The MCP has been a thought leader on urban issues from our inception. We were among the first to use the concept of mega-cities and put in practice the transfer and adaptation of urban innovations internationally.  The Myth of Marginality was an important catalyst for the paradigm shift from “informal settlements as “problems” to “solutions”.

We are sought after to speak on:

  • Urban policy;
  • Green, safe, smart and sustainable cities;
  • Global urbanization, megacities and the future of cities;
  • Poverty-Environment Nexus;
  • Informal settlements and the informal economy;
  • Urban governance, decentralization, citizen participation;
  • Urban leadership and innovation at the grassroots level
  • Peer-to-peer learning; innovation transfer and adaptation

In addition, our President is one of the few people who played a major role in all three UN HABITAT SUMMITS; 1976 in Vancouver ; 1996 in Istanbul and 2016 in Quito.

Talks we have given:


  • US Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, “Rio’s Favela, Longitudinal Study 1968-Present”, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2017)
  • VATICAN, Pontifical University, Roundtable on Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility, Presentation on “The Promise of Mega-Cities”, Vatican City (2014)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague, Opening Keynote Address: “Inequality, Injustice and Fatal Violence”, (with Utrecht University), The Netherlands (2007)
  • Prefeitura Rio de Janeiro, Centro de Estudos, Procuradoria, “ Favelas do Rio nos Últimos 35 Anos: O Que Mudou? O que está sendo feito?”(2005)

Internacional Agencies

  • Banco Interamericano de Desenvolvimento (BID), “Favela Bairro and the Future of Urban Upgrading”, Washington, DC, USA (2018)
  • Rio+Center (UNDP), “The Sustainable Development Goals and Urban Informality”, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2017)
  • UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Integration Segment on Cities, Panel on “Imagining the City of the Future” (2014)
  • World Urban Forum 7: multiple talks and panels, Medellin, Colombia (2014)
  • Inter American Development Bank “Informal Settlements and Social Mobility” (2014)
  • UN Women, Safe, Strong and Sustainable: Women and the Future of Urbanization, Hungarian Consulate, NYC (2013)
  • USAID, “Reflections/Policy Lessons on Urban Informality: Designing the Next Step” (2012)
  • World Bank Institute, How Cities Learn: lessons from the Mega-Cities Project (2012)
  • World Urban Forum 5, Rio de Janeiro (2010)
  • UNU- WIDER Conference (United Nations University, World Institute for Development Economics Research)“The Impact of Globalization on the Urban Poor”, Rio de Janeiro (2006)
  • World Urban Forum, “The Future of Cities”, Vancouver, BC (2006)
  • Inter-American Development Bank, “Territorial Strategies for Integrated Policy”, Social Development Week (2005)
  • World Bank “Policy Roundtable on the Policy Implications of Rio Favela Re-Study,” Washington D.C, Brasilia, and Bahia (2005)
  • UNFPA, Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the Mega-Cities Project, “Workshop on Population, the Urban Poor and Sustainable Development” (2005)
  • UN Habitat NGO Forum, New York. “The Dynamics of Urban Poverty and Implications for Urban Public Policy” (2005)
  • World Bank Institute Leadership Team, “Findings and Policy Implications of Longitudinal Multi-Generational Data Analysis on Rio’s Poor” (2005)

