Doctoral Candidate Sadaf Taimur

Sadaf is currently a Doctoral Scholar at Graduate Program in Sustainability Science- Global Leadership Initiative, The University of Tokyo, Japan, and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Research Fellow.

Her research is on transformative learning approach to reform pedagogies in higher sustainability education. She is also a Salzburg Global Fellow at Salzburg Global Seminar for Asia-Pacific Peace Innovators Program.

She has 6+ years of experience in education and development sector. Having studied Environmental Sciences & Education Planning & Management, she remained a member of Silver Oaks Schools & College System for 5 years and sat in their management committee for 4 years.

She: (a) managed Communications, Advocacy & Youth Mobilization at Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA)-Centre of Education & Consciousness; (b) worked as an Advisory Mentor for Queen's Young Leaders Program (UK); & (c) is working as a Chairperson at Youth General Assembly (a social movement, to train & mobilize youth to work on UN's Sustainable Development Agenda, which she co- founded).

Additionally, she worked as a consulting member at PAL network's communication & advocacy working group (Tracked indicators for SDG-4, Target 4.7, in Pakistan). As G20 Global Changer, she was involved in proposing recommendations, on education & sustainable development, for G20 leaders which were presented at G20 Summit, 2017 (Germany).

She won GESS (Global Education Supplies & Solutions) Outstanding Contribution in Education Award, 2016 (Dubai). She represented Pakistan: as Youth Delegate UNESCO-MGIEP at "UNESCO week for peace & sustainable development: role of education" (Canada) and as Youth Champion at Rise Up's Youth Champions Initiative Incubator (U.S.A.).

For UNLEASH, Denmark she was involved as a talent and later on she worked as a facilitator for UNLEASH. Sadaf got Green Talents award 2020, from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for her research focused on achieving sustainable development.


  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Research Fellow at University of Tokyo, Japan (April 2020 – Present) 
  • Fellow, Salzburg Global Seminar – Asia Peace Innovators Forum, Salzburg, Austria (Feb, 2020 – Present)
  • Facilitator, UNLEASH Innovation Lab (Denmark), In collaboration with Deloitte Global – Shenzhen, China (Nov, 2019)
  • Mentor, Empowerment Programs, ISA (inc) - Tokyo, Japan (Dec, 2017 – Present)
  • SDG Expert, Digital Human Library – Canada (May, 2019 – Present) 
  • Manager Communication, Advocacy & Youth Mobilization, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (Center of Education & Consciousness) – Islamabad, Pakistan (Jan, 2017 – Aug, 2017)
  • Advisory Mentor, Queen's Young Leaders Program (Online) – England, United Kingdom (Feb, 2017 – Feb, 2018)
  • Youth Champion, Rise Up – Oakland, California, U.S.A. (May, 2017 – Sept, 2017)
  • Fellow, Dalai Lama Fellows – San Francisco, California, U.S.A. (Mar, 2016 – Jun, 2017)
  • Co-Founder & Executive Member, Youth General Assembly – Lahore, Pakistan (Mar, 2015 – Present) 
  • Director New Initiatives & Brand Development, Silver Oaks Schools & College – Rawalpindi, Pakistan (Mar, 2015 – Dec, 2016)
  • Lead Facilitator/Trainer - Communication & Soft Skills, Silver Oaks Schools & College – Rawalpindi, Pakistan (Mar, 2014 – Dec, 2016) 
  • Head of Co-Curricular & Brand Partnerships, Silver Oaks Schools & College – Rawalpindi, Pakistan (Mar, 2013 – Feb, 2015)
  • Planning Manager & Registrar, Silver Oaks Schools & College – Rawalpindi, Pakistan (Oct, 2011 – Feb, 2013)  



Impact of Sustainability Education on Complex Problem-Solving Ability, Contributed by Cognitive Flexibility (Sept, 2017 – Sept, 2019)

  • Research dissertation;
  • The research examines the dimensions of cognitive flexibility underlying Sustainability (Complex) Problem Solving Ability utilizing factor analysis, followed by a comparative study to check the impact of sustainability education at Graduate Program in Sustainability Science on complex problem-solving ability contributed by cognitive flexibility.

Analyzing the role of Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive Health Education to Challenge Child Sexual Abuse and Assault - Case Study of India ( March, 2019 – July, 2020 )

  • In collaboration with Sahas (a non-profit, based in India), this study is an attempt to investigate the impact of a structured program, in Delhi, India, to provide knowledge building leading to behavioral change on Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive Health in order to challenge child sexual abuse

Education for Global Peace – Government Lead Projects & Best Practices (Feb, 2019 – Present)

  • The book project is led by Center of Citizen Peacebuilding, University of California Irvine and it seeks to deepen and advance conversations about how education can promote peacebuilding. Another purpose of this research alliance is to bridge gap between academia and practice and bring the right knowledge in the form of best practices in the field. 

