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Jump-start with Raj Kumar: Globaldev’s new normal
  • Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief, Devex.
  • Kennedy Odede, founder and CEO, Shining Hope for Communities (Shofco).
Think big with Bill Gates: A world without pandemics
  • Bill Gates, co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder, Breakthrough Energy.
  • Moderator: Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief, Devex.
Think big with Kristalina Georgieva: How to stabilize a teetering planet
  • Kristalina Georgieva, managing director, International Monetary Fund.
  • Moderator: Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief, Devex.
Ground truth with Amadou Sall: How to stop vaccine nationalism
  • Amadou Sall, director, Institut Pasteur de Dakar.
  • Moderator: Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief, Devex.
Ground truth with Cina Lawson: The development backbone — digital cash transfers
  • Cina Lawson, Togo’s minister of digital economy and transformation.
  • Moderator: Rumbi Chakamba, associate editor, Devex.
Reality check with Hosna Jalil
  • Hosna Jalil, Afghanistan’s former deputy minister of interior affairs.
  • Moderator: Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief, Devex.
Devex World 101 with Raj Kumar and Kate Warren: Get the most from Devex World
  • Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief, Devex.
  • Kate Warren, executive vice president, Devex.
The data revolution is here. Global health and humanitarian aid sectors are regularly flooded with information collected through digital devices that are becoming cheaper and more common. And while this abundance of data can enable more results-driven programs and solutions, it doesn’t come risk free. At times characterized as impartial, digitally collected data is subject to the same biases and power imbalances of the offline world when it comes to use and ownership. Security breaches can also compromise sensitive data and counteract humanitarian operations designed to protect the world’s most vulnerable people.
Being data-driven is no longer a question of if but of how. During this track, join us for a series of conversations on the power of data and the responsibility of the development sector to use, share, and safeguard that data accordingly.
Mapping humanity
  • Carmen Tedesco, director of analytics, Fraym.
Partner spotlight: World Food Program USA
  • Barron Segar, president and CEO, World Food Program USA.
  • Moderator: Richard Jones, editorial director, Devex.
Blockchain for humanity
  • Mariana Dahan, co-founder and CEO, World Identity Network.
Rapid response: The humanitarian data revolution
  • Mariana Dahan, co-founder and CEO, World Identity Network.
  • Siobhan Green, director of digital and data governance and transformation, DT Global.
  • Clayton Simms, chief technology officer, Dimagi.
  • Moderator: David Ainsworth, business editor, Devex.
Taking ownership: Recognizing and dismantling data colonialism
  • Jim Fruchterman, founder and CEO, Tech Matters.
  • Dr. Nithya Ramanathan, CEO and co-founder, Nexleaf Analytics.
  • Moderator: Amruta Byatnal, senior reporter, Devex.
We live in a time of contradiction. In the midst of a health crisis caused by the spread of COVID-19, we find ourselves in a crisis caused by the spread of disinformation, misinformation, and censorship. These tactics obscure the facts and fracture or delude communities around the world. And yet despite these malicious or misguided efforts, personal stories continue to reflect deeper truths about human experience and to create affinity and understanding from narrative and emotion.
In this session, take a look at both sides of the issue — the rise of misinformation and the persistent powers of narrative and representation, and hear from the storytellers, activists, journalists, and tech leaders at the forefront of the information crisis.
Intentional storytelling
  • Marshall Stowell, president and CEO, Intentional.
A message from Rohingya Muppet twins Noor and Aziz
  • Noor, Rohingya Muppet.
  • Aziz, Rohingya Muppet.
The power of media and the Muppets of Sesame Street
  • Sherrie Westin, president, Sesame Workshop.
  • Moderator: Michael Igoe, senior reporter, Devex.
Partner spotlight: Smile Train
  • Camila Osorio, psychologist, Universidad CES.
  • Susannah Schaefer, President and CEO, Smile Train.
  • Moderator: Kate Warren, executive vice president, Devex
The future of solutions-based storytelling
  • Yusuf Omar, co-founder, Seen.
Partner spotlight: Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI)
Reality check: Fighting misinformation and disinformation
  • Sharif Aly, CEO, Islamic Relief, USA.
  • Sarah Bromma, head of policy, Pinterest.
