Games and SDG Summit
July 17, 2023 - At the United Nations - Invite Only
The G4C Games and SDG Summit is the first-ever event to convene the video games industry at the UN and discuss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The half-day event will bring together leaders from the games industry, policy, media, non-profit sector, and others to spark dialogue, identify strategies, and explore how games and extended reality (XR) technologies like virtual and augmented reality can support key UN SDGs, including education, equality, justice, climate action, and sustainable cities and communities. The event is being produced in collaboration with UNEP, UNDP, UN Women, and UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).
Aldijana Šišić, Ph.D.
Aldijana Šišić, Ph.D.
Chief, Multi-stakeholder Partnerships and Advisory Services, UN Women
Aldijana Šišić is the Chief of Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships and Advisory Services (MPAS) at UN Women. MPAS is the lead for UN Women’s corporate engagement with the private sector, corporations, foundations, and individuals - both in terms of the substantive component of partnerships and of resource mobilization.
With over 25 years of experience in the area of human rights, and specifically women’s rights, Aldijana has diverse and longstanding experience in strategic leadership, advocacy, and resource mobilization.
Prior to joining the United Nations in January 2009, Aldijana worked with Amnesty International in London, UK and Wellington, New Zealand for 15 years. She led the development and implementation of national, regional, and international strategies and campaigns on a range of human rights issues including women’s, children’s, refugee and migrants’ rights, torture, and the death penalty. In her native Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Aldijana worked as a teacher, journalist, and director of a private sector company. After finishing her Ph.D. in 1997 at the University of London and teaching at the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, she pursued her career as a human rights advocate and practitioner.
Chief Creative Officer, United Nations Development Programme
Boaz Paldi is the Chief Cretive Officer for United Nations Development Programme. In this role Boaz oversees UNDP’s advocacy, flagship campaigns, events, activations and impact partnerships.
Most recently Boaz launced the #DontChooseExtinction campaign that has been viwed by over 2 billion people across the globe.
Before being appointed to his current role, Boaz led UNDP’s campaigns,partnerships, advocacy and communication including the co-founding and creating the Lion’s Share Fund , co-founding the Social Good Summit and creating UNDP individual giving program.
Prior to joining UNDP, Boaz worked as a TV journalist for 17 years covering conflicts, natural disasters and human-interest stories in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Balkans first for the BBC then the Associated Press and finally joining Reuters where he worked as a TV News Executive Producer for over 12 years.
Chief Creative Officer, UNDP
Boaz Paldi is the Chief Creative Officer for United Nations Development Programme. In this role Boaz oversees UNDP’s advocacy, flagship campaigns, events, activations and impact partnerships. Most recently Boaz launched the #DontChooseExtinction campaign that has been viewed by over 2 billion people across the globe. Before being appointed to his current role, Boaz led UNDP’s campaigns, partnerships, advocacy and communication including the co-founding and creating the Lion’s Share Fund , co-founding the Social Good Summit and creating UNDP individual giving program. Prior to joining UNDP, Boaz worked as a TV journalist for 17 years covering conflicts, natural disasters and human-interest stories in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Balkans first for the BBC then the Associated Press and finally joining Reuters where he worked as a TV News Executive Producer for over 12 years.
Global Director of Climate Change, UNDP
Cassie Flynn is an internationally recognized expert on the treaty negotiations on climate change. She is the Global Director of Climate Change at UNDP, Strategic Advisor on Climate Change to UNDP’s Administrator, and Head of the Climate Promise. She is the creator of Mission 1.5 and the Peoples’ Climate Vote and served as a Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister of Fiji as COP23 President. Cassie has been a featured expert by CNN, BBC, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, New York Times, and delivered a TED Talk in 2019.
Co-founder, Game Director, COVEN
Celine is an acclaimed storyteller who has developed a unique style involving highly emotional stories and strong visual artistry. Her work includes the VR documentary "The Sun Ladies" which premiered at Sundance. She has received the Lion for Best Immersive Work at the Venice Film Festival and the Storyscapes Award at Tribeca for "The Key". In 2021 Celine was awarded France’s prestigious insignia of Chevalier De l’Ordre Des Arts et Des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the Ministry of Culture of France. She was a keynote speaker at SXSW 2022. Celine is a martial artist, a certified self-defense instructor, and an avid gamer.
