Advisory Group

In 2020, the Knowledge Hub Advisory Group was established to strengthen strategic guidance of the Knowledge Hub activities and active collaboratoin with members and observers of the UNTFSSE. Besides UNRISD (as the implementing agency of the Knowledge Hub), it is composed of two members and two observers of the Task Force. For the first two years, these are: UNDP (ART Initiative), OECD, GSEF, and CIRIEC-International.

The Advisory Group gather for an annual meeting once a year in which the research and activities of the previous year and the annual research and activities are discussed. Besides that, Advisory Group members provide inputs to the research and activities of the Knowledge Hub in calls and discussions held remotely.

These four members of the Advisory Group are currently represented by Andrea Agostinucci (UNDP-ART), Antonella Noya (OECD), Laurence Kwark (GSEF) and Barbara Sak (CIRIEC). Find their bios here below.


Andrea Agostinucci (UNDP ART Initiative)

Andrea Agostinucci has a degree in Political Science at the University of Milan and a Masters’ degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. He has been working as technical advisor on Local Economic Development with the UNDP ART Initiative in Brussels since 2015. He has a large experience in building capacities and providing support to national and local actors in the analysis, programming and implementation of integrated strategies for local economic development, as part of comprehensive territorial development and multilevel governance frameworks, including policy dialogue and partnership promotion at global regional and local level, specifically through territorial and decentralized cooperation networks. He has worked in this area, beside UNDP, with various UN agencies (UNOPS, ILO, IFAD, FAO) and in various countries across Africa, Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe.


Antonella Noya (OECD)

Antonella Noya is the Head of the Unit on Social Economy and Innovation at the Center for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities. She organises and coordinates the work on social economy, social entrepreneurship, and social innovation inside her Directorate. Antonella leads the cooperation with the European Commission (DG EMP, DG GROW, EEAS) in these areas of work.

Antonella has a university degree in political sciences, a specialisation in legislative drafting and a post degree diploma in economics of territorial development and urban planning from La Sorbonne. She speaks fluent English, French and Italian and fair Spanish.

Antonella sits in various national and international scientific and steering committees and advisory boards (including the French National Steering Group on Social Impact Investing, Convergences, INCO.ORG). She represents the OECD at the United Nations Taskforce on Social and Solidarity Economy, and at the GECES (Group of Experts on Social Economy and social enterprises) coordinated by the European Commission.


Laurence Kwark (GSEF)

Laurence Kwark is the Secretary General of the GSEF Secretariat. Prior to joining GSEF, she served as UN representative for Pax Romana ICMICA in Geneva, where she also had served as the Secretary General for five years. Over her 30 year career, she has devoted herself to improve human rights and social development in many developing countries particularly in Asia and the South America region. She has worked for many leading organizations including Terre d’avenir, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Lebret-Irfed Centre and EMPSA. Laurence holds a Master’s degree in sociology from EHESS (Ecole des hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris). She is a French citizen, fluent in Korean, French, English and Spanish.


Barbara Sak (CIRIEC)

Barbara Sak is Senior economic researcher and Managing Director of CIRIEC (International Centre of Information and Research on Public, Social and Cooperative Economy), on CIRIEC’s payroll for nearly 30 years.  She has contributed to and co-directed several national and international inter-disciplinary researches and projects (grouping up to 25-30 researchers) in the field of services of general and collective interest, be they of economic or non-economic nature, and concerning public enterprises.  Her main field of expertise consists in public policy issues regarding regulation, provision and organisation modes, financing and evaluation of such services, notably with respect to the various types of providers, including those stemming from the public sector and the so-called third sector or social economy (namely, cooperatives, mutual associations, foundations, not-for-profit organisations).  More recently, she focuses on transdisciplinary approaches of impact measurement and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, for instance through socially responsible public procurement.  She also follows the European Community legal framework impacting services of general interest and the financing of public service missions/obligations.  Further, she has a good knowledge of policy issues at stake and has numerous contacts with main stakeholders interested in such issues.