  • Michael Khoo, climate disinformation coalition co-chair, Friends of the Earth.
  • Moderator: Michael Igoe, senior reporter, Devex.
Recent years have seen a steady growth of SDG-related investments and financial commitments. The time is ripe to operationalize those pledges and to improve alignment on performance standards. What exactly counts as climate finance and what will it take to finance a transition to net-zero? With ESG on the rise, how — and how quickly — will the global community develop comprehensive sustainability-related impact disclosures? We’ll take a look at these questions and more, unpacking the actions necessary to drive capital where it’s needed most to deliver on the SDGs.
Women transforming philanthropy
  • Jennifer Alcorn, deputy director of giving opportunities and Gates philanthropy partners, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Justine Lucas, executive director, Clara Lionel Foundation.
  • Kavita Ramdas, founder, KNR Sisters.
  • Moderator: Stephanie Beasley, senior reporter, Devex.
A message from an environmental activist
  • Elizabeth Wathuti, Kenyan Environmental Activist.
Financing the transition to net zero
  • Hari Balasubramanian, founding managing partner, EcoAdvisors.
  • Daniel Morris, energy programs lead, Climate Investment Funds.
  • Nuru Mugambi, sustainable finance, responsible investment and financial inclusion, policy expert.
  • Kate Steel, CEO and co-founder, Nithio.
  • Moderator: Adva Saldinger, senior reporter, Devex.
Financial tools for humanitarian response
  • Dante Disparte, chief strategy officer and head of global policy, Circle.
  • Tim Docking, CEO, Refugee Investment Network.
  • Cristina Shapiro, president of the impact fund for children, UNICEF USA.
  • Moderator: Adva Saldinger, senior reporter, Devex.
Shaping foreign investment: A conversation with Nick O’Donohoe
  • Nick O’Donohoe, CEO, British International Investment.
  • Moderator: William Worley, U.K. correspondent, Devex.
Innovation is everyone’s favorite buzzword. But what does it mean to bring innovation to development? And how do we scale what works? From new technologies to new ways of solving problems, innovation is more than just what is coming out of Silicon Valley. It can be found on every corner of the globe.
COVID-19 provided a catalyst for innovations to scale faster than we’ve ever seen. What can we learn from this rapid adoption for the future? Together we’ll discuss how to find, fund, and operationalize innovation — wherever it is found — to accelerate progress on the SDGs.
From the lab to the last mile: A conversation with Shashi Buluswar
  • Shashi Buluswar, CEO, Global Health Labs.
  • Moderator: Rumbi Chakamba, associate editor, Devex.
Partner Spotlight: PepsiCo Foundation
  • CD Glin, PepsiCo, Inc. global head of philanthropy, and PepsiCo Foundation VP.
  • Moderator: Kate Warren, executive vice president, Devex.
Scaling pandemic preparedness and response
  • Richard Hatchett, CEO, CEPI.
  • Chikwe Ihekweazu, director general, WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence.
  • Jumana Qamruddin, senior health specialist, The World Bank Group.
  • Moderator: Rumbi Chakamba, senior reporter, Devex.
  • Firestarter: Elizabeth Ashbourne, executive director, PQMD.
Partner Spotlight: RTI International
Ahead of the curve: Innovations in education
  • Rukmini Banerji, CEO, Pratham Education
  • Vongai Nyahunzvi, chief network officer, Teach for All.
  • Job Oyebisi, co-founder and CEO, StanLab.
  • Moderator: Rumbi Chakamba, associate editor, Devex.
The private sector has moved from a sideline player to a key catalyst for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. For companies, it’s no longer about image and benevolence but about driving business growth contingent on an equitable, healthy, thriving world. CSR is out, ESG is in.
A global pandemic, rising inequality, and urgent climate crisis have pushed business to redefine its role in a global economy. New partnerships between companies and governments and civil society have catapulted, innovating new models in how they can work together. Through frank conversations with leaders at the intersection of business and global development we’ll explore these trends and how industries such as fashion, technology, agriculture, pharmaceutical, and more are changing how and who does development.
Fueling the rise of the circular economy
  • Stephanie Benedetto, co-founder, Queen of Raw.
  • Anshu Gupta, founder and director, Goonj.