Sustainable Development in Vietnam (Feb, 209 – Mar, 2019)

  • Vietnam's infrastructure projects heavily depend on foreign aid programs. Official development assistance also plays a key role. Through the exercise, we confronted how foreign aid organizations, including the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), are involved in the city's development plans. Further, the we developed a holistic vision that linked environmental issues (marine and coastal environment, especially) with poverty, tourism, and governance.

Identifying the key features of entrepreneurial/community-based initiatives – the case of Gojome Town and Kazuno City in Akita, Japan ( Feb, 2018)

  • Keeping in mind that entrepreneurial/community-led initiatives can be the possible response to shrinking local economy, the participating students concentrated on the following research questions during the Global Field Exercise: Why do some particular areas (in Akita) have more entrepreneurial/community-based initiatives than others? What are the key features of entrepreneurial/community-based project ecosystem(incubator)?

Inclusivity of Transit Oriented Development – The case of Malmo, Sweden (18th  - 21st Aug, 2018)

  • Global Field Exercise (GFE) Sweden was organized under the umbrella of Research Platform of Equitable and Efficient Mobility for Societal Challenges (REEMOS) project. REEMOS is a collaborative research platform organized by researchers from the Department of Urban Studies at Malmö (MAU:US), Sweden, and Graduate Program in Sustainability Science-Global Leadership Initiative at The University of Tokyo (UOT: GPSS-GLI), Japan, to foster research on equity and efficiency in mobility.



  • Member, Education for Global Peace Movement (EGP), University of California Irvine – School of Social Sciences (U.S.A). 
  • Storyteller at The Moth (U.S.A).
  • Country representative – Youth School for Social Entrepreneurship (Bangladesh). 
  • Member, Child Rights Movement (CRM), Pakistan. 
  • Consulting Member, Communication & Advocacy Working Group, PAL(People's Action for Learning) Network. 
  • Founding member – Global Research & Development Team, 
  • South Asia Local Coordinator – Students for Liberty (U.S.A).        
  •  Volunteer Member – Global Zero (U.S.A). 
  • Member - Advisory Board of “Globaledcon: Connecting Educators and Organizations Worldwide” (U.S.A).
  • Youth Delegate (2017) at UNESCO-MGIEP for Pakistan.



  • "Public Speaking" by Stand & Deliver, California, U.S.A. 
  •  “Operations Management” from NUST (National University of Science & Technology). 
  • “Facilitating Change” from the learning platform Global Campus 21® of GIZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development). 
  • “Leadership & Strategy” from the learning platform Global Campus 21® of GIZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development). 
  • “Story Telling for Change” from the learning platform – ACUMEN COURSES. 
  • “Negotiation Skills” from LUMS (Lahore University of Management Sciences). 
  • "Connecting Classrooms" by British Council.



  • Doctorate (21 Years): Sustainability Science, (2019-2022) Current – The University of Tokyo, Japan 
  • Master of Science (18 Years): Sustainability Science,(2017-2019) - The University of Tokyo, Japan. 


  • Got Green Talent Award, 2020 – German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • Got selected as UNESCO youth delegate to represent Pakistan at UNESCO Week for Peace & Sustainable Development: Role of Education, Ottawa, Canada, as youth delegate from Pakistan. 
  • Won Global educational supplies & Solutions (GESS) Award, 2016 – Outstanding Contribution in Education Award, U.A.E.
  • “ Leading by Example Award” 2013 & 2014, Silver Oaks Schools & College.
  • “Award Recognizing Leadership Contribution” 2012-15, Silver Oaks Schools & College. 
  • “Agent of Change Award” by World Merit HQ (UK), 2015. Selected & featured among the top 10 Education Youth Ambassadors in “A World at School” (UK) & ITA Education Youth Ambassadors' Booklet, which was distributed at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) - U.S.A. 
  • Won 3 British Council's International School Awards for Silver Oaks Schools & College as an International Coordinator. 
  • Young Unleasher at UNLEASH, Denmark. 
  • G20 Young Global Changer, G20 - Germany.
  • Selected for Exchange Visit to UK (London) Sponsored by British Council – to C.S. Grammar School, Hurst Road, Sidcup, Kent, London.

Selected publications


Research Papers: 





Press Articles:

Doctoral Student
Graduate Program in Sustainability Science - Global Leadership Initiative
Academic discipline: