Skip to main content

Keynote Speakers

P hilippus Wester, ICIMOD

Dr. Phiillipus Wester, Chief Scientist Water Resources Management at ICIMOD, is a water resources management and governance expert with 20 years of experience in developing, managing and implementing research, capacity building and education programmes in water resources management. As a researcher, he has executed interdisciplinary water management research projects in many countries, publishing articles and book chapters on water governance and institutional change, participatory groundwater management, and irrigation management transfer. He is a founding member of the editorial board of Water Alternatives and Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Water International.

M usonda Mumba, UN Environment

Dr Musonda Mumba is Chief of UN Environment’s Terrestrial Ecosystems Unit. She has over 20 years experience working at both scientific and political levels on climate change adaptation, conservation, protected areas management and wetlands ecology. Before working for UN Environment, Musonda worked for the Zambian Government, Ramsar Convention, WWF (at International, UK and East Africa Regional Offices). Her professional experience has led her to work with several governments across the world cutting across Africa, Asia and Latin America.


Y uka Makino, MPS

Dr. Yuka Makino is the team leader of the Water and Mountain Team, Department of Forestry at the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations. She has over 23 years operational experience in managing and developing programs in geohazard risk management, natural resources management, land management, disaster risk management, and climate change adaptation especially in post-conflict countries with fragile political situations.



M att Reed, AKF UK

Dr. Matt Reed oversees strategic partnerships, long-range business development and project management with European and Asian governments, corporations, foundations and multilateral institutions for Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) UK. Between 2013 and 2016, he led the Foundation’s work in India as its CEO, focusing on the needs of marginalised communities and launching multi-state programmes in education, financial inclusion, livelihoods, and water and sanitation. Earlier, Matt has worked at the Getty Research Institute, the Salzburg Seminar, the MacArthur Foundation, and Keck Graduate Institute at the Claremont Colleges.


Jake Norton is a world-renowned climber, photographer, filmmaker, philanthropist, and inspirational speaker. Based in Evergreen, Colorado, Jake’s worldwide adventures have taken him to the summit of Mount Everest (three times) and on expeditions on all seven continents. His photography has appeared in publications such as Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Forbes, and Oprah, while his film footage has been used in documentaries and television series.

As a speaker, Jake has inspired tens of thousands of people and companies worldwide to reach new summits and enjoy their climb to the top. He is also a sought-after trainer, conducting highly-interactive full and half day leadership and teamwork workshops for corporations and associations. 

Jake is also an active philanthropist. He is an Ambassador – along with Reinhold Messner – for the United Nations’ Mountain Partnership, and in this role he advocates on behalf of mountains, mountain environments, and mountain peoples. In 2011, he founded Challenge21, a multi-year climbing and fundraising project dedicated to the global water crisis, and its solutions. To date, Jake has launched four Challenge21 expeditions, shared his message with over one million people worldwide, and raised some $300,000 for his non-profit partner, Water For People.