Solution sessions

On day three of the Nobel Prize Summit our partners will be hosting events that put our discussion themes into practice. Separate registration is required. See below for more information.

For information on the summit’s Main Stage programme click here.

Roots of Change: Empathy as a Collective Responsibility

Hosted by DICCE, GenZGirlGang, and ProjectLets
28 April, 9:30-11:30 EDT: Register here

We are in an empathy crisis. In a world defined by political ideology, race, and economic status, there seem to be more that divides us than unites us. And this polarisation creates barriers, both for mutual understanding and societal problem-solving. Citigroup estimates that the United States economy has lost $16 trillion from racism against African Americans over the past twenty years. The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), a measure of wellbeing, has been stagnant. In order to move forward, we must acknowledge our collective responsibility in addressing the empathy crisis. In this discussion, we will explore the scientific impact of empathy and how we can embed empathy into our science, systems, and individual lives. We will hear from leading cognitive behavioral scientists on the sociobiological basis of empathy and from incredible thought leaders and psychologists on how to ground ourselves in revolutionary empathy. In this youth-led session, we will explore new ways of measuring social progress and help you explore your own empathy and active listening through some fun speed-friending activities!


  • Phoebe Omonira
  • Lyne Odhiambo
  • Zoe Jenkins

Rethink Tomorrow: Our Planet – From Human Impact to Sustainable Industry Solutions

Hosted by Embassy of Sweden to the U.S.
28 April, 10:00 EDT: Register here

The human impact on nature is undeniable. The never-ending demand for limited natural resources leaves lasting effects on the environment and risks the loss of biological diversity. With a foundation in science, industry can be a vital part of the solution by creating efficient resource utilisation aiming to reduce the negative impact on the environment.

This event will span across science, culture and technology starting with reflections from the Nobel Prize Summit and a brief tour of the exhibition “Dreamland” by the Swedish photographer Helene Schmitz, followed by a discussion around the human impact on our planet and the industry’s work to find solutions.


  • H. E. Karin Olofsdotter, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States
  • Johan Rockström, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Helene Larsson Pousette, Cultural Counselor, Embassy of Sweden to the United States
  • Carl Folke, Director, the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics and Chair, Stockholm Resilience Center


The Future of Sustainability Education

Hosted by the NASEM Science and Technology for Sustainability Program, and the NASEM Board on Higher Education and Workforce
28 April, 10:00-11:30 EDT, Registration coming soon

This event will highlight the findings and recommendations from the recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s report, Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels with a focus on the future of sustainability education. The report provides expert insights for strengthening the emerging discipline of sustainability in higher education in the United States. Presentations and facilitated discussion will examine the role of universities in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), digital learning opportunities and student engagement, and the critical need to build a K-12 pipeline to higher education.


  • Marcia McNutt (NAS), President, National Academy of Sciences
  • Marilu Hastings, Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer, Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation
  • Anne Kapuscinski, Director, Coastal Science and Policy Program, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
  • Ellen Stofan, Under Secretary for Science and Research, Smithsonian Institution
  • Dan Higgins, Global Technology Consulting Leader, Ernst & Young Global Ltd.
  • Sajitha Bashir, Adviser, Office of the Global Director, Education Practice, The World Bank
  • Jeffrey Sachs (NAM), President, Sustainable Development Solutions Network
  • Sir Richard Roberts, Chief Scientific Officer, New England BioLabs, Inc. (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1993)

Startup Solutions: How Social Enterprises Are Addressing 21st Century Challenges

Hosted by Halcyon and S&R Foundation
28 April, 10:00-11:00 EDT: Register here

Startups provide the most nimble, adaptive and fast-paced business solutions to many of the most pressing 21st century environmental and sustainability challenges.  In concert with governments, large industry and engaged leadership, social enterprises have a critical role to play.  This event will feature three remarkable social enterprise founders who have integrated both profit and purpose into their business models in order to maximize their impact.  Learn the story behind some of the most innovative social ventures in the world and how these enterprises will help to create a brighter future for humans and our planet.

