On 22-23 September 2020, the World Humanitarian Forum will present highly-curated roundtables. While they initiate themed discussions around the sector, they also give the global audience the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding and an outcome report will follow these roundtables as well as action points. 

DAY 1 – Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Roundtable Stage – from 10 am to 5 pm (GMT-4)


  • Ms Alice Piterova, Managing Director, AI for Good
  • Ms Maren Eckhoff, Principal Data Scientist, QuantumBlack
  • Ms Jessica Fan, Principal Product Manager, QuantumBlack 

Innovation is in the heart of humanitarian aid and international development. This roundtable brings together start-ups as well as donors and key organisations working around this aim. The Roundtable will focus on the challenges and opportunities. The roundtable will feature the start of the Innovation Challenge taking place in the WHF 2021 schedule. 


  •  Moderator: Ms Dianne Dain, Lead, UN Reboot Accelerator
  •  Ms Constance Agyeman, Head of International Development, Nesta Challenges
  •  Mr Ben Kumpf, Head of Innovation, FCDO
  •  Ms Kate Hart, Director of Programmes, ELRHA
  •  Ms Therese Marie Uppstrom Pankratov, Head of the Humanitarian Innovation Programme, Innovation Norway
  •  Mr Christopher Earney, Head Insights Team, UN Global Pulse
  •  Mr Andrew Lamb, Innovation Lead – Global, Field Ready
  • Ms Verjee Safia, Innovations Manager, Kenya Red Cross Society
  • Mr Omar Al Qadhi, Regional Operations Manager, IRC Regional Hub

While organisations are seeking ways to optimize their delivery capabilities in order to mitigate as much as possible the consequences of emergency, professionals from throughout the sector need a better understanding of the concepts and implications of true transparency within the supply chain to better aid the integration of appropriate technological solutions and interoperable processes that are needed to meet current legislative and consumer demands for sustainability in the supply chain.

  • Moderator: Mr Neil Rodrigues, Senior Director, Global Supply Chain Operations at the International Rescue Committee
  • Dr Diego Vega, Deputy Director, HUMLOG Institute
  • Mr Muhammad Azhar Khan, Humanitarian Logistics Expert, Formerly Oxfam
  • Mr Richard Sharp, CEO, RE: ACT Disaster Response
  • Ms Claire Barnhoorn, CEO, Solvoz
  • Ms Campbell Bright, Global Supply Chain and Project Management Leader, United Nations – African Union Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)
  • Ms Marie Houel, Head of Supply Department, Interagency Procurement Group, Solidarités International
  • Mr Hans-Peter Teufers, Director, International Programs, UPS Foundation

“The world is becoming one where the threats outstrip our collective ability to respond effectively. The complexity of the challenges and the cost of response make it increasingly untenable to put the main emphasis on activities after an incident has occurred.” Eric McNulty, CRJ 15:3

The year 2020 has been extremely challenging for most people on the planet, not least those directly affected by Covid-19. But it has been particularly gruelling for frontline responders, emergency planners and resilience operators. And that is without the other devastating disasters that have struck, including wildfires, floods, and an active hurricane season. Do we need a fundamental shift in how we approach crises? What about future threats? These could include drought, hunger, food security civil unrest and disturbance, a loss of trust in governments, economic and geopolitical shifts – all of these can have cascading consequences on the work of responders and the resilience of communities.

  • Moderator: Emily Hough, Editor in Chief, Crisis Response Journal
  • Dr Albrecht Beck, Managing Director, Prepared International 
  • Mr David Wales, Founder, SharedAim Ltd
  • Mr Andrew Staniforth, Director of Innovation, Saher Europe
  • Mr Albrecht Broemme, Honorary President, THW

Decade of Action is at the centre of WHF New York and this roundtable aims to wrap up the conversations on the main stage. COVID19 has had an irreversible impact on the delivery. How can stakeholders make up lost ground in the pursuit of SDGs owing to unforeseen circumstances like COVID-19 is the question to be answered in this important roundtable. What lessons can stakeholders learn from the MDGs in pursuit of the SDGs?

  • Moderator: Ms Margo LaZaro, President & Chair, Co-Founder and CSONGO Committee on Sustainable Development – NY & SDG Impact Awards Community International Development
  • Ms Mandy Sanghera, Philanthropist
  • Mr Rahmatullah Arman, CEO, Teach for Afghanistan, International
  • Mr Michael Collins, Executive Director, Institute for Economics and Peace
  • Professor Alberto Zucconi, President, Person-Centred Approach Institute
  • Ms Laurie Adams, CEO, Women for Women International

DAY 2 – Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Roundtable Stage – from 10 am to 5 pm (GMT-4)

With approximately 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 and 24, the UN has recognised that there is a need to engage and mobilize young people to act on the SDGs. Therefore, providing youth with the necessary knowledge, skills and opportunities can act as a driving force for the contribution to climate change. 

