Hard Cases

By facing up to hard problems and working together toward their solution, public, private and social sector leaders will not only get stuff done, but build social capital – the capacity to solve – in the process. Working groups will take on the hard cases of mass atrocities, violent conflict, climate change, resource scarcity, famine and disease. They’ll treat these dangers as symptoms of a syndrome, requiring a system-wide response, and they will explore specific solutions that can be introduced, sustained, even scaled. Throughout they will ask what role philanthropy, business and governments can each play whether their focus is on immediate crises, long term economic development, or both.


Information technologies are used to connect the poor to services, education, capital, health care, and one another. Gene editing will allow us to enhance the productivity of smallholder farmers and interrupt the transmission of genetic diseases. Remote sensing and geo-spatial imagery are used for monitoring resource degradation. Virtual reality gives us insight and allows for empathy. Robots can take on the hazardous duties, taking humans, whether in a factory or on a battlefield, out of harm’s way. And, blockchain provides a secure ledger of all transactions, and is being used to establish eligibility for government services, which might otherwise be unfairly denied. These and other technologies empower us to do enormous good. However, if misused, they can do damage. Panelists will consider ways to capture the good while anticipating and mitigating the harm. While technologist provide extraordinary tools, it is up to society to establish the norms for their ethical use, and the values that guide. There are no bystanders.


Philanthropy and civil society have long been both a source of and an expression of citizen agency and social capital. Non-profits and voluntary organizations have long been recognized vehicles for knowledge-sharing, consensus-building, and collective action. Most Americans regularly interact with civil society organizations; one third of Americans volunteer. In the process of solving problems together they build trust and the ongoing capacity to solve. While it continuously renews society, the charitable sector is itself in a constant state of renewal. These working groups will explore the ways in which the next generation of philanthropists is achieving its social goals. Among the participants will be innovators who have tested ingenious solutions, found what works and begun to think about ways to bring those solutions to scale. And of course, they will be armed with data, empathy and agency, for none is a bystander.

Wednesday, May 2


Speed Networking


No Bystanders

As UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan sought to give practical meaning to the phrase “no bystanders”. He shepherded through the norm of “Responsibility to Protect,” which established that states have the obligation to protect their citizens from mass atrocities. Should they fail to do so, according to the doctrine, the international community has both the right and responsibility to intervene to stop the suffering. He called for the UN to put people “at the center” and advanced the Millennium Declaration establishing the Millennium Development Goals, making poverty alleviation a global priority. He championed the Global Compact, a framework for businesses to advance the public good, and supported such public-private partnerships as the Global Fund to Fight AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He has since chaired the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), led a UN Commission to investigate the Rohingya crisis, and chaired the Elders, founded by Nelson Mandela. And, as Chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, he has quietly mediated an end to simmering conflicts and, sought to rally young people to set the international agenda saying that “we don’t have to wait to act. The action must be now. You will come across people who think we should start tomorrow. Even for those who believe action should begin tomorrow, remind them tomorrow begins now, tomorrow begins today."


Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General and Chairman and Founder, Kofi Annan Foundation

in conversation with Jane Wales, Founder, Global Philanthropy Forum

Lightning Talk: Agency, Empathy and Youth Solutions

How do over a billion people live on a dollar a day? As college students, Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci felt they could not truly understand the struggle if they had not lived it. And they traveled to Guatemala to do just that. As they attempted to live on this meager income, battling hunger and disease, they received a helping hand from Rosa Coj Bocel and her family. And, after the YouTube videos they posted on the experience went viral, they produced an award-winning documentary on the lives of those living in extreme poverty. The empathy they gained and the inspiration they drew has since led them to undertake similar projects elsewhere, documented in film so that other young people would gain agency and empathy – and step up when they are most needed. Chris, Zach and Rosa will share their insights.


