Building New
Alliances at
Round Tables

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A diverse group of individuals is seated at a long table, actively engaged in conversation and exchanging ideas. © Photothek / Florian Gärtner.

The program for the Hamburg Sustainability Conference 2024 is being co-created with extensive involvement from a diverse set of stakeholders. The HSC Round Table format offers a unique opportunity to actively shape the conference agenda and access highly exclusive networking opportunities throughout the year. In dedicated sessions, the pressing issues of our time are discussed, proposals for concrete solutions are developed and new alliances for accelerating the achievement of the SDGs are established. The results of these Round Tables will serve as a foundational basis for designing the conference program and approaching potential participants allowing a dynamic exchange of ideas and proposals, ultimately shaping the future of sustainable development.

  • Sustainable Urban Mobility Solutions: Road Safety

    The lack of integration between mobility and land-use planning has resulted in unsustainable urban sprawl. We discussed solutions with a focus on safety.

    HSC gGmbH

    Sustainable Urban Mobility Solutions: Road Safety
    March 14, 2024 | Berlin, Germany / Hybrid

    Urbanization has led to a rise in travel demand, prompting cities to prioritize sustainable mobility solutions such as public transport, cycling, and walking. Nonetheless, the lack of integration between mobility and land-use planning has resulted in unsustainable urban sprawl and lengthy commutes, disproportionately impacting low-income residents. This necessitates a paradigm shift and coordinate efforts across various sectors. Despite its importance, road safety often receives inadequate attention. The Round Table convened experts from NGOs, research institutes, and the private sector across Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Australia to reduce the challenges.

    ISSUE: What is the most urgent problem to address

    Each year, road traffic collisions claim the lives of 1.19 million individuals and leave 20 to 50 million others injured, many of whom sustain long-term disabilities. Furthermore, the economic toll of these accidents amounts to 3% of GDP for most nations (WHO, 2023). Despite these staggering statistics, the conventional approach to road safety, which predominantly focuses on automobiles, overlooks the significant risks faced by pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users. Remarkably, over 50% of vehicle-related fatalities occur within these vulnerable groups, especially in regions with limited car ownership. Moreover, individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds are disproportionately affected, particularly in areas where basic safety infrastructure such as sidewalks and bike lanes are lacking.

    IDEA: How can this problem be solved

    Suggested actions to improve road safety include implementing integrated and innovative policies through good governance and collaborative processes, prioritizing alternative transport modes through strategic mass planning, and shifting focus from the vehicle's perspective to that of street users. Additionally, concentrating on road design, altering the business model of popular transport to discourage competition, and using technologies strategically are recommended. Furthermore, fostering public-private partnerships, focusing not only on building roads but also on safety spaces, and providing sufficient data and monitoring opportunities in low- and middle-income countries can help elevate this issue onto the high-level agenda.

    IMPACT: Who needs to talk? Who needs to act?

    Engage multidisciplinary teams consisting of road engineers, urban planners, citizens, psychologists, and anthropologists. Additionally, facilitate the exchange of practices and lessons learned from different initiative contexts, and highlight the co-creations of road safety and investment in alternative, non-car-oriented measures.

    Dr. Imke Rajamani (Managing Director HSC gGmbH), Dr. Axel Berger (Deputy Director at IDOS), Dr. Irit Ittner (IDOS Senior Researcher), Dr. Nicholas Goedeking (IDOS Senior Researcher), Dr. Emmanuel Theodore Asimeng (IDOS Researcher), Dr. Paula von Haaren (IDOS Researcher), Katy Huaylla (Sustainable Urban Mobility Consultant at Rupprecht Consult), Mariana Alegre Escorza (Executive Director at Lima Cómo Vamos/Ocupa Tu Calle), María Fernanda Ramírez Bernal (Safe and Sustainable Lead at Despacio), Milnael Gomez (Climate Adaptation Expert from MobiliseYourCity), Gonggomtua Eskanto Sitanggang (Interim Director at Institute for Transportation and Development Policy), Deliani Poetriayu Siregar (Senior Urban Planning, Gender and Social Inclusion Associate at Institute for Transportation and Development Policy), Andrea San Gil León (Executive Director at Global Network for Popular Transportation), Dr. Pablo Salazar-Ferro (Project Director at TRANSITEC), Dr. Kaushik Sridhar (Founder of Orka Advisory), Malindi Msoni (Research Fellow, Transport and Infrastructure Development Manager at Zambia Institute and at Agora Transport Berlin), Dr. Sebastian Kahlbau (Head of Technology Strategy at IAV, Consulting4Drive), Daniela Seller (Sustainability Strategy and Affairs at IAV), Ina Gabriel (GIZ Project Manager).