Non-Profit Organizations

  • ENEL Foundation – “Energy, Consumption/Efficiency in Informal Settlements”, Niterói, Brazil (2016)
  • Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil (IAB) – “Favelas Cariocas: 40 anos 4 gerações”, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2015)
  • Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Inter-American Development Bank, Policy/Knowledge Summit, Opening Keynote, “Rapid Urbanization in China and Latin America” Lima, Peru (2014)
  • National Academy of Science and US Institute for Peace, Mega-Cities: Scenarios for Urban Peace-building, Washington,DC (2014)
  • Geneva Global/Legatum Foundation “ Transformation of Slums: A Global Consultation”, Dubai (2014)
  • Human HABITAT Speaker Series, “The Mega-Cities Project- Transforming Ideas into Action”, Oceanarium, Lisbon (2013)
  • XXXIV Inter American Congress of Psychology, “Knowledge, Integration and “Diversity, Brasilia (2013)
  • Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Panelist on “New York Post-Sandy” Roundtable, Corporate Program (2013)
  • Buckminster Fuller Institute, “The Living Building Challenge: Innovations for an Urban Age, New York City, USA (2012)
  • South African Cities Network, “Innovations without Borders: Lessons Learned about How Cities Learn”, Live video conference (2012)
  • Atlantic Council, Urbanization and Governance in the World of 2030, DC (2012)
  • Woodrow Wilson Center Panel, “Is Rio’s Tough Love Strategy Against Violence Working?” Washington DC (2011)
  • Compass Summit, “What’s Possible, What Matters, What’s Ahead?”, with Scientific American, Palos Verdes, California (2011)
  • Eco-City World Summit, Honorary Co-President with Jan Gehl, Montreal (2011)
  • Tallberg Fórum, “ Urban Renewal Re-Visited: A New Development Paradigm- How on earth can we live together?”, Sigtuna, Sweden (2011)
  • The Economist Mexico Summit – Mexico City. Leadership, Innovation and Civic Engagement—Turning Problems into Solutions (2010)
  • Greenbuild International, Initiative for A Sustainable Built Environment (IISBE), Closing Keynote, Chicago (2007)
  • The Women’s Leadership Forum, “Policy Priorities for a World of Mega-Cities”, Deauville, France (2006)
  • LASA (Latin American Studies Assn) “Democratic Brazil Revisited” (2006)
  • Debates Urbanos, United Nations (video conference to cities in Latin America and WB headquarters in Washington DC) (2006)
  • World Watch Institute, – The Whitmore House, Washington DC, “Our Urban Future: The Poverty-Environment Nexus” (2006)
  • SAIS – Johns Hopkins, Class on “Urban Poverty in Latin America: Re-Thinking Policy Options (2005)

Academic Institutions

  • M.I.T Metro Lab, “Social Capital for Metro Management”, Cambridge, USA (2017)
  • Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, “The Quest for Inclusion”, Cambridge, USA (2017)
  • Faculdade Nacional de Direito (FND), “O Estado, as Favelas e os Favelados”, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2017)
  • Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) “Mega-cities and Mega-changes: A Strategy for Urban Transformation”, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2016)
  • IUPERJ, “Ciclo de Debates: Favelas e Olimpíadas”, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2016)
  • Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos (IESP-UERJ), “Mudanças e Continuidade nas Favelas Cariocas”, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2016)
  • Technical University of Munich and UN HABITAT, Conference on “Metropolis Informal Anticipated”, Presentation on“ One Billion People- Marginal or Mainstream?” (2014)
  • University of Rome, La Sapienza, “Urbanization and Informality”, organized by Prof. Giovanni Attili, for faculty and doctoral students in Engineering, Architecture and Urban Planning (2014)
  • The Growth Dialogue and George Washington University, “Frontier Challenges in Urbanization” (2014)
  • Harvard Graduate School of Design and South Asia Initiative, “Mega-Cities, Urban Poverty and Planning: Lessons from Brazilian and Indian Cities” (2012)
  • M.I.T Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning with The Brazil Program,” Can Research Transform Urban Policy and Practice? Bridging the Gap Series, IDG, Cambridge (2011)
  • Citisphere: Environmental Affairs Symposium, Lewis and Clark University, Portland (2011)
  • La Vilette – “Inclusive, sustainable and convivial cities”, L’école nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris (2011)
  • UC Berkeley, “Urban Poverty across Time and Space,” Center for Latin American Studies, DCRP, and Sociology Department (2011)
  • Yale University, “ How do we create new knowledge”, Center for Latin American Studies (2011)
  • The Emerging Markets Symposium, “Urbanization Health, and Human Security”, Green Templeton College, Oxford University (2011)
  • University of Virginia, “Turning Urban”, keynote speaker (2011)
  • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Urban Ethnography, Symposium on “Aspectos Humanos das Favelas Cariocas: Ontem e Hoje” (2010)
  • Institute for Global Leadership, “Global Slums and the Urbanization of Poverty, Tufts University EPIIC Program (2008)
  • London School of Economics, “’Beyond the Tipping Point: Development in an Urban World,, UNU-WIDER (2007)
  • University Of British Columbia, Dept. of Community and Regional Planning, “Developing the Settlement as Community”, Vancouver (2006)
  • CUNY Graduate Center, “Tribute to Albert Bildner, New York, Panelist with Thomas Skidmore and Kathleen Waldron (2005)
  • WB Poverty and Development Economic Research Group, “Chronic Poverty and Social Mobility (2005)
  • Columbia University, “Mega-Cities and the Global Future” (2005)

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