Keynote Speakers

The video recordings of the keynote speeches can be watched and downloaded here.
The power point presentations of each keynote speaker can be found here.

Lan XueLan Xue is a Cheung Kong Chair Professor and Dean of the School of Public Policy and Management (SPPM) at Tsinghua University in China. He is the co-chair of the Executive Committee of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the United Nations. He has worked extensively in areas including public policy analysis, innovation policy, and crisis management. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow of Brookings Institution. His many public service appointments include a member of the Expert Committee on Emergency Management of the State Council of China, Vice President of China Association of Public Administration, a member of the Visiting Committee for Harvard Kennedy School, a member of the Academic Advisory Board for the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. Dr. Xue has a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University and taught at the George Washington University before returning to China in 1996. He is a recipient of the Fudan Distinguished Contribution Award for Management Science in 2011.

Prof. Lan Xue speaks on 13 July from 09:30-10:30 about “Policy Challenges in Implementing Sustainable Development Goals—A View From Transitional China”

Hans Bruyninckx Hans Bruyninckx is the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency (EEA). He took office on 1 June, 2013. He was born in Schoten, Belgium in 1964. Dr Bruyninckx studied undergraduate and master’s degrees in political science specialising in international relations at Antwerp and Leuven Universities. He also completed an additional programme in development studies at the University Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve. He completed a PhD degree in 1996 at Colorado State University on the topic of international environmental politics, subsequently teaching at several other universities in the United States and Europe, including Colorado State University, Canisius College and Wageningen University. From 2010 until his appointment at the EEA, he was head of the HIVA Research Institute in Leuven, Belgium, a policy-oriented research institute associated with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where he was also head of the Political Science department from 2007 to 2010. He has also been a senior member of the interdisciplinary Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and promoter-coordinator of the Flemish Policy Research Centre on Transitions for Sustainable Development (TRADO). Over the last 20 years, he has conducted and managed policy-oriented research in the areas of environmental politics, climate change, and sustainable development. He was responsible for research in the domains of policy evaluation, monitoring and reporting, methodology development, environmental policy integration, and more recently also on long-term transition policies. His experience pertains to the level of the regions (Flanders in a comparative European perspective), the EU Member States, the EU level, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and processes of global environmental governance (climate change in particular). His academic expertise lies primarily in the field of European and international environmental policy, studying the effects of globalisation on the global governance of environmental issues and sustainable development. From this perspective he has also studied global production and consumption systems, as well as issues relating to distribution and justice. He has taught courses on the topics of global environmental politics and global environmental governance in relation to the European Union (EU), publishing extensively on EU environmental policies and its role as an actor in global environmental governance. Dr Bruyninckx was involved in numerous policy processes as an advisory board member, involved in steering groups of government agencies, and as academic policy advisor to governmental agencies and other key actors. In addition, he has worked intensely with civil society and business actors, in support of public-private initiatives or private regulatory approaches to environmental, climate change and sustainability issues. Furthermore, he was president of the board of Bond Beter Leefmilieu (The Association for a Better Environment), a Flemish umbrella organisation bringing together many different environmental groups.

Dr. Bruyninckx speaks on 14 July from 11:00 – 12:00 about “Europe’s emerging transition agenda - Making sense of the Green, Blue, Circular, Resource Efficient, Low Carbon Economy?”

FearnsidePhilip M. Fearnside is a Research Professor in the Department of Environmental Dynamics at the National Institute for Research in Amazonia (INPA) in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. He is a permanent resident in Brazil where he has lived in Amazonia for 39 years doing ecological research. In addition to Latin America, he has field experience and publications include India, Indonesia, China. He completed his Ph.D. in 1978 in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Fearnside's research since 1974 has been directed at the estimation of human carrying capacity of tropical agro-ecosystems. His work since 1985 has been organized around the objective of converting the environmental services of Amazonian forests into a basis for sustainable development for the rural population of the region, taking the place of the current pattern of forest destruction. He has authored over 500 professional publications and over 200 popular and outreach publications on these and related problems of environment and development. He also spreads these messages through extensive public speaking, having delivered over 850 speeches. Honors include Brazil's National Ecology Prize, the UN Global 500 award, the Conrad Wessel prize, the Chico Mendes prize, the Scopus prize (from Elsevier & CAPES) and membership in the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. In 2006 he was identified by Thompson-ISI as the world’s second most-cited scientist on the subject of global warming. In 2011 he was identified as the world’s 7th most-cited scientist in the area of sustainable development. His papers are available through

Prof. Fearnside will speak on 15 July from 13:00 – 14:00 about “Challenges for Sustainable Development in Brazilian Amazonia”.

