UN STI Forum 2023

UN STI Forum 2023
Event start date
Event end date
Event venue
New York
Organiser details

The eighth annual Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum) will be held from 3 to 4 May 2023, organized by the UN interagency task team on STI for the SDGs (IATT), convened by UN-DESA and UNCTAD, and the 10-Member Group of high-level representatives appointed by the Secretary-General.

The theme for the STI Forum 2023 is: “Science, technology, and innovation for accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels.” In addition to providing the mandated inputs for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to be held from 10 to 19 July 2023, the Forum will also take a broader look at the contribution of STI to the achievement of all the SDGs in recognition of the September mid-term review of SDG progress.

IT for Change’s participation in the Forum:

Anita Gurumurthy is part of the UN 10-Member-Group of High-level Representatives of civil society, private sector and scientific community to support the UN Technology Facilitation Mechanism, and she will be moderating two sessions at STI Forum 2023.

1) Presentation of the Global Sustainable Development Report 2023

Date: 4 May 2023

Time: 7.30 PM IST

This short presentation will provide an opportunity for the Independent Group of Scientists preparing the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) to engage with policymakers in a discussion on the key findings of the report. Mandated by Member States, the GSDR is produced once every four years, serving as a scientific “assessment of assessments” to inform the quadrennial SDG Summit at the General Assembly. It is written by the Independent Group of Scientists, consisting of 15 experts, appointed by the UN Secretary-General, representing a variety of backgrounds, scientific disciplines, institutions, and geographic regions. This year’s report will be launched in September 2023, as the world approaches the half-way point of the 2030 Agenda and struggles to rebuild from the Covid-19 pandemic and other interrelated crises. In this session, the scientists will engage in a discussion with policymakers about the practical, evidence-based solutions they recommend for accelerating transformations for the SDGs. Chaired by H.E. Mr. Thomas Woodroffe, United Kingdom Ambassador to the UN Economic and Social Council.

Moderator: Anita Gurumurthy, Founding Member and Executive Director, IT for Change, Bangalore, India.

Presentation and discussion:

  • Jaime C. Montoya, Professor at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, Chair of the Health Sciences Division and Secretary, National Academy of Science and Technology
  • Nancy Shackell, Senior research scientist at Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Nova Scotia
  • Ibrahima Hathie, Research Director for the Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale, Senegal

Lead discussants:

  • Denise Morais Da Fonseca, Adjunct Professor of Immunology at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences - University of Sao Paulo - Brazil
  • Sabrina Sholts, Curator of Biological Anthropology, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Watch the recording of the event here.

2) Forging an equitable, digital future for all

Date: 5 May 2023

Time: 12.30 AM IST

This session will explore a way forward for forging an equitable, digital future for all. Rapid digitalization is enhancing the way we live and work in a myriad of ways. It has the potential to open-up opportunities that we may not even have imagined yet. However, gaps in connectivity and access to digital infrastructure both within and across countries remain a serious concern. In fact, even as digital gaps in terms of basic infrastructure and skills are being closed, the concern is that rapid emergence of higher-level digital tech infrastructures - such as artificial intelligence (AI) - might further exacerbating inequalities within and between countries, since the benefits of digital transformation are increasingly accruing in a highly unequal way to few, leaving billions behind. Against this background, this session will identify obstacles and assess high-impact actions for ensuring an equitable digital future for all. It will assess what is needed for new digital technologies to help rather than hinder our pathway towards achieving the SDGs. While AI in particular promises new opportunities in many areas, from personalized medicine, to tackling illicit financial transactions, to making energy systems and traffic smart, it is also associated with cyberattacks, job displacements, and ethical dilemmas. The session will provide a pathway towards ensuring that digitalization and its most advanced technologies can become a force for good and explores the role of the UN and other international organizations in this regard.

Chaired by H.E. Mr. Thomas Woodroffe, United Kingdom Ambassador to the UN Economic and
Social Council

Moderator: Anita Gurumurthy, Founding member and Executive Director, IT for Change, Bangalore,


  • Hermina Johnny, Founder, Artemis Foundatio
  • Alison Gillwald, Executive Director, Research ICT Africa (online participation)
  • Chris Sharrock, Vice President of United Nations and International Organizations, Microsoft
  • Henrik Cox, Head of Product, Conservation X Labs

Lead discussants:

  • Mi Ock Mun, President of the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI), Republic of Korea
  • Robert Bertram, Chief Scientist, Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, USAID, USA

Interactive dialogue with interventions from the floor:

  • Shamika Sirimanne, Director, Division on Technology and Logistics of United Nations
  • Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • Amir Dossal, President and Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnerships Forum

Watch the recording of the event here.

Know more about the Forum here.