Keynote Speakers

Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner

Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner has been Director of the “German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)” since 2003. He is also Co-Director of the “Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research”, University Duisburg-Essen. Based on his research, Dirk Messner is engaged in high-ranking policy advisory councils. For example, he is Co-Chair of the “German Advisory Council on Global Change” (“Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderungen” (WBGU)) and of the „Sustainable Development Solutions Network Germany “(SDSN). He is also member of the “China Council on Global Cooperation on Development and Environment” (CCICED). His work areas focus on Global change and Sustainable Development, Transformation towards the Decarbonisation of the global Economy, Global Governance and International Cooperation.

Prof. Heila Lotz-Sisitka


Professor Heila Lotz-Sisitka holds a South African National Research Foundation Chair in Transformative Social Learning and Green Skills Learning Pathways. Her research Chair is based in the Environmental Learning Research Centre at Rhodes University, South Africa which she directed for 15 years (2000-2015). Her research interests include critical research methodologies, transformative environmental learning, agency, and education system transformation. She has served on numerous national and international research and policy programmes including as member of the UNESCO International Reference Group on the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and the UNEP Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in African Universities and Global Universities Partnership for Environment and Sustainability (2004-current). Recent publications include a co-edited Routledge book on ‘Critical Realism, Environmental Learning and Social-Ecological Change’ and a co-edited Springer book on ‘Schooling for Sustainable Development in Africa’. She is co-editor of the journal Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Southern African Journal of Environmental Education for 13 years (2003-2016).

Prof. Dilvo Ristoff


Dilvo Ristoff has been Professor Titular at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) in Florianópolis, Brazil, where he teaches at the Program of Management and Methodologies of Evaluation. He was Dean of Undergraduate Studies and chaired the Commission on the creation of the Federal University of the Southern Frontier (UFFS), to which he was appointed the first Rector. For over four years, Ristoff was Director of Statistics and Evaluation of Brazil´s National Institute of Educational Studies and Research (INEP/MEC), having participated in the construction and implementation of the National Higher Education Evaluation System (Sinaes). He was, until very recently the Director of Policies and Programs for Undergraduate Education at the Ministry of Education, responding for the implementation of various nationwide programs aimed at the inclusion of historically excluded social groups. As Director, he also headed the Brazilian delegation efforts for the creation of the BRICS Network University.

Dr. Beatrice Khamati Njenga

Beatrice Khamati Njenga is an educationist and environmental scientist with many years working in the areas of education, energy, environment and sustainable development. She taught at Kenyatta University, Appropriate Technology Centre for many years. Currently she manages the African Union’s continental education programme covering all African Union Member States, as Head of Education Division at the African Union Commission Beatrice is keen to see key agencies working in education in Africa align their programmes with the priorities articulated by AU Member States in the African Union Agenda 2063 and the Continental Education strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25).

Dr. Ingrid Jung

Dr. Ingrid Jung is an advisor for education in international development cooperation, with special focus on education for sustainable development. At GIZ (InWEnt) she has initiated (2009) an international multi-stakeholder network with universities, civil society organisations and ministries from India, Mexico, South Africa and Germany (ESD Expert Net, now under the umbrella of Engagement Global), dedicated to knowledge sharing on education for sustainability. She has served as advisor to GIZ (2014-16) for the implementation of the regional network project eSchool4Sustainability, implemented in the framework of the EU Danube Region strategy. As head of the Education division of InWEnt (2002-2011), she was responsible for design and implementation of capacity development programs in the field of higher education, teacher training and education sector management. As a linguist and social scientist working in the development cooperation, she has drawn particular attention to the specific needs and potentials for learning in multilingual settings in postcolonial societies.