Speakers of
The UIA 2023
World Congress

Our speakers have all been carefully selected for their strong contributions to architecture, science, business and politics. They will engage in discussions which range across the 17 SDGs and explore how innovation and multidisciplinary collaboration can bring real sustainable change to the built environment. New speakers will be added continually as we approach the congress. If you are looking for a specific speaker, please use the search bar below.



Keynote speakers will provide inspiration and guidance on how architecture and the built environment can contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Our keynote sessions are designed as a series of dialogues between trailblazing architects and experts from science, business and politics moderated by our Master of Ceremonies Connie Hedegaard. Click names for more information about speakers and which keynote dialogue they will contribute to.

Bjarke Ingels
Founder, BIG
Bjarke Ingels founded BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group in 2005 after co-founding PLOT Architects in 2001…
Chimamande Ngozi Adichie
Award-winning writer and novelist
Ms. Adichie grew up on the campus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where her father…
Chris Downey
Architect & Founder, Architecture for the Blind
Chris Downey is an architect, planner, and consultant. Working with design teams and clients, he draws…
Christian Benimana
Senior Principal, MASS Design Group, and Director of The African Design Centre
Christian Benimana is a Rwanda-born architect. In 2010 he joined MASS Design Group as a Global…
Connie Hedegaard
Master of Ceremonies
With two decades of experience in international and domestic executive policy making, Ms. Connie Hedegaard today…
Elizabeth Timme
Founder & Director of Design, Office of: Office
Elizabeth, co-founder of Office of Office, is a third-generation architect born in Texas and raised in…
Francis Kéré
Founder & Principal, Kéré Architecture, 2022 Pritzker Prize winner
Francis Kéré is an internationally renowned Burkinabè architect and the 2022 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture…
Jim Hagemann Snabe
Chairman, Siemens, World Economic Forum Trustee
Jim Hagemann Snabe is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Siemens AG (D) and Member of…
Kunle Adeyemi
Founder & Principal, NLÉ
Kunlé Adeyemi is an architect, professor, and development strategist whose works are internationally recognized for originality…
Maria P. Neira
WHO Director, Department of Environmental, Climate Change and Health
Dr. Maria P. Neira is the Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health…
Mette Skjold
Ms. Skjold is CEO of the Danish nature-based design studio SLA. As the head of SLA,…
Partha Dasgupta
Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Cambridge
Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta is Frank Ramsey Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge…
Ursula von der Leyen (tbc)
President of the European Commission
Ursula von der Leyen, Dr., born in 1958, was a member of the German Bundestag from…


Together with the keynote dialogues, the congress programme will include a wide range of sessions which will explore how architecture and the built environment can contribute to a more sustainable future. Confirmed Session Chairs are listed below. Click names to see which sessions they will chair.

