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Co-Designing the Future of Climate Education

Bellona Pavilion / Storytelling for Action, Blue Zone, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

In this interactive forum, we will examine results from two major global surveys measuring perspectives from both youth and educators on the State of Education for Sustainable Development broadly, with specific focus on Climate Education. Together, speakers and delegates will delve into the underlying data behind teacher and student responses, recognizing challenges, and identifying solutions, while exploring opportunities for cross-sector impact. The forum will demonstrate the critical importance of investing in youth to achieve the UN SDGs and industry goals through youth engagement and illustrate how industry and education partnerships can work together to provide new skills sets required to reach a net-zero future.


Featured Speakers

Carol O’Donnell, Director, Smithsonian Science Education Center

Dr. Carol O’Donnell is the director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, which is dedicated to transforming K–12 Education through Science in collaboration with communities across the globe. O’Donnell is responsible for all operational activities and planning for the unit, including building awareness for preschool through 12th-grade science-education reform, conducting programs that support the professional growth of P–12 teachers and school leaders and overseeing all research and curricular-resource development, philanthropic development and administration. O’Donnell serves as the U.S. representative on the Global Council of the InterAcademy Partnership Science Education Programme, an appointment by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and she serves on the UN Broadband Commission Working Group on School Connectivity: Hybrid Learning. O’Donnell also represents the Smithsonian on the Subcommittee on Federal Coordination in STEM Education, which advises and assists the Committee on STEM Education of the Office of Science and Technology Policy of the Executive Office of the President.

Before joining the Smithsonian in 2015, O’Donnell worked at the U.S. Department of Education where she oversaw nearly $17 billion in annual federal investments under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. These investments focused on education reform, school improvement, teacher professional development, improved student achievement and assistance for states building their capacity to implement and sustain education reforms and achieve improvement in student outcomes. She also oversaw the cognition and student-learning research program at the Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the Department of Education.

Ana C. Rold, CEO & Founder, Diplomatic Courier & World in 2050

Ana C. Rold is an award-winning media executive and entrepreneur. She is the Founder of Diplomatic Courier, the flagship media network and magazine for top diplomats in Washington, DC, New York, Brussels, Geneva, and key capitals around the world. In 2012, Rold founded the global futuristic think tank/do tank, World in 2050. The think tank has convened over 20,000 multi-stakeholders in the private and public sectors, partners and futurists, through a series of global summits and forums, research papers and reports, and digital and print media, to stimulate discussion and solutions on five key megatrends. Rold has taught Comparative Politics and Political Science at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies since 2006.

Rold is the recipient of the 2018 American Women for International Understanding (AWIU’s) Internationalism Award for her exceptional work as an advocate for women’s global issues and a mentor to women leaders at home and abroad.

Gillian Hinde, EY Global Corporate Responsibility Leader

Gill advances the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by leading EY’s Global Corporate Responsibility function. In this role leads the EY Ripples program – a global endeavor harnessing EY’s people, partners and clients, with the goal of positively impacting one billion lives by 2030 and operating as a responsible global business.

Under her tenure, EY Ripples has become a pathway for innovation across three focus areas: supporting the next generation workforce, working with impact entrepreneurs and accelerating environmental sustainability. As she continues to evolve the program, her approach is to collaborate to drive impact at scale — working with EY clients and other like-minded organizations, so each ‘ripple’ started has the potential to grow and join with others to create waves of positive change. As a result, since Gill launched the program, EY Ripples has attracted an ever-growing network of collaborators across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, EY Ripples has succeeded in cumulatively impacting more than 65 million lives in its first three years with over 108 000 EY people actively engaged.

Gill is also a member of the EY Global Corporate Responsibility Council – a subset of EYs Global Executive team, where she works to operationalize the firm’s ambition to realize a more socially just, economically inclusive and environmentally regenerative future for all.

