9th ANNUAL GIVING WOMEN CONFERENCE TAKING PLACE ON
29 OCTOBER 2020
“As COVID-19 takes its toll on lives and livelihoods around the world, the pandemic risks becoming a global food emergency. This is unfolding on top of what was already a daily crisis for the more than 820 million people in the world who are chronically hungry and the 1 in 3 people globally who suffer from poor nutrition.”
Our 9th Annual Conference will look at the issue of food security and the key role women play in providing food for their families, their communities and the world.
The purpose of the conference is to look at the role of women as farmers, mothers, caregivers of children, the elderly and the sick, providers of food for their families, and expose why malnutrition is so widespread and what are direct consequences of it. We will look to expose the issues, highlight solutions and invite key stakeholders to share their vision of what it would take to bring food rights to all, especially women.
While we would all agree the world has changed dramatically over the past 8 months, our conference theme has never been more relevant. Covid 19 and the measures taken by governments to reduce its spread have highlighted the fragility of food systems for the most vulnerable communities around the world. The problems that the conference set out to expose are more evident and more critical today as a result of this global pandemic.
Over the last 10 years, Giving Women has organised a yearly conference, which examines a theme that affects vulnerable girls and women globally helping to expose solutions, build collaboration, and engage a wide public to achieve lasting change for women and girls globally. The Giving Women Annual conference has become an important platform for convening UN organisations, Civil Society, NGOs, business, academia, and private individuals to INFORM, REFLECT AND ACT on what we need to do together to bring dignity and agency to the lives of girls and women globally.
All people should be free from hunger and malnutrition, yet there are millions of women throughout the world who struggle to provide basic nutrition for the healthy development of themselves and their families.
Join us to build our knowledge and understanding of this complex issue, deepen the collaboration between organisations and individuals committed to making a difference, and identify tangible actions that can support this important movement to achieve food rights for all.
COVID-19 Contingency plans
We hope to welcome you all in person on 29 October, but we want you to know that we are keeping a very careful eye on the pandemic situation. We will keep you informed at all times about any changes and will give appropriate notice should the event have to be aired online. In the interest of transparency, ticket prices will change if we take the conference online.
The programme is being revised and will be published soon
Senior Nutritionist at ICRC
Valérie Belchior-Bellino has been working on Nutrition and Food in crisis situations and low-income countries for 25 years. She spent most of her experience with Action Against Hunger and Medecins Sans Frontieres before to join the ICRC, as Nutritionist 6 years ago.
Since she dedicates her time to work for assessing nutrition and food situation, developing programmes, engaging the dialogue with authorities and defining capacity building sessions for ICRC and partners organizations.
Editor at Chatham House and Trustee at Climate Outreach
Gitika Bhardwaj works at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House where she edits content across several platforms and oversees the editorial management of a number of research projects.
She also interviews experts and has interviewed former Australia prime minister, Julia Gillard, and former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, as part of a series she has been editing focusing on women in international affairs.
Gitika is also on the Board of Trustees of Climate Outreach, a think-tank specializing in climate change communications, and mentors young people from diverse backgrounds with an interest in international affairs.
Founder, Equal Profit and Burrus Development
Inès Burrus is the founder of Equal Profit and Burrus Development, two social enterprises aiming to improve farmers’ financial wellbeing.
She started her career in the Sustainable Agriculture department of Nestlé where she rolled out pilot projects in various coffee and cocoa origins. This was followed by an experience in Public Affairs managing global partnership at the corporate level. Sponsored by Nestlé, Nespresso and ECOM Agroindustrial, she then pursued a PhD programme at HEC Lausanne, Switzerland in the department of Strategy, Globalization and Society. Her research focuses on how to make farming attractive to youth.
Founder, Purpose Driven Capital
Plantons Utile, Senegal
Nadia Correa. A 27 year old Swiss woman with a bachelor of Biology and a master in environmental sciences, specialized in climate change, governance and impact. She is currently working at the Geneva Industrial Services as a project assistant in energy efficiency. The focus of her work is to reduce the energy consumption of local actors. During her free time, she is active in Plantons Utile an NGO located in Senegal. It aims to plant valuable trees, using mostly sustainable energy as well as sustainable methods that support short circuits, local production and consumption, circular economy, respectful of the environment.
