Strand London WC2R 2LS United Kingdom


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Full Panel Descriptions

These are the full panel descriptions for the 2019 conference. Please note: the lists of speakers are still being added to - return here or follow our social media platforms to see who will be speaking on the final panels. 
Panel One: The Future of Private Investment in Fragile States


By 2030, 80% of the world’s extreme poor will be living in ‘fragile’ states. Private investment will likely play an increasingly important role in the contexts and, if wielded correctly, could prove instrumental in helping deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our first panel, The Future of Private Investment in Fragile States, will discuss the potential for increasing private investment and financial innovation, as well as how private investment can best be leveraged to help confront the security and development challenges in the context of fragile states. It will investigate whether such investment can foster sustainable and inclusive development, how individuals living in fragile states can be financially empowered, whether private capital can be strategically deployed to help foster stability and peace, and the role of financial innovations such as ‘impact investments’ in delivering such outcomes.

Speakers include Tue Sando (Gemcorp Capital) - Chair, Dr. Mina Toksoz (Chatham House), Amalia Johnsson (Hand in Hand International), Joe Shamash (Evaluations Manager, Private Infrastructure Development Group), and Antonio Celia (LSE). 


Panel Two: The Future of Overseas Aid


International development and humanitarian aid will continue to play an increasingly important role in international security, development and foreign policy over the coming decades. However, faced with the emergence of new challenges, actors and methods, the overseas aid environment will significantly change over the coming years. Our second panel will discuss the principal challenges facing overseas aid, the suitability and impact of the UK’s current strategy, as well as ways of maximising aid effectiveness going forward. It will ask what its overarching geographic and thematic priorities should be over the coming years and will consider the implications of the increasing securitisation of aid, the growing role of ‘stabilisation’ and, lastly, prospects for reconciling national interest based approaches to ODA with moral imperatives.

Speakers include Professor Mats Berdal - Chair (KCL), John Deverell OBE (Deverell Associates), Joelle Jenny (FCO), and Sinead Magill (Palladium).


Panel Three: Building Local Resilience: Environment, Population, Food and Water


Developing countries are beginning to face the severe effects of climate change and population growth, including extreme food insecurity and water scarcity. As things currently stand, the most vulnerable will be the hardest hit and the least equipped to endure. Our third panel will explore this frontline of global development with a focus on building local resilience and empowering local communities in relation to these stark challenges. It will ask what role developed nations, multilateral institutions and other organisations should play in these resilience-building processes, and it will explore innovative approaches to health, food, water and resource governance and population management that will become increasingly necessary in the coming years in order for countries and communities on the global frontline to not only survive but, hopefully, thrive.

Speakers include Mike Penrose (Director, UNICEF UK), Dr. Margherita Calderone (ODI), Ben Le Roith (Department for International Development), and Dr. Tahrat Shahid, GCRF).


Panel Four: Belt and Road: China’s Rise and the Transformation of Global Development


Announced by Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative, along with other massive investments across Eurasia, Africa and Latin America, is accelerating not only an upsurge in China’s global influence but also a shift in geopolitical power away from the Atlantic to the heart of Asia. Our final panel will take a ‘big-picture’ perspective to discuss the transformative impact being exerted by these manoeuvres on the global development landscape. To what extent does this mark a systemic transformation and to what extent is Western engagement in regions such as Latin America and Africa being impacted? In what ways can incumbent powers and development actors respond so that their influence is best preserved during this transition? What benefits and pitfalls are there for countries subject to these investments and can they insulate themselves from the accompanying risks?

Speakers include  Dr Nicola Leveringhaus- Chair (KCL), Professor Stephen Chan (SOAS), Dr. Alex Vines OBE (Chatham House), and Dr Yu Jie (Chatham House), Dr. Kerry Brown (KCL).

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