July 19, 2024


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Earthshot winners join growing speaker list for global conference

Two young winners of the most prestigious environment prize in history are joining the Forum for Global Challenges – adding their voices to an event that will help to make the world a fairer, more sustainable place.

Earthshot Prize winners Vaitea Cowan and Kevin Kung will take to the podium to deliver keynote speeches to delegates at the global event, which takes place from 3 to 5 May at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre.

They will be joined by David Nabarro – Special Envoy of WHO Director General on COVID-19, Director of 4SD, Chair of Global Health and Co-Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London – as well as Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International Executive Director. 

Vaitea Cowan is one of the three co-founders of Enapter – a project leading the charge to turn renewable electricity into emission-free hydrogen gas that is fuelling cars and planes, powering industry and heating homes.

Kevin Kung is the co-founder of Takachar – a company specializing in using an innovative oxygen-lean torrefaction system to covert biomass into fertilizer and solid fuel that small farmers can use.

Vaitea and Kevin are also joined by Earthshot Prize finalist Olugbenga Olubanjo – founder of Reeddi Inc., which provides clean, reliable, and affordable electricity to individuals, households, and businesses operating in the energy-poor regions of the world.

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.

The Forum brings together world leaders, business and thought leaders, policy makers, practitioners, and academics from around the world to generate real-world solutions to global challenges – for information about attending the Forum visit https://www.forumforglobalchallenges.com/registration/

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 David, Jennifer, Vaitea, Kevin and Olugbenga for helping us realise our vision for the Forum.

“We look forward to welcoming them all to Birmingham to share in vibrant discussions that will help to make our world a fairer, more sustainable place. The solution to so many of these issues lies in collaboration – precisely what we want to inspire by hosting the Forum for Global Challenges in Birmingham.”

The Forum for Global Challenges will find, share and promote technological, policy, societal and behavioural solutions to climate change and inequalities. 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 access to the digital world. These will be examined through the lenses of post-COVID recovery, strategies for transformation, ethical and effective leadership and interconnectedness.


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