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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Special Event 3: A celebration of ideas: Policy perspectives of experts and stakeholders on emerging science, frontier technologies, future scenarios, and the SDGs

Thu 04 May 2023, 8.15 am
Trusteeship Council Chamber


6 7 9 11 17


This special event will provide an opportunity to hear from the authors of the science-policy briefs submitted by scientists and engineers from academia, private sector, UN system representatives and governments, in response to a call by the UN. Innovative formats will be explored to allow a frank discussion between authors and policy makers. The event will explore the latest developments in science and technology and their current and potential future impacts on sustainable development and the SDGs. The session will explore technology convergence and the multiple technology divides and challenges associated with these trends related to clusters such as blockchain, biotechnology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and quantum technologies. As in the previous years, a senior UN official will present the “TFM findings on the impacts of rapid technology change on the SDGs” as a brief synthesis and update of what science and technology communities have learned on the wider societal and developmental impacts of scientific and technological breakthroughs in the preceding year.


Chaired by H.E. Ms. Mathu Joyini, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations


  • Ms. Salome Muthoni Guchu, Principal Innovation and Outreach Officer, Inter-University Council for East Africa, Kampala, Uganda

Presentation by Secretariat: “Overview of this year’s science-policy briefs and updated TFM findings on the impacts of rapid technological change

  • Mr. Richard A Roehrl, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Presentation of science-policy briefs

  • Mr. Huadong Guo, Director General, International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals, China
  • Ms. Valentine Goddard, Founder and Executive Director, AI Impact Alliance, Canada
  • Ms. Alma Cristal Hernández Mondragón, Visiting Professor. Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico

Q&A on the science-policy briefs

Conversation on lessons from science-policy inspired futures and scenarios:

  • Mr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Professor em., Technical University of Vienna, Austria
  • Mr. Keywan Riahi, Director, Energy, Climate and Environment Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria

TFM partners work on harnessing scientific breakthroughs and frontier technologies for the SDGs

  • Ms. Daria Robinson, Executive Director, Solution Accelerator & Deputy CEO, Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator Campus Biotech, Switzerland
  • Mr. Motodi Maserumule, Group Executive, Council for Industrial and Scientific Research, South Africa

Interactive discussion

Compilations of video presentations of science-policy briefs:


Please access the note for this event here.

Please access the webcast here

All science-policy briefs have now been uploaded, see tab "science-policy briefs". Congratulations to all the successful authors who have passed the peer-review process. Thank you so much!

Background papers/Special studies

Please check the STI Forum home page

The following science-policy briefs have been prepared by TFM stakeholders following a peer-review organized by IATT work stream 10.  Note: The views expressed in this brief are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its senior management.

Compilations (3.5 hours) of brief video presentations of science-policy briefs:


Related Goals


Related Goals