IEEE HAC News

IEEE HAC Side Event at the United Nations COSP15

On 17 June 2022, IEEE HAC hosted a side event at the United Nations Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP15). The session was “Leveraging a Global Network of Technologists to Advance Assistive Technologies/Innovations in Serving Local Communities.”

Session Description

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world’s largest professional body with over 400K members in 160 countries. The IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (IEEE HAC) of IEEE offers a portfolio of global programs to inspire, connect and engage technologists to apply their technical and leadership for social good.

This workshop provided an overview of IEEE’s global network of engineers and technically trained professionals and IEEE programs that specifically address SDGs in local contexts of disability and beyond. In 2020 and 2021, the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee enabled over 192 grassroots sustainable development projects that utilized technology to address the COVID-19 situation in 29 countries. The workshop covers learnings and best practices on how to engage technologists in developing assistive technologies that are relevant in addressing the challenges faced by local communities of persons with disabilities.

Attendees and viewers of the recorded session will be able to identify contacts and build their networks to potentially help scale their existing programs, pilot new activities, and develop new approaches by partnering with IEEE.

Ultimately, the session illustrates how stakeholders can leverage the resources and breadth of IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional association dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, to address local sustainable development challenges around the world.

Speaker Profiles

Mr. Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan is a globally renowned technologist best known for his technological innovations in addressing global humanitarian and sustainable development challenges.  He is a seasoned technology and business leader with over 17 years of experience in the Top 500 Fortune companies. Throughout his career, he has led business-critical strategic  R & D programs and successfully delivered cutting-edge technologies in the areas of Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural Language Understanding, Cloud computing, Data privacy, Enterprise systems, Infrastructure technologies, Assistive and Sustainable technologies that were targeted to benefit millions of global users. He is the founder and president of “The Brahmam,” a humanitarian program delivering next-generation social innovations to achieve sustainable development goals and benefit marginalized communities globally. Over a decade, he has launched large-scale transformational global initiatives that brought together academic institutions, industry leaders, and Government agencies to address pressing global challenges faced by children with disabilities, impoverished women, and students from marginalized communities in developing nations.

Sampath serves as the Global Chair of the 2021-2022 IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (IEEE HAC) of the world’s largest technical professional organization, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In this role, he spearheads the global strategy and portfolio of sustainable development and humanitarian engineering programs to deliver impactful programs to engage and benefit 400K+ IEEE members at the grassroots in 160 countries.

Sampath is honored with numerous global awards for his leadership and technical excellence in delivering innovative technologies and global programs to address the humanitarian and sustainable development challenges. He was recently honored with one of the top global awards “the 2020 IEEE Theodore W. Hissey Professional Award”. He has delivered 350+ invited talks in International forums, premier technology conferences, and industry panels organized by UN, IEEE, ITU, World IoT forum, and Top universities around the globe. He has authored and published 30+ research publications and thought leadership articles in leading global conferences, journals, and magazines. 

Ms. Julianna Pichardo joined the Humanitarian & Sustainable Development Activities team at IEEE in 2018 after returning to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic.  While in the DR, she worked with Esperanza International, a microfinance nonprofit dedicated to poverty alleviation. At Esperanza, Julianna held positions in communications and operations analysis, working closely with diverse stakeholders, from board members to program staff to donors to micro-entrepreneurs, to increase long-term impact for 10,000+ clients. A fluent Spanish speaker, she has studied in Valparaiso, Chile and serves on the Board of Generation to Generation Network, a Guatemalan NGO focused on building capacity among local non-profit leaders.

As the IEEE SIGHT Program Specialist, Julianna supports the IEEE SIGHT Steering Committee in its mission to empower a global network of IEEE volunteers partnering with underserved communities & local organizations to leverage technology for sustainable development.

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