H.E. Doreen de Brum
Ambassador to Switzerland and Permanent Representative to the UN Offices for the Marshall Islands
H.E. Doreen deBrum, the Ambassador to Switzerland and Permanent Representative to the UN Office and other International Organisations in Geneva arrived in her new posting in march 2019.
Prior to that, Ambassador deBrum held several responsibilities as a civil servant. She was Assistant Secretary to the Bureau of Multilateral Affairs and Trade of the Marshall Islands and Planning Advisor on Fisheries Policy at the Marshall Island Marine Resources Authority. During that time Ambassador deBrum developed her passion to conserve and preserve the environment, the ocean and its marine resources. She dedicated most of her time toward the conservation and sustainable resource management and biodiversity in the Marshall Islands as it faced increased pressure from fisheries, climate change, sea level rise, urbanization and loss of traditional subsistence lifestyle which had been central to the identity and well-being of the Marshallese people.
From 2010 to 2013 Ambassador deBrum was seconded to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Commerce as a consultant to the FAO, to co-ordinate the food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods Programme in the Marshall Islands.
In addition to her professional career ambassador deBrum has been involved in improving pediatric health in Marshall Islands.
Research Head International Policy, Wageningen University
With the desire to make the world a better place, Sabine Desczka, works on international development policies, diversity and inclusion policies. Leading the Wageningen Economic Research Unit for International Policy for more than 3 years now, she strives to improve the value chain, food security and livelihoods. She is fully committed to bringing about systemic change through the Wageningen food systems approach.
Elisa Dot Bach
Founder, Vera Beans
Director, Barefoot College
Meagan Fallone is an entrepreneur, a designer and a passionate mountaineer. Bringing these diverse talents together as the CEO of Barefoot College International, she exemplifies exceptional vision and commitment to social leadership while advocating for strong professional practices within a Social Innovation context.
Her commitment to empowering illiterate and semi literate rural women across the developing world through mastery of technology, unlocking rural girls creativity and confidence while leveraging the human potential embodied in poor rural communities; is an inspiring journey of risk taking and respect for the knowledge and skills innately existent within poor communities.
Head of Hunger Reduction and Livelihoods, Save the Children
Jo Grace leads the Hunger Reduction and Livelihoods Team at Save the Children, UK. Jo’s team is made up Food, Security, Livelihoods, Nutrition, and Social protection specialists that support the design and implementation of programmes and policy to prevent and treat child malnutrition and break the intergenerational transfer of poverty. Her and her team focus on are prevention of acute and chronic malnutrition, treatment of acute malnutrition, nutrition sensitive, shock responsive and child sensitive social protection, early warning/early action to food and nutrition crises, and 5. resilient livelihoods.
Jo has almost 20 years of international development experience. Prior to joining Save the Children in 2011 she spent more than 10 years in field-based programme design, management, and research roles, always with a strong food and nutrition security, livelihoods and gender. Her roles included Director of Programmes for the Aga Khan Foundation in Mozambique, leading multi-sectoral programming to reduce rates of stunting, and Team Leader for Rural Livelihoods research at the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) in Kabul focussing on ensuring rural development policy was based on the changing and gendered realities of rural livelihoods across the country.
Executive Director, GAIN
Dr. Lawrence Haddad became GAIN’s Executive Director in October 2016. Prior to joining GAIN, he was the founding co-chair and lead author of the Global Nutrition Report (GNR).
From 2004-2014 Lawrence was the Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), the world’s leading development studies institute, and prior to that, he was a research Director at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He was the UK’s representative on the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) of the UN’s Committee on Food Security (CSF) from 2009-2010. He is an economist and completed his PhD in Food Research at Stanford University in 1988.
In 2018, Lawrence was awarded the World Food Prize for his: “relentless leadership and advocacy in mobilizing political will to make nutrition the focal point of development strategies.”