Moderator: Joshua Mandell, Chief Operating Officer, Halcyon

  • Svanika Balasubramanian, CEO, RePurpose Global
  • Sam Teicher, CEO, Coral Vita
  • Phil Wong, CEO, Misfit Foods
  • Sandhya Murali, COO, Solstice


From Results in the Lab to Results on the Ground

Hosted by Global Solutions Summit
28 April, 11:00-12:30 EDT: Register here

How can we ensure that cutting edge scientific results enhance sustainability and lead to concrete improvements in peoples’ lives?  To accomplish these objectives, scientific knowledge has to be embedded in products and organizations that meet three criteria: (1) financial, operational, and environmental sustainability; (2) accessibility to the billions of people at the lower/est strata of the income pyramid rather than serving only the economic elites; (3) deployed at scale to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people in dozens of countries in thousands of communities around the world. The panelists will explain that this daunting task is eminently worth pursuing, but will require some changes to business-as-usual procedures in the scientific community and elsewhere.

Moderator: Alfred Watkins, Chairman, Global Solutions Summit

  • Theresa Kotanchek, Chief Executive Officer of Evolved Analytics
  • Ramesh Mashelkar (NAS/NAE), Former Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Former President of Indian National Science Academy
  • Maurizio Vecchione, Co-founder of AdAstral and President and CEO of Washington Global Health Alliance


Online Disinformation and Human Rights

Hosted by the NASEM Committee on Human Rights
28 April, 11:30 EDT: Registration coming soon

This fireside chat examines the role of digital disinformation and media manipulation in entrenching societal inequalities, driving polarization, and eroding public trust.  The panelists will discuss possible human rights-based approaches to countering disinformation online.

Moderator: Sam Gregory, Program Director, WITNESS


  • Safiya Noble, Associate Professor, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2)
  • Kate Starbird, Associate Professor, Human Centered Design & Engineering, University of Washington


Smart Cities and New Green Solutions

Hosted by Embassy of Italy to the United States
28 April, 12:00-13:15 EDT: Registration coming soon

Inspired by the motto of the G20 Italian Presidency in 2021, ‘People, Planet, Prosperity’, and on the triple special occasion of the 160th anniversary of Italy-U.S. diplomatic relations, the Italian co-presidency of COP26, and the Italian Research Day in the World, the Embassy of Italy to the U.S. organizes, in collaboration with the National Academy of Sciences, a high visibility event on April 28. The theme will be Urban Sustainability, with a panel of top-notch experts from both sides of the Atlantic, to discuss the global challenge of developing smart, people-oriented and resilient cities that could improve the long-term health of the planet’s human and ecological systems.


  • Marcia McNutt, President, National Academy of Science, USA
  • Armando Varricchio, Ambassador of Italy to the United States
  • Maria Cristina Messa, Minister of Universities and Research, Italy
  • Stanley Whittingham (NAE), Director, NorthEast Center for Chemical Energy Storage and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Binghamton University (State University of New York) (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2019)
  • Chris Greer, Senior Executive for Cyber-Physical Systems, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce
  • Debra Lam, Managing Director for Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation, Institute for People and Technology, Georgia Tech’s Institute
  • Carlo Ratti, Director of Senseable City Lab, MIT
  • Paola Malanotte-Rizzoli, Professor of Physical Oceanography, MIT

A Call for an Intergovernmental Panel on the Information Environment

Hosted by PeaceTech Lab
28 April, 12:00 – 13:30 EDT: Registration coming soon

In response to the existential threat posed by the proliferation of false information across online and offline media, leadership at PeaceTech Lab proposes the consideration of the formation of an Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) equivalent — the Intergovernmental Panel on the Information Environment (IPIE) — to analyse the global information environment in order to provide governments with recommendations, based on science, for arriving at objective, transparent standards for a healthy global information environment and the actions needed to achieve it. With expert voices and thought leaders, this panel will explore the practicalities and importance of creating an IPIE in our immediate future.


  • Vint Cerf, Father of the Internet
  • Phil Howard, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute
  • Katherine Maher, CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia

The SDGs and International Collaboration

Hosted by the NASEM Science and Technology for Sustainability Program
28 April, 13:00-14:00 EDT: Registration link coming soon

The pandemic has made the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more challenging, with increasing concerns about supply chain disruption, environmental degradation, and persistent inequalities. As the international community slowly adapts to a new normal, the pace of global policy discussions should accelerate to deliver much needed change. This special session will highlight the importance of international collaboration for achieving the SDGs with a timeline of 2030. Presentations and facilitated discussions with Nobel Laureates will focus on the role of science, technology, and innovation in support of more effective policies and actions towards sustainability; advancing awareness of the SDGs with a particular focus on the youth, civil society, and the new U.S. administration; and research agendas related to sustainability and the SDGs to inform post-2030 processes.