Panel Discussions

Table of contents

12 November 2021: Pro-Poor Growth Policies and Pro-Poor Entrepreneurship/Economic Dynamics, Technology, and Infrastructure



Dr. Gabriele Bäcker, Executive Director,Institute of Development Research and Development Policy Ruhr-University Bochum


Cynthia Arredondo is an enthusiastic researcher. One of her passions is building bridges between disciplines to integrate different understandings in clarifying social phenomena. This has motivated her to carry out a PhD in International Relations at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) on the relevance of civil society organizations in global political processes with her dissertation on "The global social movement on business and human rights: dynamics, strategies, and scales of political action in global governance." Along her dissertation journey, through the revision of cases and interviews, she has acknowledged the significant relevance of characteristics and perspectives of local communities in implementing global development standards.

Alicia Dipierri is a researcher at the Centre for European Research in Microfinance (CERMi-ULB) and the Centre d'Etudes Economiques et Sociales de Environnement (CEESE-ULB) under the joint supervision of Marek Hudon and Tom Dedeurwaerdere (UCL). She holds an Aspirant fellowship of the FNRS.
Her topic of interest is the behavioral changes that occur in the food system towards sustainable development. More precisely, the objective of her PhD is to understand the changes in the behavior, the innovative solutions, and the triggering motivations of several actors (i.e. small-scale and medium producers and enterprises, industrial actors, not-for-profit organizations, etc.), towards a sustainable development.
She holds a master's degree in international development and economics (HTW Berlin, Germany), two post-diploma/licentiate degrees in marketing (UOC Barcelona, Spain) and international trade (UB Barcelona, Spain), and a diploma/licentiate in tourism development (UNCo Neuquen, Argentina).

Ali Zafar, as an International Development and Project Management Professional with 7 years of experience in Project Management, Policy Development, and Economic Research, Ali has demonstrated leadership and social stewardship to lead innovative change in Pakistan and Myanmar. He has directly worked on localization of Sustainable Development Goals in Pakistan: while serving as Social Policy Analyst with UNDP, he designed the Punjab Sustainable Development Goals Implementation Framework and made major contributions to Pakistan's VNR at HLPF of UN in 2019. In recognition of his research work he was selected to represent Pakistan as a Young Economist at 5th Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting on Economics in 2014 and in recognition of his achievements as a development professional, he was selected by U.S. Department of State to represent Pakistan as a Governance and Society Professional Fellow in 2018. Ali is currently working as a Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist with UN Women in Myanmar.

Dr. Frederick Sumasiku earned his PhD in Environmental Education from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, it was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the thesis explored the contributions of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to the provision of quality education. He has 17 years professional work experience which involves providing technical expertise, policy guidance and capacity building interventions on how to integrate and implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in international higher education institutions, Non-Governmental Organisations, and in formal education school contexts. Frederick’s interest includes working at the sustainability-innovation-entrepreneurship interface as a basis for actualising the practical implementation of the SDGs in the global south. He currently works as Coordinator: Postgraduate Support Training at the Centre for Research Services within the office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development, University of Namibia. He leads the process of re-orientating postgraduate research training to address the SDGs. 

Wendy Jemenez, Honored Bachelor in International Business, has an MBA focused in Small Enterprise Promotion resulted from a DAAD scholarship at the University of Leipzig. Has over +5 years of professional experience in a variety of fields and companies, including NGOs. The above Includes roles in exports, SMEs improvement, logistics, and sustainability. Also, she had been part of the Technical Committee of Environmental Quality for SMEs, and The Public and Private Sector Desk for Measuring CO2 in the Export Sector of the Dominican Republic.
Moreover, Wendy contributed to initiatives in favor of achieving the SDGs to promote clean energy (Germany) and to raise awareness of environmental issues to build a sustainable society (Japan). Also, she has been also a speaker and facilitator in projects from North America and Europe. Currently is an international business consultant, is concluding a Master in Linguistics to teach Spanish, and is also constantly supporting circular economy initiatives

Joy Muthanje Mwaniki

13 November 2021: People, Communities and Public Utilities/Rethinking Economic Development: Circular Economy


Rieta Aliredjo strives for a world where everyone has a life of dignity, opportunity and community: a doughnut world! She is a goal-oriented idealist and works in education, citizen initiative and social entrepreneurship, mostly in the Amsterdam region.
She is an economist. Her company RINETIC works on ventures for people, planet and prosperity. She is also the founder of Stars Are Circular, an NGO developing learning journeys for children and young adults.


Manuchehr Bakoe is the Head of KfW Development Bank’s local office in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and is responsible for KfW Portfolio in Financial Sector, Climate change and Energy sectors. Since 2013 he supported implementation of projects in fighting TB and improving mother and child healthcare, construction of schools, afforestation and erecting hydropower plants as well as developing the financial system of Tajikistan in areas of SME finance and Housing finance.
From 2007 to 2010 Manuchehr Bakoev joined Welthungerhilfe and ASDP Nau development organisations in developing community-based and eco-tourism in Tajikistan and in 2009-2010 served as the Executive Director of Zerafshan Tourism Board – a business-intermediary organization focusing on Tourism Development in Tajikistan.
Manuchehr Bakoev holds a Master of Arts degree from Ruhr University Bochum (Germany) and a Diploma in Business Administration from the Technological University of Tajikistan.

Jazmin Ponce Gomez is a Ph.D. candidate and research assistant at the Leipzig University (LU) in Germany. Before joining LU, she was a research fellow at the United Nations System Staff College Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development in Bonn, organizing and facilitating training events for relevant UN and non-UN institutions on topics around the three dimensions of the sustainable development agenda. Back in Peru, she worked for five years for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit in the regional program ComVoMujer- Preventing violence against women (VAW) in Latin America. Through her role as technical advisor, she supported the development of country studies about the economic impact of VAW in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay, and joint projects with governmental institutions, the private sector, and academia. Jazmin holds an MBA in Small Enterprise Promotion and Training from LU and a BA in International Business Management from the University of San Martin de Porres in Peru.

Serena Sandri is Associate Professor and Exchange Coordinator at the Logistics Department of German Jordanian University. She is the Deputy Director of the Euro Mediterranean Network for Economic Studies (EMNES) in Jordan and member of the Experts’ Panel of the Euro Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA). Before joining German Jordanian University in 2012, she worked at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management of Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.
Her main fields of expertise are behavioural economics, institutional economics, and entrepreneurship, with a strong focus on environmental thematics. Her publications have appeared among else in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Sustainability, and Mediterranean Politics.

Dr. Davison Muchadenyika is an Urban Specialist with the World Bank Group, Washington DC. He works on issues of devolution reforms, urban finance and management, and urban upgrading in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zambia and South Africa. He holds two masters degrees and a PhD from universities in Germany and South Africa. Seeking Urban Transformation: Alternative futures in Zimbabwe is his latest book.