Keynote speakers confirmed for global conference

From left: Liv Garfield, Sir Charles Godfray and Dr Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah

From left: Liv Garfield, Sir Charles Godfray and Dr Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah

The first contributors for next year’s high profile Forum for Global Challenges have been confirmed.

Dr Dhananjayan (Danny) Sriskandarajah, CEO Oxfam GB, Liv Garfield, Severn Trent CEO and Professor Sir Charles Godfray, Director, Oxford Martin School are the first three speakers to be announced for next year’s Forum for Global Challenges.

The inaugural bi-annual Forum for Global Challenges, which takes place on the 2-4 May 2022 in Birmingham’s famous International Convention Centre, will help to make the world a fairer, more sustainable place.

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Taking place ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Forum will generate and share solutions to some of the most pressing challenges faced by our planet and its people, from climate change and destruction of the natural world, to poverty and rising inequalities, and the effects of the global pandemic.

Dr Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO Oxfam GB said: "It is becoming crystal clear that global challenges like poverty, inequality and climate change are deeply interconnected and therefore we need joined up solutions that bring together different disciplines, sectors, actors and perspectives. I am looking forward to important conversations at the Forum for Global Challenges which I hope will do just that."

Liv Garfield, Severn Trent CEO said: "Protecting our environment is something that everyone has a part to play in, which is why I’m thrilled to be sharing Severn Trent’s ideas and innovation at this years Forum for Global Challenges. We’re absolutely committed to doing our bit, and more to make a positive impact on the environment. From delivering our ambitious Green Recovery programme, to supporting the first ever carbon neutral Commonwealth Games, and to committing to net zero by 2030, I’m really excited to share with others what we’re setting out to do, to help shape how others can get involved too."

Professor Sir Charles Godfray, Director, Oxford Martin School said: "Ensuring an adequate supply of healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food is a major but addressable global challenge - but if we fail on food we fail on everything."

Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Birmingham said: "All three of these outstanding speakers will add expertise and weight to the critical discussions we hope to have at next year’s Forum. The University has a critical role to play in bringing world-leading experts to Birmingham to generate and share solutions to the most pressing challenges we all face."

Professor Hisham Mehanna, Director at the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Global Innovation and Institute for Advanced Studies and lead for the Forum for Global Challenges said: "I would like to thank Danny, Liv and Charles for helping us realise our vision for next year’s Forum and we look forward to working together over the coming weeks. The solution to so many of these issues lies in collaboration and that is precisely what we want to inspire by hosting the Forum for Global Challenges in Birmingham."

The Forum for Global Challenges will find, share and promote technological, policy, societal and behavioural solutions to climate change and inequalities. The Forum will focus on the key topics of the green economy, restoring nature, the future of cities, mobility, the future of education and employment, health and wellbeing, food security and access to the digital world. These will be examined through the lenses of post-COVID recovery, strategies for transformation, ethical and effective leadership and interconnectedness.

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