Programme | Block 1

Civic Digital Power for a better world

October 8 | 15.00 - 17.00

What are inspiring examples of new, digitally enabled forms of civil society cooperation, that are secure, inclusive, fair and informed by a locally led agendaWhat are important guiding principles or effective civil society strategies to circumvent restrictions and to harness the countervailing civic power?  In the first block of the Partos Innovation Festival, civil society organisations and digital innovation experts will share their experiences and challenges – as well as interact with an international audience of civil society organisations and activists. See below for more information about the programme. Note, this programme will be updated in the run-up to the Festival. 


Payal Arora | Speaker

In her opening talk, Prof. Payal Arora will share her views on digital justice and how it relates to the digital divide and the platform economy.  Payal Arora is a digital anthropologist and author of several books including her recent award-winning book ‘Next Billion Users’. Her expertise lies in user experience in low-income communities worldwide and comes with more than a decade of fieldwork experience. Payal is a Professor in Technology, Values, and Global Media Cultures at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the founder of the digital storytelling organisation Catalyst Lab and co-founder of the FemLab.co initiative. Forbes named her the “next billion champion” and the right kind of person to reform tech. Payal is Indian, Irish and American, and currently lives in Amsterdam.


Digital tools for civic society | Panel discussion 

What can civic organisations learn from best practices of the use of data and digital technology? In this session, experts on digital innovations and social engagement share their experiences with and visions on this theme. These experts will discuss the challenges and opportunities of the use of digital tools for civil society: ranging from Blockchain to data and from Artificial Intelligence to social media. 

 

Anand Sheombar | Panel member

Anand Sheombar holds a PhD degree in Information Systems and has extensive experience researching  the use of social media in the context of international development. With at least 25 years worth of experience as an IT business consultant, Anand is particularly knowledgeable about a range of different topics such as ICT for education, healthcare, and of course for international development. Currently he works as a researcher and lecturer at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, The Netherlands, and is involved with research on digital transformation and leadership. His teachings focus on areas related to business & IT alignment, and (digital) business models in a changing world.


Sennay Ghebreab | Panel member

Sennay Ghebreab received his M.Sc. degree in Information systems, and PhD degree in Medical Imaging from the University of Amsterdam, where he currently works as an associate professor. He investigates mechanisms of information processing in artificial, neural and social systems. Apart from his work at the university, Ghebreab is also chairman of BOOST, a foundation that helps refugees integrate into Amsterdam, and a board member of the Civic Foundation, an organisation committed to the better integration of policy in the Netherlands. His scientific work and social engagement come together in his Civic AI Lab, a lab for civic-centred and community-minded AI design development and deployment.


Payal Arora | Panel member

Payal Arora is a digital anthropologist and author of several books including her recent award-winning book ‘Next Billion Users’. Her expertise lies in user experience in low-income communities worldwide and comes with more than a decade of fieldwork experience. Payal is a Professor in Technology, Values, and Global Media Cultures at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the founder of the digital storytelling organisation Catalyst Lab and co-founder of the FemLab.co initiative. Forbes named her the “next billion champion” and the right kind of person to reform tech. Payal is Indian, Irish and American, and currently lives in Amsterdam.


Jeroen van der Sommen | Panel member

Jeroen van der Sommen is the co-founder and director of Akvo, an organisation seeking to revamp and disrupt development aid through data and digitalisation. Jeroen started his career as a hydrogeologist in Burkina Faso in 1982 and holds an MSc from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Throughout the 1980s, he worked and lived in Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Niger, Mali, Indonesia and India, managing water supply and management projects. In 1998, Jeroen became the first director of the Netherlands Water Partnership. Today, Jeroen is the driving force behind Akvo’s strategy in West Africa and globally. Especially in the field of Data 4 Development supporting over 20 governments and other partners in their digital journey.


Since 2016, Sander de Jong has been paving the way towards a more just food system as the Managing Director of Fairfood. In his early career, he gained experience in advertising and marketing, after which he went on to consulting at impact consultancy agency BoerCroon. Fast-forwarding, he acted as one of the initiators of the famed Dutch Weed Burger – a plant-based alternative to meat. Sander heralded Fairfood into a more innovative era and led the NGO to become a true change accelerator. Consequently, Fairfood was one of the first organisations to adopt blockchain technology. Their use case is one of more transparency and greater traceability to allow all actors in food supply chains to play an active role in bettering our food system.


Yolanda Weldring | Speaker

Yolanda has 18 years of experience in management in International Development. During her career she has been International Director at Oxfam Novib, Regional Director East and Southern Africa at Save the Children UK, and member of senior groups within Oxfam and Save the Children International. Before joining Oxford HR, Yolanda carried out interim-director roles in Africa and Asia, and she has experience as an Advisor to Boards. Yolanda is committed to finding high-performing candidates for jobs in international organisations, as she believes this is key to the reliable delivery of programmes and quality policy development.