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 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. 

 


Walk-in & meet | 14.30-15.00

What is a Festival without some network opportunities? Well, during the Festival we will have plenty, ‘bring your own coffee’ style. From 14.30 we open the virtual doors for you. Talk with other participants in the chat, drop your burning questions beforehand in the Q&A, or build on your network and make new connections in the chat carrousel, in which you will be randomly connected to other participants. 


Kitty van der Heijden | Speaker 

Kitty is the Director General International Cooperation (DGIS in Dutch) at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has acquired extensive experience in sustainable development, civic power and climate justice during different positions at the United Nations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the latter organisation, she worked as an Ambassador for Sustainable Development where she was involved in the design and implementations of the MDGs and SDGs. She also worked as Director for the Europe and Africa Departments at the World Resources Institute

Kitty will speak about how exsisting inequalities and injustices have become more visible during this COVID-19 pandemic. She emphasises how digitalisation has great potential for civil society to speak up and to empower minorities. However, there are definitely also some risks and threats of a hyperconnected digitalised society. Kitty zooms in on multiple practical examples of how digitalisation is being brought into reality - and how this have had positive and negative consequences for sustainable development. 


Payal Arora | Speaker

Prof. Payal Arora is a digital anthropologist and author of several books including her award-winning book ‘Next Billion Users’. After more than a decade of fieldwork experience, Payal assessed patterns of internet usage in India, China, South Africa, Brazil and the Middle East. She is interested in the question of why citizens of states with strict surveillance policies appear to care so little about their digital privacy. 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.

After immersing herself in factory towns, slums, townships, and favelas, Payal Arora assesses real patterns of internet usage in India, China, South Africa, Brazil, and the Middle East. Why do citizens of states with strict surveillance policies appear to care so little about their digital privacy? Why do Brazilians eschew geotagging on social media? What drives young Indians to friend ‘foreign’ strangers on Facebook and give ‘missed calls’ to people? Arora reveals habits of use, bound to intrigue everyone from casual internet users to developers of global digital platforms to organisations seeking to reach the next billion internet users. She pushes us to look beyond the framing of users as data producers and markets and instead as new global publics shaping the future of the internet.


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 on 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 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 MSc degree in Information systems, and a 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

Prof. Payal Arora is a digital anthropologist and author of several books including her award-winning book ‘Next Billion Users’. After more than a decade of fieldwork experience, Payal assessed patterns of internet usage in India, China, South Africa, Brazil and the Middle East. She is interested in the question of why citizens of states with strict surveillance policies appear to care so little about their digital privacy. 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. 


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 a 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 the link between West Africa and other regions. Especially in the field of Data 4 Development, Jeroen and Akvo are supporting over 20 governments and other partners in their digital journey.


Sander de Jong | Panel member
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. Later on 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. This technology 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 is experienced 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. 


Yolanda will discuss HR challenges resulting from COVID-19. International development organisations often cannot invite final candidates for a face-to-face interview. What are the challenges of such a final interview process and options to deal with such dilemmas? As she believes high-performing candidates are key to the reliable delivery of programmes and quality policy development, she is commited to find them for international organisations. Yolanda will share examples and suggestions from Oxford HR’s recruitment experiences. 


Wrap-up & network | 17.00-17.30

What is a Festival without some network opportunities? Well, during the Festival we will have plenty, ‘bring your coffee or drink’ style. After closing the session we open the virtual plaza for you. Talk with other participants in the chat, or meet new connections and build on your network at tables! Here, you can further discuss the content you've just heard, to share your own experiences or to learn from others'. Just stay logged in, and you will be automatically and randomly assigned to one of the network tables for more exchange and conversation with your peers. Please, note that for participation you are requested to turn on your device's camera and microphone.