  • Moderator: Teresa Welsh, senior reporter, Devex.
Ethical fashion: Setting the trend
  • Erin Houston, co-founder and CEO, Wearwell.
  • Robert Anthony Young, founder and creative director, The Cloth.
  • Sandra Zhao, co-founder, Zuri.
  • Moderator: Stephanie Beasley, senior reporter, Devex.
Partner Spotlight: World Vision
  • Edgar Sandoval Sr., president and CEO, World Vision U.S.
  • Moderator: Richard Jones, editorial director, Devex.
Food for thought: Revolutionizing the food industry
  • Amy Chen, COO, UPSIDE Foods.
  • Marcela Flores, co-CEO, Tierra Foods.
  • Bruce Friedrich, founder and CEO, The Good Food Institute.
  • Moderator: Teresa Welsh, senior reporter, Devex.
People trust people more than brands. Seen co-founder and journalist Yusuf Omar unpacks scalable storytelling solutions to empower communities to tell their own stories in a factually accurate and safe way. Using mobile phones and augmented reality, we learn how the “metaverse” of tomorrow impacts our communications today. In this session, you will understand how to help marginalized communities be seen.
  • Yusuf Omar, co-founder, Seen.
In a special afternoon session, former Global AIDS Ambassador and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Debbie Birx will join us for a candid conversation on her legacy, lessons learned from the pandemic, and how we better prepare for the next one. Birx’s new book “Silent Invasion” shares untold stories from her remarkable vantage point during the last administration, and we’ll learn more about her key takeaways for the future of global health.
  • Deborah Birx, global AIDs ambassador and White House coronavirus response coordinator.
  • Moderator: Michael Igoe, senior reporter, Devex.
Where we go from here with Raj Kumar: Global dev’s ‘better normal’
  • Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief, Devex.
Think big with Dr. John Nkengasong: The future of global health
  • Dr. John Nkengasong, global AIDS coordinator and special representative for global
  • Moderator: Amruta Byatnal, senior editor, Devex.
  • Moderator: Michael Igoe, senior reporter, Devex.
Think big with Makhtar Diop: Turning the private sector opportunity from mirage to reality
  • Makhtar Diop, managing director, International Finance Corporation.
  • Moderator: Adva Saldinger, associate editor, Devex.
  • Moderator: Shabtai Gold, senior reporter, Devex.
Reality check with Nidhi Sahni: How billionaire philanthropy can support grassroots change
  • Nidhi Sahni, partner and head of U.S. advisory services, The Bridgespan Group.
  • Moderator: Stephanie Beasley, senior reporter, Devex.
  • Moderator: Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief, Devex.
Think big with Mark Malloch-Brown: When democracy is on the line
  • Mark Malloch-Brown, president, Open Society Foundations.
  • Moderator: Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief, Devex.
What we’ve learned with Raj Kumar and Anna Gawel: What Devex members need to know
  • Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief, Devex.
  • Anna Gawel, managing editor, Devex.


While the world has made advances toward universal health coverage in the past 20 years, there are growing gaps in access and quality within many countries. Digital health solutions that support individuals can help close these gaps. Instead of traditional siloed approaches, health system stakeholders including nonprofits, commercial entities, and governments can contribute to the development of an integrated digital landscape that effectively and efficiently engages consumers along their health journey. Nivi, a digital health marketplace, is working to improve primary health care in Kenya, India, and Nigeria. Since launching in 2017, Nivi has guided over 1 million individuals through health decisions and seeking health care to products and services across local health systems.
  • Ben Bellows, co-founder and chief business officer, Nivi.
Sarah Mak, CEO of Folktale, and Tom Perry, communications lead for the Pacific Region at the World Bank, will co-present a talk about how collaboration between creativity, technology, and development has reshaped the way we monitor, evaluate, and communicate our impact in a more equitable and inclusive method.
Sarah and Tom will discuss projects undertaken in Mongolia and Kiribati during the pandemic. They will share the challenges and opportunities of this collaboration as well as frame a vision of a future where the power of stories and community voices drive better decision-making and development outcomes.
  • Sarah Mak, co-founder and CEO, Folktale.
  • Tom Perry, communications lead for the Pacific region, The World Bank.
