Keynote Session: 10:00 - 11:15 Wednesday 29th March

Faraday Building


Global Goals: Local Action – the vital role the education sector has in changing mindsets


Malcolm Preston is Global Head of Sustainability Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers, leading a team of some 700 sustainability and climate change experts, with over 100 based in the UK.
Malcolm specialises in the measurement and valuation of environmental, social and economic impacts. He leads PwC’s Total Impact Measurement and Management (TIMM) team, delivering projects for numerous clients including a number of Fortune 100 corporates. 
Additionally, Malcolm leads PwC’s thought leadership on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and, in particular, the role of the private sector in their achievement. He is actively engaged with Corporates and NGOs on this subject and is responsible for the development of PwC’s bespoke tool, the SDG Business Navigator. 
An accomplished speaker, Malcolm has spoken at numerous events including the BASD and B4E events at Rio +20; the UN’s Post 2015 MDG Forum; the Economist Global Ocean Summits; the World Economic Forum; and UNCTAD XIV in Nairobi.


Most recently, Malcolm moderated the Responsible Business Forum in Singapore, a major conference co-convened by UNDP and focussed exclusively on the role of business in achieving the SDGs.



Stephen Sterling is Professor of Sustainability Education at the Centre for Sustainable Futures, University of Plymouth and ESD Consultant to UNESCO.


Stephen is a former Senior Advisor to the UK Higher Education Academy on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and a National Teaching Fellow (NTF), he has worked in environmental and sustainability education in the academic and NGO fields nationally and internationally for over three decades, including as a consultant and advisor on UNESCO’S ESD programmes. He is currently co-chair of the UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD International Jury. At the University of Plymouth, he leads whole-institutional change towards sustainability. He is widely published including ‘The Sustainable University – progress and prospects’  (Earthscan/Routledge 2013).


In 2015, he wrote the ‘Education’ section for the ICSU & ISSC report on the SDGS, and this was picked up and included in UNESCO’s key annual Global Education Monitoring Report which in 2016 focussed on ‘Education for people and planet’.


ICSU/ISSC, (2015). Review of Targets for the Sustainable Development Goals: The Science Perspective. Paris: International Council for Science (ICSU).



Wendy Purcell is an EAUC Board Director/Trustee, Emeritus Professor and Visiting Scientist Harvard University.


Wendy is an academic scientist and leader and was President Vice-Chancellor (Chief Executive) of the University of Plymouth (a public research university) in the UK for 8 years (2007-15), establishing its enterprise vision and ‘anchor’ (civic engagement) institution status, taking it to the top 1% of all universities, to 37th in the world rankings of modern universities, and number 1 ‘green’ university in the UK.  With deep experience of the global higher education sector, Wendy positions universities as place-makers – locally rooted-globally connected and international in outlook. 


Wendy takes a keen interest in diversity, sustainability, leadership and governance. Her passion is transforming lives through education and research and driving up social mobility – helping talent to express itself in our society.  She is a Council Member of the United Nations University and a Visiting Scientist with the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University. Wendy is a Board Director of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges, that champions sustainability across all UK and Irish universities and colleges. She is also a Board Director of the National Marine Aquarium and set up both a Marine Academy school and a University Marine Technical College for science education. She was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary prize for marine education and research undertaken by the university, establishing its position as a global centre of excellence.


Wendy Chairs the National Council for Healthcare Science in Higher Education and is a Member of the Genomics Advisory Board which advises the UK Government’s Department of Health. She completed her full-term as a Non-Executive Director and Board Member with the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and was Chair of their Nominations Committee. She was also an Expert Adviser to Sir Andrew Witty’s Review of Universities and Economic Growth and Sir Adrian Smith’s national Postgraduate Review. Wendy now consults for the government, working with the Cabinet Office on their Talent and Diversity agenda and the Government Office for Science on Foresight programmes. She also consults for Microsoft and a global search firm on future trends in the higher education sector.


Wendy established an innovation ecosystem across the South West of England driving jobs and growth and is an expert in university-business relations. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and Emeritus Professor of Biomedicine. She continues to undertake research in her field of pre-clinical science, with some 100 publications and also explores disruption in the global higher education sector with an emphasis on leadership and governance models.


