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38: Carla McKirdy & Klas Moldéus on co-creation and Young UN: Agents for Change #KnowledgeRising

38: Carla McKirdy & Klas Moldéus on co-creation and Young UN: Agents for Change #KnowledgeRising

November 27, 2020


Today, we continue with our Knowledge Rising Series dedicated to conversations with young activists, knowledge-shapers and change-makers. In episode 38, we are joined by Carla McKirdy and Klas Moldéus, members of Young UN: Agents for Change.

Established in 2016, Young UN is a cross-UN, global and inclusive network with more than 2,000 members across UN entities in over 80 duty stations. A voluntary and decentralized global network, Young UN fosters a space to catalyze, amplify and accelerate change by crowdsourcing ideas, driving innovation and advocating for cultural change for UN values and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the bottom-up.

Carla and Klas speak on the values of the Young UN network and their ongoing mission to create a space where innovation and new ideas are encouraged and developed. The two also speak on bridging the gap between Young UN and the mechanisms of the larger international bureaucracy of the United Nations, and the continuous ways they are collaborating and conversing with many different parts of the organization.

Just as “Agents for Change” is the network’s motto, Carla and Klas also emphasize the importance of embodying these very words themselves, in their everyday. As young professionals, and young UN staff members, they continue to work towards a shared vision of a UN that fully embodies the principles it stands for.

About Carla McKirdy

Carla has years of experience in communications and advocacy, encompassing journalism, content marketing, knowledge management and multimedia production in both the private and public sectors. Carla has worked for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In addition, she has worked for the Department of Global Communications (DGC) in New York, United States, the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands in different capacities. Currently, she is working at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), as the Associate Public Information Officer on the Young Professionals Programme (YPP).

About Klas Moldéus

Klas Moldéus is working with United Nations Water based in Geneva, Switzerland. Having grown up in Sweden, he has since led sustainable development and startup initiatives in countries including Myanmar, Kenya and Ethiopia. Klas Moldéus is a passionate advocate for sustainable development and innovation, and as part of the Young UN network he has contributed to several initiatives promoting environmental sustainability, bottom-up approaches and driving innovation at the UN.


Learn more about Young UN:

Read the transcript here:


Speakers: Klas Moldéus & Carla McKirdy

Host/Editor: Natalie Alexander 

Producer: Karen Lee

Images: Photos by Klas Moldéus / Carla McKirdy

Social media designs and transcript: Karen Lee 

Recorded & produced at the UN Geneva Library & Archives 



37: Philosopher and Professor Souleymane Diagne on achieving our humanity together

37: Philosopher and Professor Souleymane Diagne on achieving our humanity together

November 20, 2020


Episode 37 brings you a philosophical view on global cooperation, multilateralism and diversity. We speak with Professor Souleymane Bachir Diagne, a Senegalese philosopher who is currently the Director of the Institute of African Studies, as well as Professor of French and of Philosophy at Columbia University in the City of New York. 

In this conversation, Professor Diagne shares the need to replenish pluralism and diversity in the practice of philosophy today, and to understand the bridges that have connected the philosophies of the world throughout history. He also reflects on global languages, and how each language itself brings a perspective on the world that tests the universality of our own thinking.  

We also touch upon philosophy in our daily lives - how can the principles of philosophy help us to face our common global challenges, including the climate crisis and pandemics? He shares the philosophical concepts he believes are critical to restitute in order to move forward together. 

We hope this episode brings you food for thought and action. 


Learn more about Professor Souleymane Diagne:

Find out about Professor Diagne’s books and publications:

Read the transcript here:


Speaker: Professor Souleymane Bachir Diagne

Host/Editor: Natalie Alexander 

Producer: Karen Lee

Images: Photo by Charlotte Force / Columbia University in the City of New York. 

Social media designs and transcript: Karen Lee 

Recorded & produced at the UN Geneva Library & Archives 

36: The World’s Most Traveled Document, with Gudrun Beger & Colin Wells #SpecialEpisode

36: The World’s Most Traveled Document, with Gudrun Beger & Colin Wells #SpecialEpisode

November 18, 2020


While we cannot travel much these days, as we work together through COVID-19, we hope this story will take you on a bit of a journey!

