February 10-11, 2022

2022 Conference Recordings

Hosted virtually over two days, the 2022 INTERSECT@CMU Conference focused on sustainability, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the actions we must take to ensure that the next generation will live on a more sustainable planet.

During the conference, speakers and panelists discussed urgent issues facing our planet as they relate to cities and infrastructure; peaceful, just and inclusive societies; climate action; and resilient and inclusive economies. 

Keynote Addresses

Keynote Address with David Turk

David Turk
Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy

Introduction by Farnam Jahanian
President, Carnegie Mellon University

Bill Sanders, moderator
Dr. William D. and Nancy W. Strecker Dean, College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Keynote Address with Keith Block

Keith Block (DC 84, HNZ 84)
Former co-CEO, Salesforce

Introduction by Ramayya Krishnan
Dean, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Alan Scheller-Wolf, moderator
Richard M. Cyert Professor of Operations Management, Carnegie Mellon University

Keynote Address with Zia Khan

Zia Khan
Senior Vice President for Innovation, Rockefeller Foundation

Introduction by Jim Garrett (ENG 82, 83, 86)
Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Carnegie Mellon University

Alex Hiniker, moderator
Director, Sustainability Initiatives, Carnegie Mellon University

Panel Discussions

Resilient and Inclusive Economies

Decent work and economic growth are core principles of the Sustainable Development Goals. How will we have to reimagine what it means to work and conduct commerce? As technology advances, what will work look like? What can workers expect? What responsibility do companies have to their workers? What about governments? How do we rethink our reliance on consumption as a driver of economic growth and innovation? What does this mean for international trade and globalism?

During this panel, we envision how to construct a resilient and inclusive economy, and search for ways to ensure that our society is robust, equitable and more resilient to shocks in the future.


Karen Clay
Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Rebecca Lucore
Head of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, Covestro

E. Austin Webb (TPR 17)
CEO and Co-founder, Fifth Season

CB Bhattacharya, moderator/panelist
H.J. Zoffer Chair in Sustainability and Ethics at the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh

Cities and Infrastructure

More than half the world’s population lives in cities, and the United Nations projects that this number will increase to two thirds by 2050. While the Sustainable Development Goals were agreed at the national level, cities are at the frontline of taking action. How will cities and infrastructure adapt to these new and growing needs? How will we ensure that everyone has access to green spaces, clean air and safe transportation? Who should have a say in how these decisions are made?

During the panel, we explore how we should be thinking and planning for sustainable societies in the future.


Mark Chambers (CFA 01, HNZ 02)
Senior Director for Building Emissions and Community Resilience, White House Council on Environmental Quality

Howie Choset
Kavčić-Moura Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

Carmen Yulin Cruz (HNZ 86)
Harriet L. Weissman and Paul M. Weissman Distinguished Fellow in Leadership, Mount Holyoke College

Diane Turnshek
Special Lecturer, Physics, Carnegie Mellon University

Gbemi Disu, moderator/panelist
Executive Director, CMU-Africa, Carnegie Mellon University

Climate Action

Possibly the most visible threat of unsustainable development today centers around climate – as evidenced by dramatic weather events, rising sea levels, temperature extremes, and water scarcity. This leads to food insecurity, mass migration, social instability and ultimately conflict. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals recognize that all of these challenges must be addressed in order to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change. What changes will we need to make to accomplish this? What tradeoffs will society need to make? How can we incentivize some to make sacrifices, so all are better off?

During the panel, we discuss strategies to solve this key problem we must overcome if we hope to facilitate sustainable development.


Erica Cochran Hameen (CFA 09, 14)
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture; Director of DEI; Co-Director, CBPD, Carnegie Mellon University

Paulina Jaramillo (ENG 04, 07)
Professor, Engineering and Public Policy; Co-Director, Green Design Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

Leah Lizarando (HNZ 03)
CEO and Co-founder, Food Rescue Hero and CEO & Co-founder of 412 Food Rescue

Joylette Portlock
Executive Director, Sustainable Pittsburgh

M. Granger Morgan, moderator/panelist
Hamerschlag University Professor of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies

The Sustainable Development Goals explicitly recognize that development happens everywhere and must be just and inclusive. Yet development has often not been just or inclusive. What do these goals offer us to address historical grievances and plan for a more equitable future? How can we incorporate best practices into our built environment? What does all this mean for local communities, for countries, and globally? How should we promote access to justice and access to information in the context of sustainable development?

During the panel, we explore how we can integrate sustainability, social justice and equity, locally and globally.


Elizabeth Andersen
Executive Director, The World Justice Project

Justin Garrett Moore
Co-founder, Urban Patch

Nico Slate
Professor of History and Department Head, Carnegie Mellon University

Keith Webster
Helen and Henry Posner, Jr. Dean of the University Libraries, Carnegie Mellon University

Sarah Mendelson, moderator/panelist
Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy and Head of Heinz College in Washington, DC, Carnegie Mellon University