Virtual Resilience Lab series - Part III: Transforming sectoral approaches to sustain long-term regenerative resilience - Resilience Frontiers

Resilience Frontiers

Virtual Resilience Lab series – Part III: Transforming sectoral approaches to sustain long-term regenerative resilience

Resilience Frontiers is a foresight-driven initiative and aims at harnessing the potential of paradigm-shifting frontier technologies and emerging social trends towards long-term global resilience. The initiative responds to the deep societal transformations and maximizes our collective resilience to complex challenges including climate change beyond 2030.

Resilience Frontiers convened the Virtual Resilience Lab series between July and September 2020, as a continuation of its effort to engage global thought leaders. The outputs from this series are being feed into the roadmapping phase of the initiative.

Part I of the Virtual Resilience Lab series took place on 29–30 July, with a focus on ‘Fostering a ‘nature-first’ global culture to ensure environmental stewardship’, and Part II took place on 2–3 September, with a focus on ‘Retooling global cooperation to effectively respond to future climate risks’. Part III took place on 17–18 September and focused on Transforming sectoral approaches to sustain long-term regenerative resilience’. This two-day event covered the following topics, which correspond to the last three pathways (among the eight pathways) of Resilience Frontiers:

  • Pathway 6: Optimizing future health and wellbeing using a holistic and ecosystem approach
  • Pathway 7: Mainstreaming regenerative food production
  • Pathway 8: Developing transformative financial instruments

Virtual Resilience Lab Trailer




Agenda item

DAY 1, 17 September 2020: Refining storylines



- Introduction to event agenda/interactive tools/objectives, by moderator Henry Bonsu (5 min)

- Opening remarks & Evolution of Resilience Frontiers Initiative, by Youssef Nassef (5 mins)


Foresight training: Kacper Nosarzewski, partner 4CF


Setting the scene

-  Video presentation for pathways 6, 7 & 8 storylines (3 mins)


Keynote interventions (10 mins each)

 - Shen Xiaomeng, Director of UNU-EHS

- Pathway 6: Lydia Kallipoliti Assistant Professor, The Cooper Union

- Pathway 7: Rattan Lal, Professor of Soil Science, The Ohio State University

-  Pathway 8: Riyong Kim, Director of Decision Metrics and Finance at EIT Climate KIC. See presentation here. 



Breakout groups


Exercise one: Refining storylines

- Moderator for pathway 6: Chris Skelly
- Moderator for pathway 7: Sheila Ochugboju
- Moderator for pathway 8: Donna Lagdameo



Breakout groups report back


Closing of day 1 by moderator

DAY 2, 18 September 2020, Pooling actions



Setting the scene: Recap of day 1 and plan for Day 2, moderator


Interventions (10 mins each pathway)

 - Pathway 6: James Ehrlich, Founder of ReGen Villages. See presentation here. 

- Pathway 7: Andrew Miccolis,  Coordinator at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

- Pathway 8: John Fullerton, Founder and President, The Capital Institute


Q&A facilitated by moderator

Breakout groups


Exercise two: Pooling actions

- Moderator for pathway 6: Chris Skelly
- Moderator for pathway 7: Sheila Ochugboju
- Moderator for pathway 8: Donna Lagdameo



Breakout groups report back


Next steps
Introduction to Resilience Frontiers digital discussion fora, Henry Bonsu




Dr. Youssef Nassef is the Director of the Adaptation Division at the UNFCCC. He initiated adaptation work as an independent workstream in the UN system. He possesses over 30 years of experience in diplomacy and international environmental policy, and is a seconded diplomat from the Egyptian Foreign Service. While assuming progressively higher levels of leadership at the UNFCCC, he led UNFCCC support for several initiatives on adaptation. These include the inception and support for NAPAs and NAPs; the Nairobi Work Programme – an international knowledge hub for impacts, vulnerability and adaptation; and the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage. He recently created the Resilience Frontiers initiative which applies foresight for attaining post-2030 resilience. He holds a PhD in International Technology Policy and Management and a MALD in International Environmental Policy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, as well as a MA in Middle East Studies and a BSc in Computer Science and Physics from the American University in Cairo.

Dr. Shen Xiaomeng is the Director of the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and concurrently is the Vice-Rector of UNU in Europe. As the chief academic and administrative officer she leads the institute’s research agenda and links the research of UNU to key policy processes. Dr. Shen has more than 15 years of experience in developing and managing large-scale multilateral science cooperation projects, especially between Europe and Asia/Oceania. She is an internationally renowned expert in the field of social vulnerability, environmentally induced migration issues and water–related disaster and risk research from cultural perspectives. Dr. Shen holds a BA degree from the Beijing Foreign Studies University, a MA degree from the University of Bonn, and a PhD degree from the University of Bonn/UNU-EHS

Mr. Kacper Nosarzewski is a partner at 4CF and a member of the board of the Polish Society for the Study of the Future. He advises international institutions such as UNESCO, UNDP, companies and NGOs on strategic foresight. An expert of the Polish Chamber of Commerce of Advanced Technologies. He is an author of methodology, reports and facilitator of foresight projects for the Polish and Dutch Ministries of National Defence, a NATO expert. He has conducted projects, workshops and lectures for companies and government institutions around the world, including BNP Paribas, Veolia, EADS, Kongsberg, Skanska, Colliers International, First Data. He lectures strategic foresight at the Naval Academy in Gdynia and AGH University of Science and Technology. Graduate of the University of Warsaw, alumnus Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Programme. Member of the Association of Professional Futurists (USA) and World Future Society (USA).

