Geneva Trialogue 2021 Programme

Below is an overview of the programme for the third edition of the Geneva Trialogue, taking place online on Thursday 18 March 2021. Learn more about the Trialogue concept and history. Scroll down for the full programme, with summaries of each panel session and speaker information. 

Programme at a glance

Online Trialogue Sessions

All times are CET (Geneva time).

8:30 - Welcome to the Geneva Trialogue

Panel host: Francois Grey, Director, UNIGE Geneva Tsinghua Initiative

Yves Flückiger, Rector, University of Geneva
Nikhil Seth, Executive Director UNITAR
Irina Bokova, former Director-General , UNESCO
Martina Hirayama, Swiss Confederation

9:00 - Mobilizing Youth at Scale: Open Innovation for the SDGs

This session will feature open innovation initiatives from public/private universities, academic institutions and international organizations on youth engagement and mobilization for the SDGs. The speakers will reflect on redesigning the role of youth in society for taking action over the SDGs, scaling collective engagement in universities through open innovation practices, ensuring inclusivity and sustainability of open innovation systems, and building long term corporate engagement in open innovation.

Panel hosts: Jonas Haertle, UNITAR; Thomas Maillart, UNIGE

Johannes WedenigUNICEF
Sylvia Poll, ITU
Maria Gema Quiontero Lima, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Marta Garcia Mandaloniz, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Pearl Mao
, Tsinghua University
Solange Ingabire, Geneva Action Platform for Engaging, Learning and Information (GAPELI)

10:00 - Open Innovation in the UN Geneva ecosystem

Organised by the UN SDG Lab

This session will look at the open innovation ecosystem that is evolving in the IOs in Geneva, and between them and the academic and business sectors in the region.

Panel host: Eleonora Bonaccorsi, UN SDG Lab & IISD

Tina Ambos,  University of Geneva & Geneva Innovation Movement Initiative
Nicolas Seidler, Geneva Science Policy Interface (GSPI)
Marieke Hood, Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA)
Einar Bjorgo, UNITAR

11:00 - Open Innovation and Digital Skills for the SDGs

Organised by the UN Library

This panel will look at how Open Innovation – partnering with civil society and other key stakeholders, through agile processes like hackathons and short-term fellowship programmes – can enable institutions to rapidly implement and adapt new digital tools and services to their needs.

Panel host: Pradeep Kakkattil, UNAIDS

Nicholas Niggli, Republic and State of Geneva
Olivia Keiser, Institute for Global Health
Sahar Habib, Code for Pakistan

12:00 - Lunch Break

13:00 - Online Networking Event

Join us on Zoom for the Online Networking Session starting at 13:00 CET! We’ll be moving to the platform Remo to connect at the (virtual) SDG Solution Space. Join the event first through the event Zoom link.

14:00 - Blended Finance for Open Innovation and SDGs

This session will discuss the role of philanthropy in supporting education for the SDGs. The panellists will engage in a variety of topics, such as philanthropic giving for educational equity, engaging philanthropy with local realities, education and philanthropic return, and education for philanthropy.

Panel host: Laetitia Gill, Geneva Centre for Philanthropy

Renaud Vuignier, Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC), Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing, China
Nadia Isler, UN SDG Lab
Cherie Nursalim, GITI Group, Indonesian Government
Giuseppe Ugazio, Geneva Center for Philanthropy

15:00 - Scaling Internships with International Organizations and Innovation Hubs

The session will gather partners of the GTI Internship programme who have been or will start hosting student interns from the UNIGE Master in Innovation, human development and sustainability and students of that programme who have completed their internships. After feedback on their experiences so far, the discussion will move on to identify best practices and sensitive aspects of the programme, as well as expectations for its development. The panellists will specifically address the potential for scaling up the programme to a wider network of partners, programmes and universities, as well as the relevance, pros and cons of establishing fully remote internships.

Panel host: Louise Gallagher, UNEP/GRID-Geneva, UNIGE, LIVES Project

Adriana Jacinto, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Jean-Pierre Reymond, 2050Today & Mission permanente de la Suisse à Genève
Vladimir Stankovic, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Alexandra Mackey, MIHDS 2018 student, intern at ITU WSIS
Rasyidah Ibrahim, MIHDS 2019 student, remote intern at ITC

16:00 - Engineering the new ecosystem for Learning: Scaling through knowledge and research

Organised by CRI-Paris

This session will discuss gaps and hurdles that are limiting wider adoption of collective problem-solving approaches in learning institutions (K12 and universities), weaving perspectives from educators/social entrepreneurs, policy-making, academic and private sectors. Special focus will be given to the research and knowledge needed to frame these emerging practices to facilitate scaling.

Panel host: Gaell Manguy, Development and International Relations, CRI Paris

Valerie Hannon, GELP
Elena Proden, UN SDG:Learn & UNITAR
Andreas Schleicher, OECD
Francois Taddei, CRI
Irina Hotz, Jacobs Foundation

17:00 - Helping Youth Innovators turn Ideas into Action

Organised by Crowd4SDG

This panel will reflect on maximizing youth innovation projects’ capacities to help them reach their full potential. The speakers will discuss about the challenges to enable youth innovation projects and the opportunities leading start-ups, established entrepreneurship actors and international organizations offer to overcome these challenges.

Panel host: Romain Muller, CERN

Christina Lee, Global Green Connect
Mohamed Ba, ITU
Omar Bawa, Goodwall
Nadine Reichenthal, UNIGE Entrepreneurship Lab
Jose Iglesias, TechStars
Miles Bell, Young Water Solutions

Closing session

University of Geneva & UNITAR

Panel host: Jonas Haertle, UNITAR

Angel Cabrera, UGC & Georgia Tech
Stéphane Berthet, Vice Rector, University of Geneva
Colombe Warin, Project Officer, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission
Nicholas Niggli, State of Geneva


In partnership with