ISF 2012 | Sustainable Development: The Priority of Persons

The International Solidarity Forum (ISF) is the World Youth Alliance’s annual training event. Hosted at the United Nations in New York, the ISF brings together WYA members from each of the five regions, international advisors to the World Youth Alliance, and members of the UN diplomatic community. Each ISF examines particular themes of global importance through lectures, workshops, and cultural activities.

This year’s annual theme will examine the centrality of the human person in achieving human development, particularly in relation to the idea of sustainable development. Sustainable development is the United Nations’ overarching concept for development and human rights; it includes social, economic and environmental areas of focus. In June, 2012, the United Nations will host an international conference in Rio, in order to revisit commitments made 20 years ago, and to reset the sustainable development agenda for the future. Given the overarching compass of this theme, the commitments made at Rio will influence each area of WYA’s work at the UN in an ongoing way.

Speakers  & Talks

Andreas Widmer on “Sustainable Development and the Human Person”

Andreas Widmer is Research Fellow in Entrepreneurship. He is the cofounder of SEVEN Fund, a philanthropic organization run by entrepreneurs who invest in original research, books, films, and websites to further enterprise solutions to poverty. He works closely with entrepreneurs, investors, and faith leaders around the world to foster enterprise solutions to poverty and promote virtuous business practices, with an emphasis upon developing entrepreneurial initiatives at the intersection of business and faith.

Andreas is a seasoned business executive with experience in high-tech and international business strategy consulting and economic development. He was an executive in residence at Highland Capital Partners, a venture capital firm. He served as CEO of OTF Group (formerly part of the Monitor Group) and helped lead Eprise Corporation, Dragon Systems and FTP Software. He has worked extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, and has brought more than 100 leading-edge technology products to market. He holds two business degrees from Switzerland, a B.S. in International Business from Merrimack College, and an M.A. in Ministry from St. John’s Seminary in Boston.

Nicholas Eberstadt on “Sustainable Development and the Economy”

Nicholas Eberstadt, a political economist and a demographer by training, is also a senior adviser to the National Board of Asian Research, a member of the visiting committee at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a member of the Global Leadership Council at the World Economic Forum. He researches and writes extensively on economic development, foreign aid, global health, demographics, and poverty. He is the author of numerous monographs and articles on North and South Korea, East Asia, and countries of the former Soviet Union. His books range from The End of North Korea (AEI Press, 1999) to The Poverty of the Poverty Rate (AEI Press, 2008).

Juan Jose Daboub on “Sustainable Development and Enviromental Protection”

Dr. Juan Jose Daboub is the Founding Chief Executive Officer of the Global Adaptation Institute. He has taught at Princeton University and serves on the Board of Directors of several private companies. As Managing Director of the World Bank, from 2006 to 2010, Dr. Daboub oversaw operations in 110 countries and was responsible for the oversight of the Human Development and Sustainable Development Networks, the Information Systems Group, the World Bank Institute, the Department of Institutional Integrity and the Arab World Initiative.

Prior to the World Bank, Dr. Daboub joined with El Salvador’s President Francisco Flores to develop the non-profit organization America Libre Institute. From 1999 to 2004, Dr. Daboub served concurrently as El Salvador’s Minister of Finance as well as Chief of Staff to President Flores. Dr. Daboub’s leadership began in the private sector, where he led his family-owned businesses for nearly a decade before joining the Board of CEL, El Salvador’s electric utility. He privatized the state owned telephone company, ANTEL, in a competitive process that eliminated the monopoly in the telecommunications sector. He held high Government positions in El Salvador for 12 years (1992-2004), working for three different Administrations without belonging to any political party.

Dr. Daboub holds a Bachelors of Science, Masters of Science and a PhD in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University.  He is married with four children.

Steve Goreham on “Climate Change and Sustainable Development: The Rest of the Story”

Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and a speaker and researcher on global environmental issues. The Climate Science Coalition of America is a non-political association of scientists, engineers, and energy experts dedicated to educating world citizens about the realities of climate change and renewable energy. Steve is author of Climatism! Science, Common Sense, and the 21st Century’s Hottest Topic. Contrary to popular consensus, mounting science shows that global warming is overwhelmingly due to natural cycles of Earth and that man-made emissions play only a very small role. This has important implications for sustainable development by nations around the world. Steve is an engineer and former business executive, with thirty years of experience at Fortune 100 and private firms. He holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Chicago.
To view the full full ISF schedule, please click here.

ISF Highlights

  1. Expert Lectures: Experts in the field of the theme topic, including diplomats, researchers, and scholastics, present global issues to participants. This expertise influences the positions expressed in the ISF outcome declaration.
  2. UN Training: Hosting the ISF at United Nations Headquarters allows participants to learn about the UN system by experiencing it through attendance at concurrent UN Commissions or other meetings.
  3. Language Negotiation: Each ISF produces an outcome document which serves the purpose of training participants in UN style language negotiations as well as drafting WYA position statements on global issues.
  4. Cultural Events: ISF participants come from all regions of the world; cultural events allow them to share their respective cultures. Major cultural events, such as the WYA Film Festival, demonstrate how our core ideas are expressed through culture.

ISF participants must have completed WYA’s Track A training program and must be certified by their regional director.