Howard Blumenthal is the founder of Kids on Earth, a global citizenship project for the world’s first generation of connected, literate (often, bi-lingual), healthy, wealthy children and teenagers. Howard writes and speaks about the human side of globalization, media/technology and social progress. His television work includes projects for History, MTV, Nickelodeon, HBO, PBS and Disney. On the Other Side of the Fence, a documentary about friendship across cultures, won the Gold Award for Documentary and a UN Public Service Award at the NY International Film Festivals. The TV series about world cultures, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, which he created and produced, won a Peabody and multiple Emmy Awards. The author of twenty books about music, popular culture, creativity and business, Howard wrote a popular weekly column for The New York Times Syndicate for 100 newspapers and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.
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Anthony Giddens is one of the most influential voices in contemporary social theory. He was director of the London School of Economics (LSE) and is a member of the British House of Lords. He was educated at the University of Hull and at the LSE. He has taught at the Universities of Leicester, Cambridge, and at the London School of Economics. His Theory of Structuration plays a central role in debates on social theory. Amongst his more than 34 published books (translated into 29 languages) is The Politics of Climate Change, first published in 2009, in which he argues for the social sciences to be integrated into sustainability research.
Joanne Kauffman served as principal research scientist and deputy director of the Center for Environmental Initiatives (MIT) and as co-executive director of the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS). Since retiring from MIT, she has served as an advisor and consultant on international policy for sustainable development for UNESCO, the ETH Zurich, and the University of Tokyo. Her current work is concerned with sustainability policies and the application of sustainability science.
Nnenesi Kgabi is holder of the UNESCO-Chair on Sustainable Water Research for Climate Adaptation in Arid Environments at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Windhoek). She has worked for numerous regional, national and international programs and organizations, including the Southern African Development Community (SADC) WaterNet, the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), UNESCO, the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), the National Research Foundation (NRF), the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST), and the Adaptation Fund (AF). After studies in chemistry, physics, and environmental science, she held positions at the University of North West (South Africa) and the Polytechnic of Namibia (Windhoek). Her current work is concerned with transdisciplinary approaches to the fields of environmental sustainability and hydro-climate sciences. Nnesi Kgabi is a member of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP), the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS), the International Society for Development and Sustainability (ISDS), and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), amongst others.
Melissa Leach is the director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex. She co-founded and co-directed the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre. A geographer and social anthropologist, her interdisciplinary, policy-engaged research in Africa and beyond links environment, agriculture, health, technology, and gender with her particular interests in knowledge, power, and the politics of science and policy processes. She is vice-chair of the Science Committee of Future Earth, a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems, and was the lead author of the UN Women's World Survey on the Role of Women in Economic Development 2014.
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Yuan Tseh Lee is a chemistry Nobel Prize Laureate, president emeritus of the Academia Sinica, and former president of the International Council for Science (ICSU). After his studies at the National Taiwan University and the National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan), he earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1965. He subsequently undertook postdoctoral research at Harvard and taught at the University of Chicago, returning to Berkeley in 1974. Together with Dudley Herschbach and John C. Polanyi, he received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1986. Yuan Tseh Lee was awarded many honors for his service, amongst others the U.S. National Medal of Science, the British Royal Chemical Society's Faraday Medal, and the E. O. Lawrence Award. He also served as a patron of the 2016 International Year of Global Understanding, proclaimed by the world governing bodies of the social and natural sciences and the humanities.
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Gordon McBean was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He was co-chair of the Governing Council of Future Earth, president of the International Council for Science (ICSU) from 2014-2018, and one of the initiators of the International Science Council (ISC), founded in 2018. As professor emeritus at Western University, Ontario (Canada), his research interests include climate change science and policy, natural hazards prediction and mitigation, and weather and environmental prediction systems. He is a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the American Meteorological Society, and the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. He was awarded, in 2015, the University of British Columbia Alumni Award of Distinction, American Geophysical Union Ambassador Award and Cleveland Abbe Award for Distinguished Service to Atmospheric Services and, in 2017, the International Meteorological Organization Prize.
Luiz Oosterbeek is secretary general of the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH) and holds the UNESCO-Chair on Humanities and Cultural Integrated Landscape Management at the Instituto Politécnico de Tomar (Portugal). He also serves as secretary general of the International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences and is vice president of HERITY (World Organisation for the Certification of Quality Management of Cultural Heritage). He is a member of the German Archaeological Institute, of the Scientific Committee of the European University Centre for Cultural Heritage (Ravello, Italy) and an advisor to the Taihu World Cultural Forum (China). He is president of the Instituto Terra e Memória, a research and development structure based in Mação (Portugal), with ongoing research projects in archaeology, heritage management and landscape management in various countries in Europe, Africa and Southern America, as well as the vice director of the Quaternary and Human adaptations cluster of Geosciences Centre at the University of Coimbra (Portugal). He holds prizes and awards from the European Commission, Brazilian Lawyers Bar, Portuguese Ministry of Culture, Gulbenkian Foundation, Foundation for Science and Technology and several private sponsors.
Hsiung Ping-Chen is co-founder and president of the Asian New Humanities Network (ANHN) and professor of history at the Chinese University Hong Kong, where she also serves as director of the Taiwan Research Centre. She has held visiting professorships at UCLA, the University of Michigan, Cornell University, the Freie Universität Berlin, and Keio University, Tokyo. Having received her B.A. in history from Taiwan University, she received her M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Brown University (Providence, USA) and her S.M. in population studies and international health from the School of Public Health at Harvard University. Her research interest lies in the areas of women's and children's health, gender and family relations, and the intellectual and social history of early modern/modern China and Europe.
Thomas Reuter is professor for anthropology at the Asia Institute of the University of Melbourne. He was senior vice-president of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (2008-2018), president of the Australian Anthropological Association (2002-2005), and chair of the World Council of Anthropological Associations (2008-2012). He was a member of the executive of the International Social Science Council from 2013-2018 and an expert advisor to IPBES and IPCC. He is currently a member of the board of the Future Earth Regional Centre for Asia, a fellow of the European Academy (EASA), and the World Academy (WAAS). His sustainability-related research has focused on the role of indigenous and local knowledge; revitalization and eco-spiritual movements; political elites and policy; climate change; food security and food system change, biodiversity loss; public health (diet); and global socio-political trends. Thomas Reuter has published eleven books and more than 120 articles.
Hartmut Rosa is director of the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt and professor of general and theoretical sociology at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. His studies in the sociology of time and his current work on a sociology of world relation [Weltbeziehung] have established him as one of the most received German speaking sociologists and a public intellectual. His works on social acceleration and the theory of modernity, critical social theory and resonance theory, or his studies on post growth societies have been translated into numerous languages. For his work he was awarded the Erich-Fromm-Prize and the Paul-Watzlawick-Ehrenring in 2018.
Saskia Sassen is founder of the Global City research and currently the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University (New York). She is a student of cities, immigration, and states in the world economy with inequality, gendering, and digitization the three key variables in her work. She is the author of eight books and the editor or co-editor of three books. Her books have been translated into more than 20 languages. She has received many awards and honors, among them the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award in the social sciences, is a Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of the Sciences of the Netherlands, and was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government. In addition to her current research on Ethics of the City and her work on the large collective project The Urban Age, she regularly writes for general audience publications. Her comments have appeared, among others, in The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Le Monde, Vanguardia, Clarin, Die Zeit, Newsweek International, and The Financial Times.
Allen J. Scott is professor emeritus at the Department of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and is, together with Ed Soja and Michael Dear, co-founder of the Los Angeles School of Urban Research. He is regarded as one of the most influential urban geography thinkers. He graduated from St Johns College, Oxford University and received his PhD from Northwestern University (Illinois) in 1965. He subsequently taught and undertook research at the University of Pennsylvania, University College London, Toronto University, the Université de Paris, the University of Hong Kong, and at UCLA from 1981. In 2003, he was awarded the Vautrin Lud Prize, the unofficial Nobel Prize for Geography for his lifetime achievements. Furthermore, the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography awarded him the Anders Retzius Gold Medal in 2009 and in 2013 he received the Regional Studies Associations Sir Peter Hall Prize. In 2011, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.
Carlos Alberto Torres, distinguished professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, is a political sociologist of education and founding director of the Paulo Freire Institute in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Los Angeles (UCLA). He has been a visiting professor at universities in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. His empirical research focuses on the impact of globalization in higher education and global citizenship education. Torres's theoretical work has resulted in the development of a political sociology of education. He is considered one of the world's leading authorities in Latin American Studies and Global Citizenship Education, has been elected fellow in the Royal Society of Canada and corresponding member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences. Since 2015, Carlos Torres has been the inaugural holder of the UNESCO-Chair on Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education (UCLA).
Sander van der Leeuw is the founding director of Arizona State University's School of Human Evolution and Social Change (2003-2011) and was awarded the title Champion of the Earth for Science and Innovation by UNEP in 2012. As archeologist and historian, he has been specializing in the long-term interactions between humans and their environments. He became a pioneer in the application of the Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) approach to socio-environmental challenges, technology and innovation. Using the CAS perspective, he was the coordinator of the ARCHAEOMEDES interdisciplinary research program (1991-2000) on socio-natural interactions and environmental problems in Southern Europe, the first of its kind worldwide. After teaching positions in Amsterdam, Leyden, Cambridge and Paris (Sorbonne), he was external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, held a chair at the Institut Universitaire de France (2003-2008), and became dean of the School of Sustainability (2010-2013) at Arizona State University. Sander van der Leeuw is corresponding member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences and is now co-director of the ASU-SFI Center for Biosocial Complex Systems.
Perla Zusman was a member of the steering committee of the IGU commission The Cultural Approach in Geography (2004-2012) and currently serves on the board of the IGU commission C16.21 History of Geography. She is an independent CONICET researcher for human geography at the Institute of Geography at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) and a professor at the Faculty of Philosophy at UBA. After her studies and research stays at the Universities of São Paulo and Barcelona, she focused her research on the fields of cultural geography, history of geographic thought, and political geography. Perla Zusman is author and (co-) editor of numerous books in the field of human geography.