Commissioner Pat Swinney Kaufman
Commissioner Pat Swinney Kaufman
NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment
Pat Swinney Kaufman serves as Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME). Prior to her appointment in July 2023, Kaufman was First Deputy Commissioner at MOME, overseeing the agency’s work in developing programmatic strategies and support for film, television, theatre, music, advertising, publishing, and digital media.
Kaufman brings a wealth of experience in economic development and fostering the entertainment industry to grow jobs and bring revenue to New York State. She served for nineteen years as Executive Director of the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development and as Deputy Commissioner of Empire State Development. During her tenure, she helped craft and shepherd the legislation that created the New York State Film Production Tax Credit. She also worked to create the standalone Post-Production Tax Credit and the Commercial Production Incentive programs.
Kaufman was President of the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) from 2003-2007, and sat on the board of the Hamptons International Film Festival and the New York Production Alliance. Her work has earned her numerous accolades including Variety's Women’s Impact List, AFCI's Arthur M. Loew Crystal Vision Award, the New York Women in Film and Television Muse Award and The Gotham 50, celebrating New Yorkers who revitalize Gotham’s showbiz legacy.
In addition to her work in entertainment, Kaufman has served as President of the New York Junior League, and sits on the board of the YWCA of Greater New York and Parents in Action/New York City.
Kaufman received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Sweet Briar College, and a Masters Degree in Instructional History from the Teachers College at Columbia University.
Professor at University of California, Irvine
Constance Steinkuehler is a Professor of Informatics at University of California, Irvine where she researches culture, cognition and learning in multiplayer online games. She is an ADL Belfer Fellow, Chair of UCI’s Game Design & Interactive Media Program, Co-Director of the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) Center, and Chair of the Annual GLS Conference. She formerly served as Senior Policy Analyst in the Obama White House OSTP and is a Founding Fellow of the Higher Education Video Games Alliance.
Dr. Anantha Duraiappah
Dr. Anantha Duraiappah
Director, UNESCO MGIEP
Anantha Duraiappah is the director of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), UNESCO’s first and only Category 1 Institute in the Asia Pacific. He is responsible for developing the Empathy, Mindfulness, Compassion, Critical inquiry (EMC2) model—the Institute’s novel approach on Social and Emotional Learning —to achieving SDG 4 . A strong believer in personalized learning and Artificial Intelligence for good, he initiated and oversaw the development of the Institute’s Artificial Intelligence-powered General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant learning platform-FramerSpace, now being used across many countries.
He is an academic and science-policy advocate at heart and is a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences (WAAS). Anantha co-chaired the International Science and Evidence based Education (ISEE) Assessment and the Biodiversity Synthesis Group of the Kofi Annan commissioned Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He continues to publish extensively in the field of economics, environment and education. Anantha is also an avid Kendo player.
DrLupo has made a name for himself as one of the most generous streamers in the business, raising over $13million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital through the charity events, Build Against Cancer and GCX Charity Marathon over the last 8 years. With a level of maturity that is not always seen in the industry, DrLupo plays a variety of games like Fortnite, Destiny, Escape from Tarkov, and Minecraft, and can hold his own, as you'll find him streaming with some of the best creators online.
CEO / Co-Founder, Wicked Saints Studios
Jessica Murrey is an Emmy-Award-winning storyteller and international peacebuilder turned game designer, who partnered with a behavioral scientist and a former Sr. Engineer on Pokémon GO to create Wicked Saints Studios. First to emerge from Niantic’s (makers of Pokémon GO) BDI incubator, Wicked Saints is building the world’s first XR adventure activism game. As CEO, Jess has raised over $4M in venture funding from Riot Games, Precursor Ventures, Eros Resmini, Reid Hoffman, and others, joining an exclusive group of fewer than 100 Black women founders who have ever raised $1 million or more.
The 2020 Game Awards named Jess a member of their "Future Class," individuals around the world who represent the bright, inclusive future of gaming.
