Annual Conference 2021 - Guest and Keynote Speakers

Esteva Circle ImageGustavo Esteva is a Mexican activist, "deprofessionalized intellectual" and founder of the Universidad de la Tierra in the Mexican city of Oaxaca. He is well known for his contribution to the post-development theory and practice, a strong advocate for active non-violence, and a proponent of radical pluralism and community-based actionism, for the reorganization of the society from the bottom-up. A prolific writer, he is the author of more than 40 books, published in seven languages. Among his numerous academic honors: an Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa), the National Award for Political Economy, and the National Award for Journalism. He has served as president of the Mexican Society of Planning and the 5th World Congress on Rural Sociology and Chairman of the Board for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.

Jonathon Glennie Circle Image

Jonathan Glennie is a writer, researcher, campaigner and consultant on sustainable development, inequality and poverty.  His work looks in particular at the changing nature of international cooperation as dominant paradigms and global economic relationships evolve.

He has held senior positions in several international organisations, including Ipsos, Save the Children, ODI and Christian Aid and helped set up The Guardian‘s Global Development website, for which he was a regular columnist. As a consultant, he has worked with governments, international agencies and civil society organisations as they renew their strategies for a new era. His latest book, The Future of Aid: Global Public Investment, was published by Routledge in November 2020. He lives with his family in Colombia. 

Twitter: @jonathanglennie | @globalpubinvt


Sarah Lister Circle ImageDr Sarah Lister is UNDP’s Head of Governance and oversees policy and programme support to its governance portfolio globally, which includes electoral cycle support, parliamentary development, anti-corruption, legal identity, youth empowerment and disability inclusion.

She has more than 25 years’ experience working on democratic governance, including civic engagement, media and communication, social accountability, public administration reform and governance measurement. From 2015-2019 she was the Director of UNDP’s Oslo Governance Centre where she led the team bridging research, policy and practice on governance and peacebuilding in transitional contexts, with a particular focus on SDG16.  She worked previously for UNDP, BBC Media Action, the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit in Kabul and the Institute of Development Studies, UK. She has also consulted for multilaterals, bilaterals, think-tanks and NGOs. She has lived and worked in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. Sarah holds a PhD and MSc in Social Policy from the London School of Economics, and a BA in History from Cambridge University, UK. 

Twitter: @sa_lister | @UNDPgov