Sustainable Development

Paris, 28 March 2017

The fourth Round Table in the Power from Statistics project, entitled Sustainable Evidence for Sustainable Development, took place on 28 March 2017 in Paris (France). Experts from throughout Europe, together with high level representatives of various services of the European Commission, discussed unmet needs for data to inform policies, major trends in sustainable development and new information needs related to sustainability.


The experts addressed the complex links between competitiveness, sustainability and resilience, focusing on the integration of economic, social, environment and institutional aspects of sustainability, complemented with production and consumption systems – as well as the interlinkages between these dimensions, in particular those that have not yet been addressed, such as the mutual interdependence with third countries. They agreed that the reflection should take a wider perspective (in the context of globalisation), while concrete outcomes could concentrate at achievements at local level. Thus a balance is needed between common approaches and subsidiarity.

They highlighted the need for outcome indicators to complement input indicators, with particular reference to public investments, and spoke about the sustainability of public finance and the financial systems. The experts discussed issues related to productivity, and stressed the importance of a breakdown of resource productivity by sector.

They also perceived a need for developing appropriate indicators for measuring the evolving labour market and new business models and their collateral impacts, including social protection. Moreover, the experts stressed the necessity of investing in measuring/monitoring the acceleration of changes (e.g. of tax systems or technologies).

Areas for improvement were identified in data dissemination to inform policies, use of additional data sources and collaboration with other institutions and citizens for facing emerging issues. This includes bringing data closer to what matters in the daily life of citizens (in terms of topics like e.g. how food affects ageing – as well as the way we disseminate statistics e.g. by means of storytelling.)

The experts will write articles on the most promising of the topics discussed at the Round Table in an Outlook Report. This report will be discussed at the high-level conference “Power from Statistics; Data, Information and Knowledge” on the future of official statistics, which will take place in Brussels on 18 and 19 October 2017.


Barbara Bacigalupi works as a statistician and economic analyst at the European Commission Directorate General for Environment, since 2001. She is engaged in the development and use of environment-related indicators (based on statistics and accounts) for key EU policies, in particular for resource efficiency, the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, competitiveness, resilience, circular economy and EU SDG. She is also responsible for the Beyond GDP initiative.

Barbara Bacigalupi

Rob Bailey became Research Director for Energy, Environment and Resources at Chatham House in 2014, having joined as a Senior Research Fellow in 2011 from Oxfam GB where he was responsible for policy on food security, trade, agriculture and climate change. Prior to this he worked at the advisory firm Oliver Wyman, where his clients included many of the world’s leading banking, insurance and investment companies. His publications have covered a range of topics including food security, conflict and resources, low-carbon development, bioenergy and resource governance. He was named one of the 2011 Devex 40-under-40 leading thinkers on international development for his work on sustainability. He holds degrees from the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics.

Rob Bailey

Anna Ballance is a Policy Officer at DG Environment within the European Commission where she was part of the team leading the negotiations on behalf of the EU and Member States leading up to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Since then she has been working on the EU's response to the 2030 Agenda, in particular the monitoring of progress at EU and global levels. Anna is a seconded national expert from the UK, and has been with the Department for International Development for 12 years as a climate and environment adviser for the Middle East and North Africa region, Afghanistan, the UK Overseas Territories, and at HQ.

Anna Ballance

Arno Behrens is Head of Sustainable Resources and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). Prior to joining CEPS, he worked as Second Secretary at the German Federal Foreign Office in the context of the 2007 German Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Other postings in his career include the European Commission, the Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Mr Behrens specialises in EU environment and energy policy and more broadly in sustainable development issues. He focuses on resource efficiency policies, circular economy, climate change, low-carbon energy sources, as well as on sustainable energy in developing countries and development finance. He is also an expert in socio-ecological transitions and Material Flow Analysis (MFA). Having published extensively on these issues, he is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences around the world as well as a reviewer of various academic journals. He is also lecturer on EU environment and energy policy, inter alia as Visiting Professor at LUISS University (Rome).

