14 May 2019 - 15 May 2019
New York, USA

STI Forum 2019

The Digital Revolution and Sustainable Development: Opportunities and Challenges, a TWI2050 side event at the annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

The Digital Revolution, which although is arguably the single greatest enabler of sustainable development, has, in the past, created many negative externalities like transgression of planetary boundaries. Progress on the SDGs will be facilitated if we can build and implement detailed STI roadmaps at levels that range from local to global. This is central as STI drives all SDGs and one of the most fundamental disruptive changes in human history – the digital revolution which puts comprehensive artificial intelligence at the centre. A major challenge will be how to use the transformative nature of digitalization to create wealthy and inclusive economies and societies. 

To support the STI Forum, TWI2050 is organizing a side event: 

The Digital Revolution and Sustainable Development: Opportunities and Challenges

Date & Time: 14 May 2019, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Venue: Conference Room 12 in the UN Conference Building

Moderator and opening: IIASA Acting Deputy DG/CEO Nebojsa Nakicenovic


  • E. William Colglazier, AAAS
  • Paulo Gadelha, FIOCRUZ
  • Lucilla Spini, ISC
  • Tateo Arimoto, JST and GRIPS
  • Shantanu Mukherjee, UN-DESA
  • Discussion (30min)

Organizers and co-organizers:

While the Digital Revolution cuts across all SDGs, the side event will focus on its role in empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality (in line with the SDGs 4, 8, 10, 13, and 16 which are under review at the High-level Political Forum in July 2019). The global scientific initiative The World in 2050 (TWI2050) has been developing integrated pathways based on interdisciplinary knowledge that achieve multiple SDGs, harnessing synergies and mitigating trade-offs. The side event will present the role of technological change in these pathways with a focus on the SDGs under review and will provide examples of proven and emerging technologies and innovations that can accelerate progress towards the selected SDGs. 

The second report by TWI2050 will be pre-launched during the STI Forum. The side event will present insights into the recommendations to policy makers in how they can harness the power of the digital revolution to enable the achievement of the SDGs and which challenges they need to overcome, providing guidance in formulating roadmaps. 

IIASA Acting Deputy DG/CEO Nebojsa Nakicenovic will also speak at a side event organized by UN Major Group for Children and Youth on "Ethical Code: Designing and Governing Inclusive AI." on May 14,1:15-2;30pm in Conference Room S2725


  • Ms. Tereza Horejsova, US Director of Diplo
  • Mr. Mina Hanna, IEEE TechEthics
  • Nebojsa Nakicenovic, IIASA
  • Representative from UN Global Pulse
  • Representative from NAE Ethics Center

 Organizers and co-organizers:

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) TechEthics
  • Youth Department of the Council of Europe
  • ETC Group
  • CSO Financing for Development Group
  • UN Global Pulse
  • Diplo Foundation AI Labs
  • Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School (tbc)

STI Fora

The annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum) is a part of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism mandated by the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. It is expected to "provide a venue for facilitating interaction, matchmaking and the establishment of networks between relevant stakeholders and multi-stakeholder partnerships in order to identify and examine technology needs and gaps, including with regard to scientific cooperation, innovation and capacity-building, and also in order to help facilitate development, transfer and dissemination of relevant technologies for the sustainable development goals." It will "discuss science, technology and innovation cooperation around thematic areas for the implementation of the sustainable development goals, congregating all relevant stakeholders to actively contribute in their area of expertise."

The first STI Forum was held in 2016. Information on past Fora can be found here.

The fourth annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum) will take place on 14-15 May 2019 in UN Headquarters, New York. ECOSOC President of 2019, Inga Rhona King, has appointed H.E. Ms. H. Elizabeth Thompson, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations and H.E. Mrs. Marie Chatardová, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, to act as co-chairs of the Forum.

The theme of the STI Forum 2019 will be: "STI for ensuring inclusiveness and equality, with a special focus on SDGs 4, 8, 10, 13, and 16".


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Last edited: 15 May 2019


Nebojsa Nakicenovic

Emeritus Research Scholar

Integrated Assessment and Climate Change Research Group|Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions Research Group|Energy


and Environment Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 411

Fourth STI Forum

TWI2050 initiative


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