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Climate Adaptation


Professor Alan Blackwell

Professor Blackwell is a Professor in the Computer Laboratory, Director of the Crucible network for research in interdisciplinary design and Co-Director of Cambridge Global Challenges at the University of Cambridge. Alan has a long-standing mission to make meaningful contributions to the lives of the world’s poorest 3 billion people through the design of new technologies, including software that is directly programmable and customizable by end-users.


Keynote Speaker

Professor Saleemul Huq

Professor Huq is the Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and Professor at the Independent University Bangladesh (IUB). His expertise lies in adaptation to climate change in the most vulnerable developing countries and has been a lead author of the third, fourth and fifth assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 2019 he was recognised as a top twenty global influencer on climate change policy. 



Professor Shailaja Fennell

Professor Fennell is Professor of Regional Transformation and Economic Security at the University of Cambridge, with a particular interest in rural-urban transitions, economic resilience and axes of inequality and inclusion. She is a co-investigator on the TIGR2ESS and MillNeti research programmes, which study how to improve agricultural practices and improve nutrition in Global South countries. 



Dr. Ramit Debnath

Dr. Debnath is a Fellow at CambridgeZero and Churchill College, University of Cambridge and visiting faculty associate in Computational Social Science at Caltech. He works at the intersection of data science and public policy, with interest in exploring nodes of how the public, industry and policymakers make decisions for energy and climate justice, and developing solutions to counter misinformation and distributive injustices. 



Professor Emily Shuckburgh

Professor Shuckburgh is Director of Cambridge Zero, the University of Cambridge's major climate change initiative. She is also Professor of Environmental Data Science at the Department of Computer Science. She worked for more than a decade at the British Antarctic Survey where she led a UK national research programme on the Southern Ocean and its role in climate (ORCHESTRA), and was deputy head of the Polar Oceans Team and head of the Data Science Group. 


Youth and Work


Dr. Anna Barford

Dr. Barford is a senior research associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. As a social and economic Geographer, she is currently researching how work and livelihoods in lower- and middle-income countries. Her current research focus is on living wages, informal work in the circular economy, and how the crises of climate change and COVID-19 intersect with young people’s livelihoods in Uganda, Nepal and Indonesia.


Keynote Speaker

Professor Tassew Woldehanna 

Professor Woldehanna is the President of Addis Ababa University, a Professor of Economics and is Principal Investigator for Young Lives in Ethiopia, an international study of childhood poverty following 12,000 children in four countries in the Global South. He is also the Principal Investigator of GAGE in Ethiopia (longitudinal research on Adolescent  girls)  and  Team leader of RISE Ethiopia (an Education Project).  He is a development economist primarily interested in child welfare and poverty, education and health,  employment, micro and small-scale enterprise development, entrepreneurship and food security. 



Professor Bhaskar Vira

Professor Vira is Head of the Department of Geography, Professor of Political Economy and Pro-Vice -Chancellor-elect for Education at the University of Cambridge. His research interests cross disciplines, spanning the fields of political economy, development studies and environmental studies. He examines the social, political and economic dimensions of natural resource management, and the relationship between natural ecosystems and human well-being. 



Dr. Garima Sahai

Dr. Sahai is a Research Associate at the Department of Geography and a Bye-fellow in Murray Edwards College. She has research interests centred on an interdisciplinary approach to the issues of youth, gender, and work in the Global South. She is especially interested in the intersections between research, policy, and international development practice. She is currently working to develop a Commission on young people and work in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, bringing together key political, business and civil society leaders, practitioners, and researchers to tackle the pressing issue of young people and work in low and lower middle income countries. 



Iyeyinka Omigbodun

Iyeyinka Omigbodun is undertaking a PhD in sociology at the University of Cambridge. Her work addresses the need for a deeper understanding of self-employed youth in Africa so that youth employment interventions can be better designed to support them. She aims to identify how social networks shape the transition into self-employment for young people in Ghana and Nigeria and their working lives.



