Breakout session | Stage 1

Host: UN75

The UN75 consultation on ‘the future we want, the UN we need’, is the UN’s ambitious exercise in crowdsourcing priorities and solutions, and harnessing big data analysis tools. The findings, which include priorities for ‘recovering better’ from COVID as well as current priorities for the SDGs, will inform Member States and senior UN officials. This session will see key constituencies – youth, civil society, business, labour cooperatives, tech, indigenous peoples and local government that took part in the consultation – discuss the findings and how best to take them forward at the local, national and global level – working across borders, sectors and generations. Through the insights shared, the session is geared towards re-inspiring engagement and action on the Goals in this difficult Covid context, and help frame the Goals as the roadmap for the future. The concrete recommendations, scalable solutions and partnerships formed through this process will act as a rallying cry for greater ambition and accelerated action on the Goals.


Pratik Desai - Moderator
Strategic Engagement Lead, World Benchmarking Alliance
Pratik leads strategic engagement efforts for the World Benchmarking Alliance, working to grow and strengthen a diverse, balanced, and inclusive community of global allies and partners who believe in and understand the potential of benchmarks to drive transformative change through the SDGs.
Elizabeth Cousens
CEO, UN Foundation
Elizabeth Cousens is President and CEO of the UN Foundation. She was previously at the US Mission to the UN in New York, including as Ambassador to ECOSOC and the Peacebuilding Commission and as negotiator on the SDGs. Prior to that, she worked around the world for organizations including the International Peace Institute and HD Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.
Giovanna Kuele
Researcher, Igarape Institute
Giovanna Kuele is non-resident researcher for Igarapé Institute and PhD Candidate at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Based in NY, she has researched and engaged with international politics, particularly regarding global governance, international security, conflict prevention, and peace operations. She completed her M.A. (2017) and B.A. (2014) at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. She has conducted fieldwork in Congo (2015), Ethiopia (2018), and Kenya (2018).
Katherine Zavala
Director of Grassroots Partnerships, Thousand Currents

Katherine Zavala is Director of Grassroots Partnerships at Thousand Currents, which partners with grassroots groups and movements — led by women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples in the Global South — that are creating lasting solutions to our shared global challenges. In this role she has worked alongside groups including AFEDES, an indigenous women-led organization in Guatemala and the Movement of People Affected by Dams, a national social movement in Brazil. Previously she worked for IDEX on poverty alleviation.

Otto Saki
Global Program Officer, Civic Engagement and Government Team, Ford Foundation

Otto Saki is a global program officer on the Civic Engagement and Government team. He joined the foundation as a program officer in the South Africa office in 2017. His areas of interest are global and regional political economy, regional economic communities, health, information technology, and governance. Otto has provided technical assistance to civil society, government ministries and government agencies across Sub-Saharan Africa on various law related matters including legislative reform. Otto has litigated before the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights on matters relating to freedom of expression, protection of the law and forced evictions.

Berry Vrbanovic
Mayor of Kitchener, Canada and Treasurer, United Cities and Local Government

Berry Vrbanovic was born in Zagreb, Croatia. He is Mayor of Kitchener, Canada and Treasurer of the United Cities and Local Government, the largest association of its kind in the world. He has a long history of engagement in local government, as well as global fora, with particular focus on Agenda 2030 and Financing for Development.

Patrick Gaspard
President, Open Society Foundations

Patrick Gaspard Is President of the Open Society Foundations. He has worked in government, politics and social justice movement, including as US ambassador to South Africa (2013-16), White House director of political affairs, national political director for Obama for America in 2008 and before then for a number of unions and the mayor of New York City, David Dinkins.

September 24, 09:00
09:00 — 09:45EST(GMT-4) (45′)

Data, Multilateralism, Partnerships, Technology

| Host: UN75 |, Berry Vrbanovic (United Cities and Local Government), Elizabeth Cousens (UN Foundation), Giovanna Kuele (Researcher), Katherine Zavala (Thousand Currents), Otto Saki (Ford Foundation), Patrick Gaspard (Open Society Foundations), Pratik Desai (World Benchmarking Alliance)