American Geographical Society Announces Keynote Speakers for 2015 Fall Symposium

American Geographical Society Announces Keynote Speakers for 2015 Fall Symposium

Description: The American Geographical Society announced today the two keynote speakers for the 2015 Fall Symposium, Geography 2050: Exploring our Future in an Urbanized World. Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, and Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, will keynote the event.


[New York City, NY] – [October 7, 2015] — The American Geographical Society (AGS) announced today the selection of Dr. Joan Clos and Dr. Jeffrey Sachs as the keynote speakers of the 2015 AGS Fall Symposium, “Exploring Our Future in an Urbanized World”. Dr. Sachs will give his keynote speech on Thursday, November 19th. Dr. Clos will speak on the second day of the Symposium, Friday, November 20th.


Dr. Jeffrey Sachs is Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, a research and policy center that addresses complex issues facing the planet and its inhabitants, with a particular focus on sustainable development and the world’s poor. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. His work at the United Nations continues in his position as Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium Villages Project. Sachs is also one of the Secretary-General’s MDG Advocates, and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development. He has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the past seven years: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). His most recent books are To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace (2013) and The Age of Sustainable Development (2015).


Dr. Joan Clos is an internationally recognized expert and leader in a variety of public sector areas. Since 2010, Dr. Clos has been the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), at the level of Under Secretary General by the United Nations General Assembly. He leads the mission of UN-Habitat to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all. Prior to joining the United Nations, he served as the Spanish Ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan. Previously, he was Minister of Industry, Tourism, and Trade of Spain between 2006 and 2008. Dr. Clos was twice elected Mayor of Barcelona, serving two terms from 1997 until 2006. He is a medicine graduate from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), and specialized in Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland). Dr. Joan Clos then joined the Barcelona Municipal Government as the Director of Public Health in 1979.


Both keynote speakers bring extensive experience and expertise to the dialogue that will be an integral part of the 2015 Fall Symposium. Dr. Sachs and Dr. Clos have worked across the public and private sectors in tackling issues that affect cities and their inhabitants. This year’s AGS Fall Symposium aims to take advantage of a diverse audience that represents business, government, academia, and not-for-profit to work together to understand, and then develop solutions, for a rapidly urbanizing world. Dr. Christopher Tucker, Symposium Chair, and Founder of MapStory, states “We at the AGS are proud to bring together world leaders such as Dr. Joan Clos and Dr. Jeffrey Sachs on the future of urbanization and sustainability as part of the Geography 2050 multi-year strategic dialog.  Their experience and insights at this critical juncture in the United Nations sustainable development goals process will provide great value to this year’s 2050 symposium participants”. Both Dr. Sachs and Dr. Clos will participate in audience engagement following their presentations.  For more information, including registration, for the Fall Symposium, go to:


Established in 1851, the American Geographical Society is the oldest professional geographical organization in the United States. It is recognized world-wide as a pioneer in geographical research and education in geography for over 163 years. The mission of AGS is to advance geographic knowledge and the recognition of its importance in the contemporary world. AGS promotes the use of geography in business, government, science, and education with a goal to enhance the nation’s geographic literacy so as to engender sound public policy, national security, and human well-being worldwide. AGS is the only organization focused on bringing together academics, business people, those who influence public policy (including leaders in local, state and federal government, not-for-profit organizations and the media), and the general public for the express purpose of furthering the understanding of the role of geography in our lives. AGS provides leadership to frame the national discussion of the growing importance of geography and geo-spatial tools. The Society maintains its headquarters in Brooklyn Heights, New York.