Change-makers gather for Global Innovation Symposium

A woman speaking.
2018 World Fellow Fauziya Ali spoke about civic engagement and leadership as part of the 2018 Global Innovation Series. This year, a one-day symposium will be held featuring all the World Fellows discussing how they’re driving change across industries and regions.

The Yale World Fellows — 16 individuals from around the globe with a demonstrated ability to effect positive change — will share their insights and experiences on Sept. 26 at the Global Innovation Symposium, an all-day event at Horchow Hall focused on driving change across industries and regions.

Offered in partnership between the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (Tsai CITY) and the Maurice R. Greenberg World Fellows Program, the symposium will feature panel discussions on a wide range of topics, such as developing better food systems, building inclusive cities, and advocating for innovative public-policy solutions. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees must register in advance.

The Global Innovation Symposium is an extraordinary opportunity for Yale students and interested members of the public to learn from and be inspired by the innovation and entrepreneurship journeys of global leaders making an impact in their fields,” said Clare Leinweber, executive director of Tsai CITY, a campus center for cultivating student innovators, leaders, creators, and entrepreneurs across fields and disciplines.

Part of the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, The World Fellows program is Yale’s signature global leadership development initiative and a core element of Yale’s ongoing commitment to internationalization. Each year, the university invites a group of exemplary practitioners from a wide range of fields and countries for an intensive four-month period of academic enrichment and leadership training.

The 16 fellows bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to intractable social and policy challenges.

The opening panel, focused on sports and leadership, will include Simidele Adeagbo, who competed in the women’s skeleton at the 2018 Winter Olympics. She was the first Nigerian to compete at the Winter Olympics and was the first black female skeleton racer — a sliding sport in which competitors ride face down on small sleds.

A panel on food systems — the processes and infrastructure involved in feeding a population — will include Rebecca Sullivan, a sustainable-living advocate who resides in a straw-bale home on a 90-acre, eco-farm in South Australia, and Alex Muñoz, National Geographic’s pristine seas director for Latin America. They will be joined by Neha Upadhyaya, a social entrepreneur based in New Delhi, India, and founder of GUNA Organics, which provides ethically-sourced organic food products grown by rural female Indian farmers.

Syrian-Turkish journalist Onur Burçak Belli will participate in a panel on the role of storytelling in movement building. A panel on public policy innovation will feature policymakers from Ukraine, Philippines, Argentina, and Liberia. It will also include Feng Gao, the co-founder and managing director of Open Data China, the first civic group and social enterprise working on data transparency and digital rights in China.

The day’s final panel will focus on building inclusive communities and cities. Panelists include Wanjiru Mukoma, who has devoted much of her career to combating HIV and gender-based violence in sub-Saharan Africa, and Cristina Vélez Valencia, who as secretary for social integration in the mayoralty of Bogotá, Colombia, oversees programs for early childhood, aging populations, homelessness, youth, people with disabilities, and LGBT communities.

Horchow Hall is located at 55 Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven. For a full schedule and to register, visit the World Fellows Program’s website.

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Mike Cummings: michael.cummings@yale.edu, 203-432-9548