An energetic blend of stateswoman, physician, manager, politician, and international activist, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland has always led the world on issues of global significance. For over four decades, she has been dedicated to global interdependence, focusing on promoting sustainable development, increasing environmental awareness, and advocating for good health as a basic human right.
Dr. Brundtland spent ten years as a physician and scientist, and 20 years in public office, including serving as Prime Minister of Norway—the first woman, and the youngest person to ever do so. She was Chair of the World Commission of Environment and Development, and the first female Director-General of the World Health Organization.
Her forward-thinking and global awareness continues to elevate her worldwide profile. She now serves as UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, seeking ways to balance human enterprise and the planet’s limits. The guiding force behind the “Brundtland Report” on sustainability over 20 years ago, she maintains her focus on the developmental impact of climate change and global warming.
As a member of The Elders, a group founded by Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, she contributes her wisdom, independent leadership, and integrity to tackling the world’s toughest problems, aiming to make the world a better place.
Our Common Future: Sustainable Development in a Deteriorating World
As the emerging effects of climate change are becoming ever more evident, we find ourselves not only facing a financial crisis, but an increasing pattern of worsening scenarios due to global warming. To combat potential deterioration, poverty reduction must happen in parallel with emissions reduction, two of the most important challenges facing us today. We must simultaneously succeed on both fronts. This is what sustainable development is all about.
In this keynote, Dr. Brundtland explores potential solutions. She stresses the importance of taking the right steps across both the private and public sector to safeguard the planet on which we all depend and move towards a future of sustainable development – a future that is better, more just, and more secure.
How Women’s Rights Can Save the World
In this keynote presentation, Dr. Brundtland explains the importance that women, their rights, and their great impact on children, families and communities, has on global policy, economies, societies, and humanity – a fundamental issue across the world and across all religions.
The Health of a Nation, the Health of an Economy
One of Dr. Brundtland’s enduring goals – advancing the status of health on the political agenda, and into the minds of government leaders and not only health ministers – persists today.
During her time at the World Health Organization, Dr. Brundtland took the initiative, based on her experience linked to environment and development, to have a broad analysis made on the true relationship between human health and human development, and between health and the economy.
The results yielded core concepts on human nature, supporting Dr. Brundtland’s mandate that when we invest in the health and education of all people, and in a clean environment, progress will follow, and poverty can be overcome.