Dr. Lydia Kallipoliti is an architect, engineer, scholar and an Assistant Professor at the Cooper Union in New York. She is the author of The Architecture of Closed Worlds (2018), the editor of EcoRedux; Design Remedies for an Ailing Planet (AD 2011) and the Head Co-Curator of the upcoming Tallin Architecture Biennale. She holds a SMArchS from MIT and a PhD from Princeton University. Kallipoliti has previously taught at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Syracuse University and Columbia University. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union and the principal of ANAcycle thinktank.

Dr. Rattan Lal, Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, is a Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at The Ohio State University. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University Iceland; IARI, New Delhi, India, and holds a Chair in Soil Science and Goodwill Ambassador positions with the Inter-American Institute of Cooperation in Agriculture, San Jose, Costa Rica. He was President of the Soil Science Society of America (2006-2008), and the International Union of Soil Sciences (2017-2018). He researches soil carbon sequestration for food and climate security, carbon footprint, eco-intensification, conservation agriculture, soil restoration, soil health, and soils of the tropics. He has authored about 1000 journal articles, mentored 360 researchers, h-index of 156 and 110,347 citations. He is laureate of the 2018 GCHERA World Agriculture Prize, 2018 Glinka World Soil Prize, 2019 Japan Prize, 2019 U.S. Awasthi IFFCO Award, and the 2020 World Food Prize.

Dr. Riyong Kim is currently Director of Decision Metrics and Finance at EIT Climate KIC, EU’s largest public private partnership aimed at supporting innovation to combat climate change, and is soon moving on to head the programme on Natural Capital and Ecosystems at the European Environment Agency. Riyong’s current work focuses on innovation around rewiring the financial system and integrating climate into mainstream financial markets to enable financing at the scale and pace of change we need. a major focus area is on enabling long-termism, focusing on tackling short-termism in the financial markets, exploring the role of technology, arts and culture in shifting narratives, valuing social goods, and anticipating emergence. Prior to joining Climate KIC, she worked in climate and environment programs closely with UN Environment and UNFCCC, and environmental research and policy with IUCN, UN FAO, CIFOR, and World Bank PROFOR program. Riyong holds a PhD in natural resource economics with a strong focus on forests and landscapes with field experience from the Brazilian Amazon, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Indonesia as well as international development and relief work from Timor Leste and Aceh, Indonesia.

Mr. James Ehrlich is Founder of ReGen Villages a Stanford University spin-off company realizing the future of living in regenerative and resilient communities, with critical life support of organic food, clean water, renewable energy and circular nutritional flows at the neighborhood scale. James is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Stanford University School of Medicine Flourishing Project, Faculty at Singularity University, Senior Fellow at NASA Ames Research Center and (Obama) White House Appointee for Regenerative Infrastructure. Ehrlich founded ReGen Villages as a Dutch (EU) impact-profit company in 2016, with its patented VillageOS™ operating system software to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to define, design and autonomously manage regenerative neighborhoods that promote healthy long-term outcomes for residents and wider communities. ReGen Villages are planned for global replication and scale in collaboration with established industrial partners, universities, governments and sovereign wealth and pension funds, enabling an optimistic post-COVID green transition.

Mr. Andrew Miccolis is currently Country Coordinator for ICRAF (World Agroforestry) Brazil, where he leads initiatives aimed at agroforestry-based forest and landscape restoration, appraisal, design and scaling of agroforestry options coupled with other sustainable land uses practices. Over the last 10 years, his research interests have spanned across agroforestry systems and livelihoods, sustainable biofuels, climate change adaptation, environmental governance and land use policies. Previously, he worked as a consultant and facilitator in sustainable livelihoods and participatory natural resource management projects, as well as a trainer in Agroforestry and Permaculture. Andrew lives with his family on a small farm just outside Brasilia, where he has been practicing agroforestry over the last 25 years.

Mr. John Fullerton is an unconventional economist, impact investor, writer, and some have said philosopher. Building on and integrating the work of many, he is the architect of Regenerative Economics, first conceived in his 2015 booklet, “Regenerative Capitalism: How Universal Patterns and Principles Will Shape the New Economy.” After a successful 20-year career on Wall Street where he was a Managing Director of what he calls “the old JPMorgan,” John listened to a persistent inner voice and walked away in 2001 with no plan but many questions. A few months later he experienced 9-11 first hand. The questions crystalized into his life’s work with the creation of the Capital Institute in 2010 where his work reflects the rising evolutionary shift in consciousness from Modern Age thinking to Integral Age thinking.