Arno Behrens

Franco Conzato, an Italian national, is currently the deputy head of the unit “Quality and Results” at the Diretorste General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission. In this capacity he coordinate the work of the team that prepared the first result report of Eu external assistance. He previously served in different EU delegations as Economic Adviser and from 2004 till 2009 he represented the Commission at the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD.

Franco Conzato

Marleen De Smedt is the Adviser to Mariana Kotzeva, acting Director-General of Eurostat, the EU’s Statistical Office. She is coordinating Eurostat’s activities on measuring GDP and beyond/sustainable development in general and on measuring quality of life and wellbeing in particular. In 2009-2010 she was working as the EU’s Research Fellow at Harvard University. Prior to this position, she has been Head of different Units in Eurostat, dealing with a range of social statistics, mainly on health, education, crime and food safety. Before joining the Commission's Health Policy Directorate in 1989, Marleen was working in Brussels as an occupational physician. Marleen holds a Doctor’s degree in Medicine (Universiteit Antwerpen) with postgraduate qualifications in Occupational and Public Health (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and in Epidemiology and Statistics (Université Libre de Bruxelles).

Marleen De Smedt

Saïd El Khadraoui is adviser at the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), the in-house think tank of the European Commission reporting directly to the President. EPSC provides strategic analysis and policy advice for the President on matters related to the policy priorities. In the team he is mainly dealing with the transition towards a low-carbon and circular economy, transport and sustainable finance. Prior to joining the EPSC he was a Member of the European Parliament from 2003 to 2014, where he was co-ordinator and spokesperson for the Group of the Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the Transport Committee and substitute member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. He has also been a Member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, in 2003, Deputy Major of Leuven from 2001 to 2003 and an official at the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1999-2001 and 2014-2015). He has a Master’s degree in history from the University of Leuven, Belgium, and in international relations from Leuven and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris, France.

Saïd El Khadraoui

Martina Hahn is Head of Unit at Eurostat for Methodology and Corporate Architecture. Before joining Eurostat in 2001, she worked in the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. She studied Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Konstanz from which she graduated.

Martina Hahn

Martin Karlberg is team leader for Research and Innovation in Official Statistics at Eurostat. Before joining the European Commission in 2003, he worked at Statistics Sweden, AstraZeneca,and at Stockholm University (from where he was awarded his PhD in statistics in 1997).

Martin Karlberg

Nikos Kastrinos leads the foresight team of the Directorate General for Research and Innovation (R&I) of the European Commission.  He has worked in R&I strategy development, in technology assessment and for the social sciences and the humanities.   He has served as a Policy Adviser to the governments of Greece, Cyprus and Ireland.  Before his involvement in policy he was a researcher at the University of Manchester, where his research focused on company technology strategy, innovation in services and evaluation of R&I policies and programmes.

Nikos Kastrinos

Barbara Margarethe Kurkowiak is an economist with a particular interest and expertise in areas such as economic integration, economic convergence and migrations. In 2009, she joined the European Commission as statistical officer at Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Since 2014 she has worked in the Europe 2020 indicators and sustainable development team within the Unit E2 Environmental statistics and accounts; sustainable development.

Barbara Margarethe Kurkowiak

Egbert Lox earned his MSc (1982) and PhD (1987) in Chemical Engineering at the University of Ghent (Belgium). He joined the central research laboratories of Degussa AG (Germany) in 1987, where he built up the R&D group for automotive emission control catalysts and assumed consecutive management levels in that area till 2006. From 2006 to 2012 he took care of the management of the corporate R&D team of Umicore, which deploys its activities in Belgium and in Germany. Since 2013 he assumes the position of Senior Vice President Government Affairs, based in Umicore’s headquarters in Brussels (Belgium). He is chairman of the Board of Directors of Innotek and represents Umicore in the Board or Executive Committee of several industry associations. He lectures on automotive emission control catalysts amongst others at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany. In 2015 he was granted the honorary professorship at this university. He is member of several university advisory councils and served as jury of PhD-Thesis’s at universities across the EU. Furthermore he interacts with various RTO’s by being member of the advisory board and/or strategic evaluation & audit teams. He is author or co-author of about 130 technical papers; he is also co-inventor of more than 90 patents in the field of heterogeneous catalysis and is the co-recipient of the 1998 A.T. Colwell Merit Award of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). He is a permanent member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and Arts (KVAB).

