International Conference on Sustainable Development Goals: Actors and Implementation


17 goals to change the world! The International Conference on Sustainable Development Goals: Actors and Implementation is a leading international meeting aiming to create a permanent and multidisciplinary knowledge network on implementation of SDGs, where all stakeholders will learn from each other: universities, governments, cities and public agencies.

Held in Barcelona, Catalonia, from 18th to 19th September 2017, it will gather multidisciplinary experts and high-level practitioners from around the world to exchange knowledge, ideas, experiences and expectations around the challenges involved with the SDGs. Through a combination of speeches by renowned experts, round tables and thematic workshops, the conference wants to open a debate among the different stakeholders on solutions for a sustainable development to transform society at local and global level. 

The International Conference is one of the activities organized by the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi) in the frame of the International Summer School on Higher Education and Research Leadership. It aims to provide intellectual guidance and scientific evidences to the challenges of SDGs, with a humanist and critical thinking, promoting research and education to build a fair global community and more sustainable cities.

More information on the preliminary programme and speakers below.

Registration fees:
Early bird (until 10th June 2017, included): 230€ - students: 120€ 
Regular registration (from 11th June 2017): 280€ - students: 180€

Register here:

Venue: Campus Nord, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - c/ Jordi Girona 1-3, Barcelona. map



Dr Paula Adam (PhD) is an expert on the social impact of sciences and the assessment of research impact into society, with special emphasis and orientation on transformational changes and optimisation of sciences in view of a better orientation to global social challenges. Most of her work is around health sciences, but has also experience in other scientific areas. She is Head of Research at the Agency for Health Quality and Assessment of Catalonia (AQuAS), co-founder and co-chair of the International School on Research Impact Assessment (ISRIA) and leader of the ISOR Group (Social Impact of Research). Paula also coordinates a commission of accreditation and assessment of Spanish health research institutes associated to the Health Institute Carlos III. Paula holds a PhD in Economics from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

Key projects she is involved include: 1/ Assessment of the impact of research institutes (for accountability and allocation purposes) and funding programmes (for the purpose of accountability and analysis); 2/ Creation of a registry database and a Scoreboard of Research Outcomes with detailed information on research process in health research institutes, from inputs and throughputs (e.g. clinical trials) to outputs; 3/ Assessment system for health research and innovation at a national level for Catalonia (SARIS); 4/ Monitoring and indicators of Responsible Research; 5/ Promotion of ‘engagement’ in health research and a Community of Practice. Previous to her current job position she has worked at the OECD (France), the World Bank (US) and IGIER-Bocconi University (Italy).


Delphine Borione was appointed Deputy Secretary General in the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean in 2013, and Senior Deputy Secretary General in 2016. She worked on environmental, development and global issues in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the Office of the President of the French Republic. She had also assignments in the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). She was involved on cultural affairs as Cultural Counsellor in the Embassy of France in Italy and then Director for Cultural Policy and French Language in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was the first Ambassador of France in Kosovo. Delphine Borione studied in the French National School of Public Administration, and studied Political Sciences, History and Law. She speaks French, English, Italian, German and Spanish.




Rector of the Pompeu Fabra University, GUNi and ACUP President. 

Jaume Casals is Rector of UPF since 2013. Professor of Philosophy at the Humanities Department of Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) he is also a senior fellow of the Institute for Catalan Studies (Institut d'Estudis Catalans). With a Ph.D. in Philosophy (UAB, 1984), before becoming a professor at UPF he taught at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and Paris Diderot University (Paris 7). His main lines of research include the Greek genesis of modern and contemporary thought, philosophy and literature. He has translated and edited works by Montaigne, Montesquieu, Berkeley and Bergson, and is the author of 40 articles and the books La filosofia de Montaigne [The Philosophy of Montaigne]; L'experiment d'Aristòtil. Literatura d'una incursió en la metafísica [Aristotle's Experiment: Literature of an Incursion into Metaphysics];  El pou de la paraula. Una història de la saviesa grega [The Well of Words: A History of Greek Wisdom] and El aprendizaje de la muerte en la historia de las ideas [Learning from Death in the History of Ideas]. He was joint editor-in-chief of the journal L'Avenç (1999-2000) and contributor and member of the editorial boards of various international scientific series on Renaissance literature and philosophy.

