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PVBLIC Foundation Celebrates Successful Participation in SIDS4 Conference


From left to right: Stephen Keppel, President, PVBLIC Foundation, Kerry Banningan, Managing Director, PVBLIC Foundation, Gaston Browne, Prime Minister, Antigua and Barbuda, Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, Executive Chairman, PVBLIC Foundation


PVBLIC Foundation is proud to have been a key partner and co-host of high-level multilateral events at the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4), held from May 27 to 30, 2024, in St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda.


Themed "Charting the Course Toward Resilient Prosperity," SIDS4 focused on evaluating the progress and challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in achieving sustainable development, in alignment with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The conference established a forward-looking political framework to guide the next decade toward resilient prosperity for all SIDS.


PVBLIC Foundation's commitment to the objectives outlined in the Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for SIDS (ABAS) 10 year framework, was exemplified through its role as the official conference manager and lead program partner for the SIDS Center of Excellence, SIDS Global Data Hub, and the emerging Development Bank for Resilient Prosperity (DBRP). These initiatives are crucial in facilitating meaningful outcomes for SIDS4.


Highlights and Outcomes:


Organizing of the SIDS4 Conference in Partnership with the United Nations and the Host Country of Antigua and Barbuda

Kerry Bannigan, Board President and Managing Director, PVBLIC Foundation, H.E. Ambassador Walton A. Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua & Barbuda to the United Nations and his team.


PVBLIC Foundation was honored to support Antigua and Barbuda as the official conference manager of SIDS4. The events team, led by Board President and Managing Director Kerry Bannigan, alongside Director of Events,  Megan McAstocker and Director of Programs, Juanita Alvarez, worked tirelessly alongside local teams to produce a successful conference, providing innovative solutions and significantly reducing costs for the host country.  With the help of hundreds of local volunteers and workers, PVBLIC ensured the event was held within a SIDS nation, a major win for the SIDS to be able to attract global attention to the sustainable development struggles faced by developing nations. Most importantly, PVBLIC has left Antigua and Barbuda with a legacy beyond the execution of the ABAS framework, with a plenary building that will become a conference center and classroom for The American University of Antigua.  


The SIDS Center of Excellence and the Growth of a SIDS-Based Innovation Ecosystem

From left to right: H.E. Ambassador Walton A. Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua & Barbuda to the United Nations, Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, Executive Chairman of PVBLIC Foundation, and Dr. Simona Marinescu, Senior Advisor for Small Island Developing States at UNOPS.


On May 27th, PVBLIC Foundation commenced Day One of SIDS4 with an impactful side event focusing on the SIDS Center of Excellence and the growth of a SIDS-based Innovation Ecosystem. Stephen Keppel, President of PVBLIC Foundation, introduced the SIDS Center of Excellence, which includes four key pillars: the SIDS Global Data Hub, a Technology and Innovation Mechanism, a bi-annual Island Investment Forum, and a Debt Sustainability Support Service. The Permanent Representative of the Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations H.E. Ambassador Walton A. Webson, PVBLIC Foundation Executive Chairman Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, and Senior Advisor Small Island Developing States at UNOPS Dr. Simona Marinescu discussed the role of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship in supporting the next 10-year program of action. The session, moderated by actor Auli’i Cravalho, emphasized the Center's potential to serve as a hub for innovation, knowledge sharing, and training for all SIDS.Dr. Greg Scott, Executive Director of the SDG Data Alliance, and Dr. Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist at Esri, presented on the SIDS Global Data Hub, which will bolster SIDS' institutional and technical capacity with access to new data sources, enabling technologies, and integrated information systems. 


Launch of the Development Bank for Resilient Prosperity

Above: Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon, SIDS advocate and former President of the Caribbean Development Bank


During the SIDS Center of Excellence side event, Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon, SIDS advocate and former President of the Caribbean Development Bank, announced the formation of the Development Bank for Resilient Prosperity. This new initiative aims to foster resilient prosperity and sustainable development by addressing climate change impacts, economic inequalities, and environmental degradation through a systems approach. The announcement marked a key outcome on the first day of the conference, with more news to follow throughout the week.


Island Resilience Forum: Public-Private Partnerships for the Goals

Matt Tranchin, President of the Island Resilience Partnership and Senior Advisor to PVBLIC Foundation with Dickon Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada.


The Island Resilience Forum at SIDS4 also took place on Day One, building upon previous events. Matt Tranchin, President of the Island Resilience Partnership and Senior Advisor to PVBLIC Foundation, opened the panel discussion. Hon. Prime Minister Siaosi 'Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni of the Kingdom of Tonga, Auli’i Cravalho, Deputy Permanent Representative of Antigua & Barbuda to the UN Mr. Tumasie Blair, and Sergio Fernandez de Cordova discussed the role of SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals in building island resilience. Dr. Simona Marinescu and Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell of Grenada also contributed insights on public-private partnerships and the future of resilience and prosperity for SIDS.


The SIDS Global Data Hub: How Geospatial Information and Data Can Create a Resilient and Prosperous Future for SIDS

From left to right: Greg Scott, Executive Director of the SDG Data Alliance, PVBLIC Foundation, PVBLIC Executive Chairman Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, and Mr. Alix Cantave, Senior Program Officer – Haiti, W.K. Kellogg Foundation


Day Two of the SIDS4 Conference featured a deeper dive into the SIDS Global Data Hub. Stephen Keppel welcomed participants, followed by opening remarks from Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, H.E. Ambassador Walton A. Webson, and Mr. Alix Cantave of the WK Kellogg Foundation. Greg Scott and Adam Pfister demonstrated a prototype of the SIDS Global Data Hub, showcasing its capabilities in data maps, dashboards, and stories from various SIDS.


SIDS4 Heads of Delegation and Family Offices Dinner


To close out Day Two, PVBLIC Foundation led by Executive Chairman Sergio Fernandez de Cordova and Laurence Kalinsky, PVBLIC’s Head of Private Sector Initiatives, organized the “SIDS4 Heads of Delegation and Family Offices Dinner” at the historic Weatherills Estate. This high-profile gathering connected over fifty government leaders, including eight Heads of State, with a curated group of private sector leaders and family offices for an evening of direct conversations on the private sector's role in helping developing nations achieve the SDGs. The event which was held in partnership with the Family Offices for Sustainable Development (FOSD) program run by PVBLIC, was also attended by multiple UN agency Heads of Delegation, and sustainable development stakeholders, and laid groundwork for future collaboration and innovation in support of sustainable economic development.  


Family Offices for Sustainable Development Lead Delegation to SIDS4

Above: Stephen Keppel, President of PVBLIC Foundation in company of Family Offices for Sustainable Development delegation members.


The Family Offices for Sustainable Development (FOSD) program, led by Laurence Kalinsky, brought together a distinguished delegation of over 20 family offices and private sector leaders. This delegation engaged in various bilateral meetings with heads of state, focusing on educating FOSD leaders about the intricacies of multilateralism and its vital role in sustainable development. Throughout the event, these influential families and business leaders were introduced to the impactful initiatives spearheaded by PVBLIC Foundation, including the SIDS Center of Excellence, the SIDS Global Data Hub, and the Development Bank for Resilient Prosperity. Their participation underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in achieving resilient prosperity for Small Island Developing States, showcasing how public-private partnerships led by family offices and their foundations can drive transformative change on a global scale.


Interactive Dialogue on Leveraging Data and Digital Technologies and Building Effective Institutions for a Resilient Future in SIDS


On the third day, Dr. Greg Scott spotlighted the new SIDS 10-year Program of Action and Monitoring Framework during the SIDS4 interactive dialogue, emphasizing the crucial role of the SDG Data Alliance in strengthening data collection and utilization.


Launch of the SIDS Center of Excellence

Dr. Simona Marinescu, Senior Advisor for SIDS – UNOPS, H.E. Mr. Fatumanava-o-Upolu III Pa'olelei Luteru, Permanent Representative of the Independent State of Samoa to the United Nations and Chair of AOSIS, Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Executive Chairman, Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, and Auli'i Cravalho, actress and Chief Impact Officer of SDG News.


On May 30th, the SIDS Center of Excellence was officially launched during a session at the SDG Media Zone at SIDS4. Moderated by Auli’i Cravalho, opening remarks were provided by H.E. Ambassador Walton A. Webson, followed by a discussion with key partners including Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda, Dr. Simona Marinescu, H.E. Mr. Fatumanava-o-Upolu III Dr. Pa’olelei Luteru and Dr. Gene Leon, who discussed the Development Bank for Resilient Prosperity. During the session Prime Minister Browne officially declared the SIDS Center of Excellence launched.


SDG Media Zone at SIDS4 Welcomes Global Leaders


The SDG Media Zone featured dynamic discussions highlighting strategies for advancing sustainable development and resilience in SIDS. Notable leaders including UN Secretary-General António Guterres, UN General Assembly President Dennis Francis, and Prime Ministers Mia Mottley and Gaston Browne participated in key sessions throughout the event.


SDG News Ignites Passion and Change at SIDS4


SDG News, a media company and news organization launched on Earth Day 2024, covers the state of the world and leaders spearheading transformative change through the lens of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. At SIDS4, SDG News provided groundbreaking coverage with exclusive interviews with heads of state and UN leaders, capturing the most impactful moments of the conference. Led by Chief Impact Officer Auli’i Cravalho, SDG News highlighted scalable solutions and thought leadership, inspiring a global audience and mobilizing an informed and passionate community dedicated to making a tangible impact on the frontlines of sustainable development. PVBLIC Foundation was proud to support SDG News in their mission, championing the importance of innovative media in driving awareness and action for the SDGs.


"We are excited about the many opportunities to contribute to the success of SIDS4 and are committed to advancing the sustainable development agenda for Small Island Developing States," said Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, Executive Chairman of PVBLIC Foundation. "The establishment of the SIDS Center of Excellence, the SIDS Global Data Hub and the Development Bank for Resilient Prosperity represent a significant step forward in our collective efforts to take action to support SIDS."


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