Our colleagues Gudrun Beger and Colin Wells, from the Institutional Memory Section at the UN Geneva Library & Archives, join us for a special look into the League of Nations Archives. 

Gudrun is Team Analyst and Colin is Project Manager for the LONTAD Project, the Total Digital Access to the League of Nations Archives Project, which upon completion will ensure free access online to, as well as the digital and physical preservation of, the entire archives of the League of Nations.

For this conversation, Gudrun shares a brief history of The World’s Most Traveled Document: our passports and travel IDs. As part of the team working recently on the processing of the Mixed Archival Nansen Fond, they came across examples of some of the very first modern passports and travel IDs issued. Colin also shares some analysis about what we can find in the Archives on these documents, as well as the importance of the Archives collection to our understanding today of our history, the work of the League and some its lasting impacts, and multilateralism as it evolves and moves forward.  

Resources and Episode Materials 

Images and Credits

Dried bananas, found in the League of Nations Archives (United Nations Archives at Geneva).



Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian polar explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace prize laureate. (Wikimedia Commons: Henry Van der Weyd)



Nansen certificate issued in France as an international substitute for a passport, part of the League of Nations Archives (United Nations Archives at Geneva).


Passport of a Russian refugee (Konstantin Wlassoff-Klass) containing numerous German stamps, part of the League of Nations Archives (United Nations Archives at Geneva).



Speakers: Gudrun Beger, Colin Wells and Stefan Vukotic.

Host & Editor/Producer: Natalie Alexander.

Images: United Nations Archives at Geneva (see images for more information).

Sound effects: Via Envato Market (Belle Epoque Waltz and WWI Battle Ambience), Soviet March by Shane Ivers ( and World of Brothers Allegretto by Dee Yan-Kee).

Recorded & produced by the UN Geneva Library & Archives.


35: James Bell on public perception of global cooperation

35: James Bell on public perception of global cooperation

November 13, 2020


In episode 35, James Bell, Vice President of Global Strategy at the Pew Research Center, joins us for a deeper look into one of the Center’s latest research polls on public perception of international cooperation. James and his team surveyed more than 14,000 citizens in 14 different countries, asking participants their opinions on the United Nations and its role in multilateral governance.  

Drawing from his extensive background in research and a specific interest in citizens and how they think and what they care about, James takes us through the research project that was published in September 2020.  

With a special focus on the way in which young people (those aged 18-29) viewed global cooperation, he shares that the findings indicate an encouraging optimism towards multilateralism and the increasing importance of young voices. He also explores the ways in which different global issues – such as the pandemic and climate change – affect public opinion.  

We hope this episode offers you a fresh perspective on the importance of data, research and all of its findings. 

The Research Report – International Cooperation Welcomed Across 14 Advanced Economies:

About James Bell

James Bell is vice president of global strategy at Pew Research Center. He plays a leading role in guiding the international research undertaken by the Center. Bell helps to design survey projects, develop questionnaires, analyze data and write reports. Prior to joining the Pew Research Center, Bell worked at the U.S. State Department for nearly a decade, most recently as director of international opinion research. Bell earned his doctorate in geography from the University of Washington in Seattle.

He is an author of The World’s Muslims: Unity and DiversityGlobal Opinion of Obama Slips, International Policies FaultedRussians Back Protests, Political FreedomsEgyptians Remain Optimistic, Embrace Democracy and Religion in Political Life and Religion in Latin America. Bell has appeared on CNN, CNBC, and BBC World Service Radio, and has presented internationally, including at the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations annual conference.

Further Resources


Speakers: James Bell & Karen Lee

Host & Editor/Producer: Karen Lee

Images: James Bell / The Pew Research Center

Social media designs and transcript: Karen Lee 

Recorded & produced at the UN Geneva Library & Archives 

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