The impact of technology cannot be understated, technology is having a vast impact on the humanitarian sector. From current innovations in AI and machine learning to data analytics and drones, our tech for good programming board enables us to critically evaluate the impact of technology while understanding the key challenges to enabling these in the humanitarian field from leaving no one behind to the digital divide.
Tech for Good Programming Board
Bernhard Kowatsch, Head, UN World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator
Ann Rosenberg, Executive Sustainability Tech Advisor & Co-Founder of SDG Ambition
Sarah Spencer, Independent Consultant, Technology, Aid and Foreign Policy
Michael Tjalve, Director of Innovation, Microsoft Philanthropies
Ross McKinnon, Chairman, Grabba
Elizabeth Njoroge, International ICT Operations Manager, Christian Aid
Nicola Strong, Managing Director, Strong Enterprises & Senior Consultant at the Institute for Ethical AI
Jarmo Sareva, Ambassador for Cyber Affairs Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Alice Piterova, Managing Director, AI for Good
Board Member's Profile
Bernhard Kowatsch (co-chair)
Head, UN World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator
Bernhard Kowatsch is the Head of the Innovation Accelerator at the 2020 Nobel Prize Laureate United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The WFP Innovation Accelerator was named by Fast Company as Best Workplace for Innovators and Innovative Team of the Year 2020 for its work in identifying, nurturing and scaling disruptive startups and innovations to end global hunger. In 2019, innovations supported by the Accelerator positively impacted the lives of 1.4 million people directly and many more indirectly across the globe. Most recently, the Accelerator also runs programmes for external partners such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in primary healthcare, Humanitarian Grand Challenge and others.
Ann Rosenberg (co-chair)
Senior Vice President Sustainability Solutions, Wood & Co-Founder of SDG Ambition
A Denmark native, but a global citizen based in New York, Ann has 25 years of experience in the corporate world working with sustainability and purpose. She was part of founding SDG Ambition with UN Global Compact and has dedicated her life to serving as a trailblazer for the UN SDGs.
She launched SDG Ambition at the WEF in Davos, which challenges ands supports companies in being more strategic, and transformative in how they run their businesses to deliver on the 2030 Agenda and build on the ESG framework. SDG Ambition will challenge companies to set bolder goals aligned with their purpose, governance and strategy - and address barriers to speed and scale - with enterprise-wide integration that hardwires the SDGs into business management, business processes, and information technology landscapes. The first ambition launched was Business Ambition for 1.5 C. This ambition challenges companies to take bold action to redefine business models to limit the global temperature and mitigate climate change, which will require integration of new functionalities and datasets within the existing enterprise software for businesses to become sustainable enterprises. This includes carbon accounting across the value chain, carbon ledger approach, calculation of high-level carbon footprint, and more.
She also recently launched SAP Purpose Network Live to connect a community of changemakers committed to addressing the complexity caused by COVID-19.
Chairman, Grabba Technologies
Ross McKinnon GAICD is a professional independent non-executive director who has led high performance teams within large international corporations, with extensive corporate experience.
Graduating from the University of Queensland with dual degrees, Bachelors of Mining Engineering (hons) and Bachelor of Science, he has worked in mining, finance, aerospace, manufacturing and retail.
Ross is currently on the boards of:
Fusion Sport (NED) – Human performance and wellbeing
Grabba Technologies (MD) – Cyber, Identity
Crystalaid Manufacturing (MD) – Electronics manufacturing
Building Futures Montessori (Chair) - Childcare
He avidly utilises creative thinking and innovation to scale up an organisation regardless of the field. To this end he has set himself the new challenge of investing in growth businesses that specialise in emerging technology.
First Ambassador for Innovation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Currently based in Helsinki, Mr. Sareva brings to the position a wealth of experience from both multilateral and bilateral diplomacy. From 2006 to 2018, he served in various positions at the UN, including as Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. His previous diplomatic experience includes serving as Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN in New York, two tours of duty in Moscow, including as Deputy Chief of Mission, as well as Washington, D.C., and Vienna.
In his current position, Mr. Sareva focuses on human-centric digital cooperation at the global level. In particular, he leads Finland’s work to advance gender equality through technology and innovation and multistakeholder cooperation in artificial intelligence, digital inclusion and digital public goods. He has also been working to expand the U.N. presence in the Helsinki region.
Mr. Sareva holds an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington.
International ICT Operations Manager, Christian Aid
Elizabeth has been active in the IT industry for over 10 years, with a rich background and experience in ICT Service Delivery, Infrastructure and ICT operations at a Global level. Her newfound passion is Artificial Intelligence. She believes that technology has the potential to increase literacy, improve livelihoods, and transform the world.
Elizabeth puts her experience as ICT Business Partner-International in Christian Aid Uk, a partnership of people, churches, and local organizations committed to ending poverty worldwide. She is the link between ICT and the Business and drives engagements with Business managers in Africa, Asia Middle East, and Latin America, and the Caribbean. She is responsible for driving digital innovations, delivery of ICT strategic initiatives, vendor relationships and implementation of policies and procedures.
Prior to assuming this role, she was the International ICT Operations Manager in Christian Aid UK, where she did oversee ICT operations for all International offices and manage a regionally dispersed team of Regional ICT Managers. She has worked in Customer support, System Administration and Global Enterprise Infrastructure in various INGO organizations development and private sector among them International Rescue Committee and World Vision.
