Michael Reid from Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability chaired a panel discussion at the Energy Evaluation Asia-Pacific Conference in Bangkok on 31 October 2019: Unleashing the transformative potential of the SDGs. He was joined by Nobel Peace Prize winner and energy policy expert Dr Edward Vine, an Affiliate at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who urged that we work across agencies and disciplines to break down traditional organisational silos.

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Dr Gillian Sparkes, Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability gave a fascinating case study on how she has seen how effectively school children embrace the SDGs. “Children can teach adults a lot in scoping and solving complex problems using the SDGs as a framework.

Terri Soller, founder of Conversus Leaders spoke about how we need to reframe our minds to recalibrate system, and energy professional Lana Zaman, from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Thailand highlighted how critical energy policy and strategy is, describing energy as the "cornerstone of sustainable development".

The diverse panel discussed the barriers to implementing the SDGs; with Reid asking panellists “why is it taking so long to unlock them?” The session ended with Dr Sparkes encouraging delegates to visit a school at least once a year to be reminded of an open-minded learning mindset. “Implementing the SDGs is actually child’s play,” she said.