Najat Saliba, Khaddit Beirut, Arab Reform Initiative

Najat Aoun Saliba is a Professor in Chemistry at the American University of Beirut. Saliba leads several locally relevant and globally important inhalable and atmospheric aerosol chemistry and climate change projects. Currently, she concentrates on community-led and community-driven environmental projects that are based on the co-production of knowledge for finding the most suited solutions to local challenges. She is the co-founder and executive director of Khaddit Beirut and the Director and founder of the Environment Academy (EA). In 2021, she was nominated by Apolitical’s the 12 most influential people in climate justice and 100 most influential people in Gender Policy. In 2019, She received the 2019 L’Oreal-UNESCO International Award for Women in Science, the National Order of the Cedar from the President of the Lebanese Republic, the Honorary Cedar Shield from the Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon and the Paul Harris Fellow Pin from the Rotary Club Beirut Cedars. Also, in 2019, she was voted among the top 100 most influential women by BBC. In 2016, she received the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research Award in the Environmental Category.

Máximo Mazzucco, Youth Global Ambassador, UNDP

Máximo Mazzocco is an advocate and entrepreneur for sustainability with more than 15 years of experience in the field. Declared Pangeist, he is founder of Eco House Global, an Action for Sustainability non-profit organization with more than 40 ongoing programs. Also, he is a UNDP Youth Global Ambassador, a Member of Kay Pacha’s Order and a member of the Youth Climate Justice Fund Steering Committee. Author of “Apuntes the un ambientalista” (Penguin Random House), he is founder and co-founder of several initiatives and networks. His love for animals led him to follow a plant-based diet for more than 10 years.

Until 2022, his personal mission was to put “the socio-environmental stuff” at the top of the Political, Public and Private Agenda, and generate as many change agents as possible. Thereby, he directly participated in the approval of more than 40 socio-environmental laws in Argentina (including national, provincial and municipal), actively intervened to generate more than 20 Youth Councils in organizations and companies with a global impact, organized digital communication campaigns with millions of users reached, among many others.

From 2016 to 2020, EHG was one of the youth-led movements with the highest amount of volunteers in Latin America (its “Agents of Change” volunteer program was then replicated by dozens of partner organizations).

Laalitya Acharya, Youth Global Ambassador, Founder of the Nereid Project

Laalitya is the founder of the Nereid Project, an organization working to end the water crisis through research, advocacy, and policy initiatives. Laalitya developed the Nereid research/device, which is a novel method to detect microbial contamination in water through artificial intelligence. Nereid enables communities to be safe and aware about the water quality in their area. She is currently implementing the device in her hometown in Ohio, in India and through Engineers Without Borders (EWB). The Nereid Project, the initiative she founded to further raise awareness, also hosts regular Water Summits to facilitate conversation about how we can all end the water crisis, as well as STEM education programming for students in the local community and online. Laalitya also works in legislation to codify the right to water in law in order to ensure that all people have access to safe and clean water. As a student at Columbia University studying biomedical engineering and political science, she is passionate about integrating science and policy together, as seen in her water advocacy. She is a strong believer that, as a globe, we need to bring science-backed initiatives into the real world. Laalitya has already worked extensively in this sphere by working with US Senate Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer on the CHIPS and Science Act, US Congressman Jerry Nadler, Ohio State Representative Rachel Baker and Columbia University Democrats. All of these experiences have solidified her belief that whether it be public health, climate change or more — science and policy must become interwoven.

AY Young, Artist, the Battery Tour

AY is a producer, singer, songwriter, entertainer, and entrepreneur. He first began writing poetry at 14, a reaction to the great disparity in Kansas City known as “the Troost divide” While touring the USA, AY learned that over 1 billion people lack access to electricity. So AY began powering concerts using renewable energy, raising awareness about sustainability, and fundraising to bring people electricity. Thus, the Battery Tour was born and has plugged in 17 countries to date. AY Young’s Battery Tour is a fresh, imaginative approach uniting musical experience, community development, sustainability education, humanitarian aid, and international cooperation. Battery Tour is a global movement that uses the universal language of music to get people ‘ plugged in’ to sustainability & clean energy solutions.