    Moderated by

    Franco Jauregui Fung (IDOS Researcher)

  • Informal Transport in Peru

    With paratransit services booming in Latin America, significant impact on the environment, road safety, and personal security stands as impediments to achieving progress towards the SDGs. In collaboration with GIZ, our Round Table in Lima, Peru, addressed the essential challenges of Informal Transport.

    Foto by GIZ Peru

    Transforming Urban Mobility in Latin America - The Role of the Informal Sector in Urban Public Transport in Peru
    March 12, 2024 | Lima, Peru

    In Latin America today, paratransit services are booming, offering more flexibility and frequency than formal transport options. But what does this mean for the environment, road safety, and personal security? As transport costs burden the poorest and women encounter heightened risks, how can we address these challenges as it becomes paramount?

    At our Round Table, we're diving into the role of informal transportation in Peru's mobility scene, sparking conversations on how it aligns with sustainability and social well-being.

    ISSUE: What is the most urgent problem to address

    In Peru, informal transport persists despite efforts to curb it. Profitability challenges and the need for fast travel impede progress. Where formal transit is lacking, motorcycle taxis step in. Urgent priorities include allocating road space, simplifying fares, recognizing services like motorcycle taxis, and securing livelihoods for operators. Additionally, the transport sector is crucial for many workers' incomes.

    IDEA: How can this problem be solved

    Achieving widespread adoption of new technologies such as e-mobility relies on optimizing profitability for private operators and providing subsidies for public transport. The pivotal initial step involves refocusing decision-makers' attention and co-creating strategies to effectively address the various facets of informality.

    IMPACT: Who needs to talk? Who needs to act?

    Ongoing dialogues within the public sector is essential. At the national level, active participation of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) through line directorates, such as the General Directorate of Policies, Road Safety, and PROMOVILIDAD, along with the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), and local governments, is required. Additionally, collaboration with academia, civil society, and transport operators is vital for effective coordination and achieving our SDG objectives.

    Nancy Nérida Aucahuasi Dongo (Executive Director of PROMOVILIDAD at Peru's Ministry of Transport and Communications, MTC), Víctor Adrián Arroyo Tocto (Director General of the General Directorate of Multimodal Transport Policy and Regulation at MTC), Gustavo Guerra García Picasso (Consultant, Specialist in Public Management and Transportation Sector at DEE Consultores), Jérémy Robert (Research Associate at the Institut Français d’Études Andines), Lucile Boudet (Project Manager at CODATU), Susanne Thiel (CIMO Project Director at GIZ Peru), and other public officials, members of the international cooperation, and representatives from the Peruvian cities of Lima, Arequipa and Trujillo.

    Moderated by

    Williams Ventura González (CIMO Technical Advisor at GIZ Peru)

  • Role of Well-Governed State in Sustainable Economic Development

    Security is a key pillar of sustainable development. With around 220 million inhabitants, stabilizing Nigerias governmental structures would have a great impact on furthering SDG goals in Africa.


    The Role of a Well-Governed State in Fostering Sustainable Economic Development
    March 7, 2024 | Abuja, Nigeria

    Nigeria faces economic challenges due to issues related to governance and operational effectiveness. With a population exceeding 220 million, Nigeria is acknowledged as a significant economic force within the African continent. Systemic governance challenges hinder sustainable development both domestically and internationally. The Round Table, comprising 16 participants from diverse sectors, underscored the urgent need for government intervention to foster sustainable economic growth and proposed actionable solution.