The roundtable will feature the announcement of the Youth Council of WHF.

  • Moderator: Ms Vivian Onano, Founder/Director at Leading Light Initiative and Youth Advisor at Global Education Monitoring Report, UNESCO
  • Ms Safoora Biglari, Director, Community, One Young World
  • Mr Siddarth Satish, Young Ambassador, Ariel Foundation
  • Ms Sophie Daud, Chief Executive Officer, Future Leaders Network
  • Mr Mete Coban MBE, Executive Director, My Life My Say
  • Mr Joseph Watson, Youth Advisory Board, EY Foundation
  • Mr Franco Perez Diaz, Global Vice President of Business Development and External Relations, AISEC

The COVID19 crisis has highlighted the varying governmental responses to public health crises along with weaknesses in the supply chain of vital medical equipment. The international challenges and solutions associated with health emergencies: from a lack of testing, to how technology can be used to improve response to pandemics, need to be fully discussed in order to prepare the international community.

  • Moderator: Professor Donald Donahue, Professor of Healthcare Administration and Global Health, University of Maryland
  • Mr Sam Buchimo, International Board, Medicins Sans Frontieres
  • Dr Vikram Patel, Co-Lead, Global Mental Health, Harvard University
  • Ms Rebecca Herman, Special Advisor, Pathfinders International
  • Dr Sharon Abramowitz, Medical Anthropologist and Consultant, UNICEF
  • Dr William Hauptman, Medical Director Assistance, International SOS

The issue of climate change requires systematic change throughout the global economy. While COVID-19 has resulted in the postponement of COP26, efforts at an international level need to continue. COVID-19 has brought to light challenges, but it has also highlighted key aspects of the international system, primarily the requirement to work together to solve global challenges. 

  • Moderator: Ms Johanna Chao Kreilick, Executive Officer and Climate Action Lead, Open Society Foundations 
  • Dr Stefanos Fotiou, Director, Environment and Development, UNESCAP
  • Mr Serge Stroobants, Director for Europe and MENA Regions, Institute for Economics and Peace
  • Dr Charles Ogilvie, Director of Strategy – COP 26, Cabinet Office
  • Mr John Furlow, Deputy Director, The International Research Institute For Climate and Society, The Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Ms Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network International
  • Mr Tom Light, Executive Director, Arctic Ice Project

From the emergence of new multilateral development agencies to the role of financiers in developing countries, the international community needs to question how financial systems can produce sufficient funding for development causes. Finding funding sources is a substantial challenge, from the creation of Development Impact Bonds (DIBs) to corporate philanthropy. International institutions and government donor agencies alike need to consider the impacts of funding and the role played by local partners in ensuring that projects work effectively and for the communities they serve. The finance and funding roundtable will look at these issues while considering innovative ways for organisations to raise funds. 

  • Moderator: Mr Barry Kolodkin, Deputy Chief Evaluator, EBRD
  • Mr Bilal Khanzada, Head of Cash Transfer Programme Operations, Save the Children International
  • Mr Tom Adlam, Team Leader, FCDO IMPACT Programme
  • Ms Jessica Stanford, Country Director for the Philippines, Build Change
  • Ms Ramya Gopalan, Global Innovation Coordinator and Alternative Financing Lead, IFRC
  • Dr Nicolas Pascal, Director, Blue Finance 
  • Ms Lauren Bell, Operations Lead, Western Union Foundation

The Tech for good roundtable will focus on insightful and informative ‘must-know’ developments and advancements in tech for humanitarian and development stakeholders. From AI and machine learning to blockchain, we will discuss the latest developments through immersive and engaging sessions at the Tech for Good Roundtable. 

  • Moderator: Ms Nicola Strong, Senior Consultant, Institute for Ethical AI
  • Ms Maria Luciana Axente, Responsible AI & AI for Good Lead, PwC UK
  • Ms Alice Piterova, Managing Director, AI 4 Good
  • Ms Raluca Crisan, Co-Founder, Etiq.AI
  • Mr Noll Tufani, Chief Operations Officer, Build Change
  • Ms Angie Mandara, Founder, Growd Global
  • Ms Angita Pasaribu, Founder, Bullyid Indonesia