On June 18, 2024, the Global Citizen Scholars’ current cohort from the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC) attended the RELX SDG Inspiration Day as part of their scholarship program. The event brought together thought leaders and innovators from various sectors under the theme “In the Age of AI – Information to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals” and highlighted the transformative role of artificial intelligence in fostering sustainable development.

The event commenced with an inspiring opening plenary, featuring insights from former UN-Secretary General and BKMC co-chair, Ban Ki-moon. His remarks emphasized the need for responsible and inclusive technological advancement to ensure that no one is left behind in this era of rapid digital transformation. 

“We must collaborate and provide equal access to knowledge, resources and technology. We must build strong partnerships and have honest global dialogue!” – Ban Ki-moon 

Dr. Márcia Balisciano, Chief Sustainability Officer and Global Head of Corporate Responsibility at RELX, and a distinguished BKMC board member, articulated in her introductory remarks the immense potential of AI in tackling some of the world’s most pressing challenges, from climate change to healthcare. Lastly, during his input, BKMC board member Michael Sheldrick shared insights and learnings from his new book “From ideas to impact”. 

BKMC Global Citizen Scholars not only got the opportunity to network with numerous outstanding speakers and experts in the field – they also gained invaluable insights into topics that equipped them with the knowledge necessary to adapt to new circumstances in the upcoming years and decades to drive positive change in the realm of sustainable development in their communities and beyond.

If you want to learn more about the SDGs check out the RELX SDG Resource Centre for many free and insightful resources around the goals.

Here are some of their impressions and key takeaways from our BKMC young leaders:

Petiuh Frederick Tandah (Cameroon):

“Attending the RELX Inspo Day was deeply enriching experience. The event, centered on AI and climate change, showcased the dual potential of artificial intelligence to either accelerate solutions or exacerbate existing challenges. This new paradigm for science and health was thoroughly explored, especially in the context of truth and trust in the age of AI.One of the standout sessions was on how AI technologies impact medical research and clinical practice. The discussion, referencing Chapter 45 of “Artificial Intelligence in Clinical Practice” by Jay Vietas, provided a comprehensive look at the transformative effects AI is having on global health. Overall, the RELX Inspo Day was an excellent forum for discussing the critical intersections of AI, climate change, and healthcare. It reinforced the importance of advancing AI responsibly to maximize benefits while mitigating risks. The discussions were both thought-provoking and inspiring, leaving participants with a deeper understanding of the potential and challenges of AI in today’s world. 


Gheida Abdala Al-Mashjery (Kenya):

“Participating in the RELX SDG Inspiration Day was truly insightful, particularly in understanding the role of AI in enhancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The session was opened by Dr. Balisciano, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility at RELX, who emphasised SDGs 17, highlighting the importance of partnerships in achieving these goals. Mark van Rijmenam, AI Futurist and TEDx Speaker, took us through the evolution of AI from 1950 to the present, discussing neural networks, machine learning, deep learning, and emerging technologies like Sora for AI-based videos. He stressed the importance of focusing on essential skills, responsible AI use, and the need for regulations. Another true highlight for me was the panel discussion featuring Cherry Murillon from Singapore, who emphasised identifying real problems and enhancing technology for sustainability. This day has been incredibly enlightening, offering valuable insights from experts on the evolving impact of AI in our daily lives.” 


Christiana Onoja (Nigeria):

“The RELX SDG Inspiration Day was transformative, showing how AI can match jobs and skills, and improve supply chains, which has revolutionized my approach to integrating technology at my nonprofit. The emphasis on responsible AI practices and long-term thinking has shifted my mindset toward more ethical and sustainable solutions. This event has truly inspired me to foster greater collaboration and innovation.”