based solutions that can support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 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 400 total presentations. Confirmed list of speakers includes:

• H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana
• H.E. Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia
• Fiona Dawson, Global President, Mars Food, Drinks and Multisales
• Erik Solheim, Director, UN Environment Programme
• Kathy Calvin, President and CEO, United Nations Foundation
• Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers
• Dr. Amy Jadesimi, Managing Director and CEO, LADOL
• Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO, Women’s World Banking
• Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network
• Dr. Alaa Murabit, UN Sustainable Development Goal Global Advocate
• Femi Oke (Moderator), Host, Al Jazeera English
• Ramu Damodaran, Chief, UN Academic Impact

ICSD will also feature a “Concert for a Sustainable Planet” at Carnegie Hall on September 18, 2017. The Concert for a Sustainable Planet hopes to foster a dialogue and inspire concrete action. The program features classical pieces, such as Beethoven’s Eroica, alongside contemporary pieces, including world premieres by composers Ronen Shapira and Merlijn Twaalfhoven. Shapira joins the ensemble, and Twaalfhoven directs the performers together with the audience in an innovative, collaborative piece. Famed cellist and UN Ambassador for Peace Yo-Yo Ma will make a cameo appearance.

About the Organizers

The Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) mobilizes the scientific expertise of the Earth Institute to create tools and research that shape new solutions to the challenges of sustainable development, and to provide policy support – as requested by governments and development organizations – to address these challenges in the context of a global society.

The Earth Institute, Columbia University, brings together the people and tools needed to address some of the world’s most difficult problems, from climate change and environmental degradation, to poverty, disease and the sustainable use of resources.

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.

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (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 operates under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General and works closely with UN agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society.