Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator

Leading global voices to participate in first GESDA Summit on the future of anticipatory science diplomacy

Jul 19, 2021

The Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA) announced today that its inaugural annual GESDA Summit from October 7 to 9 will convene leaders from more than 30 nations including the heads of major UN agencies and other international organizations, senior government officials from Switzerland and the U.S., and top academics and corporate officials.

Among the 300 expected speakers and participants are XPRIZE Foundation CEO Anousheh Ansari; UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet; UNESCO Regional Bureau for Sciences in Latin America and the Caribbean Director Lidia Brito; UN Office for Outer Space Affairs Director Simonetta Di Pippo; Switzerland’s Special Representative for Science Diplomacy Alexandre Fasel; International Labour Organisation Director-general Guy Ryder; International Science Council President Sir Peter Gluckman; The Graduate Institute Director Marie-Laure Salles; Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School George Church; International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer; UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Mami Mizutori; the US White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s inaugural Deputy Director for Science and Society Alondra Nelson; Nobel Prize-winning Swiss astrophysicist Didier Queloz; Siemens and A.P. Møller-Mærsk Chairman Jim Hagemann Snabe; Origin Space Founder Su Meng; World Health Organization Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan; World Intellectual Property Organization Director Daren Tang; the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean Peter Thomson; International Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Houlin Zhao; SICPA Chief Science Officer Philippe Gillet; and Co-Impact Founder and CEO Olivia Leland.

The summit will be led by GESDA Board Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe and Vice-Chairman Patrick Aebischer, and by board members Micheline Calmy-Rey, former president of the Swiss Confederation; Matthias Egger, president of the Swiss National Science Foundation’s National Research Council; Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome Trust; Fabiola Gianotti, director-general of CERN; Chorh Chuan Tan, chief health scientist and executive director of health transformation in Singapore’s Ministry of Health; Mamokghethi Phakeng, vice-chancellor of South Africa’s University of Cape Town; Michael Møller, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Director General of the UN Office in Geneva, chair of GESDA’s Diplomatic Forum; and ETH Zurich President Joël Mesot, co-chair of GESDA’s Academic Forum.

GESDA, a Swiss foundation that serves as the first global tool for diplomacy based on the anticipation of science, will host the summit in-person and by videoconference, and make plenaries accessible to invited registrants through live video feeds. Its board will meet in Verbier for the first time in person later this week.

The opening plenary session will include addresses from Brabeck-Letmathe and UN Office at Geneva Director-General Tatiana Valovaya. It also will include a high-level panel with Nelson, who was appointed by US President Joe Biden to oversee his administration’s scientific integrity task force, and with Gluckman, who heads an NGO bridging 140 national and regional scientific organizations and formerly served as the chief science advisor to New Zealand’s prime minister from 2009 to 2018. Other sessions will feature Aebischer, Tan and Phakeng talking about GESDA’s mission and Møller presenting GESDA’s Breakthrough Radar, a proprietary decision-making tool that assesses the impact and momentum of future scientific advances, along relevant timeframes of five, 10 and 25 years. Brabeck-Letmathe and Fasel, whose appointment by Switzerland’s federal government last February strengthened Geneva’s role as a digital and technology governance hub,
also will hold a public opening plenary at the Graduate Institute Geneva. For the full program click here.

Other confirmed speakers and participants include Professor of Economics at Collège de France Philippe Aghion; Professor of Economics at Graduate Institute Geneva Richard Baldwin; EPFL Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience Director Olaf Blanke; Stockholm Resilience Center Researcher Robert Blasiak; Alfred Wegener Institute Director Antje Boetius; European Space Agency Head of Department Science, Applications and Future Technologies Earth Observation Directorate Maurice Borgeaud; OECD policy analyst Claudia Chwalisz; FutureWorld Foundation Executive Vice-Chair Sean Cleary; Paris School of Economics President and E4S Managing Director Jean-Pierre Danthine; Gump South Pacific Research Station Director Neil Davies; Coca-Cola South Africa President William Egbe; Foraus Founder Nicola Forster; Honorary professor in physics at University of Geneva Nicolas Gisin; Professor of Globalization and Development at University of Oxford Ian Goldin; British journalist and commentator David Goodhart; SciDipGLOBAL Founder Marga Gual Soler;  German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina President Gerald Haug; Professor of Computational Social Science at ETH Zurich Dirk Helbing; Africa Center CEO Uzodinma Iweala; Professor of Quantum Computing at Sorbonne University Elham Kashefi; ColLaboratory Director at University of Lausanne Alain Kaufmann; Distinguished Professor at National University of Singapore Brian Kennedy; Associate Professor at University of Pittsburgh Samira Kiani; European Space Resources Innovation Center Director Mathias Link; ETH Zürich Advisor to the President and Board Chris Luebkeman; Foundation for Space Development Africa Director Adriana Marais; Professor of Biological Geochemistry at EPF Lausanne Anders Meibom; NEO.LIFE Founder and CEO Jane Metcalfe; French National Center for Scientific Researchs Cote d’Azure Observatory Research Director Patrick Michel; Center for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance Director Simon Niemeyer; Assistant Professor of Functional Inorganic Materials at EPF Lausanne Wendy Lee Queen; Kenyan researcher and policy analyst Nanjira Sambuli; Professor at Paris School of Economics Katheline Schubert; Professor of Labor Economics at Keio Research Information Systems Atsushi Seike; Microsoft Distinguished Scientist Matthias Troyer; Professor of Communication Theory at EPF Lausanne diger Urbanke; Professor of Bioethics at ETH Zurich Effy Vayena; and Professor of Medical Genetics at University of Cape Town Ambroise Wonkam.

 

For the full list of summit participants click here.

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