Impact Symposium 2022

Adapting Research Culture to Achieve the SDGs

Adapting Research Culture to Achieve the SDGs

Free Online Webinar


A unique Symposium focusing on impact and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), hosted each Autumn since 2020. The 2022 edition looks at how we can adapt research culture in order to better achieve the goals, as 2030 approaches and progress seems slower than ever.


A host of inspirational speakers drawn from across the globe, from the UN Global Compact and the SDSN UK through academia and research institutes, and from the feet on the ground to those making decisions at the organisation-wide level.


The world is facing interlinked & worsening crises; research is critical to delivering solutions, but culture can hinder rather than help efforts towards achieving a sustainable future. The event explores international perspectives on how we can catalyse a better tomorrow by adapting today.

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13:30 – 14:10
Keynote Session
A closer look at the UK’s progress towards the SDGs
Steve Kenzie

Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network UK

Dr Kate Roll


Anca Tacu


14:10 – 15:00
Panel Discussion

Embedding impact and SDG alignment into research culture

Dr Steven Hill

Director of Research, UKRI

Dr Simon Kerridge

Principal Consultant, Kerridge Research Consulting

Dr Saskia Pagella

Head of IRIS (Integrated Research and Impact Support), Bangor University

15:00 – 15:25
Case Study

Developing positive research culture in fast-moving environments

Mr Alan Chandler

Dean of Research, University of East London (UEL)

15:25 – 15:40

Comfort break

15:40 – 16:30
Panel Discussion

Achieving ambitious SDG targets in a divided world

Professor Per Lundqvist

Vice President for Sustainability, KTH University

Dr Rebekah Shirley

Director of Research, Data & Innovation, WRI Africa

Moderator – Laura Tucker

CEO, Vertigo Ventures

16:30 – 16:45
Closing Remarks
Vertigo Ventures

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Thank you for hosting a free of charge event like this and for providing inspiring examples of university research in action, making a positive difference to local communities.


Really interesting to hear the international perspective and the Live-in-Labs presentation was really inspirational.


It was a well-run event, with an impressive range of speakers. Very interesting and informative.

Keynote Speakers

Steve Kenzie

Executive Director for the UN Global Compact Network UK

Steve Kenzie UNGC

Steve has managed the Secretariat of the UN Global Compact Network UK since 2007, connecting UK companies and other organisations in a global movement dedicated to driving corporate sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals. He has been Chair of the UN Global Compact’s Global Network Council and was a member of the UN Global Compact Board.

He was previously a Programme Director at the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) leading projects across a wide range of responsible business issue areas. Prior to joining IBLF, Steve was the founder and Managing Director of a successful retail sports equipment business in Canada.

He has a B.Comm from the University of British Columbia and an MSc in Business & Environment from Imperial College London.

Dr Kate Roll
Kate Roll Speaker Bio

Dr Kate Roll is a political scientist interested in vulnerability, with a particular focus on how people in poverty and following conflict gain greater social and economic security. She currently serves as an Associate Professor in Innovation, Development and Purpose and Head of Teaching at UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose and the Faculty Lead for Public Policy for The Bartlett.

Her multi-disciplinary work brings together politics and policy, business ethics, and development studies. Committed to grounded research, she has conducted in-depth field research in Timor-Leste, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Kenya. Recent projects have focused on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and she leads the UK’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

Prior to joining IIPP, Kate was based at the University of Oxford, where she ran a large, multi-year research partnership on responsible business and contributed to the strategy and innovation curriculum at the Saïd Business School. She holds a BA from Brown University, and an MPhil in International Development Studies and DPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford.

Anca Tacu

Anca Tacu

Anca Tacu is the Network Manager for the UK hub of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), playing a key role in the growth and strategic development of the network. The SDSN UK hub is hosted by UCL IIPP, and it brings together and mobilises higher education institutions within the UK around practical solutions that contribute to the implementation of the 17 UN SDGs.

As part of her work, Anca has directly contributed to the ‘Measuring Up 2.0’ report, a key publication produced by the UN Global Compact Network UK. Anca’s contribution includes being an author on two of the report chapters – SDG 13 ‘Climate Action’ and data gaps. 

Anca holds an MSc in Management with Business Strategy and the Environment from Birkbeck College, University of London

Panel #1 Speakers

Dr Steven Hill

Director of Research at UKRI

Dr Steven Hill

Steven Hill is Director of Research at Research England. Steven was formerly Head of Research Policy at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and leads on all aspects of research policy and funding.

Steven is responsible for research funding, including quality-related funding (QR), general capital funding and the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF). He also leads Research England’s research assessment and policy work, and is the chair of the steering group for the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Policy responsibilities include research integrity, public engagement and open research, and Steven contributes to debates and discussions at home and overseas on the enhancement and assessment of research impact


Dr Simon Kerridge

Principal Consultant at Kerridge Research Consulting

Simon Kerridge

Simon has been a research manager and administrator for over 30 years, now an independent research consultant he previously led the research office at the University of Kent where he has had responsibility for all aspects of the research support including pre-award, post-award, impact, information, strategy, assessment and governance.