Battery Tour inspires individuals to recognize that they are all ‘outlets’ for change. Concerts are powered by renewable energy stored in Batteries hence the name “Battery Tour.”

AY landed on The X Factor TV show in 2012 and received four YES’. Inspired, AY hit the streets performing his original music, garnering a grassroots following and has played with artists Wiz Khalifa, SHAGGY, T-Pain, Flo-rida, Aaron Carter and others.


Ellen Stofan, Under Secretary for Science and Research, Smithsonian

Dr. Ellen Stofan oversees the science museums and science research centers as well as the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, Office of International Relations, Smithsonian Scholarly Press and Scientific Diving Program. Stofan previously was the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

As the former Chief Scientist of NASA, Stofan served as the principal advisor to the Administrator on science programs and strategic planning. Stofan held senior scientist positions at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Currently, she is on the science team of the NASA Dragonfly mission to Titan. Stofan holds master’s and doctorate degrees in geological sciences from Brown University, and a bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary.

At COP28, U/S Stofan will lead the Smithsonian delegation and meet with partners and bilateral/multilateral agencies to advance the Smithsonian’s Life on a Sustainable Planet strategy which aims to implement holistic and multi-scale approaches to environmental conservation and climate change, working in concert with communities around the world and advancing science-based solutions that benefit people and nature.

Ana Spalding, Director of the Adrienne Arsht Community-Based Resilience Solutions Initiative, Smithsonian

Dr. Ana Spalding is the Founding Director of the Adrienne Arsht Community-Based Resilience Solutions Initiative and Staff Scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI); and affiliated as Associate Professor at Oregon State University. Dr. Spalding has an applied interdisciplinary social science background in economics, marine affairs and policy, and environmental studies; and approximately 20 years of applied experience in international development, conservation, and environmental consulting in Panama and the US. Broadly, her research group studies drivers of global change, impacts of that change on the most vulnerable communities, and what we as a society can do to better respond to those changes and impacts. At STRI, she is advancing interdisciplinary approaches to resilience science and community-based solutions to pressing environmental problems through research, training, and engagement. She has taught several US Ocean Policy courses, and supervised graduate student research related to ocean uses and management across a variety of themes such as marine protected areas (MPAs), offshore renewable energy, fisheries and aquaculture, and adaptation to climate change. Her current research includes locally led conservation, adaptation as a pathway to resilience for marine resource-dependent communities in California and Oregon, and the role of ocean governance tools (e.g., Marine Protected Areas) in achieving just and equitable goals for people and nature. Dr. Spalding is committed to interdisciplinarity and collaboration as a critical framework for co-creating innovative and just solutions to coupled social-environmental crises facing our oceans.

Sue Duke, VP, Global Public Policy & Economic Graph and Country Manager for Ireland, LinkedIn

Sue Duke is Vice President of Global Public Policy & Economic Graph at LinkedIn, where she leads the organisation’s government relations, policy and Economic Graph programmes worldwide. Her team partners with local and national Governments, as well as with some of the world’s leading economic institutions, such as the World Bank and the World Economic Forum, to help advance economic opportunity.

In addition, Sue leads a team of over 2,000 people at LinkedIn’s EMEA and LATAM HQ in Ireland, where the world’s largest professional network has over two million members.

Prior to joining LinkedIn in 2014, Sue was Head of Public Policy at Google’s EMEA headquarters in Dublin, where she was responsible for government relations, advocacy and policy during a hyper-growth period for the company.

Before joining the private sector, Sue was Special Adviser to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Government of Ireland, working across diverse policy themes from internet infrastructure to renewable energy.

Sue holds a BA in European Studies from Trinity College Dublin and an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge.