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Transform to Survive: A Sustainable Future for all?

3. September 2021 @ 15:00 - 17:00

This event takes place in the program line „Sustainability – Looking beyond 2030“.

Photo by Mark Basarab

Date: Sept 3, 2021
 15:00-17:00 CEST
Online Event 

We are at a juncture and need to decide which path to take. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “The state of the planet is broken. Humanity is waging war on nature, and this is suicidal.” If climate change was an asteroid and we knew it would hit earth in 10 years and extinguish life as we know it, would we work harder, be bolder and be readier to embrace a new way of living? And what would we do to ensure human survival?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how countries, scientists and people in general can unite and work together towards a common good and that radical transformation is possible, when the threat is severe enough.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of UN Bonn, the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), together with partners in the Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research, is bringing together key thought-leaders from research, government and the UN to outline the framework for future-ready science-policy-cooperation in and from Bonn to create innovative solutions to these global crisis and trigger the transformation towards an inclusive, equitable and sustainable future.

Welcome remarks:

  • Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, Minister of the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKW)
  • Wilfried Kraus, Deputy Director General of the Directorate “European and International Cooperation in Education and Research”, Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF)


  • Katja Dörner, Mayor of the City of Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch, Rector of the University of Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Director of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
  • Prof. Dr. Katja Bender, Director of the International Centre for Sustainable Development and the Centre for Ethics and Responsibility of the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, University of Applied Sciences (H-BRS)
  • Dr. Tina Birmpili, Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  • Dr. Youssef Nassef, Director of the Adaptation Division, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Prof. Dr. Shen Xiaomeng, Vice-Rector in Europe of the United Nations University and Director of UNU-EHS


Arianna Flores Corral, Communication Associate at the United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

In the moderated discussion, panelists will share different perspectives on the ways we can work together as (sustainable) development community in transdisciplinary science and policy to drive the transformation towards a sustainable, inclusive and resilient society. The virtual event will be interactive and there is the possibility to direct questions to the panellists via a Q&A function.

We would like to invite especially young people (pupils, trainees, students, young scientists) who have their lives and careers in front of them to direct their questions and concerns to the leaders on the panel, which can also be sent in form of a pre-recorded video to Dr. Sandra Gilgan ( A selected number of contributions can be integrated into the event. If desired, we can also discuss your questions before the event.

Please register here. You will receive the link to participate in due time before the online event.


3. September 2021
15:00 - 17:00