Advisory Panel

For the selection of the Solutions which are included in the Report and showcased in the Youth Solutions platform, SDSN Youth works together with a high-level Advisory Panel, comprising world-renowned experts from different disciplines, representatives of the SDSN Secretariat and members of SDSN Youth Executive.




Mr. Djaffar Shalchi is originally from Tehran, Iran, where he was born in 1961. He has lived in Copenhagen, Denmark since 1970. In 1977, Djaffar met a lovely Danish girl, Ané Maro, with whom he is now married and has two amazing children. Djaffar obtained a bachelor’s degree in constructional engineering in 1988. In 1999 he decided that he was ready to become self-employed. Djaffar founded his own construction company, which flourished rapidly and led to great financial success.

Djaffar is an accomplished entrepreneur in the property development business and at the forefront of philanthropic activities focusing on ending extreme poverty. After successfully building up many property companies, Djaffar decided to dedicate the majority of his time and fortune to eradicate extreme poverty. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Move Humanity. Filled with love for humanity, Djaffar Shalchi is committed to making a difference and to inspire others to do the same.



Cherie Nursalim is Vice Chairman of GITI Group, a Member of the International Advisory Board of Columbia University and the Asia Advisory Board of the MIT Sloan School of Management. She also sits on the boards of the Yale Center for Environmental Law Policy and the University of Indonesia Climate Change Center, as well as the China Disabled Persons Foundation Board and the United in Diversity Foundation.

Ms. Nursalim has recently been appointed to the Executive Board of International Chamber of Commerce. She organizes international and education forums and has won the Baiyulan Award from the Shanghai government. She was listed among Forbes' 48 Heroes of Philanthropy.


Marie Fischborn is with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). She currently leads IUCN’s engagement in the Panorama initiative, with a thematic focus on protected area solutions, working globally with a wide range of partners and stakeholders. Marie has also played a leading role in the emergence of Panorama. Panorama is a partnership initiative to identify and promote examples of inspiring, replicable solutions across a range of conservation and development topics.
Marie holds a master’s degree in Biodiversity and Ecology and a bachelor degree in Biology.




Martin started his professional career within the Crop Science industry in 1991 as a research chemist. He held various positions in research and development before joining Bayer Crop Science, Regulatory Affairs in 2003. In 2008 he was given the opportunity to establish a sustainable development department at Bayer CropScience Headquarter in Monheim, Germany. In October 2016 he accepted a position as Senior Stakeholder Engagement Manager, responsible for agricultural topics with a focus on rural development, food security and sustainable agriculture.  He represents Bayer on these topics with the relevant bodies of the European Commission, multilateral platforms such as OECD, FAO and CFS, as well as bilateral initiatives by the German Government.

He received a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Würzburg in 1989, followed by a postdoc fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley. 


Ross is currently directing Ashoka’s education strategy for triggering a fundamental change in the experience of education so that every young person is empowered to make a better world. He is a Board Director of Whole Education - a network of schools committed to providing holistic education - and a founding trustee of a new all-through schools chain in the UK.

Ross researched and designed a ground-breaking programme that aims to equip and incline young people to be well and to do well. The first implementation of the Better World Programme is with 500,000 children in rural communities across Zimbabwe and Tanzania.


Dr. Frannie Léautier is Chairperson and Co-Founding Partner of Mkoba Private Equity. Dr. Léautier previously served as Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). A Tanzanian national, she served as Vice President of the World Bank and Head of the World Bank Institute from December 2001 to March 2007. She also served as Chief of Staff to the former President of the World Bank from 2000 to 2001. Cumulatively, Dr. Léautier served in various capacities at the World Bank from 1992 to 2007. From 2007 to 2009, she was a Managing Partner at The Fezembat Group, a company focused on risk management and leadership development



Rasmus is a Harvard and MIT-educated digital transformer and winner of a Crown Prince Frederik Scholarship for extraordinary academic achievement. He  serves as CEO of *Sustainia*, a global advisory group and digital studio that turns UN Sustainability Development Goals into business strategies and digital solutions for international clients. He is also the founder of Athliit - a sports & health tech company that works to ensure healthy lives and promotes well-being for all at all ages.

At Harvard, he earned an MPA degree with a concentration in management, entrepreneurship and new media (with cross-registration at MIT). Previously he held leadership positions at Deloitte and a digital strategy consultancy. In parallel Rasmus has maintained a military career with NATO and EU assignments (and became the youngest officer promoted to Naval Commander reserves).



Jennifer Gross founded the Blue Chip Foundation in 2015 which focuses on alleviating extreme poverty in the developing world; education in the United States, and social enterprise at the local region. Ms. Gross is a member of The Gross Family Foundation which has donated to Mercy Ships, Doctors Without Borders, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Duke University, UCI Stem Cell Research Center, Sue and Bill Gross Women’s Pavillion at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Sue and Bill Gross Surgery and Procedure Center at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, and The Teachers of Orange County. She also serves on the board of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Duke Global Health Institute and LA Kitchen.