    Issue – What is the Most Urgent Problem to Address?

    The ongoing conversation highlights three critical challenges within Nigeria's economic landscape. To begin, the rampant insecurity poses a significant threat to businesses, leading to substantial losses in investment and impeding economic growth. For instance, the surge in armed conflict and kidnappings severely disrupts the transportation of goods and services, hampering economic activity across regions. Additionally, the informal sector, which accounts for a staggering 91.5% of employment and makes a substantial contribution to GDP, remains marginalized and deprived of essential resources. This neglect is evident in the lack of social security, health insurance, and access to finance for workers in this sector. Lastly, pervasive corruption and government opacity exacerbate economic challenges, as evidenced by irregularities in public tenders that undermine trust in governance and deter investor confidence. Addressing these pressing issues is paramount for Nigeria's economic growth and stability.

    Idea – How can this Problem be Solved?

    Among the potential approaches are: Primo, strengthening the national security architecture and public service delivery framework to mitigate state vulnerabilities, social risks and political uncertainty. Secundo, governments should develop formalization programs for the informal sector, providing social security, upskilling, access to finance to lift millions of people out of poverty. Tertio, government transparency and anti-corruption efforts can be addressed by inclusiveness of key stakeholders in co-creating and implementing economic policies. Additionally, government accountability for prudent financial management should be a prerequisite for accessing loans and grants, particularly from International Financial Institutions (IMF, World Bank, etc.). Moreover, IFIs and the International Donor Community should insist on adherence to global governance standards before disbursing high loans. 

    Impact – Who needs to Talk? Who needs to Act?

    Government, private sector, civil society, and academia must collaborate effectively to confront the challenges and drive sustainable economic growth.

    Karen Losse (GIZ, Initiator of the Round Table), Dr. Obiageli "Oby" Katryn Ezekwesili (Founder of the School of Politics, Policy and Governance, SPPG, former Vice President of the World Bank, former Nigerian Federal Minister of Education, co-founder of Transparency International, co-host of the Round Table), Emmanuel Ejewule (MEL Lead, Impact Investors Foundation), Aisha Hadejia (Associate Partner at Sahel Consulting), Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi (Dean School of Politics, Policy and Governance, SPPG), Dr. Tayo Aduloju (CEO Designate at Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG), Olayombo Ade-Ojo (Reform Leader, Legal Interventions and External Relations, Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC), Taiwo Ajetunmobi (Senior Special Advisor Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC), Hansatu Adegbite (Executive Director at WIMBIZ), Weyinmi Eribo (Director General at Women Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, WCCIMA), Frances Bamidele Onokpe (Director General at Federation of Informal Workers of Nigeria, FIWON), Simbo Olatoregun (Program Lead at Women In Leadership Advancement Network, WILAN), Ifeoma Uddoh (Founder of Shecluded), Zainab Aliyu (CEO at AABOUX), Monday Osasah (Global President at Publish What You Pay), Bathsheba Tagwai (Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC). 


    Moderated by  

    Kah Walla (CEO and Executive Consultant at STRATEGIES!) 

  • Fast-track Innovative CSA Globally

    Food production can move towards a sustainable and resilient future through climate-smart agriculture.

    Photo by HSC gGmbH

    Champions for Cooperation needed! How to globally fast-track innovative climate-smart agriculture?
    January 19, 2024 | Berlin, Germany

    Innovation acts as a catalyst for change, enabling global society to revolutionise established practices. During a roundtable discussion in January, co-hosted by Bayer AG at the prestigious Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), stakeholders engaged in in-depth discussions on the pressing challenges and transformative potential of breakthrough innovations in reshaping the agricultural landscape. The dialogues explored innovative technologies, strategies and collaborative initiatives to move the agricultural sector towards a sustainable and resilient future.

    ISSUE: What is the most urgent problem to address

    The key issue is how to harness innovation to boost food production, safeguard biodiversity, and address climate change all at once. However, despite innovative solutions existing, widespread adoption faces various challenges. These range from regulatory barriers to technological constraints and financial limitations.

