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Keynote Speakers / Conférenciers d’honneur

Gordon Campbell
Former Premier of British Columbia
Vancouver, Canada

Gordon Campbell served as Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 2011 to 2016. He was Premier of British Columbia (2001-2011), during which time he was named best fiscal manager among Canadian premiers by the Fraser Institute. Campbell served as Mayor of Vancouver for three successive terms and spearheaded key urban regeneration projects and ground-breaking initiatives in literacy and cultural diversity. He led the city during its ascent to one of the world’s most livable cities and was the driving force behind Metro Vancouver’s Creating Our Future initiative which shaped the region over the last 25 years. As Premier, Campbell was recognized for his leadership on climate change issues and his reconciliation initiatives with Canada’s First Nations. He was awarded Canada’s Olympic Order for his championship of Canada’s highly successful 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler. The Order of British Columbia recognized Campbell as “an exemplary British Columbian and a visionary leader.” A Vancouver native, Campbell received his MBA from Simon Fraser University. He spent two years teaching in Nigeria and founded a successful property development firm in BC prior to entering politics. Today Campbell serves on a number of Boards internationally and continues to be engaged in public policy.

Chaolin Gu
Tsinghua University
Beijing, China

Chaolin GU is Professor of the School of Architecture at Tsinghua University and the Vice President of the Chinese Futurology Association, Councilman of Urban Planning Society of China, China Society for Urban Sciences and Geographical Association of China. In addition, he is the member of Science and Technology Committee, Ministry of Housing and Construction and the Expert Panel of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Prof. Gu has been visiting scholar in Department of Geography/Planning, the University of Toronto in the academic year 1992-93 and in the Center of Urban Planning & Environmental Management, Hong Kong University in 1994 and 1995. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Institute of Social and Economic Geography, Katholie University of Leuven, Belgium. He is mainly engaged in research work in urban and regional planning, regional economics, and urban geography in China. Since 1986, he has published 26 monographs and more than 340 papers.

Gordon Harris
SFU Community Trust
Vancouver, Canada

Gordon Harris is an urban planner, development strategist and real estate market analyst. As president and chief executive officer of SFU Community Trust, he is also leading the development of the university, an award-winning community on land owned by Simon Fraser UniverCity (SFU), near Vancouver, B.C. The trust is a global leader in sustainable community development and generates endowment wealth for teaching and research at SFU. A community planner with a lifelong passion for sustainable practice, Harris began his career in urban planning, before moving into the private sector in institutional and retail real estate development. He then spent two decades as an independent consultant, providing urban land planning services, strategic development advice, market intelligence, and economic analysis to public-and private-sector clients across Canada and in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Central America. A popular speaker on sustainable development, planning and economic analysis, and the challenges of planning for an ageing population, Harris is a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners. He is a senior advisor to the Canadian Urban Institute and serves on the British Columbia Arts Council and the executive committee of the Urban Development Institute. He has been a member of the National Capital Commission (NCC)’s Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty since 2012. In 2013, Harris received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contributions to community building in Canada.

Alioune Sall
African Futures Institute
Pretoria, South Africa

Alioune Sall is the Founder and Executive Director of the African Futures Institute, a Pan-African think-tank established in 2004 and specialized in foresight exercises, research and capacity development.The Institute is headquartered in Pretoria (South Africa) and has provided technical support to more than 20 African countries engaged in long-term perspectives studies or operationalisation thereof. The Institute has also consulted for the African Union Commission and its NEPAD agency, as well as several bilateral and multilateral development cooperation agencies. Prior to establishing the African Futures Institute, Alioune Sall has had a distinguished career in the United Nations Development Programme. The positions he has held in the UNDP include: Regional Coordinator of the African Futures Program (1997-2003); Chief, Office of the UNDP Assistant Administrator for Africa (1995-1997); Chief, UNDP Liaison Office in South Africa (1993-1995); Senior Adviser in the Bureau for Program Policy and Evaluation (1988-1993); Technical Adviser to CILSS on Human Resources Development (1979-1986). Before joining the UNDP, Alioune Sall has worked with the Dakar-based UN Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) and ENDA as researcher and lecturer from 1975 to 1979. In his personal capacity, Alioune Sall has recently served as special advisor to Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia in her capacity as co-Chair of the UN High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Alioune Sall is Director of several international NGOs and member of editorial board of scholarly journals and policy-oriented publications, including the Paris-based foresight journal “Futuribles”. Alioune Sall research and teaching interests are in foresight studies, development planning and visioning, democratic transitions, governance, the politics of international economic relations, the political economy of African countries. He is the author of several publications, including books and contributions to books, journal articles, book reviews, and consultancy reports. Prominent among them are “Africa 2015: What possible futures for sub-Saharan Africa?” and “The future competitiveness of African economies”. Alioune Sall holds advanced degrees in Philosophy, Development studies and a PhD in Sociology.

Rafael Tuts
Nairobi, Kenya

Rafael Tuts is Director of the Programme Division of UN-Habitat, based at its Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. He is overseeing the work of UN-Habitat’s seven thematic branches and four regional offices. From 2012 to 2016 he was the coordinator of the Urban Planning and Design Branch of UN-Habitat, promoting compact, integrated and connected cities that are inclusive and resilient to climate change. From 2014 to 2016 he was also overseeing the Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch of UN-Habitat, focusing on the ‘Housing at the Centre’ approach and the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme. Earlier assignments at UN-Habitat include his role as manager of the Localising Agenda 21 Programme, as a contributor to the Global Campaign on Urban Governance and as Chief of the Training and Capacity Branch. Following the Rio+20 Conference, he coordinated UN-Habitat’s engagement in formulating the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG-11 on ‘making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’. He authored and co-edited several publications on a wide range of sustainable urban development topics, including ‘Urban Trialogues’, a book reflecting on urban space as a resource for sustainable development, based on work in Morocco, Kenya, Vietnam and Cuba. Together with colleagues from the World Bank, UNEP and Cities Alliance, he received the World Bank Vice-President Team Award in 2011 for global partnership building on Cities and Climate Change. He also received ISOCARP’s 50th Anniversary Award in 2015, in recognition of UN-Habitat’s urban planning work. Before joining UN-Habitat in 1995, he worked for the Department of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning of the University of Leuven in Belgium and the Housing Research and Development Unit of the University of Nairobi. In 1985, he obtained a Masters of Science degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Leuven. In December 2016, he was awarded the title of Honorary Professor from the same university.

Baolu Xie
Deputy Secretary and Mayor
City of Heihe, China

Dr Baolu Xie is serving as the deputy secretary and mayor of the city of Heihe, China. In addition, he is the president of the Northeast Asian Study Association and the deputy director of the Internet Finance and Industry Upgrading Committee of National Internet Finance Association of China. Dr Xie studied at the Harbin Institute of Electrical Engineering. Dr Xie studied at the Harbin Institute of Electrical Engineering, the Harbin University of Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology, California State University (Los Angeles), Civil Service College of Singapore, Seminar of Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Low Carbon Green City in Germany, and Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He has successfully completed multi-disciplinary studies on Industrial Enterprise Management, Construction Economics and Management, MBA, Social Management, Building Renovation and Urban Management, Law, Finances, National Economics, etc. Dr Xie dedicates himself to serving in various government sectors leading urban development related duties. Moreover, Dr Xie also has great achievements in academics. For example, he has published hundreds of articles in both domestic and international journals and media. He led a research project funded by the National Social Science Fund of China, and also organized and attended several academic conferences and seminars at both domestic and international levels.