Keynote Session: 11:10 - 12:10 Thursday 30th March

Faraday Building


Better Places for People: The Pivotal Role of Education in Creating Sustainable Cities and Communities


Julie Hirigoyen became CEO of UK-GBC in April 2015 with ultimate responsibility for organisational strategy and execution. She is accountable to the Chairman and Board of Trustees for UK-GBC’s impact and performance and leads the team on a day to day basis. Julie is focused on delivering lasting change within the industry by engaging with UK-GBC members, regulators, and wider stakeholders in an effective and collaborative way. 

Julie was previously UK Head of Sustainability and an International Director at JLL, having come into JLL as a result of an acquisition. JLL acquired Upstream, a leading sustainability consultancy which Julie was co-founder and Joint MD of, in 2007. Having led the Upstream team through the integration into JLL, Julie oversaw further development of cutting-edge sustainability services to property investors and occupiers across the UK and EMEA. 

Julie sits on the Green Construction Board, the Igloo Sustainable Investment Advisory Committee, the ULI UK Sustainability Council Steering Committee and the Carillion Sustainability Committee. She also chaired the British Property Federation’s Sustainability Committee for two years.



Maria Adebowale – Schwarte believes everyone has a right to a great place to live, work and play in.  She is a placemaking and urban renewal strategist specialising in place led prosperity, green spaces, cross-sector collaboration, and community participation.


She’s the Founding Director of Living Space Project, an urban placemaking think tank and consultancy that works with charitable foundations, government, the social sector, communities, developers and urban place makers in the public and private sectors. Maria is also an advisor to grant makers on environment and placemaking.  Her background is in environment and planning law and she holds a Masters in Law from the University of London, and a first degree in Organisation Studies and Business Law from the University of Lancaster.


Maria is on several executive board and committees of placemaking, environment, and heritage organisations agendas. In addition, she is a member of the International Place Making Council, a Senior Fellow at Projects for Public Space, an affiliate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the first recipient of the Clore Social Leadership Environment Fellowship.


She has written for The Guardian, Prospect Magazine, New Start Magazine, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, The Town and Country Planning Journal, the World Bank, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the British Academy and Policy Press. And, her first book ‘The place making factor: disrupting social and environment grant making’ will be published in early 2017.


Maria is a fan of knackered first edition penguin paperbacks and fizzy sweets.


Graham Long is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at Newcastle University. He has been researching the Sustainable Development Goals since 2013, focusing on their conceptual and normative framework. From 2014-15 he worked to support NGO and academic involvement in negotiations to agree the goals, in UN and EU contexts. One of his current research projects explores the implications of the SDGs for the UK, mapping current UK data onto SDG targets to generate a picture of their applicability and relevance to the UK.



Keynote Session: 13:10 - 14:20 Thursday 30th March

Faraday Building


Government and Education: Facilitating Transformational Delivery of the Global Goals?


First elected as MP for Wakefield in 2005, Mary Creagh is currently Chair of the Environmental Audit Select Committee. She served as a Whip in the Department of Health in 2009-10. Mary held the Environment, Transport and International Development briefs in the Shadow Cabinet between 2010 and 2015.

Mary forced the Government to abandon their plans to sell off England’s forests, held Ministers to account during the horsemeat crisis and led Labour’s campaign on the impact of rising bus and rail fares on the cost of living.

Before Parliament, Mary taught entrepreneurship at Cranfield University’s School of Management, where she worked with the founder of and other fast-growth SMEs. She helped redesign the MBA programme and launched a new web-based MBA. At the same time, Mary was a councillor in Islington 1998-2005 and Leader of the Labour Group 2000-2004. She spent four years in Brussels working for an international NGO. Born in Coventry, she attended the local comprehensive school and has degrees from Oxford (Modern Languages) and the LSE (European Studies).



Mary Creagh MP
Julie Hirigoyen
Maria Adebowale - Schwarte
Malcolm Preston
Stephen Sterling
Wendy Purcell
Graham Long

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