In today’s highly charged and divided world, taking any stand is not without impact or consequences. Building equity means different things to different people, even right here in Washington, D.C. How safe are you in fighting for what you believe in? How do you draw psychological safety and build your power in your fight for equity?
  • Indira Kaur Ahluwalia, founder and chair, the Coalition for Racial and Ethnic Equity in Development (CREED).
In spite of record philanthropic and ODA commitments for crises like COVID-19 and Ukraine, we are far from financing the scale and the speed of urgent solutions for children. Connect every school to the internet, eliminate polio, respond to devastating typhoons, and avoid millions of deaths by undernutrition and malnutrition: Can markets and investors be an effective engine to amplify and accelerate a world fit for children, beyond “green-” and “blue-” washing? UNICEF is in a race to find the right products and investors.
  • Francesco Ambrogetti, principal advisor, innovative and alternative finance, UNICEF.
We ask what would happen if a different set of values were guiding urban transitions. What if well-being was prioritized over economic growth? What if care for others mattered as much as novel products? What if building trust was more important than getting things done quickly? Eric Gordon and Barbara Bulc, authors of the new book "Activating Values in Urban Transitions" present a novel approach to urban innovation. The study details how the foregrounding of these values is accomplished, and it provides design recommendations for cities interested in reproducing the model in the pursuit of just transitions. It looks at the co-creation of OurCluj, a multisectoral, multidisciplinary living laboratory in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, focused on the well-being of its young citizens. It comprises three primary activities and narratives that drive values-forward innovation: imagining futures, reconciling the past, and sharing power. Visual art plays a central role as a part of the methodology and to activate collective imagination, serving to bind stakeholders and communities together with a common purpose. The case study supports the Fondation Botnar’s OurCity initiative in several cities across Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia. It highlights the role of intermediary cities, which are today at the forefront of forging transformative pathways in post COVID-19 recovery.
Link to read and download book
  • Barbara Bulc, president and founder, Global Development (GD).
  • Eric Gordon, director and professor, Engagement Lab and assistant dean, School of the Arts, Emerson College.
Solving some of our largest global challenges requires mobilizing massive amounts of capital allocated with precision and speed. The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals have documented funding gaps measured in the trillions of dollars per year. Chris Hale, CEO of Kountable, will explain how It is a problem both of volume and velocity, and how the Kountable platform is purpose-built to match crowdsourced global impact with institutional capital to accelerate our progress and compress the timelines needed to reach these audacious goals.
  • Chris Hale, founder and CEO, Kountable.
Climate change-induced disasters are becoming more frequent and severe, presenting the $27 billion humanitarian sector with an increasing pressure on its resources. Can the $8 trillion tourism industry with expertise in managing logistics, supply chain, and highly skilled human resources be a trusted partner for the humanitarian sector? A pioneer in responsible tourism and a disaster management expert, Gopinath Parayil — aka Gopi — is exploring possibilities of how the travel industry can work with the development and humanitarian sectors to co-create climate-resilient and climate-responsible destinations.
  • Gopinath Parayil, founder, The Blue Yonder.
It's time to shift from systems that record what happened in the past to systems that predict what's to come. Benjamin Fels will make the case that remarkable insight can be generated from data already in place, everywhere on earth — and to finally close the gap on collection of quality data at global scale, data use has to be prioritized.
  • Benjamin Fels, founder and CEO, Macro-Eyes.
The intersection between impactful communications and empathetic engagement can be wrought with ethical dilemmas, sensitivities, and secondhand trauma. What is the best way to advocate for survivors of tragedy, war, persecution, displacement, human rights violations, and discrimination while coping with the detrimental effects of exposure and engagement with disturbing or difficult accounts, events, or images? How can we as humanitarian and development workers tell — or help survivors share their own — stories while safeguarding both our and their mental health and psychological safety?
  • Joung-Ah Ghedini-Williams, head of global communications, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
When do we invest in innovation versus scaling access to quality? Audrey Anderson Duckett, Co-CEO of Be Girl, shares lessons learned from commercializing period panties in East Africa with real-world applications for how and where the private sector can transform global development.
  • Audrey Anderson Duckett, Co-CEO, Be Girl Inc.