Born in Manchester to Ghanaian parents Henry Bonsu is a leading British African broadcaster. A Modern Languages (German and French) graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford, he has worked on some of the UK’s biggest current affairs shows, including BBC Radio 4’s Today. Henry has also presented programmes on satellite TV channels including Vox Africa (2008-14) and BET International (2008-11), and been an analyst on BBC News, Sky News, Al Jazeera, Arise News and TRT World He specialises in international development, business, health and education. 

Henry is also an international moderator and Master of Ceremonies. In recent years he has hosted summits at the UN General Assembly in New York, at COP21 in Paris (2015), in Addis (2015), in Incheon (2015 & 2019), Arusha (Future Fortified – 2015) and Johannesburg (Forum on China Africa Cooperation – 2015). Henry has also MC-ed the African Banker Awards at AfDB Meetings in Marrakech (2013), Kigali (2014), Abidjan (2015), Lusaka (2016), Ahmedabad (2017) and Malabo (2019). He hosted the launch of the landmark AU/AfDB report on the SDGs in New York in 2015.

In September 2016 Henry facilitated the pledging session of the Global Fund’s Replenishment in Montreal, and performed the same role in Lyon in October 2019.

In 2017 he hosted the second German African Business Summit in Nairobi, the WHO African Health Forum in Kigali, the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit at UNGA 72, and summits at COP 23 in Bonn. The following year Henry moderated at several major events, including the replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education in Dakar, the World Health Assembly in Geneva, and AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam. He rounded off 2018 by hosting the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Sustainability Summit in Mauritius, GAIN’s Nutrition Africa Investment Summit in Nairobi, and Africa Oil Week in Cape Town. Last year Henry moderated High Level sessions at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, the 2nd WHO Africa Health summit in Cabo Verde, the African Banker Awards in Malabo, TICAD 2019 in Yokohama, the AGRF in Accra and UNGA 74 in New York.

As well as cultural and development events, Henry hosts major business gatherings like the African Banker Awards, African Business Awards, and the Global African Investment Summit. His corporate clients include Maersk, KPMG, Amaris and Cartier International for whom he has facilitated gatherings on key issues ranging from diversity to sustainability.

Dr Chris Skelly, PhD. I describe myself as a problem solver, systems thinker and (on my best days) a storyteller. My day job is in Public Health Intelligence, where I lead a small group of analysts to provide population health ‘information for action’ for our Integrated Care System. In the last few years, I have been primarily focussed on helping colleagues develop insights into our complex health and care system by developing three types of insights: (1) system insights obtained by revealing the structure and dynamics of the system, (2) people insights created by revealing the hidden mental models that people use to form their world views and (3) strategic insights developed through our foresight work to provide forward looking intelligence. I’m also involved in a number of interest based research projects with colleagues, but my one ‘passion project’ over the last few years has been the Healthy Urban Microbiome Initiative. HUMI is an initiative to change the way we look at biodiversity and health. Anyone who would like to know more and connect, please connect with me on Linkedin.

Dr Sheila Ochugboju was a research scientist in Oxford, who expanded her perception through the study of the “Applied Imagination in Creative Industries” at the University of Arts, London. Her career as an International Development Professional over the last two decades, spanning three continents, intersects diverse sectors such as climate change, urbanisation, economic transformation, youth inequality and promoting resilience for vulnerable communities, especially in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. 

She is currently supporting the Network of African Women Environmentalists (NAWE), which is a multi-agency programme led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to promote the Restoration Agenda across African landscapes during the UN Decade on Ecosystems Restoration (2021 – 2030).

She is recognised as an “African Futurist” for designing capacity development programmes for policymakers and leaders in foresight analysis and futures scenarios. She is a TED Fellow, co-Founder of AfricaKnows stock photography, co-Curator of TEDxNairobi and winner of the 2016, Wings World Quest Women of Discovery Award for Humanity. 

Ms. Donna Mitzi Lagdameo is a Programme Management Officer with UNDRR. Donna has 25 years of combined work experience in government, academia, International NGOs, Intergovernmental Organizations, and the United Nations, in the fields of disaster risk reduction and climate change policies, finance and resilient development.  Specifically, these include work devoted in the formulation, negotiation and implementation of climate, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies, including climate, disaster and development financial resources, and their access and use, from local to international levels; and in interfacing with the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement process and with their component entities, including a variety of constituted bodies.

Other contributors

Mr. Jeffrey Phillips is a Melbourne-based illustrator and an all-round curious mind. Originally from India, he moved to Australia when he was a young teenager. Things were different in his new home and so he decided to record them. Two decades later and he continues to enjoy drawing the little things in life that mostly go unnoticed with candour and humour.

On a larger scale, Jeffrey has contributed editorial and commercial illustrations to a diverse array of publishing, consulting and design clients around the world. He specialises in translating complex and dynamic events, research and ideas into engaging visual narratives.

Whether it is a political rally, a research paper or a vision of an unrealised future, Jeffrey uses the visual medium of illustration to record it in an interesting and engaging way.