Jeff Chapin is a mechanical engineer and product designer for IDEO. He specializes in designing sanitation solutions for the developing world and has conducted projects in both Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Jeff will challenge traditional perceptions of ‘design’ by emphasizing the importance of sustainable, market-based systems for developing societies.
Sven Giegold is a Member of the European Parliament and one of the founding members of Attac Germany. Sven has dedicated much of his career towards green industry issues. He will talk about the power of collective action and how the actions of individuals, communities, and progressive business can lead to critical changes at a national and international level.
Melinda Gates serves as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She helps set the overall direction of the foundation, shaping strategies, reviewing results, and advocating for the foundation’s issues. Melinda will discuss family planning and how the power to plan changes the lives of women and their families and improves whole societies.
Theo Sowa is an independent advisor and consultant, specialising in international social development with a particular emphasis on children’s rights and protection issues, especially in conflict situations. She is currently the Interim CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund, a pan African women’s grant making organisation. Born in Ghana, she has lived and worked in many countries in Africa, as well as the UK, Europe, and the USA. Her work includes advisory roles to African and other international women and children’s rights activists and leaders, plus policy development and advocacy with a variety of international agencies and organisations.
Baaba Maal is a Senegalese singer and guitarist born in Podor, on the Senegal River. Baaba sings primarily in Pulaar and is the foremost promoter of the traditions of the Pulaar-speaking peoples. He has released several albums. In July 2003, Baaba was made a UNDP Youth Emissary. In March 2012 he visited Mauritania with Oxfam to call attention to the humanitarian need resulting from the food crisis in the Sahel. Also an Ambassador for Nelson Mandela’s 46664 campaign, he has become an increasingly vocal champion for the rights of women and girls.