Josep Xercavins i Valls was born in Rubí on 1 February 1956, and now lives, recently retired, in Barcelona.
He gained his Doctorate in Sciences at the UPC (Polytechnic University of Catalonia) in 1999 and his degree in Physics from the UAB (Autonomous University of Barcelona) in 1979.
He was Titular Professor at the Fluid Mechanics Department of UPC. His employment relationship with the UPC started in 1980. He was appointed as Director of the EUETIT (University School of Industrial Engineering at Terrassa) at the UPC from 1992 to 1995. He was the Rector’s Delegate for the UPC’s Campus in Terrassa from 1995 to 1998.
He organized and coordinated the International Congress on Technology, Sustainable Development and Imbalances held in Terrassa in December 1995. From that context came the UPC’s UNESCO Chair in Technology, Sustainable Development, Imbalances and Global Change, for which he was the coordinating lecturer down to June 2002. He was the first academic director of the Master’s Degree in Sustainability at the UPC, one of the key work areas of the UNESCO Chair; the director of the Journal "¿Sostenible?" (Sustainable?); the Director of the Catalan edition of the Human Development Reports of the United Nations Development Programme-UNDP), and served on the Catalan Committee for the “Earth Charter” and in professional work in the sphere of the “Agenda 21” initiatives. He also fostered the new Interdepartmental Doctorate Programme: Sustainability, Technology and Humanism.
In 2000, as coordinator of its ad hoc Secretariat, he became the main organizer of the UBUNTU initiative (World Forum of Civil Society Networks), headed by Federico Mayor Zaragoza, and he was also a founding participant and moderator at the Founding Meetings (Barcelona 2001 and 2002) for that Forum. He worked in particular on what is now the main project of the Forum: the “World Campaign for In-Depth Reform of The System of International Institutions”. He has left this responsibility in February 2009.
In the full-time activity as a professor of the UPC University, and thanks to the help of the CCD (Centre of Cooperation for Development) of the UPC, he participated in representation of the UNESCO Centre of Catalunya, at the United Nations Conference of the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development, held the 5th of June 2009 in New York.
During 2010 and 2011 he fostered the beginning of a new NGO: World Democratic Governance project association-WDGpa, with the World Federalist Movement as international reference and which became, during 2011, the Catalan Associated Organization.
He arranged and obtained the UPC accreditation as an Observed Organization of the Climate Change Conference of the United Nations and, in representation of the UPC, he participated in the Copenhagen meetings of UNFCCC at the end of 2009 and in Cancun (2010). In this context, he actually follows the evolution of multilateral negotiations about Climate Change.
In this context, he followed closely, the process that led to the Paris Agreement in COP 21 in December 2015. He headed the delegation of the UPC in Paris in 2015 (COP 21) and in Marrakech in 2016 (COP 22).
In 2013, he relaunched the Singular Research Group at the UPC: “Sustainability, Technology and Humanism, STH”, which was under his responsibility until his retirement. Within this group he ran the subgroup in “GGCC” (Group on Governance of Climate Change) through which he followed and tried to influence multilateral negotiations on climate change, referred to above.
Of the two co-directors of the GGCC group, currently, and after his retirement, Professor Olga Alcaraz is the director of the GGCC.
Some of his publications can be consulted, in open access, on the UPC web portal.