Anders Lendager
Architect & CEO, Lendager
Anders Lendager is an architect, CEO and founder of Lendager. His company has established itself as…
Anna Heringer
Architect & Founder, Studio Anna Heringer
German architect Anna Heringer, born October 1977, grew up in Laufen, a small town at the…
Anna Rubbo
Senior Researcher, Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD), The Climate School, Columbia University, US
Prior to joining CSUD in 2012, Anna Rubbo, B.Arch (U-Melbourne), D. Arch (U-Michigan) was Associate Professor…
Arif Hasan
Visiting Professor, NED University Karachi, member of UNs advisory Group on Forced Evictions
Arif Hasan is an architect and planner, activist, teacher, researcher and the author of a large…
Billie Faircloth
Partner and Research Director, Kieran Timberlake
Billie Faircloth is a researcher, professor, and lecturer whose work centers around three main themes: the…
Camilla Ryhl
Architect, Ph.d., Research Director at Bevica Foundation and Head of Universal Design Hub
Camilla Ryhl is an educator, researcher and specialist in Universal Design and her current work focuses…
Camilla van Deurs
Chief City Architect, City of Copenhagen
Camilla van Deurs is the Chief City Architect for the City of Copenhagen since February 2019,…
Carlo Ratti
Professor and Director, Senseable Lab MIT (US), Founding Partner of Carlo Ratti Associati
An architect and engineer by training, Professor Carlo Ratti teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology…
Carlos Moreno
Professor, University of Sorbonne, Paris
Carlos Moreno is French of Colombian origin. He is a Senior University Professor, a driving force…
Chris Precht
Architect & Founder, Studio Precht
Chris Precht is the co-founder of architectural studios Precht and Penda. After training at University of…
Cora Valloire
Architect, Master of Inclusive Architecture, Dissing+Weitling
Cora Cecilia Lopez Valloire is an experienced architect working in all phases of a building process…
Ellen Braae
Professor, University of Copenhagen, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management
Ellen Braae is since 2009 professor at the University of Copenhagen, heading the Research Group for…
Jakob B. Knudsen
Dean, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture
Jan Gehl
Architect, Professor (ret.) of Urban Design, The Royal Danish Academy, Founding Partner, Gehl
More than 50 years ago in 1971 Jan Gehl published the seminal book Life Between Buildings…
Jens Axelsson
Architect SAR/MSA, White Arkitekter
Jens Axelsson is an architect at White Arkitekter – one of Scandinavia’s leading architectural practices –…
Jesper Nygård
CEO, Realdania
Jesper Nygård is the CEO of Realdania, a private member based philanthropic association in Denmark, with about…
José Luis Cortés
President, UIA
José Luis Cortés is the UIA President for the 2021-2023 term. He is a graduate of…
Juan Du
Professor and Dean, The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto (CA)
Professor Juan Du is dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.…
Julia Gamolina
Founder & Editor in Chief, Madame Architect
Dedicated to the built environment and to the empowerment, advancement, and visibility of the women who…
Kai-Uwe Bergman
Partner, BIG
Kai-Uwe Bergmann brings his expertise to proposals around the globe, including work in North America, Europe,…
Kent Martinussen
CEO, Danish Architecture Center
Kent Martinussen is a Danish architect and CEO of The Danish Architecture Centre since 2001. He…
Kristján Eggertsson
Architect & Partner, Krads
Kristján Eggertsson and Kristján Örn Kjartansson are both born in Reykjavik, Iceland and graduated from Aarhus…
Kristján Örn Kjartansson
Architect & Partner, Krads
Kristján Örn Kjartansson and Kristján Eggertsson are both born in Reykjavik, Iceland and graduated from Aarhus…
Magda Mostafa
Associate Professor of Design, Department of Architecture, The American University in Cairo
Magda Mostafa, PhD is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the American University in Cairo and…
Maibritt Pedersen Zari
Associate Professor, School of Future Environments, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Maibritt Pedersen Zari’s research sits at the interface between ecology and designed human experiences across spatial…
Martha Lewis
Head of Materials, Henning Larsen Architects
Martha Lewis is Head of Materials at Henning Larsen, where she established a material database detailing…
Martha Thorne
Dean, IE School of Architecture and Design, Madrid
Merve Bedir
PhD, BAK Utrecht
Merve Bedir is an architect based in Rotterdam and Istanbul. Her work examines infrastructures of hospitality…
Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen
Professor and Founder, Centre for IT and Architecture (CITA), Royal Danish Academy
In CITA Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen has piloted a special research focus on the new digital-material relations…
Mogens Lykketoft
Economist, former minister and President of the UN General Assemby
Mogens Lykketoft, born 1946, Economist. Social Democratic Member of the Danish Parliament 1981-2019. Mr. Lykketoft served…
Natalie Mossin
President of Congress, Head of Institute, Royal Danish Academy
Ofri Earon
Head of Living, Henning Larsen Architects
How should we live in the city of the future? This question has been the starting…
Peter Andreas Sattrup
Senior Consultant, Danish Association of Architectural Firms
Peter Andreas is a sustainability advocate and strategist with the Danish Association of Architectural Firms. He…
Rainer Mahlamäki
Co-founder, Lahdelma & Mahlamäki architects & Professor, Oulu School of Architecture, Finland
Rainer Mahlamäki’s representative designs are a product of his belief in the importance of understanding each…
Ruth Baumeister
Professor, Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark
Ruth Baumeister is an architect, historian, researcher and writer, specializing in the post-war European avant-gardes in…
Sandi Hilal
Co-Director of DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Research), and Lise Meitner Visiting Professor at Lund University, Sweden
Sandi Hilal is an architect, artist, and educator. She has developed a research and project-based artistic…
Sophie Hæstorp Andersen
Lord Mayor, City of Copenhagen
Sophie Hæstorp Andersen is a member of the Danish Socialdemocratic Party. She was elected Lord Mayor…
Tokunbu Omisore
Vice President, UIA region five Africa
Tokunbo Omisore is an architect by training and has been involved in the design and construction…


There is always more than one side to the story. Most sessions during the congress will be packed with smart people from all walks of the built environment. Find your favourites below and click names to see which sessions they will contribute to.

Anne Tietjen
Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management
Jan Hugo
Lecturer, University of Pretoria
Rob Heuschkel
Clinical Director for Cambridge Children’s Hospital Project, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH)
Stig Gothelf
Architect, 3XN – "Børneriget" at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen
Susanna von Eyben
Interior Architect SIR/MSA – Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital, Gothenburg