Rosa Coj Bocel, Nursing Student and Women's Rights Advocate, Living on One

Zach Ingrasci, Documentary Filmmaker and Co-founder, Living on One

Chris Temple, Documentary Filmmaker and Co-founder, Living on One


Youth Agency: Reaching out to the Disconnected and Disaffected

Whether the task is to rebuild societies under stress, reinvigorate a commitment to inclusion, reassert rights, or to invent entirely new solutions, the future belongs to and will be shaped by the generation of 16-24-years-olds if they embrace their power. But, they often face profound challenges in early childhood that can have a disempowering effect as they transition to adulthood. Those challenges can rob them of the confidence and agency they need to realize their potential and fully contribute to society. In this plenary, we look at three distinct circumstances that young people may face.  Disaffected Youth include recent migrants who may have experienced trauma, and  feel culturally isolated, having fled persecution, crime, poverty or war in their country of origin, only to find that their adopted homeland is unprepared to welcome them. Secondly, Disconnected Youth in the US, UK and elsewhere include teenagers and young adults who are neither working nor in school. In the US, many are trapped by the intergenerational transfer of poverty. Other variables include race, ethnicity, gender and geography. Third, youth in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, often find that criminal gangs known as mara (or marabunta) provide an initial sense of belonging. For those recently deported, the mara may be the only community that awaits them.


Omar al-Tal, Program Manager, Mercy Corps Jordan

Lashon Amado, National Coordinator of Community Action Teams, Opportunity Youth United

Celina de Sola, Co-founder, Glasswing International

Essam Daod, Mental Health Director and Co-founder, Humanity Crew

Moderator: Lorraine Heggessey, CEO, The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry


Building Social Capital through Collaboration and Community Solutions

In its effort to build social capital from the ground up, achieve sustainable social change, address ills such as racism, and advance equity, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation under La June Montgomery Tabron’s leadership has taken a community-based approach. The foundation has launched such initiatives as the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Initiative and Hope Starts Here, a tri-sector collaboration that includes the Kresge Foundation and takes a multi-pronged approach to Detroit’s revitalization. This latter initiative puts youth at the center and engages all stakeholders. La June Montgomery Tabron will share lessons learned from these and other efforts to build the social capital needed to effect lasting change.


La June Montgomery Tabron, President and CEO, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

in conversation with Rajiv Vinnakota, Executive Vice President, Youth & Engagement Programs, The Aspen Institute


Lightning Talk: Youth Agency: Breaking the Link between Poverty and Health Outcomes

When she was a college sophomore, Rebecca Onie co-founded Health Leads, now a national healthcare organization that connects low-income patients with the basic resources they need to be healthy, taking into account the underlying social, economic and environmental causes of ill-health. At the time, she was serving as an intern at Greater Boston Legal Services and was struck by the unmistakable link between poverty and poor health. During her internship, she interviewed mothers of children who had asthma and lung infections, which were triggered by their housing conditions. Moreover, patients treated at the clinic would later be readmitted to the hospital because nothing had been done to address the causes of their illnesses. Rebecca went on to law school and to a Chicago firm, but returned in 2006 to lead the organization she had co-founded as an undergraduate.  Between 2012 and 2014, over 1,000 hospitals requested the Health Leads program.


Rebecca Onie, Co-founder, Health Leads

Lightning Talk: Closing the Quality Health Care Gap, Addressing Global Health Inequities

For hundreds of millions of people in the developing world, the medical technologies they need are often unaffordable. In 2007, the nonprofit D-Rev (short for “Design Revolution”) was founded with the goal of designing and delivering medical products to people living on less than $4 a day. Among its products is phototherapy: blue light to treat severely jaundiced babies, a common problem at birth. Whereas a typical device in the US would cost $3,500, D-Rev has designed one for about $400. Problem solved—or was it? D-Rev CEO Krista Donaldson explains that when D-Rev’s products start to scale, the organization may no longer control the price point, and the initial intention can be lost. “When we talk about innovation and disruption, we’re often very focused on the technology. But really, it’s the system that is often causing the disruption.” And so D-Rev now works to address the “system” – including the more mundane aspects of the product life cycle, innovating the distribution channels as well as the technology.


