Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

The SDG second half: Ideas for doing things differently

October 5, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm EDT

World leaders just met at the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals midpoint summit . Halfway between the SDG’s 2015 launch and the 2030 deadline, the mood was somber. Stark global tensions alongside inadequate SDG progress made for a tough outlook for the next seven years. In the words of Secretary-General António Guterres, “halfway to 2030 #GlobalGoals deadline, the world is woefully off-track. Now is not the time for incrementalism.”

The world has not been doing enough to be on course for SDG success. What can we learn from what has gone well? Where could a burst of effort tackle gaps? Perhaps, most importantly, what needs to be done differently?

On October 5, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKFC) and the Brookings Center for Sustainable Development will host an event discussing the Brookings compendium of essays: The SDG Second Half: Ideas for doing things differently. The essays offer insights and actionable recommendations to address pressing issues in the second half of the SDG era. We will have the opportunity to discuss opportunities for SDG breakthroughs and leadership—both globally and from a Canadian perspective.

Additional information for attendees:

  • Networking/Refreshments: In-person attendees are encouraged to participate in an informal networking session and enjoy refreshments before and after the event.
  • This session will be offered in English only


Caren Grown

Senior Fellow, Brookings Center for Sustainable Development

Caren Grown is a senior fellow in the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution, where she leads a program on gender equality and sustainable development. From 2014-2021, she served as global director for gender at the World Bank Group and then as senior technical advisor in Macroeconomics, Trade, and Investment Global Practice. Prior to joining the World Bank, she was economist-in-residence and co-director of the Program on Gender Analysis in Economics at American University in Washington, D.C. Grown has held several senior positions, including as senior gender advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development; senior scholar and co-director of the Gender Equality and the Economy program at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College; and director of the poverty reduction and economic governance team at the International Center for Research on Women. Grown has published widely on fiscal policy, trade, development, and health.

John W McArthur

Director and Senior Fellow, Brookings Center for Sustainable Development

John W. McArthur is a senior fellow and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution. He co-founded and co-chairs the 17 Rooms initiative, a new approach to catalyzing action for the Sustainable Development Goals. Outside of Brookings, he is also a senior advisoer to the United Nations Foundation, a member of Policy Horizons Canada’s Deputy Minister Steering Committee, and a member of the Novata ESG Advisory Council. He was previously the chief executive officer of the Millennium Promise Alliance, an international nongovernmental organization. Prior to that, he served as the manager and then deputy director of the U.N. Millennium Project, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s independent advisory body mandated to recommend an action plan for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Homi Kharas

Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution Center for Sustainable Development

Homi Kharas is a senior fellow in the Center for Sustainable Development, housed in the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings. In that capacity, he studies policies and trends influencing developing countries, including aid to poor countries, the emergence of the middle class, and global governance, and the G-20. He previously served as interim vice president and director of the Global Economy and Development program. He has served as the lead author and executive secretary of the secretariat supporting the High Level Panel, co-chaired by President Sirleaf, President Yudhoyono, and Prime Minister Cameron, advising the U.N. Secretary General on the post-2015 development agenda (2012-2013). The report, “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development,” was presented on May 30, 2013.

Chris MacLennan

Deputy Minister of International Development, Global Affairs Canada

On January 5, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Christopher MacLennan as deputy minister of international development. Prior to this role, Mr. MacLennan was the associate deputy minister of foreign affairs and the personal representative of the prime minister for the G20 Summit. He continues to be the personal representative of the prime minister for the G20 Summit. Previously, as assistant deputy minister (ADM) for global issues and development at Global Affairs Canada, Mr. MacLennan led Canada’s international development assistance efforts through multilateral and global partners, humanitarian assistance, and priority foreign policy relationships with the United Nations, the Commonwealth, and La Francophonie. In addition to this role, he served concurrently as Canada’s G7 foreign affairs sous-sherpa.

Kate Higgins

CEO, Cooperation Canada

Kate is an accomplished leader and experienced manager, with over fifteen years of experience in international development, civil society, think tanks, and government. Before joining Cooperation Canada, Kate was the Deputy Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, where she led the organization’s work on strategy and communications and spearheaded several organizational change initiatives, in addition to serving as Interim Executive Director in 2020. Kate worked for CIVICUS, a global alliance of civil society organizations, where she led strategy development and the organization’s work on data, sustainable development, and citizen action. She has held senior policy and research roles at the North-South Institute and the Overseas Development Institute, leading work on chronic poverty, protracted conflict, women’s economic justice, and international assistance and building several global, multi-stakeholder initiatives. Kate started her career at the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), working on the Indonesia and Papua New Guinea programs. She has lived and worked in Australia, Canada, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Thailand, and Uganda, and has undertaken missions in several other countries. Kate has degrees in economics and development studies from the University of Oxford and the University of Sydney.

Margaret Biggs

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings Institution

Margaret Biggs is the former President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and immediate past Chair of Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC). As CIDA President, Ms. Biggs was responsible for overseeing Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance efforts worldwide. Ms. Biggs is currently a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution and Matthews Fellow in Global Public Policy at Queen’s University. She serves on the Boards for the Canadian Partnership on Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH), World University Service Canada (WUSC), the McCall MacBain Foundation, and the International Foundation for Electoral Support (IFES). Ms. BIggs is also a member of the advisory councils for the REACH Alliance (University of Toronto) and FinDevCanada, Canada’s development finance institution, which supports the growth and sustainability of businesses in developing markets.

Tony Pipa

Senior Fellow, Brookings Center for Sustainable Development

Tony launched and leads the Local Leadership on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative. He led the U.S. delegation at the U.N. to negotiate and adopt the SDGs and also served as chief strategy officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Tony has three decades of executive leadership experience in the philanthropic and public sectors, addressing poverty and advancing inclusive economic development in the U.S. and globally. He also leads an initiative to reform and modernize U.S. rural policy and hosts the podcast, Reimagine Rural. He grew up in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, in the heart of anthracite coal country, attended Stanford University, graduated from Duke University, and earned a Master of Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Moderation by Khalil Z. Shariff, CEO, AKFC


Register Today!


Questions? Please contact [email protected]



Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat
199 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 1K6 Canada


Aga Khan Foundation Canada
The Center for Sustainable Develoment at Brookings