Keynote Speeches

The international Keynote sessions will be organized on Friday October 2 online. We are pleased to welcome the following keynote speakers during this session:

  1. Khanjan Mehta (Lehigh University)
  2. ​Rogier van den Berg (WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities)

Discover more about them below.

Keynote 1 - Khanjan Mehta

Khanjan Mehta
Vice Provost for Creative Inquiry 
Director of the Mountaintop Inititative
Lehigh University

Khanjan Mehta is the inaugural Vice Provost for Creative Inquiry and Director of the Mountaintop Initiative at Lehigh University. Mehta champions the creation of integrated learning, research, and entrepreneurial engagement ecosystems where students, faculty, and external partners come together to increase their capacities for independent inquiry, take intellectual risks and learn from failure, recognize problems and opportunities and effect constructive and sustainable change.

The Creative Inquiry Faculty Fellowship led by Mehta supports faculty as they integrate project-based and inquiry-driven learning in courses. Across these programs, Mehta expects students to take radical ownership in their projects, and envisions faculty mentors as partners and co-creators striving to propel their projects forward on the journey towards tangible, sustainable impact: impact that concurrently builds the skillsets, mindsets, and portfolios of pioneers and change-makers in a rapidly changing world.

Earlier, Mehta was the Founding Director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program, Assistant Professor of Engineering Design, and Affiliate Professor of International Affairs at Penn State. HESE is an integrated learning, research, and entrepreneurship program that brings together students and faculty across campus in the rigorous research, design, field-testing, and launch of technology-based enterprises in low- and middle-income countries. Mehta has led technology-based social ventures in Kenya, Tanzania, India, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Philippines, Mozambique and several other countries.

Keynote 2 - Rogier van den Berg

Rogier van den Berg
Director Urban Development
WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
World Resources Institute

Rogier van den Berg is the Director of Urban Development for WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. As part of WRI’s program focused on more accessible, equitable, healthy and resilient cities, van den Berg leads global programming on strategic urban planning, land use, climate change adaptation, urban resilience, equitable development, housing and more.

As a core member of the Executive Team, he helps to guide the overall strategy of the Cities program. Van den Berg is an urban planning and urban development specialist, architect, former entrepreneur and academic.

Earlier, he led UN-Habitat’s Urban Lab, which he set up in 2014. It was created to respond to urban planning demand in cities, and rapidly expanded its scope to become a multidisciplinary urban project and integrated planning facility working in 80 cities globally. Van den Berg led global teams working at the intersection of infrastructure, urban planning, urban resilience, climate change adaptation, technology, recovery and reconstruction, and public space. He has established and implemented development projects and programs together with cities and partners in Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia.

Discover the detailed programme of DAY 2 here.