Global Head of Gaming at YouTube
Leo Olebe is Global Head of Gaming at YouTube. He and the team work with gaming Creators and Publishers around the world to help them reach players and build global communities around their content. Leo has been in the games industry for more than 22 years, with experience ranging from launching AAA mobile, PC, console and online games to building new platforms and advising developers and start-ups. His work includes major brands like Star Wars, Marvel, Disney Princess and The Matrix at companies like Google, Facebook, BioWare, EA, Disney, Warner Bros., Sierra Online (now Activision Blizzard), Zynga, and Kabam. Leo is a Board Director for Games for Change and is a Board Trustee at Occidental College.
VP Communications, Ubisoft
Leslie Quinton is Vice President, Communications at video game and entertainment pioneer, Ubisoft. She has held senior roles in multinational corporations overseeing global corporate communications, CSR, and issues, crisis and brand management. She taught communications at McGill University for 8 years, mentors young women in the gaming industry, and is involved in several other non-profit organizations as a volunteer, board member or Chair.
CEO and Founder Junub Games and Lual Mayen Foundation
Lual Mayen is the founder of Junub Games. He has a rich story from growing up as a refugee to becoming a game developer. For 22 of his 24 years of life, Mayen lived in a refugee camp in northern Uganda. A few years back, Mayen saw a laptop computer at a registration station for the refugee camp. He told his mother he wanted one. She saved money for three years to get the $300 to buy it for him. He discovered Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and the joy of playing at an internet cafe. He regularly walked three-hours to get to the internet cafe to charge his computer and play games.
As a child born in a violent war, Mayen thought about how to create a game that could inspire peace. He taught himself to make games and formed his own company, Junub Games. Based on the realization games can be helpful for peace and conflict resolution. He started making a video game in his country, so video games can divert their minds from destructive activities.
His first game, Salaam (an Arabic word that means peace), is about protecting communities from being destroyed. It was a 10-megabit mobile game, but he could only distribute it via Bluetooth networking. It spread in a viral way. A conference organizer at A Maze discovered it, tracked him down, and asked him to speak at a conference on games in South Africa. Last year, Mayen appeared at The Game Awards, where he was named a Global Gaming Citizen in conjunction with an award sponsored by Facebook. (27 million people watched that show.) Mayen is working with Facebook to publish Salaam as an Instant Game.
Director of Campaigns, Department of Global Communications, United Nations
Director of Campaigns in the United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC). Ms. Braun joined the United Nations in 1995. Prior to the current appointment, Ms. Braun headed the communications and public advocacy sections at UN Women, the women’s rights organization of the UN, and at UN Volunteers, which facilitates the deployment of thousands of volunteers annually in support of the United Nations’ peace, humanitarian and development efforts. A journalist by training, Ms. Braun worked for print media and broadcasters in her native Germany and abroad, reporting with particular interest on international politics and humanitarian issues. She holds an M.A. in Modern History and North-American studies from Free University Berlin and Technical University Berlin respectively.
Professor, University of Bolton
Professor Paul Hollins is responsible for supporting collaborative research activities across the University of Bolton's School of Arts. Paul is an experienced academic and has published extensively across a diverse range of subjects in the Arts, Education, Business and Technology domains.
Representative from the New York City Mayor's Office
Representative from the New York City Mayor's Office
The United Nations
405 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
This venue is accessible from several mass transit hubs in the area, including Grand Central Station.
The Experiences at the G4C Immersive Arcade Annex at ONX
Screenings are first come, first served.
An immersive docu-music album by sound artist Matt McCorkle, navigates the mind of a bipolar individual through a multi-sensory odyssey of sound, visuals, and interactive exploration.
Body of Mine VR
Experience gender dysphoria by inhabiting the body of another gender. Combining full body, face, and eye tracking with real interviews of trans individuals, the experience takes you on a voyage of gender, identity, and what it means to be a human being.
A multi-sensory mixed reality experience. Using sight, sound, touch and scent, you will experience the complete life-cycle of fungi: spores, mycelium, fruiting body, and the inevitable decay.
ONX STUDIOS LOCATION
645 5th Ave, Lower Level, NY 10022
* Please note the entrance is around the corner on 51st st., between 5th Ave and Madison Ave. This venue is accessible from several mass transit hubs in the area, including Grand Central Station.