Krista Donaldson, CEO, D-REV


WORKING GROUP - HARD CASES: Protracted Displacement

A protracted refugee situation is defined by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as one in which refugees “…continue to be in exile for 5 years or more after their initial displacement, without immediate prospects for implementation of durable solutions.” It’s estimated that two thirds of all refugees today face protracted situations. Some are in camps, but many are in cities, sometimes without the resources they need. The challenges protracted displacement poses are many, including the strain on host country resources, and strain on the local humanitarian organizations working to meet immediate needs and to better integrate refugees into the societies in which they live. With first-hand insight, this working group will draw attention to the realities refugees face in protracted displacement and discuss what responses are most needed and most effective from the international community.  They will discuss the roles played by international relief organizations as well as the host communities.


Omar al-Tal, Program Manager, Mercy Corps Jordan

Moshe Cohen, Founder, Clowns Without Borders, USA

Aerlyn Pfeil, Board Member, Médecins sans Frontières

WORKING GROUP - TECHNOLOGY: The Right to Be Counted; The Right to Be Forgotten

The poor, often lacking widely accepted documentation, can lack the proof of identity they need in order to receive government benefits for which they are eligible. Both blockchain and biometrics can be used to remedy that problem. In fact, India has an identification program that relies on biometrics. Here in the United States, the US Census is viewed as an essential tool for assuring that public dollars and proportional representation are allocated appropriately. Being counted—whether in India or California—can determine whether you gain the services, and the political representation you deserve. At the same time that the poor need to be counted, rights advocates worry about putting personal data in the hands of corrupt or autocratic governments. And individuals in Europe and increasingly in the United States are calling for the right to be “forgotten,” by commercial enterprises like Google and Facebook that gather significant information in digital form on their many users. Once gathered, there are no easy ways for users to reclaim that information as their own. Join panelists and others in a discussion of the ways in which modern technologies can assure our right to be “counted,” and how laws and standards can provide a means to be “forgotten.”


Dakota Gruener, Executive Director, ID2020

Brett Solomon, Executive Director, Access Now

Tomicah Tillemann, Co-founder and Director, Blockchain Trust Accelerator, New America

WORKING GROUP - PHILANTHROPY: Philanthropy in the Global South

Come hear from the leaders of the African Philanthropy Forum and the Brazilian Philanthropy Forum about developments in philanthropy in their regions. Each is an affiliate of the Global Philanthropy Forum and a source of dynamism at home and beyond.


Paula Fabiani, CEO, IDIS and Brazilian Philanthropy Forum

Mosun Layode, Executive Director, African Philanthropy Forum

Suzanne Siskel, Executive Vice President and COO, The Asia Foundation

Break and Networking

Reception: Sponsored by Charities Aid Foundation and CAF America


No Bystanders - Technology and the Values that Guide

Information technologies are used to connect the poor to services, education, capital, health care, and one another. Remote sensing and geo-spatial imagery are used for monitoring resource degradation. Virtual reality gives us insight and allows for empathy. Robots can take on hazardous duties, taking humans, whether in a factory or on a battlefield, out of harm’s way. And blockchain provides a secure ledger of all transactions, and is being used to establish eligibility for government services, which might otherwise be unfairly denied. These and other technologies empower us to do enormous good. However, if misused, they can each do damage. Panelists will consider ways to capture the good while anticipating and mitigating the harm. While technologists provide extraordinary tools, it is up to society as a whole to establish the norms that govern their ethical use. When it comes to values that guide, there are no bystanders.


