Learn about past speakers, authors and delegates of the Forum as well as search and connect with like-minded people from our community.
Showing all contributors
Globe and Mail
Doug Saunders is a Canadian-British author and journalist. He is the author of the award-winning book Arrival City: The Final Migration and Our Next World (2011) which has been published in ten languages, as well as The Myth of the Muslim Tide (2012). He is the international-affairs columnist for The Globe and Mail. He served as the paper’s London-based European bureau chief for a decade, after having run the paper’s Los Angeles bureau, and has written extensively from East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East and North Africa. He writes a weekly column devoted to the larger themes and intellectual concepts behind international news, and has won the National Newspaper Award, Canada’s counterpart to the Pulitzer Prize, on five occasions.
Rainforest Action Network
Lindsey Allen, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network, is a world-class campaigner with more than a decade of experience and an unmatched track record pressuring and inspiring some of the world’s largest corporations to protect rainforests. A veteran environmental and social justice activist, Lindsey has spent her career preventing commodity expansion into globally critical forest areas, and has played a central role in achieving some of the most significant corporate policy commitments to protect forests over the past decade. In her previous role as the Director of RAN’s Forest Program, Lindsey led RAN’s Rainforest Agribusiness and Rainforest-Free Paper campaigns in their fight to stop palm oil and pulp and paper expansion into Southeast Asian rainforests. During Lindsey’s tenure, the Forest Program won groundbreaking protections for forests, the climate, and human rights in Indonesia from fashion to agribusiness to publishing sectors.
People and Water
Michal Kravcík, Dipl Ing. PhD. is a founding memberand Chairman of the NGO People And Water (www.peopleandwater.sk). He is a water management engineer (graduated at the Civil Engineering Faculty of Slovak Technical University, Slovakia). He worked for 8 years at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. He promotes sustainable programs for integrated river basin management in Slovakia, “Water for Third Millenium” and Blue Alternative. He is the author of publications including, “New Water Paradigm – Water for the Recovery of Climate” (2007), www.waterparadigm.org”. He is an ASHOKA Fellow and recipient Goldman Environmental Prize from 1999.
Population and Community Development Association
Mechai Viravaidya is the Founder and Chairman of the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) and Mechai Viravaidya Foundation in Thailand. He is an international leader in the fields of public health, HIV/AIDS prevention, education, social enterprise, and rural development. In 2009, Mechai established the Mechai Pattana School (aka the Bamboo School) to provide innovative education for underprivileged secondary school students in northeastern Thailand.
Founder & Executive Director
Academy for Global Citizenship
Sarah Elizabeth’s life mission is to broaden the world’s assumptions about the purpose of education. Since earning a Masters of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge in England, she has traveled to over 80 different countries across 6 continents, extensively immersing herself in educational philosophies and world languages, as well as creating international alliances that have informed the design and culture of the Academy for Global Citizenship. In addition to studying the application of the International Baccalaureate framework in various cultural contexts across the globe, her earlier initiatives included the development and implementation of globally cooperative literacy programs for orphan children in northern Tanzania. Sarah Elizabeth has further completed studies in Nonprofit Management at Harvard Business School.
Senior Analyst, Finance & Operations
Katie Merrick is responsible for analyzing the foundation's investments. She plays a key role in developing and monitoring its proxy voting and other capital alignment programs. Katie also implemented and manages the foundation's CRM system. Prior to joining the foundation in 2007, Katie was Internal Audit Manager for Marvell Semiconductor in Santa Clara, CA, where she helped establish and develop the Internal Audit Department. Previously, she was Internal Auditor for Ernst & Young in Palo Alto, executing traditional internal audits, participating in annual risk assessments and preparing large companies for Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 compliance. Katie enjoys tutoring preteens from East Palo Alto through the volunteer program offered by Beechwood School. Katie earned a BA in Economics from Brigham Young University. She loves the great outdoors camping, hiking, backpacking, and cycling. She and her husband have a goal of visiting all 59 of the U.S. National Parks.
Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association
Patti Parson provides editorial, managerial and financial supervision for the show’s tape production. As head of the social entrepreneur unit, she has supervised the production of dozens of tape segments from all around the world, and oversees the social enterprise website. Her own productions and those she has supervised have won numerous awards, including those given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, CINE, and the Society of Environmental Journalists. Parson started her television career on the crew at KCTS/Seattle. She rose to being the station’s Director of Promotions and later senior producer for its public affairs programming. Parson earned her bachelor’s degree from Smith College, and her master’s degree from the University of Washington.
Minister of Finance
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was appointed in July 2011 as the new Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Prior to this appointment, she was the Managing Director of World Bank (October 2007 - July 2011) and has also held the position of a Finance Minister and Foreign Minister of Nigeria, between 2003 and 2006. She is notable for being the first woman to hold either of those positions. She served as finance minister from July 2003 until her appointment as foreign minister in June 2006, and as foreign minister until her resignation in August 2006.
Author and Speaker
Founder and CEO
International Bridges to Justice
Karen founded IBJ in 2000 to promote systemic global change in the administration of criminal justice. A former public defender, Karen first developed her interest at the cross-section of criminal law and human rights as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow in 1986, after observing Southeast Asian refugees detained in a local prison without trial, many of whom were tortured into making confessions. In the initial stages, she negotiated groundbreaking measures in judicial reform with the Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian governments. Under her leadership, IBJ has expanded its programming to include operations in Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe and India. In addition to the Defenders Resource Centers in these countries, IBJ sponsors independent Justice Makers in 32 countries. IBJ has also created a Global Defense Support Program to bring legal assistance to public defenders worldwide.
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)
Dr. Sacha Sidjanski worked for more than seven years on malaria. He obtained his Ph.D. at New York University (NYU) and was awarded the Young Investigator Award from the ‘American Society of Tropical and Hygiene’ for his research project on malaria. After a year's post-doctoral work at State University of New York)and at Pasteur Institute in Paris, he joined the World Health Organization at the end of 1999 as a 'scientific officer’. Between May 2006 and April 2010, he collaborated with two foundations involved in research and development of affordable HIV medicines. Since June 2006, Dr Sidjanski is the Project Manager for the School of Life Sciences, EPFL -Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne- (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), home of four institutes -the Brain & Mind Institute, -Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, -Institute of Bioengineering and the -Global Health Institute.