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Alice Roberts
Professor Alice Roberts

More contributors for next year’s high-profile Forum for Global Challenges have been confirmed.

Author and broadcaster Professor Alice Roberts, World Bank Senior Vice President and Group General Counsel, and Vice President for Compliance Sandie Okoro, and former UK Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell are the latest speakers to be announced for next year’s Forum for Global Challenges.

The inaugural bi-annual Forum for Global Challenges, which takes place on the 3-5 May 2022 in Birmingham’s famous International Convention Centre, will help to make the world a fairer, more sustainable place.

I hope the Forum for Global Challenges will be a fantastic opportunity for people from around the world to meet - to share ideas and collaborate on solving some of the great challenges facing us all right now. Cooperation was key to the survival of the human species in the past - and it’s crucial to our future. COVID19 has shown us how scientists around the world can achieve incredible things when they work together - we need to harness that potential much more widely. If we can bring together research from around the globe - we can hope to solve humanity’s greatest challenges.

Professor Alice Roberts

Taking place ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Forum will generate and share solutions to some of the most pressing challenges faced by our planet and its people, from climate change and destruction of the natural world, to poverty and rising inequalities, and the effects of the global pandemic.

Sandie Okoro, who is also a University of Birmingham alumna, commented: “The World Bank Group is a global leader in development financing for sustainable solutions, and our priority is to tackle extreme poverty and at the same time create opportunities that benefit all. To achieve those goals, we work globally, across sectors and intersectionally, and we collaborate with like-minded individuals whose mission is to answer the world’s development demands.

“The Forum for Global Challenges is an important platform that brings together universities, NGOs, public and private sector, international organizations, and the civil society around a unique opportunity to rethink how we can better and creatively develop innovative solutions for development. As a proud alumna of Birmingham University, I am thrilled to be a partner in this important initiative.”

Andrew Mitchell commented: ‘’As the Member of Parliament for the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, I am delighted to have the opportunity to participate at the Forum for Global Challenges to discuss some of the key issues facing the world today - alongside world-leading thinkers in their respective fields.

I am sure that the Forum will be constructive in sowing the seeds for solutions to the challenges faced by future generations while at the same time, strengthening the status of the University of Birmingham as a world-leading hub for innovative thinking.’’

As well as invited speakers, the Forum provides a unique opportunity for researchers, practitioners in the public and third sectors, and business leaders, from across the world to contribute their ideas, experience and findings on technological, policy, societal and behavioural solutions to climate change and inequalities. The call for contributions is open now, with a deadline of 3 December 2021.

The Forum will focus on the key topics of the green economy, restoring nature, the future of cities, mobility, the future of education and employment, health and wellbeing, food security and gender equality.

Professor Hisham Mehanna, Director, Institute for Global Innovation and Institute for Advanced Studies and lead for the Forum for Global Challenges said:

“I would like to thank Alice, Sandie and Andrew for helping us realise our vision for next year’s Forum and we look forward to working together over the coming weeks. The solution to so many of these issues lies in collaboration and that is precisely what we want to inspire by hosting the Forum for Global Challenges in Birmingham.”