Anne Hale Miglarese, CEO, Radiant.Earth

Varun Gauri, Senior Economist, Development Economics, World Bank

Dakota Gruener, Executive Director, ID2020

Simon Segars, CEO, Arm

Moderator Paula Goldman, Vice President and Founding Head, Tech and Society Solutions Lab, Omidyar Network

Thursday, May 3

Building social capital is great but using it is even more important - lessons from the front line

Breakfast Discussion hosted by Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

Natalie Bridgeman Fields, Founder and Executive Director, Accountability Counsel

Brett Hagler, CEO and Co-founder, New Story

Premal Shah, President and Co-founder, Kiva

Chuck Slaughter, Founder, Living Goods

Liz Smith, Co-founder and Chief Executive, EYElliance

Moderator: Jim Bildner, CEO, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

Redefining Pursuit of the Common Good: Philanthropy, the Market and the State - Invitation to Join a Multi-Sector Discussion

Breakfast Discussion hosted by Aspen Institute and SciencesPo

This breakfast discussion/debate is organized by a new multi-sector, international initiative, Redefining Pursuit of the Common Good: Philanthropy, the State and the Market.  Initiative panelists will share reflections from initiative deliberations and ask GPF participants their views about:  Whether collaborative work across sectors is possible on “wicked problems” that exemplify current challenges facing civil society, business and the state? What is the role of philanthropy in this era of rapid transformation? How do we prepare future generations to think differently and integrate their efforts with others?

Building an Ecosystem: When Generosity Meets Strategy

Africans’ long tradition of generosity to family, community and tribe is now informing the growth of philanthropy on the continent – where generosity and strategy meet. The panel will be a conversation led by Kim Starkey Jonker, who has written and taught courses on strategy, impact evaluation and organizational effectiveness. She will engage a key leader in the African Development Bank, the top executive of a Tanzanian foundation and an individual philanthropist on the ways in which they have pursued their giving strategies—and why they have placed the  emphasis they have on youth.


Barbara Gonzalez, CEO, Mo Dewji Foundation

Valerie Dabady, Manager, Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Department, African Development Bank

Dikembe Mutombo, Chairman and President, Dikembe Mutombo Foundation

Moderator: Kim Starkey Jonker, President and CEO, King Philanthropies

Restoring Dignity: The Case of the Rohingya

In what is widely seen as a case of ethnic cleansing, over half a million Rohingya, Myanmar’s dispossessed Muslim minority, have been driven from their homes. Most have flooded into Bangladesh in search of safety from brutal killings and sexual violence at the hands of Myanmar’s security forces and vigilantes, who have burned their villages to the ground. The pace of new arrivals has made this the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, potentially overwhelming the capacity of the host government. The concentration of refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, is among the densest in the world Panelists will describe both the short term task of bringing safety and sustenance to the stateless Rohingya, as well as the long term challenge of healing shattered lives and providing a path to a hopeful future. Despite the horrors of the crimes committed, and the loss that the Rohingya have endured, there are hopeful signs in the coordinated response. Humanitarian organizations have rallied, development organizations have worked to address long-term needs, and the Asian University for Women has made the education and advancement of Rohingya women a priority—with the possibility of a future of self-sufficiency and security.


Muhammad Musa, Executive Director, BRAC

Aerlyn Pfeil, Board Member, Médecins sans Frontières

Nirmala Rao, Vice Chancellor, Asian University for Women

Moderator:  Iain Levine, Program Director, Human Rights Watch


WORKING GROUP - HARD CASES: Ingenuity and Health

The poor face a number of barriers to the healthcare they need and deserve. But, both nonprofits and social enterprises are finding ways to deliver care to those living in poverty by designing and deploying affordable technologies – be they medicines or medical products—that meet the needs of hard to reach populations.


Nour Elkhoudary AbuZaher, Founder and CEO, MomyHelper and Partner, Mercy Corps

Krista Donaldson, CEO, D-Rev

Paula Fabiani, CEO, IDIS and Brazilian Philanthropy Forum

Manish Ranjan, Co-founder and CEO, NanoHealth

WORKING GROUP - TECHNOLOGY: Storytelling and Technology: Building Empathy for Underfunded Initiatives

Some of the world’s most significant problems escape our attention or exceed our imagination – or their story simply has not been told. As a result, they go unaddressed. So, the challenge is to find a way to describe the problem and the solution in a way that captures attention. From long-term conflicts to neglected diseases, the crises that receive less media attention are also often those that receive less donor funding. The answer then, is to find a way to garner the attention of the public. In this working group, we’ll hear from speakers who have used storytelling techniques and technology to build understanding of underfunded causes and empathy for those affected.


