Keynote Speakers

Giovanni Ferri

Director of the Master in Management of Sustainable Development Goals at Università LUMSA

Professor Giovanni Ferri received his BSc in economics from the University of Siena and his Ph.D. in Economics from New York University. Since 2012 he is full professor of economics at the Department of Law, Economics, Politics & Modern Languages at LUMSA University in Rome where, from 2014 to 2018, he was Deputy Rector for Academic Affairs and chaired the Quality Assurance and Library Committees. He also co-founded and chairs the Center for Relationship Banking & Economics ( to foster research for a better understanding of relational goods to promote society wellbeing. He founded and chairs the Master in Management of Sustainable Development Goals (

He previously served at the University of Bari, World Bank, Banca d’Italia.

He visited: ADB Institute, HKMA, NBER, Princeton University, Tokyo University. He consulted for EU Commission/Parliament, Italy’s Treasury and partook in EBA’s Banking Stakeholder Group. He is editor-in-chief of Economic Notes and led (or consulted for) policy/research projects in many countries, including Albania, China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam.

He has published extensively on/for several world recognized journals/publishers on various fields: financial shocks, banking structure, rating agencies, corporate governance, migration, firm internationalization, Chinese economy, family firms, inequality, sustainability.

To support the sustainable transition by providing innovative consulting and knowledge building to both public and private sector organizations through an ethically sound business model, he has co-founded (and is scientific chair) of Sustinentes (

Ekkehard Ernst

Chief Macro-economist at the International Labour Organization

Ekkehard Ernst is Chief Macro-economist at the International Labour Organization where he signs responsible for flagship reports on global labour market developments such as ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook Trends report. He publishes regularly on the implications of artificial intelligence, demographic change and globalization for the future of work, including in developing countries, as well as on the transition to a sustainable society. In 2017, Ekkehard co-founded Geneva Macro Labs, a platform to identify, develop and implement solutions to address global challenges. Together with his team he brings together international thought leaders and practitioners to promote and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda. He currently develops and implements new solutions to value natural capital, notably ocean assets to support a Just Transition. Ekkehard has international experience at the OECD and the European Central Bank. He is member of various advisory boards, including the European Parliament’s International Advisory Board of the Science and Technology Committee, the UK’s Productivity Insight Network, Pillars, CEPS, The Conference Board, and the Economists Network of the German Ministry of Collaboration and Development. He holds a PhD from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris).

Fathallah Sijilmassi

Fathallah Sijilmassi was appointed Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean on 1 March, 2012. He was re-elected Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean on December 4, 2014. A career Diplomat for the Moroccan Government, he specialises in the field of economic international relations, in particular with regard to Euro-Mediterranean issues. He started working in the banking sector as representative of the Banque Commerciale du Maroc in Milan (Italy). His career within the Moroccan administration was then marked by his active role in the negotiations of free trade agreements with the European Union, the United States, and several Arab and African countries.

From 1999 onwards, he has held senior positions within the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Director of Multilateral Cooperation (1999-2001), Director of European Affairs and Ambassador to the Barcelona Euro-Mediterranean Process (2001-2003). In 2003, he was appointed Ambassador to the European Union (2003-2004) and later to France (2005-2009).

In 2009, he becomes CEO of the Moroccan Investment Development Agency, leading its launch and subsequent growth. Fathallah Sijilmassi is an officer of the Légion d´honneur and grand officer in the Ordre National du Mérite of the Republic of France.He is a graduate in Political Science, holds a PhD in Economics and speaks five languages: Arabic, French, English, Italian and Spanish.

He is married with two children.