    In addition, cultural and behavioral factors act as barriers to adopting innovative practices. Navigating through the impediments is essential, as it is crucial to fully harnessing the transformative impact of innovation in agricultural conversations.

    IDEA: How can this problem be solved

    Successfully addressing this challenge requires implementing tailored innovations in climate-smart agriculture, covering aspects such as financing, risk management, tradition, and value chains. Utilizing data and digital technologies is crucial, along with customizing solutions to local agricultural conditions. Direct-seeded rice cultivation is an example of this approach, demonstrating reduced water usage, enhanced soil health, up to a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions, and positive returns on investment.

    IMPACT: Who needs to talk? Who needs to act?

    The collaborative process of co-creating innovation and facilitating implementation is essential and requires a strong commitment from different sectors such as public, private and civil society to work together in a multi-stakeholder framework.

    PD Dr. agr. habil. Stefan Sieber (Head of Department Sustainable Land Use in Developing Countries, SusLAND), Dr. Rolf Sommer (Head of WWF Department of Agriculture and Land-Use), Dr. Kathrin Demmler (Lead Technical Specialist at GAIN), Dr. Rolf Christian Becker (Global Head of Partnerships at Academic Institutions Bayer AG), Dr. Teunis van Rheenen (Senior Director, Science Group Innovation and Resource Mobilization, CGIAR), Dr. Jennifer Schwarz (Team Lead Private Sector Cooperation in International Development, GIZ), Dr. Olaf Deutschbein (Head of UNIDO Berlin), Frank Terhorst (EVP Strategy and Sustainability Bayer AG), Johanna Braun (Advisor for Agriculture and Nutrition at Welthungerhilfe), Ginya Truitt Nakata (Director of Global Agriculture and Food Systems Policy, The Nature Conservancy), Johan Swinnen (Director General IFPRI and Managing Director at CGIAR), Helga Flores Trejo (Vice President, Head International and Multilateral Affairs Bayer AG), Dejene Tezera (Director of Agribusiness and Infrastructure Division UNIDO), Philipp Wahl (HSC Head of Corporate Engagement), Anna Sophia Rainer (Senior Manager Global Stakeholder Relations Bayer AG).  


    Moderated by  

    Melanie Vogel (Senior Stakeholder Engagement Manager Bayer AG) 

  • Access to Finance and Entrepreneurship

    We discussed the Fintech sector in Kenya as an example for the interdependence of local entrepreneurship and international financing.

    Photo © Stephen Kariuki

    Access to Finance and Entrepreneurship
    December 6, 2023 | Kenya, Nairobi

    In 2021, the Harvard Business Review declared Kenya as the upcoming „Global Hub of FinTech Innovation“. Round Table discussed the Fintech sector in Kenya as an example for the interdependence of local entrepreneurship and international financing.

    Issue – What is the Most Urgent Problem to Address?

    Despite SMEs in Africa are at the heart of developing countries’ entrepreneurship, the shortage of capital is still the major growth deterrent for them, restricting their ability to create jobs, pay taxes, and provide goods and services.

    Idea – How can this Problem be Solved?

    Within the spectrum of possible solutions could be, firstly, a robust focus on job creation and employment, aiming for a simultaneous inclusion of 1 million new workers annually in Kenya along with a total of 30 million across Africa. Secondly, innovative ways to build credibility beyond traditional collaterals, i.e. local innovators create trust-based micro-credit systems, allowing micro-entrepreneurs to start small and enhance credibility by following established rules.

    Impact – Who needs to Talk? Who needs to Act?

    Addressing, integrating and activating more women is seen as one common goal in the area of finance. Furthermore, youth organisations and people with disabilities need to be part of such discussions.

