Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
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Emerson Hall, Room 105, 25 Quincy St., Cambridge

Science & Democracy Lecture

"Looking Up: How Coalitions of Bottom-up Organizations are Driving Action for Sustainable Development" with RACHEL KYTE, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All, and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General.


  • William Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Henry Lee, Jassim M. Jaidah Family Director, Environment and Natural Resources Program, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Michael Mehling, Executive Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR), MIT

Moderated by Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies


Last year, world leaders agreed to put their nations on a pathway to “well below 2°C” of global warming in order to meet the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). One of those goals – SDG #7 – calls for countries to secure affordable and clean energy for the 1.3 billion people still living in energy poverty by 2030. Now, an array of grassroots organizations are pushing leaders to adopt an "energy efficiency first" approach, putting access at the center of their energy plans. This approach calls for distributed energy solutions to help countries go further, faster toward closing the energy access gap. Kyte will discuss how the work of these organizations can accelerate the national energy plans that countries around the world are currently putting into action.


Rachel Kyte is Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. Ms. Kyte drives SE4All’s work to mobilize action towards its 2030 goals of ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. As Special Representative for the Secretary-General, she is the point person in the UN for action towards the recently agreed global goal on sustainable energy. Ms Kyte served until December 2015 as World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, leading the Bank Group’s efforts to campaign for an ambitious agreement at the 21st Convention of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 21). She was previously World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development and was the International Finance Corporation Vice President for Business Advisory Services.


Once a semester, the STS Program, with co-sponsorship from other local institutions, hosts an installation in its Science and Democracy Lecture Series. The series aims to spark lively, university-wide discussion of the place and meaning of science and technology, broadly conceived, in democratic societies. We hope to explore both the promised benefits of our era’s most salient scientific and technological breakthroughs and the potentially harmful consequences of developments that are inadequately understood, debated, or managed by politicians, institutions, and lay publics.

Sponsored by the Program on Science, Technology, and Society. Co-sponsored by the Harvard University Center for the Environment, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Contact Name: 

Shana Ashar

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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