In the management and administrative spheres, he has held various positions. At UPF, he was Vice-Rector for Teaching Staff (2005-2009) and for Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies (2001-2005), as well as Dean of the Humanities Faculty (2000-2001). He was also President of the University Libraries Consortium of Catalonia (CBUC, 2005-2009), Director of the Barcelona Humanities Institute (Institut d'Humanitats de Barcelona) and Chair of the UAB Philosophy Department (1990-1992). He has also been the Continuing Education Institute's (IDEC) Academic Board Chairman and Executive Vice-President from 2009 to 2013. He is currently president of the Board of Trustees and the Governing Council of the UPF's Foundation of the Institute of Continuing Education, to which belongs the UPF Barcelona School of Management.

Since January 2017 he is the president of the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP).



Professor Ellen Hazelkorn is a Policy Advisor to the Higher Education Authority (HEA), and Director, Higher Education Policy Research Unit (HEPRU), Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland). She is an International Co-Investigator, Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), UCL Institute for Education, and Visiting Professor, Boston College.

Ellen has worked as higher education policy consultant and specialist with international organisations and governments for over 15 years (e.g. EU, OECD, World Bank, UNESCO, US National Academy of Sciences). She is a member of various international advisory boards, including the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (UK), the Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (Sweden), and Rovira i Virgili University (URV), Tarragona.

She was Vice President Research and Enterprise, and Dean of the Graduate Research School, (2008-2014), and Vice President and Founding Dean, Faculty of Applied Arts, Dublin Institute of Technology (1995-2008). Ellen was President of EAIR – the European Society for Higher Education – 2013-2016.

Ellen was awarded a BA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the University of Kent, UK, respectively.


Dr Maura Hiney has a PhD in Molecular Diagnostics and Epizootology from the National University of Ireland Galway. She is currently Head of Post-Award and Evaluation with the Health Research Board, Ireland. From 1990-1999 she worked as a senior researcher and managed a disease diagnostics service for the Irish fisheries industry and from 2000-2007 Maura was Head of Research Support Services for NUI Galway. She has been influential in raising awareness of research integrity (RI) issues in Ireland since 2007 and was instrumental in establishing a National RI Forum of key stakeholders and developing a national RI framework for broad adoption. Internationally, Maura chaired a Working Group of ESF Forum on RI, is a member of the European Network of RI Offices (ENRIO) and chairs the Science Europe Working Group on RI. With ALLEA she coordinated a revision of the European Code of Conduct on RI, which was launched by Commissioner Moedas in March 2017. She sits on the European Advisory Committee for the 5 th World Congress on RI and the Oversight Board of the EU-funded PRINTEGER and ENTiRE projects on research climate. She was a key contributor to the European Competitiveness Council conclusions on RI in 2015.


Sophie Howe was appointed as the first Future Generations Commissioner for Wales in February 2016. Her role is to act as a guardian for the interests of future generations in Wales, and to support the public bodies listed in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 to work towards achieving the well-being goals.

Prior to this role, Sophie was the first Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales and the only woman in a police commissioner leadership role in Wales.

In this role, she led programmes to tackle violent crime and violence against women and girls, focusing on early intervention and partnership working particularly with health. She reformed programmes on substance misuse and offender management and led a review of women in policing as well the Force's work to increase recruitment of black and monitory ethnic officers and staff.

Sophie served as a Government Special Adviser from 2009-2013 providing policy and political advice on communities, local government, community safety, housing, regeneration and equality to the Cabinet and First Minister.

With a background in equality and diversity having managed the legal department in the Equal Opportunities Commission and subsequently as a policy adviser in the Equality and Human Right Commission, Sophie chaired and wrote the report of the Councillors Commission Expert Panel on increasing diversity in Local Government.

Sophie served as a County councillor in Cardiff - having been elected at the age of 21 she became the youngest Councillor in Wales. During her nine years as a Councillor she was Deputy Leader of the Opposition for a period, as well as a member of the Children and Young People Scrutiny and planning Committees.

She is currently a member of the Wales Committee of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and is Chair of the international Network of Institutions for Future Generations. She lives in Cardiff with her husband Ceri and their five children.


Ms. Lindblom works in the Ministry of the Environment of Finland as Counsellor for International Affairs and as Secretary-General of the Prime Minister led multi-stakeholder Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development. She coordinates the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda in cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Office, and takes operational responsibility in the work of the National Commission. She also works with the  international aspects of the follow up and review of the 2030 Agenda, as well as UNEP-led processes regarding Sustainable Consumption and Production and Inclusive Green Economy.

Ms. Lindblom belonged to Finland’s negotiation team during the Rio+20, Open-Ended Working Group on SDGs and Post-2015 processes, leading to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda.