She is partnering with PixHug which is a social media platform designed to bring money to charitable campaigns through member participation. Prior to joining PixHug, Ms. Gross owned a physical therapy clinic in Beverly Hills. She has 10 years of philanthropic and business experience and earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University.



Rainer is Professor of innovation and public governance at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, and research professor at Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia. He led Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance for 10 years, building it into one of the leading innovation and governance schools in the region. 

Professor Kattel has also served on various public policy commissions, including the Estonian Research Council and European Science Foundation. He has worked as an expert for the OECD, UNDP and the European Commission. Currently, he leads the Estonian Government’s Gender Equality Council, and is a member of governing boards at Tallinn University of Technology and Estonian Academy of Arts.. 


Oliver B. Libby is the Chair & Co-Founder of The Resolution Project. Resolution identifies and empowers undergraduate students around the world who wish to launch new social ventures, supported by Resolution’s global network of resources. 

Oliver is also a founding Managing Director of Hatzimemos / Libby, a global growth catalyst firm based in New York, focusing on the energy and advanced technology sectors. Oliver serves as a Trustee of the philanthropic Harvard Club of New York Foundation and a member of the Clinton Global Initiative's LEAD program. Oliver graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University.


Lauren Barredo is a Manager for the SDSN, where she manages the Thematic Groups on Health, Agriculture, and Extractive Industries. She also manages the Caribbean SDSN and the Amazonia SDSN. Previously she was a Special Assistant to Jeffrey D. Sachs at The Earth Institute, Columbia University. Prior to that Lauren worked as a project administrator for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. She holds a Masters Degree in Envionmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and two Bachelors Degrees from American University.




Virgilio Viana is an expert in forestry and sustainable development. He received a PhD in evolutionary biology from Harvard University and did post-doctoral work on sustainable development at the University of Florida. He was formerly professor of forest sciences at the Higher School of Agriculture Luiz de Queiroz, at São Paulo University. Dr. Viana coordinated the Brazilian consultative process that led to the establishment of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in 1993. In 2008, Dr. Viana transitioned to a new role as Director General of the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), an organization charged with implementing the Bolsa Floresta Program, as well as providing the institutional framework to market environmental services of Amazonas’ forests.



Siamak Sam Loni is a recent Monash graduate and is now an Officer with MSDI’s Sustainable Development Program. In 2015 he was appointed as the inaugural Global Coordinator of SDSN Youth. In that capacity Sam serves as a member (ex-officio) of the SDSN Global Leadership Council. Additionally, he is an Executive Member of SDSN Australia/Pacific Regional Centre which is hosted by the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI). Finally, Sam is an advisor of the Alpbach-Laxenburg Group (ALG), an expert group led by IIASA, in the development of the ‘World in 2050’ project. 

Sam has received a number of awards for his leadership in these areas, including the John Bertrand Leadership Series, the Harvard WorldMUN Diplomacy Award and the Resolution Project’s Social Venture Challenge. In 2015, he was shortlisted for the Victorian Student of the Year Award – Internationalisation.



Catherine Barba is one of the top global experts in the intersection of retail and digital transformation since 1996. She develops the New-York-based PEPS Lab, a Retail Innovation Lab that offers clear guidance to brands and retailers seeking to adapt to the new consumer behaviors and values, and to imagine the future of their business.  Prior to that, a serial entrepreneur and Internet pioneer in Europe, Barba founded and sold several digital businesses in France. A trusted angel investor and mentor, she serves on the board of directors of successful tech startups, including Euveka (CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree), Reech, Retency, Popshop, and on the board of multinational organizations such as Renault, the world’s largest carmaker. In 2015 and 2016, she was named one of 50 most influential figures in Europe’s digital economy and in 2014 one of 3 most influential female figures in France. Barba is a Knight of the French National Order of Merit and Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honor.



Alexander Dale leads MIT Solve’s Sustainability work, where he supports people and organizations passionate about tackling food, energy, water, and climate challenges. He has an academic background in the life-cycle impacts of energy and water infrastructure, and a professional background in environmental policy, engineering education, and nonprofit management.

Alexander was Executive Director of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) from 2013 until 2015 and continues to serve on ESW’s board. From 2015 to 2017, he was a AAAS Policy Fellow hosted by the US EPA’s Transportation and Climate Division. He has also taught courses in social entrepreneurship, energy & science communication, and technical sustainability.



Anna is the Network Manager of the SDSN Northern Europe. She holds a PhD degree in Environmental Economics from from the University of Gothenburg and is currently a Research Fellow at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science of Lund University. Her primary research interest is forest conservation policies and behavioral economics, with emphasis on sustainable forest management, payment for ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. Her current research topics include: policy design for implementing REDD+, especially Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES); synergies and trade-off between biodiversity and ecosystem services; forest certification.






Suzi Ibbotson is a Global Communications Director at Unilever, focused on external campaigns. Prior to joining Unilever she held various marketing and communications positions in both public and private sector organizations, bringing a focus on sustainability to every role. She is a lead member of the Collectively project, a pilot venture to explore intrapreneurship across companies, and responsible for Unilever’s own intrapreneurs network.