Founder, One Action
Jan Isler was born in Geneva to a Franco-Italian mother and a Swiss and Dutch father, Jan develops a taste of travel early on that will make him travel the world during his law studies in Geneva and his master’s degree in international law in Barcelona. After a quick passage in a law firm, he published a book inspired by a journey in India, the Himalayas and China. This experience reinforces his idea of going off the beaten path and leads him to found OneAction. Since then, he has worked to develop the various projects of the association and to involve more and more people in the adventure.
Rurality Coordinator at Earthworm Foundation
In the role of Rurality Coordinator, Dorit Kemter oversees and coordinates together with a global team the work of Earthworm Foundation (EF) on smallholder engagement in global supply chains, working closely with EF members and other partners at international and national level. From 2009 to 2018, Dorit Kemter worked with the International Labour Organization on various topics including green economy, SME development, and strategies to tackle child labour. Prior to this, she worked in the area or rural development and community participation in El Salvador. Her academic background is in environmental management and social sciences.
Plantons Utile, Senegal
After a Diploma DUT in marketing techniques, Lemetais has been working in the hotel business for 5 years. His area of interest gradually shifted toward sustainable development and Lemetais has gravitated to working at his fathers’ n innovative and sustainable NGO in south of Senegal. Inspired by his father’s passion exciting challenge. He is currently developing an ecological farm to improve local communities’ quality of life while supporting methods that are respectful of the environment and develop biodiversity as well as providing livelihoods. Innovation, knowledge transfer, collaboration, and entrepreneurship, are the pillars of our association.
Founder, Giving Women
Atalanti Hadjipateras Moquette received a BA Hons. in Philosophy and Ancient Greek at King’s College London. She continued her postgraduate studies in Art History at the University of Toronto. Atalanit’s passions include education, art, philanthropy and women’s rights.
She started her career on the specialist side of Sotheby’s and has worked on education policy in Toronto and Geneva.
Her involvement in the field of philanthropy follows a family tradition began at the grassroots level, running a life skills programme in a shelter for battered women.
In 2009 Atalanti founded Giving Women, a network of diverse but like-minded women who pool their professional skills and experience to provide advice to strengthen projects directed at vulnerable girls and women globally.
Her interest in social impact investing started when she and her daughter, Elianna, established Step Up, to advise start-up social business and banks on questions of social impact and responsible investing. As a philanthropist Atalanti has held positions on various boards:
- Vice –President of the board of the International School of Geneva
- Vice – President of the board of the International Baccalaureate Organisation
- Founding member of the Executive Committee of Human Rights Watch, Geneva,
- Member of executive Committee of the Fondation Philanthropique Orthodoxe
Trina Moyles - TBC
Journalist and author, Women who dig
Trina Moyles is an award winning freelance writer, journalist, and author with a passion for telling stories about social justice and environmental issues. Her first book, Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism, and the Fight to Feed the World (University of Regina Press) was released in early March 2018. The book has received critical praise from authors, scholars, and publications, including Raj Patel (author of Stuffed and Starved) who calls the book “haunting, powerful, and important”. Women Who Dig has been nominated for several awards, including Best New Book of the 2019 High Plains Literary Awards and Best Book of the 2019 Saskatchewan Book Awards.
Over the past ten years, Moyles has worked intimately with rural organizations and communities in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, Canada, and East Africa on human rights and grassroots development projects. With an academic background in Cultural Anthropology and International Development, she focuses much of her research and writing on human rights education, food security, sustainable agriculture, and gender equality.
Her second book, a memoir, Lookout: Love, Solitude, and Searching for Wildfire in the Boreal Forest is forthcoming with Penguin Random House in May 2021.
Project Manager, IPES
Céline Perodeaud works as a Project Manager for the Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food). She guides the panel’s West Africa process, which seeks to foster multi-stakeholder dialogues and support collective action to develop agroecology in the region. Céline is also a member of the board of directors (Secretary) of the non-profit organization Agroécologie et Solidarité, for which she has been supervising coordination and fundraising activities to scale up agroecology in Senegal and Mali over the past 5 years.
Founder, Shidhulai - Bangladeshi Boat
Architect Mohammed Rezwan is the Founding Executive Director of the non-profit organization Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha and invented the ‘school-boat’ to ensure access to year-round and quality education in the flood-prone areas of Bangladesh. He developed, expanded, and sustained floating schools over 18 years. Now floating schools are in operation in eight countries.