He has a passion for research management and administration (RMA) as a profession and leads the INORMS (International Network of Research Management Societies) RAAAP (Research Administration as a Profession) Task Force that is collecting longitudinal data about the profession.  He was given the 2022 Innovation Award from CARA the Canadian Association of Research Administrators for his leadership on RAAAP. Simon sits on a number of RMA related committees and groups including being a board member for EARMA the European association.  He is also co-chair of the NISO Standing Committee for CRediT the contributor role taxonomy for journal authorship.

He has recently finished working as a panel advisor for Research England as part of the UK Research Excellence Framework, supporting the Social Sciences panel, including the assessment of research impact.

Simon teaches on the Johns Hopkins’ masters in research administration and is an editor of the Journal of Research Management and Administration. He was an author of Metric Tide report and holds a professional doctorate in Electronic Research Administration. 

Dr Saskia Pagella
Head of IRIS (Integrated Research and Support) at Bangor University

Saskia Pagella

Dr Saskia Pagella has recently been appointed as the Head of Integrated Research and Impact Support (IRIS) at Bangor University.

She has worked for the University for more than a decade in a variety of teaching and research roles. Having completed her PhD in Soils and Environmental Science in 2010, she worked as the Programme Coordinator for the Welsh Government-funded Climate Change Consortium of Wales (C3W) working with Bangor, Cardiff, Aberystwyth and Swansea Universities.

The £4million, 5-year project was funded to bring together scientists working across disciplines and to deliver a wide range of engagement activities focused on improving societal understanding of climate change science. This included informing decision-making by Government, policymakers and businesses and delivering resources and sessions within the education sector and for the public.

From 2016, Saskia has managed Bangor University’s research impact portfolio with a good proportion of the research outcomes across the university delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The University was ranked in the top 30 in the UK in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) for the societal impact of its research, demonstrating the outstanding and far-reaching benefits Bangor’s research is having globally.

Case Study Speaker

Alan Chandler
Dean of Research at the University of East London (UEL)

Alan Chandler Headshot

Alan Chandler is Dean of Research at the University of East London and is a Director of the conservation based practice Arts Lettres Techniques.

The politics of built heritage underpins the supervision of many of my doctoral students work, and has been published by Routledge – ‘The Production of Heritage’. My professional career as a Specialist Conservation Architect and Co-Chair of the RIBA Conservation Steering Group fully informs my teaching and research, with practice projects on National monuments such as the Grade 1 listed St Pancras Church and the Palacio Pereira in Santiago de Chile with Cecilia Puga.

Alan Chandler has previously taught at the Architectural Association, Goldsmith’s College of Art, Cambridge University and Edinburgh University.


Panel #2 Speakers

Professor Per Lundqvist

Vice President of Sustainability at KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Per Lundqvist

Per Lundqvist is a professor in energy technology and the Vice President of Sustainability at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
Lundqvist received his doctorate in applied thermodynamics at KTH on a thesis on the Stirling cycle as a cooling process. Lundqvist has since been active as a researcher and teacher at KTH, and in 2007 became a professor. The research includes both thermodynamic cycles and systems for energy conversion but also energy use systems with a particular focus on efficient energy use and sustainable development.
Lundqvist represents KTH within the international collaboration Sustainable Campus, and acts as responsible for education at basic and advanced level within the school for industrial technology and management, KTH. Lundqvist has been a member of the Academy of Engineering Sciences since 2008. Other international networks he is a member of are IEA and ASHRAE.


Dr Rebekah Shirley

Director of Research, Data & Innovation at WRI Africa

Dr Rebekah Shirley

Dr. Rebekah Shirley is the Director of Research, Data & Innovation at WRI Africa, where she works to create widespread public access to high-quality data and insights for mobilizing sustainable development solutions.

Prior to joining WRI, Rebekah was the Chief of Research at Power for All, a global non-profit organization advancing universal energy access. Over her tenure Rebekah built a novel energy research dissemination engine that fills critical knowledge gaps for practitioners and decision-makers on implementing integrated utility energy services, unlocking agricultural value-addition, and creating livelihoods in the African context, receiving multiple awards for this work.

Rebekah earned her PhD and MSc from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, where as a University Chancellor’s Fellow she designed innovative tools for power system planning in emerging markets. She has fourteen years of experience leading energy and environmental research across Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.

Hailing from the West Indies with roots in Jamaica and Trinidad, Rebekah now lives in Nairobi with her husband and family. Together they enjoy exploring Kenya’s great outdoors. She is also a Visiting Research Fellow at Strathmore University, where she mentors young students and researchers.


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