    Benjamin Knödler (Head of Private Sector Cooperation BMZ), Edward Claessen (European Investment Bank), H.E. Sebastian Groth (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Kenya), Zainabu Mohamed (Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry), Roselyne Njino (Kenya Bankers Association), Dr. Sheila Ochugboju (Alliance for Science), Elizabeth Nkukuu (The Financial Inclusion Fund – Hustler Fund), Bernd Lakemeier (GIZ), Mutembei Kariuki (CEO at Fastagger), Agosta Liko (CEO of Pesapal), Susan Mang’eni (State Department of MSMEs Development), Jelle Pentinga (The German Development Finance Institution DEG), Kennedy Odweyo (State Department of MSMEs Development), Moses Njenga (Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis)

    Moderated by
    Juliana Rotich (Vice Chair of the HSC Council, Head of the Department-Fintech Solution at Safaricom)

  • Accelerating Transport Decarbonisation in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies

    Our Round Table in Dubai, UAE brought together global leaders to discuss urgent challenges in global transportation, including the transition towards transport decarbonization.

    Photo © Lena Plikat

    Accelerating the Just Transition Towards Transport Decarbonisation in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies
    December 4, 2023 | Dubai, UAE

    The global transport sector, responsible for nearly 25% of energy-related CO2 emissions, gains prominence in climate negotiations. 3 noteworthy Round Table Sessions took place during the CCG Transport Day at the UAE COP28, having captured the core of the Data-to-Deal approach in the realm of transportation.  

    ISSUE: What is the most urgent problem to address?  

    Developing Economies have lower transport-related carbon footprints than HICs. Net-zero strategies are crucial for an inclusive transition, ensuring that no one is marginalized in the process, yet challenges of "just decarbonisation" persist, particularly in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies. 3 significant aspects were put on the agenda. Primo, weak regulation policies to informal transport, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Secundo, insufficient access to open transport data and models impedes informed decision-making for policy actions and sustainable investments. Tertio, the need to align climate finance with greener transport development.  


    IDEA: How can this problem be solved?  

    There is a panoply of possible measures: improving informal transport services and facilitating its integration into the NDCs; enabling open access to data and tools by strengthening regional and global initiatives, such as the ADB Asian Transport Outlook (ATO), the Transport Data Commons Initiative (TDCI), and the Transport Decarbonisation Index (TDI); aggregate procurement of clean vehicles (e.g. Indian Electric Bus Initiative); introducing new instruments (e.g. Blended Finance Vehicles); developing more bankable projects; establishing smaller-scale funds for active mobility; ensuring more transparency through finance tracking. 

    IMPACT: Who needs to talk? Who needs to act?  

    It is necessary to engage Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) for both long-term investment programs and smaller-scale funds; involve international stakeholders and donor organisations; strengthen dialogue with private sector, development partners and national/city government; support local operators and workers.  

    Felipe A Ramirez Buitrago (Urban Mobility Director WRI), Dr. Stéphane Straub (World Bank Chief Economist for Infrastructure), Eléonore François-Jacobs (Deputy Coordinator MobiliseYourCity), Carlos Eduardo Enríquez Caicedo (Vice Transport Minister of Colombia), Dr. Vivien Foster (Principal Research Fellow at Imperial College London), Josh Wale (CEO Ampersand), Jane Lumumba (Africa Delivery and Transformation Lead at Climate Champions), Malindi Msoni (Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research), James Leather (Chief of Transport Sector Group at the ADB), Claudia Adriazola-Steil (Director WRI), Maruxa Cardama (SLOCAT Secretary General), Nicolas Peltier-Thiberge (World Bank Transport Global Director), Lucie Anderton (Head of Sustainability at UIC), Urda Eichhorst (Programme Director GIZ), Liza Castillo (SLOCAT, former Costa Rica’s Deputy Minister of Transport), Gianpiero Nacci (Director EBRD), Hazem Fahmi (Transport for Cairo)

    Moderated by
    Mohamed Hegazy
    (Transport Lead for the Climate Champions), Holger Dalkmann (CCG Transport Lead, CEO of Sustain 2030), Henry G. Kerali (former World Bank Country Director)

  • Sustainable Urban Mobility in Yaoundé, Cameroon

    Improving mass public transport and mitigating air pollution measures is a key component in Cameroons sustainable development, a high-level round table concluded.