Professor Niall O'Higgins

Niall O'Higgins is Senior Economist in the ILO's Employment Analysis Unit and Professor of Economics at the University of Salerno. He holds degrees from Trinity College Dublin, York and Sheffield Universities and a Ph.D. from the European University Institute in Florence. His main research interests cover various aspects of labour and experimental economics. Previously, Senior Researcher in the ILO's Youth Employment Programme, he is one of the main authors of the ILO's biennial Global Employment Trends for Youth. Amongst his other recent publications are an edited volume on, Internships, Employability and the Search for Decent Work Experience, a book on youth employment policy entitled Rising to the youth employment challenge: New evidence on key policy issues, and articles in the European Economic Review, the Cambridge Journal of Economics, the Journal of Institutional Economics and the B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy.




Dr. Caroline Trotter

Dr. Caroline Trotter is the Director of Cambridge-Africa, a University programme that supports African researchers and promotes mutually beneficial collaborations and equitable partnerships between Africa and Cambridge. In her research on the epidemiology of bacterial meningitis and the impact of vaccination, she works with international organisations such as the World Health Organisation and Gavi, and collaborates with colleagues in many countries including Ghana, The Gambia, Niger, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia.


Keynote Speaker

Dr. Nyovani Madise 

Dr. Madise is the Director of Research for Sustainable Development Policies and Head of the Malawi office of the African Institute for Development Policy. Her role involves research leadership and capacity-building among policymakers and researchers for evidence-informed decision-making to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs in Africa. Her research aims to untangle relationships between poverty, maternal and child heath, adolescent sexual health and food security. 



Dr. Chinedu Ugwu

Dr. Ugwu is a lecturer of immunology and virology at Redeemer’s University and a post-doctoral research fellow at the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Disease (ACEGID). Specialising in translational immunology, vaccines, and immunotherapeutic designs for pathogens, and the one-health approach to tackling disease outbreaks, his research focuses on understanding how the immune system modulates the outcome of viral infection. 



Dr Tabitha Wanja Mwangi

Dr. Mwangi is Programme Manager for Cambridge-Africa. She has expertise in Malarial Epidemiology from her work at the Kenya Medical Research Institute - Wellcome Trust Research Program. She was senior lecturer in Public Health at Pwani University, Kenya and Anglia Ruskin University. Tabitha is passionate about science communication for public engagement and has published feature articles on health research for national newspapers in Kenya, blogs regularly about health, and is a regular guest on the BBC World Service HealthCheck program.


Advancing the SDGs


Professor Pauline Rose

Professor Rose is a Professor of International Education, Director of the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre and Co-Director of Cambridge Global Challenges at the University of Cambridge. Her research in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia focuses on educational policy and practice, including in relation to inequality, financing and governance, and the role of international aid. Professor Rose works closely with international aid donors and non-governmental organisations, providing evidence-based policy advice on a wide range of issues aimed at fulfilling commitments to equitable access to quality education for all.



Professor Charlotte Watts

Professor Charlotte Watts CMG is Chief Scientific Adviser and Director for Research and Evidence at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). She is seconded from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she is Professor of Social and Mathematical Epidemiology.

Professor Watts provides scientific advice to the Foreign Secretary, Ministers, the Permanent Under-Secretary and Executive Committee, including on COVID-19, emergencies, technology and science policy. She heads the Research and Evidence Directorate and leads FCDO’s Research and Development investments (for 20/21 totaling £250m), to generate new solutions, rigorous evidence and technologies to help deliver the UK’s development and diplomacy priorities.

Professor Watts is a global expert in violence prevention and senior technical advisor to the WHO 10 country population surveys on women’s health and domestic violence. She led the systematic review of the global prevalence and health burden of interpersonal violence, and has been senior researcher on 5 cluster randomised controlled intervention trials in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Watts was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015 and appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George ‘for services to global health & international development’ in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours.



Professor Phil Cotton

Professor Cotton is the head of the Mastercard Foundation’s Scholars Program and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His work ensures that African students whose talent and promise exceed their financial resources have access to the needed financial, social, and academic support to complete their education. In this role, he focuses on bringing in new institutional partnerships and strengthening linkages between the Program and Young Africa Works.

Welcome to Cambridge Global Challenges

Cambridge Global Challenges is the Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with a particular focus on the poorest half of the world’s population.


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