Catarina Albuquerque

Catarina de Albuquerque is the Executive chair of Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), a multi-stakeholder global partnership. She joined SWA in 2014 and her priorities include advocating for a pivotal role for SWA within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), political prioritization of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at a global high-level, helping build consensus between partners, establishing strategic partnerships with other initiatives and sectors and leading SWA’s Steering Committee. Previously, she was the first United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation. Between 2004 and 2008 she presided over the negotiations of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the UN General Assembly approved by consensus on 10 December 2008. Ms. de Albuquerque is an invited Professor at the Law Faculties of the Universities of Braga and Coimbra (Portugal) and a Senior Legal Adviser at the Office for Documentation and Comparative Law, an independent institution under the Portuguese Prosecutor General’s Office. She was awarded the Human Rights Golden Medal by the Portuguese Parliament (10 December 2009) for outstanding work in the area of human rights. Her work in human rights was also honoured by the Portuguese President of the Republic (October 2009) with the Order of Merit, which is a recognition of an individual’s personal bravery, achievement, or service. She holds a Law Degree from the Law Faculty of the University of Lisbon (Portugal) and a DES from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva, Switzerland).

Dr. de Albuquerque speaks on 14 July from 13:00-14:00 about “Development for all and everywhere - the promise of the SDGs and how to deliver it”.

Paula AntunesPaula Antunes has a degree in Environmental Engineering (5 years) and a PhD in Environmental Systems from the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa. She is Full Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, where she has been a lecturer since 1982. She teaches Environmental Management, Corporate Environmental Management, Ecological Economics and Sustainability Science both in MSc and PhD programs (Environmental Engineering MSc Program, European Master in System Dynamics and Environment PhD Program). She was the Head of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering in the period 2006-2009 and the Director of CENSE – Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research in the period 2007 - 2013. She has a background in environmental engineering and considerable experience in developing interdisciplinary research and coordinating multidisciplinary research teams in the interface between natural and social sciences. Her research interests are focused in ecological economics with an emphasis in sustainability assessment, system dynamics modelling, environmental management and methods and tools for stakeholder engagement in environmental planning and decision support. She has coordinated and participated in several research projects, financed by the European Commission and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. She has also participated in several studies both for public and private organizations, dealing with environmental assessment, support to the development and implementation of environmental policies, sustainability monitoring and benchmarking. She has authored and co-authored a significant number of publications in peer-reviewed journals and books and she has collaborated in several national and international expert panels. She is Associate Editor of Ecological Economics and has been Vice-President of the European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE) between 2006-2009 and has served in the board of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) (2002-2004). She was a member of the Portuguese Council for Sustainable Development between 2009-2011 and of the Scientific Council for Natural Resources and the Environment of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (2010 – 2013).

Prof. Antunes will speak on 15 July from 11:00-12:00 about “Ecosystem services as a language to talk about sustainability”.

Soromenho MarquesViriato Soromenho-Marques (1957) teaches Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Nature, and European Ideas in the Departments of Philosophy and European Studies of the University of Lisbon, where he is Full Professor. Since 1978 he has been engaged in the civic environmental movement in Portugal and Europe. He was Chairman of Quercus (1992-1995). He is member of the National Council on Environment and Sustainable Development. He was Vice-Chair of the European Environmental and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils network (2001-2006). In 2004 he was invited by the Portuguese Prime-Minister to be one of the five authors of the Portuguese National Strategy for Sustainable Development. In 1997 he received from the Presidency of the Portuguese Republic the degree of «Grande Oficial da Ordem do Mérito Civil» and in 2006 the degree of «Grande Oficial da Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique». He was the scientific coordinator of the Gulbenkian Environment Program (2007-2011). This Program provided over 2 million euros of funding resources to numerous sustainable projects both in Portugal as well in countries like Armenia, Mozambique and India. He was one of the twelve members of the High Level Group on Energy and Climate Change by invitation of the President of the European Commission (2007-2010). He is correspondent member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences, Class of Humanities (Letras), since 2008, and from the Marine Academy since 2012. He was the representative of public opinion in the Press Council (1985-1987). He is a regular contributor to some Portuguese mass media and particularly, the Portuguese and Brazilian Sections of the BBC. Among other Prizes and distinctions he was awarded with the Environment Quercus 2011 Prize, and considered in 2009 by the daily newspaper Correio da Manhã, as one of the 30 most outstanding personalities in the recent three decades. In 2014 he was also awarded with the Federação Portuguesa do Pulmão Prize (medical association of respiratory illnesses). The German Heinrich Böll Stiftung (HBS) considered his text (co-authored with Ricardo Cabral) “Portugal: 40 Years of Democracy and Integration in the European Union”, published within the realm of the HBS European Policy Programme, as the “Article of the Year 2014”. He wrote over four hundred works on Philosophy, Environment and International Relations matters. He was speaker in over one thousand conferences in Portugal and twenty three other countries. Some of his texts and books are translated to Spanish, French, English, German, Norwegian and Mandarin.

Prof. Soromenho-Marques speaks on 13 July from 13:30-14:30 about “Who Are We? The doctrine of the Laudato si on the nature and tasks of sustainability sciences and scientists”.