Lost in transformation?
Strategies for sustainable development
ESMT Open Lecture with Dr. Imme Scholz

October 18, 2023, 6:00-7:00 p.m. 

ESMT Berlin, Schlossplatz 1, 10178 Berlin

This event will take place in person and online. To attend the event on campus, please use the registration form below. To attend the event via livestream, please register here

The urgency of climate change, economic disruptions from the pandemic, and widespread national debt constitute significant obstacles to achieving equitable and sustainable global development. As shortcomings in our current system of economic globalization become apparent, geopolitical factors, exemplified by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reemerge as serious considerations. These factors test the resilience of international institutions, which are crucial for global cooperation. Now at the midpoint of the Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is clear that progress is lacking. How can we forge ahead with sustainable strategies in this challenging landscape? What should be our immediate focus? 

In this ESMT Open Lecture, Dr. Imme Scholz, chair of the independent scientists who recently published the "Global Sustainable Development Report" at the UN Summit in New York, will provide an in-depth analysis of the current dilemmas and potential pathways for achieving socio-ecological transformation. 


Since April 2022, Dr. Imme Scholz serves as co-president of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin. She was formerly the deputy director of the German Development Institute (DIE) from 2009 and holds an honorary professorship in global sustainability at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences. 

She co-chairs the UN-commissioned Independent Group of Scientists, which was commissioned by the UN for the Global Sustainable Development Report, and sits on the Council on Bioeconomy and the supervisory board of Bread for the World. She has had previous roles in the German Council for Sustainable Development and the German Committee on Sustainability Research. 

Dr. Scholz joined DIE in 1992, later leading its division for environmental policy and the management of natural resources, focusing on climate change adaptation in developing countries. She earned her PhD in sociology from Freie Universität Berlin in 1999. 


Olga Almqvist is the senior manager of ESMT’s Societal Impact Financing Initiative (SciFi). In this role, she curates ideas to finance a sustainable and inclusive society through cross-sector collaboration. Prior to joining ESMT, she worked for a decade in international development cooperation. Olga holds a master in international public management from Sciences Po Paris and an executive MBA from ESMT Berlin.