She is the sitting chair of the NetHope Africa Chapter ,a consortium of 60 INGO’s and NGO and the first female to chair the Africa Chapter. Elizabeth has been instrumental in instituting “Africa’s Talking” ,an all hands monthly meeting every month where NetHope members in Africa engage and share learnings that are closer home and spearheaded the development of “Mama Africa chatbot”; a multi-organizational project that aims at sharing knowledge and best practices.She chaired the NetHope Africa steering committee 2020 that delivered a very successful virtual conference in July 2020 with over 200 registered participants.She did sit at the steering committee for NetHope Global Virtual Summit in October 2020 and a speaker on various topics.
Her passion in inspiring more women and girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics has seen her volunteer at Inspire HER STEM.
While she is not doing any of the “Tech work” she is out for a hike, a walk in the forest or mountaineering. Elizabeth has conquered Mt Kenya and hopes to summit Mt Kilimanjaro by 2021.
Managing Director, Strong Enterprises & Senior Consultant at the Institute for Ethical AI
Nicola’s background is in change management, digital working, ethical artificial intelligence (AI) and future thinking.
As Director of Strong Enterprises Limited, Nicola has been focusing on the relationship between technology and humans in today’s workspaces for over 15 years. This includes researching the development of conversational AI, the ethics of autonomous coaching systems and how humans can adapt to their digital and virtual environments. She is Visiting Research Academic and senior consultant at the Institute for Ethical AI, Oxford Brookes University supporting projects that develop ethical AI in human resources processes. As a facilitator, she has been running conferences and forums connecting practical AI research with the commercial world. This has included the “I am Echoborg” theatre show where a philosophical conversational AI debates with members of the audience on the future relationship between humans and intelligent machines.
Previously, Nicola worked as a management consultant installing large information systems in FTSE100 global companies, as a researcher on the Tomorrow’s Company Inquiry team at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and was a Co-Director of the Pierian Centre (Community Interest Company, Bristol).
She is a member of the British Computer Society, the Association for Business Psychology, and the IFIP 9.5 Working Group on Virtuality and Society.
Independent Consultant, Technology, Aid and Foreign Policy
An expert in humanitarian aid, development assistance and foreign policy, Sarah Spencer has worked for twenty years in support of communities affected by instability, conflict, and disasters. She is passionate about unlocking the power of technology to deliver meaningful results, at scale, in partnership with vulnerable populations. She currently works as an independent consultant and is on sabbatical from the British Government where she has served in a range of departments, including the Department of International Development (DFID), the Foreign Office, and the Cabinet Office.
Sarah has a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University. She currently lives in Amman.
Director of Innovation, Microsoft Philanthropies
Michael Tjalve has worked over 20 years in the field of artificial intelligence and international partnerships. On the Tech for Social Impact team in Microsoft Philanthropies, Michael works with nonprofits and humanitarian organizations around the world on building technology solutions that help them amplify their impact and address some of today's biggest societal challenges. With emphasis on innovation and on assisting organizations with their digital transformation, his work focuses on ensuring equitable access to the benefits and opportunities of modern technology.
Michael is Assistant Professor at University of Washington where he teaches AI in the humanitarian sector and ethical innovation. He holds an MA from Copenhagen and Paris and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from UCL, University of London.
A Fellow at the Royal Society of the Arts, Michael works on raising awareness of AI and its role in society. Throughout his career, he has focused on what technology can do but also on what it should do and has worked with organizations to explore both the opportunities and the risks of applying AI-powered solutions to scenarios impacting at-risk populations, including identifying blind spots and training stakeholders on the use and risk of misuse of AI.
As board member and advisor to the Spreeha Foundation, Michael works on technology solutions to improve access to healthcare, education, and economic opportunities for underserved and vulnerable communities, with particular focus on empowering women and girls. Passionate about international collaboration, he is actively engaged in initiatives to develop and promote AI for social good to help with skilling and economic opportunities for those forcibly displaced by humanitarian crises.
Managing Director, AI for Good
At AI for Good, Alice brings extensive policy, charity and technology experience to solve some of the global challenges by applying AI and human-centered design.
Prior to joining AI for Good, Alice was Head of Privacy at a synthetic data company called Hazy, where she reviewed data products for privacy compliance and AI ethics requirements. But her career in AI started even earlier when she set up and coordinated the cross-party parliamentary group on AI (APPG AI), helping the UK Government to address ethical implications and design new standards for applying machine learning in commercial, political and social areas.
Alice has over 10 years of experience in policy, communications and product management, and a particular focus on such fields as tech for good, data privacy and machine learning ethics. Having worked in national and international public and private sector organisations, social enterprises and NGOs, Alice has a proven track record in delivering growth and showcasing impact, as well as engaging with a wide range of stakeholders.
Throughout her career, Alice was constantly involved with nonprofits and social impact work. As such, she assisted the resettlement of ex-Guantanamo detainees into third-party countries and supported the development of the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)’s impact journey. She is currently the UK ambassador for Techfugees, the social entreprise coordinating the international tech community response to the needs of refugees.
Tech For Good Programming Board Sponsor
Grabba is a global leader in secured identity for people, organisations, and nations.
Bringing together complex electronics, the latest biometric identity authentication and biographic data capture capabilities. Delivering a fully-integrated ecosystem of reliable hardware and software products for individuals, organisations and governments.
Designing and building powerful Identity solutions. With hardware deployed to over 65,000 enterprise users and software certified in UAE and US, Grabba is the future of Secured Identity. One of the few identity vendors trusted and certified by the Emirati government.