Professor Heila Lotz-Sisitka holds a South African National Research Foundation Chair in Transformative Social Learning and Green Skills Learning Pathways. Her research Chair is based in the Environmental Learning Research Centre at Rhodes University, South Africa which she directed for 15 years (2000-2015). Her research interests include critical research methodologies, transformative environmental learning, agency, and education system transformation. She has served on numerous national and international research and policy programmes including as member of the UNESCO International Reference Group on the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and the UNEP Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in African Universities and Global Universities Partnership for Environment and Sustainability (2004-current). Recent publications include a co-edited Routledge book on ‘Critical Realism, Environmental Learning and Social-Ecological Change’ and a co-edited Springer book on ‘Schooling for Sustainable Development in Africa’. She is co-editor of the journal Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, and served as Editor-in- Chief of the Southern African Journal of Environmental Education for 13 years (2003-2016).


Mr Steinhaus is board member of Wissenschaftsladen Bonn (Bonn Science Shop) since 1990. For the last 15 years he cooperated in international projects on training and mentoring Science Shops, citizen participation in science and technology or responsible research and innovation. Actually he is involved in the EC funded projects: EnRRICH, BigPicnic and SPARKS. Since the end of 2007 he is coordinator and international contact point of LIVING KNOWLEDGE, the international Science Shop network. In 2014 he has been member the steering committee for the SIS-RRI conference which was organized by the National Research Council of Italy and  held in Rome within the 2014 Italian presidency of the European Union. He recently was invited by the network of National Contact Points in Horizon 2020 Science with and for Society (SwafS) to be a member of the Expert Group of SwafS in the area of Public Engagement.


Prof. Tilbury is the inaugural Vice-Chancellor and CEO of the University of Gibraltar. She is internationally recognised for her expertise in leadership, learning and institutional change for sustainable development. Daniella is the recipient of several research awards including the Macquarie Innovation Award for Research (Australia 2007) and Marie Curie International Research Fellowship (European Commission 2009). The institutional change efforts she led at the University of Gloucestershire were recognized with a Green Gown Award in 2007, 2011. She was the Founding Director of the Australian Research Institute in Education for Sustainability (ARIES) and the UN Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Development. She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) ad Foundation Fellow of the Leadership Trust and the Salzburg Futures Leadership Academy.

Daniella has assessed strategic higher education initiatives on behalf of government agencies in Australia, New Zealand, China,  Japan, North Africa and Europe. Together with Dr Alex Ryan, she led a large HEFCE QAA funded ‘Leadership, Governance and Management’ project on embedding sustainability into quality assurance processes in higher education (2010-12) and a Higher Education Academy study into flexible learning (2013).  She currently directs the University Educators for Sustainable Development Project (UE4SD) - a project that brings together 53 Universities across Europe.


GUNi Director and Executive Secretary of the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP).

Before he held the following positions and responsibilities: Deputy Director General for Research of the Government of Catalonia, Head of the Evaluation, Studies and University Cooperation of the Government of Catalonia, Head of the Strategic Planning Unit of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair for University Management, Deputy Director of Management of the Laboratori d’Enginyeria Marítima (Ocean Engineering Laboratory) (UPC) and Executive Secretary of the International Centre for Coast Resources. He has lectured in the fields of public management, public policy and university and research management in different universities and centres. He also promoted and coordinated a Master in University Management and Policy.

In the past years he has collaborated with projects and initiatives in different ministries, departments and organisms of the Government of Spain, the Government of Catalonia and other autonomous communities. Also with institutions like European Commission, OECD, UNESCO and European Association of Universities, and with governments and universities of 12 different countries.

He has published more than 60 articles, chapters of books, reports and books in the following areas: university leadership, management and public policies, organisation, management and university funding, university policies and governance, research management and policy, knowledge management and innovation.

He holds a degree in History and Geography (Universitat de Barcelona), a Master in Public Management (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), a Master in Political and Social Theory (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) and a postgraduate degree in Higher Education Management (Open University and Universiteit Twente). He has been a visiting lecturer at the University of London (Great Britain) and at the University of Twente (The Netherlands)


Target audience:

- Higher Education and universities (leaders, managers, researchers and academics)
- Governments and public agencies
- Non-governmental organizations
- International/global institutions
- City and local governments
- Researchers on the fields of SDG, global governance, higher education and research policies, sustainability and public policies
- Civic and social organizations

We would love to hear from you!
Do you have any questions or thoughts about the conference? Please contact us



  • UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya
  • Ajuntament de Barcelona