Rachel Cohen, Regional Executive Director, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, North America

Alan Gershenfeld, Founder & President, E-Line Media

Zach Ingrasci, Documentary Filmmaker and Co-founder, Living on One

Chris Temple, Documentary Filmmaker and Co-founder, Living on One

Jo Confino, Executive Editor, Impact & Innovation, HuffPost


Millennial and generation X donors aren’t waiting until later in life to find their philanthropic path. They’re giving now, they want to be more deeply engaged, and they insist on measurable impact. This working group offers an opportunity to learn directly from the next-generation of donors. What drives how and where they give? And what does the emergence of their style of giving and investing mean for the nonprofit sector and social enterprises?


Sharna Goldseker, Executive Director, 21/64

Caitlin Heising, Vice Chair, Heising‐Simons Foundation

Sara Ojjeh, Founder, Ethos Philanthropies


Taking on the Hard Cases: When Governance Fails

Never a bystander, Michelle Nunn has devoted her life to service, and that remains her commitment as leader of CARE USA. This humanitarian organization is deeply involved in addressing the refugee crisis created by wars in Syria, Yemen and South Sudan; the ongoing instability and conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan; and hunger and drought in Ethiopia. At the same time that CARE addresses immediate crises, it retains its commitment to the long-term goal of economic development so that crises and state collapse need not occur. Within CARE’s development portfolio raising the status of women and girls ranks high.


Michelle Nunn, President and CEO, CARE USA

in conversation with Amy Rao, Founder & CEO, Integrated Archive Systems


Taking on the Hard Cases: Standing up for Rights

In 2018, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70, and while it sets the global standard for the promotion and protection of human rights, violations continue here and abroad. Effective organizations use a combination of old-fashioned organizing and new tools for data mining in their effort to document and disrupt abuse. Videre est Credere equips vulnerable communities with cameras and training to safely document and expose human rights violations and other abuse. Initially founded by two seniors at Brown, Polaris works to combat modern day slavery, by running the National Human Trafficking Hotline, building one of the largest data sets on modern day slavery in the US – a data set made public for use by researchers, activists and law enforcement. Fortify Rights investigates and documents abuses, provides customized technical support to human rights defenders, and press for solutions. And the Fair Food Program works to improve working conditions and wages for farm laborers by creating a partnership between workers, growers and buyers.


Greg Asbed, Co-founder, Fair Food Program

Nancy McGuire Choi, COO, Polaris

Matthew Smith, Co-founder and CEO, Fortify Rights

Oren Yakobovich, Co-founder and CEO, Videre est Credere

Moderator: Amitabh Desai, Foreign Policy Adviser, Clinton Foundation

Lightning Talk: Cash Grants and a Fair Shot

Chris Hughes has lived the American dream. Born in a family of modest means, Chris had the combination of talent, discipline and good fortune to earn scholarships to both boarding school and college, where he, Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz created Facebook. Within the space of a few years, he became ultra-wealthy at a young age. Troubled by inequality, Chris wants to see the benefits of our connected economy more widely shared. He proposes a simple solution: a guaranteed income for working people, including unpaid caregivers and students. Chris argues that a guaranteed income is the most powerful tool we have to combat poverty. Cash with no strings attached gives people freedom, dignity and the ability to climb the economic ladder.


Chris Hughes, Co-Chair, Economic Security Project


WORKING GROUP - HARD CASES: Climate, Conservation and Community - Finding Solutions and Building Momentum

History shows us that social movements can be a transformative force capable of effectively challenging and changing social and political norms. In the age of information, new technologies provide the ability to organize and attract audiences outside of formal social movement organizations, transcending borders and increasing traction. In this working group, we’ll hear from movement-builders working on issues which require substantive change on the individual, community, and national level—including climate change and environmental degradation. When it comes to these issues of global scope, how can social movements end destructive practices and their consequences? What opportunities do movements present for philanthropy to address climate change?


