The Sustainable Development Forum (SDF) was initiated in 2015 in Belgrade, Serbia. It aims to discuss and promote 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 in the wider audience with a series of conferences on different focus areas. The first conference was held in Belgrade in February 2016 on the Role of Education and Culture in Sustainable Development Agenda. Following its success, the second conference will be held in Cambridge in February 2017, focusing on the impacts of Artificial Intelligence and digital technologies on sustainability.
As sustainable development connects issues in economics, politics, environment, social and urban development, SDF brings together experts from multiple fields to lead a dialogue on sustainable solutions. Our conferences are the opportunity for students, academics and professionals representing private and public sectors to exchange ideas, formulate and develop new policies and business strategies.
In order to achieve all 17 SDGs in time, more global, diverse involvement and contribution are essential; from national governments’ policies to the private sector development and the participation of civil society. The SDF contributes to this effort by encouraging and widening the participation, and developing strategies for the Goals’ implementation, using the conferences as a platform.
Today the pace of innovation is as high and rapid as it has never been before. Current digital technologies stimulate development and create connections between concepts that have never been associated with each other. One of such relationships is between the concepts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Sustainable Development. Recognizing the importance and actuality of this relationship, on the 25th of February 2017, Sustainable Development Forum will hold the conference “Artificial Intelligence: Disrupting Sustainability" at the University of Cambridge.
Drawing on perspectives from leaders in academia, business, policy and public sector, the conference aims to become a platform for analysing and responding to the key questions arising around AI and its impact on Sustainable Development for generations to come. Topics to be covered include:
Specifically, the conference will tackle questions on the potential of AI to shape the process of the United Nations 2030 Agenda’s implementation, focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, the issues to be addressed include the responsible consumption and production of consumer goods, and raising quality of education and economic growth by recognising the significant role of innovation and digital infrastructure. The conference will also recognise the importance of the private and public partnerships for the goals’ implementation in technology sectors, which help to foster peace and justice - the key concepts of sustainability.
AI has become the key focus area of the so called New Industrial Revolution, providing a range of opportunities, and at the same time - many risks. Our goal is to give an insight into the topic, exchange experts’ opinions to formulate solutions and strategies for the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals and challenges ahead.
Martin Rees is a cosmologist and space scientist. His research interests have included galaxy formation, active galactic nuclei, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, and more speculative aspects of cosmology. He is based in Cambridge, where he has been Director of the Institute of Astronomy, a Research Professor, and Master of Trinity College. He was President of the Royal Society (the UK's academy of science) during 2005-2010. In 2005 he was appointed to the UK's House of Lords. He has received many international awards for his research, and belongs to numerous foreign academies including the US National Academyof Sciences, the Russian Academy and the Pontifical Academy.
Sir Paul has wide international experience in the commercial, public, political and not-for-profit sectors. He was Sheriff of the City of London in 2013-14 and is an Alderman of the City of London, the President of the Association of MBAs, the Chairman of the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, of the Museum of Brands and of St Dunstan’s College, a Member of the Council of the Crown Agents, and the Foundation Master for the City of London Guild of Entrepreneurs. He has honorary degrees from Cambridge, Westminster, City and London South Bank universities.
Alex has been building mobile and analytics start-ups since 2003. He is currently CEO and founder of Seldon, a start-up with a purpose to help people solve someof the world’s biggest problems with machine intelligence. Seldon provides machine learning infrastructure that serves hundreds of millions of recommendations and predictions per month. Seldon works with a diverse client-base including some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies, and aglobal community of data scientists and developers uses its open-source technology. Recognised as one of the UK’s top AI start-ups, Seldon is part of Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars, where its talented team are solving high-value problems in the finance sector.
Eleonora is the Director of European Operations at Mind the Bridge, a global organization bridging the world through entrepreneurship education for startups, enterprises, and investors to succeed in global markets. She supervises the Startup Europe Partnership project, a European Commission funded program that aims at connecting startups to corporates and facilitates open innovation strategies. MBA graduate at HULT International Business School in San Francisco, Eleonora has worked with innovative companies in China, US, and Europe, and supports accelerators, VCs and public entities by mentoring and coaching startups. She is the co-author of a case study on self-driving cars and is passionate about new technologies, AI, and innovative business models.
Harry is a Senior Researcher in Nesta's Policy and Research team. He looks at the impact and implications of potentially disruptive technologies with the goal of supporting responsible innovation in a wide range of sectors. He runs the Hot Topics series of events and contributes to Nesta's horizon scanning work. His research has covered a wide range of topics such as the impacts of machine learning and impacts of global trends on the future of employment. Before joining Nesta he worked in academia splitting his time between biological research and supporting evidenced informed policy making in Government.
Mehdi is a Head of Value Added Products in the digital business banking team at Barclays that help shaping and launching innovative digital banking products for Barclays' SMEs customers. He is an experienced product manager passionate about new technology, mobile applications and user experience, with a global IT experience of over 10 years. He worked as an IT architect for companies such as Orange, EDF, Airbus in France. He also has a 5-years entrepreneurship experience in a startup where he focused on mobile and cloud technologies. He has been involved in developing products from the prototype stage and design of innovative solutions to the market launch and product marketing.
Kosta Zivanovic finished School for Engineering Management with the GPA 9.51. He finished two modules Management in High Technologies and Management in Creative Industries. Kosta was very active student in his extra curriculum activities. He was one of the founders and president of the University Club for UNESCO, first Youth UNESCO Network organization in South-Eastern Europe. Kosta was leader of the educational project UNESCO Network School for Economic and Social Development, which was intended for students who are interested in complementing their knowledge by following the programme of lectures held by renowned lecturers from prestigious world universities (Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, Sorbonne and etc.).
Polina Liubomirova is currently an MPhil Technology Policy student at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. She graduated from Leiden University with BA Degree in International Studies specialising in East Asia. While doing an exchange studies at the University of Hong Kong, Polina started focusing on energy policy, the topic that later became the focus of research on Energy Policy in China and Its Diversification Prospects. Moreover, Poina is intending to extend energy policy issues into the domain of urban planning and smart cities.
Aleksandra is an MPhil candidate in Technology Policy at Cambridge Judge Business School. She graduated with BA Hons with distinction from Land Economy Department last year, having researched policy solutions in the software development sector. Aleksandra developed an interest in sustainable business models as a Global Sustainability Analyst at Rolls-Royce, having won the Female Undergraduate of the Year Award in 2015. She wants to combine her passions for new technologies, business and policy to broaden understanding of the economics of AI and its implications for the sustainable future.
We are delighted to confirm that this year's Conference will be held at the Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1AG, UK