Egbert Lox

Nicola Massarelli has an economic educational background. He has worked for almost 20 years in official statistics, most of which in the domain of labour market. He started in ISTAT, the Italian National Statistical Institute, and joined Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, in December 2007. Since January 2015 Nicola leads the Eurostat's Europe 2020 and Sustainable Development Indicators team. This team develops and maintains indicators sets on the EU long-term strategies (Europe 2020, the EU Sustainable Development Strategy,…) and produces regular monitoring reports based on those indicator sets. Sustainable development is at the heart of Nicola's work. Together with his team, Nicola has contributed to the UN work to develop an indicator framework for global monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals and is now managing a process to develop an indicator set to monitor progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals from an EU perspective. This indicator set is expected to be finalised in April 2017 and will result from a broad consultative process of many different stakeholders. A first monitoring report based on this indicator set is planned in November 2017.

Nicola Massarelli

Marco Mira d'Ercole is Head of the Division for Household Statistics and Progress Measurement in the Statistics Directorate of the OECD. He has worked on measures of well-being, income distribution and various aspects of social policies He has been one of the “rapporteurs” of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress established by President Sarkozy in early 2008. Since joining the OECD he has worked in the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, in the Economics Department and in the Private Office of the OECD Secretary General, as well as spending two years at the International Monetary Fund. He holds a degree in Economics from the University of Modena and a M.Phil in Economics from Oxford University.

Marco Mira d'Ercole

Lars Fogh Mortensen heads the work of the European Environment Agency (EEA) on Network Coordination and International Cooperation and responsible for EEA work on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He is a trained economist from the University of Copenhagen and has over 20 years of international experience on sustainable development indicators and assessments, including from the EEA, the OECD and the UN.

Lars Fogh Mortensen

Alexandra Silfverstolpe Tolstoy has over 20 years experience of development issues from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sida, the EU Commission, the UN and from civil society organisations. In her two decades of experience working with global development issues, she often felt that decisions about how to spend resources were made in isolation of important facts that were essential to creating intended results. As a development practitioner she lacked easy ways to access and analyze development data. She founded Data Act Lab three years ago in order to help international think tanks, donor agencies and governments make sense of complex data in order to drive better decisions. Alexandra holds a Master in Development Management from the London School of Economics.

Alexandra Silfverstolpe Tolstoy

Elisabetta Carfagna is full professor of statistics at the University of Bologna. She started her academic career after having reached a managerial position in the R&D department of a leading Italian company. She has lead and participated in international research and capacity development projects, in collaboration with several international organizations and national institutions, among which FAO, Eurostat, JRC, US and Italian Governments and Gates Foundation. She was asked to design and start up the implementation of the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics.

Elisabetta Carfagna

Marco Zappalorto is Head of European Development at Nesta , the UK Innovation Foundation. Marco is currently developing a coherent European strategy for the organisation to expand Nesta’s European reach and core partnerships. Marco is a leading expert for innovation programmes design and he contributed to the initial set-up of Nesta’s Centre for Challenge Prizes. He has led on the design of challenge prizes for the EU Commission, Italian Government, United Nations Development Programme, Everglades Foundation, and the British Government. He has also been bringing together a community of challenge prizes practitioners to expand the Centre’s international reach and identify organisations with whom to generate and share learning and insights on the design and use of prizes. As part of this mission, he has contributed as an expert to several challenge prizes events, workshops and publications. He is also a EU Commission expert on innovation programmes design.  Prior to Nesta, Marco worked for OmniCompete (now Innocentive), managing the execution of prize competitions in the defence and security sectors for both the public sector and industry. Marco holds an MSc in European Political Economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Marco Zappalorto