Event Recap: Drones for Good – Humanitarian Actions from the Sky
Watch a recording of the event at the University of Geneva featuring Patrick Meier, PhD, Executive Director, WeRobotics, Christian Simm, PhD, CEO of swissnex Boston, Giovanna Di Marzo Serugendo, PhD, Director, Centre Universitaire d’Informatique and Ivana Nady, Associate Settlements Officer, UNHCR.
While drones have been strongly debated for their security and military applications, a growing community of innovators has taken advantage of this technology to improve the lives of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. From delivering blood to remote communities, automatically collecting and analyzing data on migration flows, supporting disaster relief efforts and providing new insights on climate change, the use of drones to deliver goods or provide high-quality aerial intelligence is opening new opportunities to support the advancement of a wide range of key objectives identified by the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
What are the latest practical technological developments in the use of drones to support international aid efforts? How can policymakers, researchers, private actors and NGOs work together to maximize the benefits of these technologies while minimizing the potential risks?
Patrick Meier, PhD, Executive Director of not-for-profit organization WeRobotics, will illustrate some of the latest developments in this field through practical examples. Christian Simm, PhD, CEO of swissnex Boston, will then moderate a panel discussion with representatives from UN agencies, NGOs, and academia.
This event is free and open to the public, no registration required.
Speakers & Panelists
Patrick Meier, PhD
Executive Director, WeRobotics
Patrick brings 15 years of experience in Humanitarian Technology to WeRobotics. He has consulted for the UN, Red Cross, World Bank, OSCE, OCED, Facebook, Planet Labs and more. Patrick founded the Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators) and co-founded the Digital Humanitarian Network. He has a PhD from the Fletcher School, Pre-Doc from Stanford and MA from Columbia University.
Giovanna Di Marzo Serugendo, PhD
Director, Centre Universitaire d’Informatique
Prof. Giovanna Di Marzo Serugendo is the Director of the Centre Universitaire d’Informatique since 2016, an interfaculty research and teaching center of the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Giovanna received her Ph.D. in Software Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in 1999. After two years at Cern and 5 years in London as Lecturer, she joined the University of Geneva as Professor in 2010. Her research interests relate to the engineering of decentralized software with self-organizing and emergent behavior.
Associate Settlements Officer, UNHCR
Architect, Urban Planner, and former ICRC delegate, Ivana Nady works within UNHCR’s Shelter & Settlements Team providing UNHCR’s global field operations with technical support. In addition to supporting field operations in designing in and out-of-camp settlements, Ivana is the focal point for software development and drone mapping; facilitating the rapid analysis of settlement terrain in support of effective responses from the onset of a crisis. This technical expertise is complemented by 10 years of experience in delivering humanitarian responses within the context of conflict and natural disasters in Bangladesh, Ukraine and the Philippines.
Christian Simm, PhD
CEO swissnex Boston
Christian is the CEO of swissnex Boston where he leads a team of innovators in connecting Switzerland to major technology and research hubs across the east coast of North America. Previously, he was the CEO and Founder of swissnex San Francisco. A recovering physicist and self-described complexity manager, he scouts the future for the next disruptive technologies and innovation.