Giulia C. Braga, Program Manager, Connect4Climate

Eric Harr, Co-founder and CEO, The Laudato Si' Challenge

Kristina Mänd, Head of Resource Mobilization, Let’s Do It! World

Peter BenHur Nyeko, Co-founder and Managing Director, Mandulis Energy

Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society

WORKING GROUP - TECHNOLOGY: Digital Platforms and Social Good

According to the International Telecommunications Union, over 95 percent of the world’s population resides within coverage of a 2G mobile network. In this working group, we’ll hear from speakers who are using digital platforms to address the developing world’s social, economic and environmental challenges. In what ways are digital platforms being used to achieve social good? And how can organizations and philanthropists work together to make even more effective use of digital platforms such as these?


Anne Hale Miglarese, CEO, Radiant.Earth

Muhammad Mustafa, Co-founder and CEO, Mauqa Online

Chaya Nayak, Public Policy Research Manager, Facebook

Anushka Ratnayake, Founder and CEO, myAgro

Naomi Baer, Social Venture Practitioner, Center for Social Innovation, Stanford Graduate School of Business


Whether and when to scale a program is a vexing question for philanthropists and nonprofits alike. There are times when local programs should stay local, as they are not easily replicated, and attention should not be diverted from the community focus. But there are other occasions when a program that has been tested in a locality is ripe for replication elsewhere. And – if expanding the operations would expand the impact, the path is clear, and new funding would be well spent. At the same time that donors wrestle with ways to help their grantees expand their impact, they are also asking how they can do the same. There have been several recent examples of funders pooling resources. Blue Meridian, Climate Works, and –more recently Co-Impact are among them.


Silvia Bastante de Unverhau, Managing Director, Partnerships and Strategy, Co-Impact

Jim Bildner, President and CEO, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

Dianne Calvi, CEO and President, Village Enterprise

Rebecca Onie, Co-founder, Health Leads

Break and Networking

Reception: Featuring COAL + ICE


Youth Agency and Impact: The Case of Gun Violence

Could it be that high school students will be a match for one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the world? When the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School began to mobilize in response to the shootings on February 14, they struck a chord. They joined those who came before them – the students and parents of Sandy Hook Elementary School and those of Columbine and countless others. But they also reached out to those who have never been touched by gun violence, and never before been able to put themselves in the shoes of the victims and their families. The young people across the country who marched and spoke are persuasive. They are powerful. And they are likely to use that citizen power throughout their lives. What might we learn from those who have turned protest into a conversation that produces results? In this session, we’ll hear from someone who has done just that. Nicole Hockley, co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise—a nonprofit founded in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting—has been focused on uniting people of all beliefs and background around the prevention of gun violence. We’ll hear about what inspired Hockley’s nonpartisan approach and how she sees the movement around gun violence transforming.


Nicole Hockley, Founder and Managing Director, Sandy Hook Promise

by video David Hogg, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Co-founder, March for Our Lives

Moderator: Ray Suarez, John J. McCloy Visiting Professor, American Studies, Amherst College and Co-host, World Affairs

introductory remarks by Jonathan Visbal, Chairman, Board of Trustees, World Affairs

Friday, May 4

Scaling Philanthropy's Impact: Exchanging Lessons on Collaboration and Shifting Systems

Breakfast Discussion hosted by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Our sector maintains high ambitions for impact while struggling to put in place the real-practice changes needed to both collaborate more effectively, and to do real system-shifting programming. Join us for a lively breakfast discussion that builds on past sessions on the Scaling Solutions Initiative and the Sustainable Development Goals, and contributes to the continuing learning journey that’s taken us from the Bay Area to Bogota to Accra and back again. We’ll share our experiences, and tap yours, to build momentum to create real shifts within our own philanthropy sector. We aim to have participants leave with new insights, resources and potential partnerships.


