UNICEF and Harvard Convene Innovators and Thought Leaders for an Activate Talk

How do we bring Internet connectivity to the unconnected? How can innovation help? Why do millions remain unconnected despite unprecedented advances in technology? Is access to information a human right? How do we ensure sustainability? Funding?

These were just some of the questions discussed during the Boston Activate Talk  that took place on April 30th.  UNICEF, in Collaboration with Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, convened an Activate Talk to highlight the latest innovations related to providing connectivity and access to information to the world’s most marginalised communities.

Dr. Sharad Sapra on innovation for children.

Dr. Sharad Sapra on innovation for children.

The event kicked off with a key note address from Dr. Sharad Sapra, UNICEF’s Principal Adviser on Innovation and Director of UNICEF’s Global Innovation Centre. The keynote focused on innovation for children and innovation for equity.

Following Dr. Sapra, the speakers presented their work in short TED-style presentations. The featured speakers were:

– Bruce Baikie, Executive Director, Inveneo & Founder of Green WiFi
– Paulo Rogério Nunes, Executive Director, Instituto Mídia Étnica
– Regina Agyare, Soronko Solutions, finalist for African Digital Woman of the Year
– Susan Carroll Schorr, Head of Special Initiatives Division, International Telecommunications Union

Wivina Belmonte, UNICEF Representative in Malaysia, moderated the event and the Q&A that followed. The speakers and Dr. Sapra took questions from the room as well as the online audience through Twitter.  Check out some of the social media reactions and discussions on Storify and please join the conversation here.

The Boston Activate Talk is the third in a series of Activate Talks that UNICEF is convening as part of the Year of Innovation for Children, Innovation for Equity. The Activate Talks will inform UNICEF’s flagship report The State of the World’s Children report and are a driving component for the 25th anniversary of the Convention for the Rights of the Child.