Keynote Speakers

Sarah Cook recently joined UNSW Sydney as inaugural Director of its Institute for Global Development. She brings a decade of experience in research leadership roles within the United Nations, as the Director of UNICEF's Office of Research/Innocenti Research Centre, and Director of the United Nations' Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD). Associate Professor Cook's own research focuses on China's economic and social development, including issues of gender, labour markets and inequality, and on China's impacts as a development actor. After obtaining her PhD from Harvard University, she held an academic position at the Institute of Development Studies as the University of Sussex, UK, and from 2000-2005 she was Ford Foundation Programme Officer in Beijing. 


Olli Kangas is Director of the Equal Society research programme at the Academy of Finland and Professor of Practice at the Department of Social Research, University of Turku. Previously, he has been the Director of Governmental Relations and Research Director at the Social Insurance Institute of Finland. He has worked as Olof Palme Professor at the Uppsala University, H.C. Andersen Professor at the University of Southern Denmark, Professor at the Danish National Institute for Social Research and Professor in Social Policy at the University of Turku. His research interests revolve around comparative analysis of social policy systems, their causes and consequences in terms of macro-economy, income distribution and legitimacy of social institutions. He is the leader of the research group evaluating the Finnish basic income experiment. 


Alison Ritter is an internationally recognised drug policy scholar and the Director of the Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP) at the Social Policy Research Centre. She is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow leading a multi-disciplinary program of research on drug policy, the goal of which is to advance policy through improving the evidence-base, translating research and studying policy processes. Professor Ritter worked as a clinical psychologist in the alcohol and drug treatment sector prior to commencing fulltime research, and has contributed significant policy and practice developments over many years. She is the immediate past President of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy, Vice-President of the Alcohol and Drug Council of Australia, and an Editor for a number of journals, including Drug and Alcohol Review and the International Journal of Drug Policy.