Drawing on architectural expertise, he designed spaces on boats that successfully accommodated the need of a school, library, training, healthcare to playground. His “school-boat” idea was recognized by the United Nations Funds and Programs (UNICEF, UNEP and UNDP) as an innovation. He also invented the integrated floating farming (vegetable garden along with duck and fish raising on floating structure).
Rezwan’s floating school design was exhibited at the “Design with the other 90%” exhibitions, organized by Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and Bill & Melinda Gates: Mohammed Rezwan’s floating schools design has been the recipient of many prizes globally.
Carolyn Rodriguez Birkett
Director, Liaison Office Geneva, at UN FAO
Carolyn Rodrigues Birkett, a national of Guyana, started her career in 1989 as a school teacher. From 1995 to April 2001 she was employed by the Government of Guyana Social Impact Amelioration Programme (SIMAP) as Coordinator of its Indigenous Peoples Projects. Ms. Rodrigues Birkett served as a Cabinet Minister for 14 years. From April 2001 to April 2008, she served as Minister of Amerindian (Indigenous Peoples) Affairs; from April 2008 to May 2015 she served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and International Cooperation.
Ms. Rodrigues Birkett also served as Member of Parliament from 2001-2015, having been elected on three occasions.
In September 2015, Ms. Birkett joined the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as Special Coordinator for Parliamentary Alliances. She was appointed Director of the FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations at Geneva in August 2017, where she currently serves.
Senior Nutrition Expert
Tricia Siwajek, is a nutrition expert with over 30 years’ experience in making it easier for people to eat healthier through successful roles in product development, marketing and communication.
After spending nearly a decade in leading global nutritional issues, Tricia is passionate about raising the awareness of necessary steps to reach proper nutrition and its positive impact on raising healthy families and generations. Recently, Tricia held leadership roles in micronutrient fortification and plant protein programmes as ways to meet the future needs of feeding the world’s population.
Chairwoman, Giving Women
Ruth Szabo has been working with international not-for-profit organisations, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization, for 16 years. She is a lawyer currently working as an independent consultant advising on governance and human resources issues. She has been involved in a number of charitable initiatives, including with a Children’s Foundation in the Philippines.
Ruth joined Giving Women in 2011 and is coordinator of the Veerni Project Circle. She has also participated in other project circles and Giving Women events. Ruth holds a Bachelors degree in Law from the University of Southampton and a Masters in International Law from University College London (United Kingdom). Ruth was born in Iraq and grew up in London. She has also lived in Paris, New York and in Switzerland since 2005.
Founder, Tomatoes Cameroon
Rose Tam is the founder of Reso Collect, an NGO engaged in the fight against extreme poverty and the social reintegration of women and girls from disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Douala, Cameroon.
She started her professional career as a sales agent in a company that manufactured paramedical equipment where she developed the client portfolio. She gained experience in sales techniques, negotiation and prospecting and finding new clients.
This experience enabled her to establish contacts and work at CERN in documentation. Subsequently, she spent about ten years in the cantonal administration as Information Manager, and then as Training Manager at Johnson & Johnson.
New Tech Manager, Antenna Foundation
Vice-Chairwoman, Giving Women
Barbara Wetsig-Lynam has been an active Giving Women members since 2017 quickly becoming active in evaluating projects, educational workshops and the annual conference planning committee. In 2018 she joined the Executive Committee.
Barbara’s background is firmly rooted in philanthropy. Her twenty-year career was inspired by a two-year posting to a rural village in Ethiopia with the U.S. Peace Corps. From there she became a global humanitarian providing disaster relief and recovery primarily in Asia/Pacific and the Middle East. Working with diverse stakeholders in both the public and private sector, she became adept at designing projects addressing complex root causes and measuring for impact. Most recently she was designing engagement strategies for multinational companies as well as the largest global foundations at the World Economic Forum. She holds a degree in public policy from Duke University as well as an executive MBA from the University of Geneva.
In addition to her own philanthropic activities such as serving as a board member to local associations, Barbara now has her own practice accompanying private individuals and their families on their philanthropy journeys.