    Photo © Lena Plikat

    Sustainable Urban Mobility in Yaoundé, Cameroon:
    Overcoming Urban Mobility Challenges

    December 1, 2023 | Yaoundé, Cameroon

    The Round Table took place at SotM Africa, having engaged the key urban mobility players in Yaoundé, specifically the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MINHDU) and the Yaoundé Urban Community (CUY).

    Issue – What is the Most Urgent Problem to Address?

    Improving sustainable urban mobility in Cameroon is imperative, with the lack of road infrastructure and paratransit challenges constituting three major interconnected hurdles for the country’s economic, social, and environmental development. Despite existing measures to mitigate the negative impacts on air quality, climate, and citizen well-being, the fulfillment of these actions still faces obstacles, such as a shortage of funding, insufficient technical capacity, and resistance to behavioural change.

    Idea – How can this Problem be Solved?

    The primary approach is to implement current National and Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (NUMP and SUMP) in cities like Yaoundé and Douala. Key projects include the medium-term implementation of mass public transport (BRT), improvements to road infrastructure, and the fight against air pollution.

    Impact – Who needs to Talk? Who needs to Act?

    Government ministries should enforce policies, collaborate, and allocate resources to turn sustainable urban mobility into reality. Local governments should prioritize effective urban planning and infrastructure investment. Private sector engagement brings valuable resources and knowledge, while operators should be aware of their impact on society and the environment.

    Amadou Ngounga Mouchili (Ministry of Housing and Urban Development MINHDU), Patrick Mfoulou (Yaoundé Urban Community CUY), Arnaud Ndzana (Yaoundé Urban Community CUY), Vincent Flament (European Union Delegation), Rigobert Kilu (Project Lead MoVe Yaoundé at GIZ), Angelin Zegha (Project Manager MoVe Yaoundé at GIZ)

    Moderated by
    Lena Plikat (Advisor on Sustainable Mobility at GIZ)

  • Economy and Development in Transition

    Uni-lateral initiatives have limited impact. Value-based international partnerships are the way to realign economies to achieve the SDG by 2030.

    Photo © Photothek / Florian Gärtner

    Economy and Development in Transition:
    A Fair, Green and Digital Future

    October 31, 2023 | Berlin, Germany

    An exclusive EIB High-Level Round Table Dinner took place at Landesvertretung Hamburg in Berlin by invitation of Association for Latin America (the LAV) and Agency for Economy and Development (AWE).

    Issue – What is the Most Urgent Problem to Address?

    The pivotal objective is to realign the economy towards a socio-ecological orientation. This implies reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing digitalization in both the energy (SDG 7) and the mobility (SDG 11) sectors. Furthermore, it is critically important to ensure universal and equitable access to clean drinking water (SDG 6), and to guarantee the sustainable procurement and utilization of raw materials (SDG 12).

    Idea – How can this Problem be Solved?

    The most promising solution is a shift towards value-based international partnerships (SDG 17). Fostering strategic alliances with the private sector, scientific organisations, and other multilateral institutions is essential to effectively tackle global challenges.

    Impact – Who needs to Talk? Who needs to Act?

    Firstly, international and multilateral approaches are crucial not only between the economy and politics but also through collaboration with science, civil society actors, trade unions, multilateral institutions such as development banks. Secondly, there is a pressing need for cooperation on equal footing with developing and emerging countries, emphasizing the formation of partnerships with local actors, including NGOs and local authorities.

    Dr. Werner Hoyer (President of the European Investment Bank together with EIB Delegation), Niels Annen (Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development together with BMZ Delegation), H.E. Roberto Jaguaribe (Ambassador of Brazil to Germany), H.E. Yadir Salazar Mejia (Ambassador of Colombia to Germany), H.E. Francisco Jose Quiroga Fernandez (Ambassador of the United Mexican States to Germany), other multisectoral stakeholders, e.g. Energy & Meteo Systems GmbH, Boreal Light GmbH

    Moderated by
    Almuth Dörre (Acting Director of the Agency for Business and Economic Development), Orlando Baquero (Executive Director at Association for Latin America)