ISF 2016 | Population & Environment

ISF 2016: “Population & Environment”

The 13th International Solidarity Forum took place in New York from March 7-10, 2016. The theme of the ISF was ‘Population & Environment and brought together members and experts from across the world.

Outcome Document: Declaration on Population & Environment

Why Population & Environment?

The 13th Annual International Solidarity Forum will examine the theme of Population and Environment. The United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals last autumn. These goals, focused on the people and the planet, are the international development agenda for the next fifteen years. WYA will be examining the interrelation between people and our environment, and person-centered solutions in light of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Conference Speakers


Father Roger Landry, a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts (USA), is attaché at the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the U.N. Prior to his service for the Holy See, he served for 15 years as a parish priest, diocesan newspaper editor, and chaplain for high school students. A graduate of Harvard College and Rome’s Gregorian University, he has taught widely on the thought of Popes Francis, Benedict and John Paul II, writes for various Catholic publications, and regularly appears on Catholic television and radio programs.
Obadias Ndaba was born in DR Congo and moved to Rwanda when he was a teenager. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Kigali Independent University and certificate in nonprofit financial stewardship from Kennedy School of Government. Obadias previously worked for KCB Bank and Inkingi Microfinance in Kigali, Rwanda. He then became a staff member of World Youth Alliance serving as Director for WYA Africa from 2010-2012 and the 4th WYA President from 2012-2015. He is a current Senior Project Manager at the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a think tank that researches the smartest solutions for the world’s biggest problems, advising policy-makers and philanthropists on how they can spend their money most effectively.


Juan Elias Chebly is founder of is a PHD Candidate in Sustainable Development at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Ven- ezuela and also works for the United Nations Environment Programme as Lead Adviser. He holds a BS in management, a minor in International Business, and a Finance MBA degree from St. John’s University in Queens NY. At age 24, he became St. John’s Tobin College of Business youngest professor during the Fall of 2010. In 2009 he founded, a telecom startup introducing innovative and pioneering VOIP telephony solutions in South America and the US. Juan has served as the World We Want 2015 Coordinator at UNDP where he led efforts to bring global participation to the design of Agenda 2030. Juan currently serves as the Lead Adviser to the Secretariat of Governing Bodies on citizen engagement and multi-stakeholder partnerships at UNEP New York.


Nadja Wolfe is the Director of Advocacy of World Youth Alliance. Her interest in human rights began when she learned about modern slavery when she was thirteen. She graduated magna cum laude from Washing- ton & Lee University where she majored in Russian Area Studies and The- atre Arts and minored in Poverty and Human Capability. Nadja worked as an English teacher in Moscow, Russia, for two years before returning to the U.S. to pursue a law degree. She graduated from William & Mary Law School in 2014 and came to WYA that autumn as an advocacy fellow. She was hired as Director of Advocacy the following year.


Michael Matheson Miller is Research Fellow and Director of Acton Media at the Acton Institute. With some ten years of international experience, Miller has lived and traveled in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He lectures internationally on such themes as moral philosophy, economic development, and social theory, and entrepreneurship. Much of his current work at the Acton Institute involves leading PovertyCure, promoting entrepreneurial solutions to poverty in the developing world. Before coming to Acton, he spent three years at Ave Maria College of the Americas in Nicaragua where he taught philosophy and political science and was the chair of the philoso- phy and theology department. Miller received his bachelor’s degree from the
University of Notre Dame, an M.A. from Nagoya University’s Graduate School of International Development (Japan), an M.A. in philosophy from Franciscan University, and an M.B.A. in International Management from Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Business.  
Paloma Duran brings 25 years experience in development and UN issues. She has an extensive professional experience in government and interna- tional organizations. She acted as the United Nations Vice-Chair of the Com- mission for Social Development, while working at the Spanish Mission to the UN in New York. Prior to that she worked in Madrid as Chef de Cabinet for the Social Affairs Secretariat and Vice-President of the Women’s Institute. She has served on the EU’s Equality Committee and the Council of Europe’s Expert Group on Affirmative Action, and worked with civil society in Nigeria, Guatemala, Peru, the Philippines and elsewhere. In her capacity as director of the SDG-Fund, she oversaw the launching of a Private Sector Advisory Group consisting of global companies from various sectors with the purpose of providing guidance and strategic support to achieve better development results in coordination with the private sector. She holds PhDs in Law, Canon Law and Political Science. She is a member of the Valencia and Madrid Lawyers Association and a member of the Legislation and Jurisprudence Academy of Madrid.


Lord Leomer Pomperada is the current President of World Youth Alliance. Prior to this, Lord served as WYA’s Regional Director for Asia Pacific from 2014-2015 and as Program Assistant for Communication and Development for the Center for Excellence in Governance-Institute for Solidarity in Asia. Lord also served as a Philippine Youth Ambassador to Japan and Southeast Asia under the 40th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program. He is the 2015 recipient of the Gawad ASEANO Youth Award, a recognition given for “significant contributions to youth development in Southeast Asia” and was recently recognized as a National Finalist for the 2015 Philippine Move Awards under the Global Mover category. Lord was born in Iloilo City, Philip- pines and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.