You won’t want to miss these featured speakers as we explore this year’s theme,  “Global Goals: Rising to the Challenge”.


Akpezi Ogbuigwe, Opening Keynote


Ms. Akpezi Ogbuigwe, former Head of Environmental Education and Training at the United Nations Environmental Program, served as UNEP’s lead organizer in the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. While at UNEP, she initiated the Global Universities Partnership on Environmental Sustainability as well as a multi-stakeholder program on Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in African Universities.

She has over thirty years of professional experience as a Law teacher first at the University of Lagos and now at the Rivers State University where she served in various capacities. She is an avid researcher in transformational change in higher education in Africa, environmental law and policy, and sustainable development. She has contributed to knowledge in the field of environmental law and education for sustainable development through a variety of published articles and book chapters. In addition, Akpezi serves as a Juror in the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD); Adviser for the African Region United Nations University Regional Centres for Expertise on ESD; and Council Member for Earth Charter International.


Dr. Paul Shrivastava, Closing Keynote


Dr. Paul Shrivastava is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Penn State University, Director of the Sustainability Institute and Professor of Organizations at the Smeal School of Business.  Prior to this, he served as Founding Executive Director of Future Earth, a global research community working to develop the knowledge and tools that nations across the globe need to meet the SDGs. Paul founded Organization and Environment, a leading journal on business and the environment and was the founding Chair of the Organizations and Natural Environment (ONE) Division of the Academy of Management. He has published 18 books and over 120 articles in refereed scholarly, and professional journals and books.


Garrett Blad, Student Summit Keynote


Garrett Blad is a climate advocate, organizer, and community-builder from North Liberty, Indiana. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Environmental Science and Sustainable Policy, Garrett completed a six-month storytelling journey by bicycle, using digital media to share stories of regular people mobilizing for climate action across 11 countries. At the Paris climate talks, Garrett participated in the SustainUS youth delegation, leading youth-led campaigns to call for the most aggressive, equitable, and legally binding treaty possible. Since the conference, Garrett has trained dozens of young people in public speaking and organizing strategies so they can become environmental spokespeople for the millennial generation. He has spoken to more than 150 different audiences worldwide about framing, storytelling, and the power of the millennial generation to shape our future. Garrett is currently Executive Coordinator of SustainUS, a youth-led organization which trains young people to engage directly in key policy processes at the domestic and international levels. He was recently named a “Top 30 Under 30 Environmental Educator” by the North American Association for Environmental Education.

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