Existing approaches to solving global hunger are not working, despite hunger being preventable. Yet there are other ways to address these issues than beginning with the key drivers. Through reverse-engineering, this workshop is an opportunity for innovation and sharing of ideas about how to solve hunger.
Instead of looking at the causes behind global hunger, we will challenge participants to look at a world without hunger and discern what’s needed for this reality to exist. Approaching the problem by starting with the end product leaves room for more creativity, reducing the barriers to break free of the anticipated script and routine processes we associate with the problem. Workshop participants will jointly and actively re-think the way we approach hunger in tangible ways, setting the tone and gathering momentum of the new Together Against Hunger Movement.
When governments work well, they provide essential services like health and education that enable marginalized citizens to prosper socially and economically. Unfortunately, most public services in low- and middle-income countries are failing to have an impact. This talk will shed light on widespread government implementation failures, make the case for why we cannot think of large-scale impact and the SDGs without fixing governments' delivery systems, and focus on how results-based financing, or RBF — which ties funding to results — can help create incentives to radically improve the quality of public services to the poor.
  • Avnish Gungadurdoss, managing partner and co-founder, Instiglio.
This talk will focus on how Datafree can drive impact in under-resourced communities by clearing barriers to essential digital services. Gour Lentell and Deborah Backus will show how marked increases in engagement with the BookSmart reading app demonstrates the power of Datafree to scale reading. The BookSmart success story should inspire thinking about how free access to digital resources can scale impact beyond the education sector.
  • Deborah Backus, senior director of global impact, Worldreader.
  • Gour Lentell, founder and CEO, MoyaApp.
This Devex World Workshop, co-hosted by MSD for Mothers and Devex will bring together key leaders across the private sector, global health, and development industry to participate in an active discussion on how to end maternal mortality.
In working groups we will discuss the role of private donors and highlight the change in approach over the past several years. Moreover, all participants will be able to share how local entities are or should engage to help improve maternal health in their geographic focus.
We’ll be digging into the following topics:
➔ Delivering care: What’s needed to strengthen systems for safer childbirth? What challenges are we seeing? What are the barriers to care and how can they be overcome in practice?
➔ Financing RMNCAH: How do we localize investment to ensure it goes to local entities? How do we avoid reinforcing weaknesses where we create a dependent culture?
➔ Engaging donors: What examples can be shared on engaging local entities to help improve maternal health from a localized, grassroots perspective? How can donors be more intentional in terms of making connections with other complementary investments?
  • Monisha Ashok, associate director, Health Initiatives, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.
  • Mariarosa Cutillo, chief of strategic partnerships, U.N. Population Fund.
  • Charles Dalton, senior health specialist, International Finance Corporation.
  • Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet, Executive Director, MSD for Mothers.
  • Susan Rae Ross, senior private sector engagement advisor, U.S. Agency for International Development.
  • Richard Jones, Editorial Director, Devex (moderator).
Stories have the power to transcend generations and borders, informing opinion and influencing decisions. In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, against the backdrop of a humanity in crisis, the question isn’t about what makes a good story — but rather, how can we use stories for good. This flash talk will focus on the value of storytelling to drive sustainable impact, focusing on key considerations to better communicate for good.
  • Trey Watkins, executive vice president, global health & corporate responsibility, GCI Health.
Have you ever noticed that your best ideas come to you outside the office? In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the working world has realized that, often, companies design business strategies focused on growth and innovation but our workplaces and habits counterproductively stifle new ideas and projects. Join award-winning innovator Michelle Risinger to explore the neuroscience, psychology, behavioral science, and creativity science that suggest there are better ways to design work to promote innovation.
  • Michelle Risinger, founder and principal, Rising Solutions.
COVID-19 is estimated to have cost the global economy over $15 trillion dollars, but it is not the first such outbreak and it probably won’t be the last. A common defining feature of emerging infectious diseases is that they are triggered by anthropogenic changes to the environment. It is our misuse of the environment that brought us here. However, we can shift the focus from merely reacting to disease outbreaks to preventing their emergence. This requires a wholesale reconsideration of how we approach global health and development, and harnessing once-separate fields like conservation as a development tool with new technologies.
  • Alex Dehgan, CEO, Conservation X Labs.
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