Heather Grady, Vice President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors


Convening17: The Role of Philanthropy in Delivering Education to Displaced Children

Breakfast Discussion hosted by Conveners.org

Join us for breakfast as we explore the ways to increase access to education for displaced children. Education is the most powerful intervention in a child's life - but only if we address the root barriers to their ability to learn. In previous Convening17 sessions, we've identified three barriers to success for displaced children to gain access to education: delivery of mental health services to children so they have the mental and emotional capacity to learn; using technology to address access to education in culturally relevant ways; unpacking program evaluation to better understand what is working (and what isn't).  This session will build off of our conversation at Skoll World Forum to explore the role of philanthropy to meaningfully support children displaced by war, natural disasters, and economic instability. We can no longer afford to be bystanders at this moment of global crisis and are excited to work with you to see how we can all step forward to play our part in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 by 2030.


Avary Kent, Founding Executive Director, Conveners.org

Technology and Social Change: The Case of Digital Media

Digital and social media have done more than any other influence to upend the news industry, posing at least three challenges. The first is that the resulting proliferation of media has overwhelmed the consumer’s capacity to discern. Majorities tell Gallup pollsters that the more information they receive the less informed they are. The second is the disintermediation of media, as consumers increasingly get their news from platforms like Facebook that aggregate news stories. Whereas consumers used to rely on their favorite editors or producers to distinguish fact from opinion, the important from the unimportant, they are less likely to be aware of the source when reading their newsfeed, and therefore less likely to trust the reporting. Third, when algorithms drive the way in which information is sourced, disseminated, and consumed, biases are not only reflected, but reinforced. Views are hardened, and divides are deepened. Finally, we have not only adopted new technologies but also new business models, without consideration of the ethical implications of the combination. This panel will consider the ways in which the rise of digital media impacts public life, and the ethical, organizational and institutional innovations that are needed to capture the benefits and mitigate the potential harm of reliance on digital media.


Jennifer Cobb, Director, United for News

Eileen Donahoe, Executive Director, Global Digital Policy Incubator, Stanford University

Tristan Harris, Co-founder, Center for Humane Technology

Gerard Ryle, Director, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Moderator: Ray Suarez, John J. McCloy Visiting Professor, American Studies, Amherst College


Climate and Conflict: A Conversation on Fragility

The UN and Mercy Corps agree, the overwhelming majority of humanitarian dollars are spent on the effects of violent conflict and fragile states can be the source of untold suffering. War and state collapse can be both the cause and the consequence of endemic poverty, resource scarcity or mal-distribution, hunger and disease. Panelists will not only describe the interaction among these ills, but consider the philanthropic response. And they will ask whether, when faced with a multi-year war in such states as Syria, Iraq, South Sudan or Somalia, aid agencies and philanthropies can better align the objectives of relief and development, and better allocate the dollars between weak states and middle-income countries that are absorbing the refugee flows that result.


Franck Bousquet, Senior Director, Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group, World Bank

Deepmala Mahla, Country Director, Mercy Corps Iraq

in conversation with Jane Wales, Founder, Global Philanthropy Forum

Taking on the Hard Problems: Hunger, Health and Ingenuity

After steadily declining for almost a decade, global hunger is on the rise again—affecting 11 percent of people globally. And, while great strides have been made in global health, preventable diseases continue to be a leading cause of death in fragile countries. In this plenary, we’ll hear from researchers, innovators and grassroots changemakers who have developed and adopted novel means of advancing food security and health. With small-holder farms producing up to 80 percent of food consumed in the developing world, our panelists are working to increase productivity. And in hard-to-reach areas, panelists are offering healthcare services and building a health infrastructure. We’ll examine how our panelists are using technology to transform and sustain their work, and consequently, the populations they serve.


David Lobell, Deputy Director, Center on Food Security and the Environment

Lustia Nkhoma, Enterprise Development Officer, Clinton Development Initiative Malawi

Nithya Ramanathan, CEO and Co-founder, Nexleaf

Anushka Ratnayake, Founder and CEO, myAgro

Moderator: Thomas Kalil, Chief Innovation Officer, Schmidt Futures and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, UC Berkeley

Closing Plenary

Conference Adjourns and Lunch