IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)
Technology for the Benefit of Humanity | Virtual – October 19-23, 2021

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    GHTC 2021 Student Poster Winners

    Congratulations to the winners of the GHTC 2021 virtual Student Poster Competition held on Tuesday, Oct. 19. Awards were presented on Oct. 22 in the GHTC 2021 Closing Session.

    1st Place

    Investigating Clay Pot Coolers for Food Storage in Developing Nations

    by Max Burns (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT D-Lab)

    2nd Place

    Investigating the use of Wearable Technology to Improve the Safety of Humanitarian Workers in Dangerous Situations

    by  A. Moodie, M. Senadeera & A. van der Winden (Queensland University of Technology )

    3rd Place – Tie

    Monitoring Coastal Habitats Through Machine Learning

    by  Kalib Perkins (DeVry University)

    Virtual Reality Education

    by  Imran Jahangir, Jay Perez, Rolando Reyes, Rohail Khan, Blien Mahari  (University of Houston)





    GHTC 2021 Program Update

    GHTC 2021 is pleased to announce these program updates:

    Program Guide available for download


    Distributed Energy meets Humanitarian Needs, by IEEE Standards Association (Tuesday)

    The emphasis is now shifting toward a more decentralized energy infrastructure, where a mix of dispersed and low-carbon, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, fuel cell, and battery installations – collectively called distributed energy resources (DER) – are integrated with the large centralized power plants in the power grid.

    Several trends are driving this transformation. Society’s desire for more sustainable ways to produce energy have spurred R&D advances, and many new products for DER applications, along with growing use of these systems, are already deployed in the market. In turn, their greater performance and expanding functionality have led to new regulations which have created compelling new business opportunities.

    More recent focus on Stand-alone or remote systems or electric power in areas that do not have reliable electric delivery.  These areas include application tiers, microgrids and DC systems.

    Presenters: Mark Siira and Wayne Stec, IEEE Standards Association SCC 21 and Panos Moutis, CMU

    Plenary Speakers:

    Meet the Editors: Thinking About Publishing for a Transdisciplinary Outlet: What do you need to know? (Tuesday,  3:00 – 3:45 PM (PT)

    Katina Michael, founding Editor in Chief and Roba Abbas, co-editor, the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society.


    Think Global, Act Local: Fostering Engineering Knowledge and Capacity for Impact (Friday 1300-1400 (PT))

    An international panel organized by Engineering for Change (E4C):

    Moderator: Iana Aranda, Director, Engineering Global Development, ASME and President, Engineering for Change


    • Kathleen Kirsch, Engineering Officer, USAID (Egypt)
    • Nishant Agarwal, Founder & CEO, Life and Limb (P) Ltd., (India)
    • Fernanda Petrus, Architect and Ph.D. candidate, Coimbra University (Portugal)
    • Thomas Da Jose, (Australia)
    • Abdul Rashid Mussah, Graduate Assistant at the University of Missouri-Columbia (USA)


    Complementary access to Plenary sessions

    Meet the Editors: Thinking About Publishing for a Transdisciplinary Outlet: What do you need to know? with Katina Michael, founding Editor in Chief and Roba Abbas, co-editor, the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society on Tuesday, 3:00 PM — 3:45 PM (PT)

    Student Poster Contest: Our 4th Student Poster Contest will be held online Tuesday afternoon from 4-6 PM PT. Cash prizes will be awarded.

    Plenary Panels: Four panels on: Aging; Social Media; IEEE’s role in Sustainable Developement; Think Global, and Act Local with E4C.

    Plenary Speakers: View the plenary speakers line-up here.

    Register via vTools:

    NOTE: Complementary access does not include Proceedings nor technical paper sessions.


    Panel on Aging

    The United Nations General Assembly declared 2021-2030 the Decade of Healthy Aging that brings together governments, civil society, international agencies, professionals, academia, the media, and the private sector to improve the lives of older people, their families. CTA Foundation’s mission is to link seniors and people with disabilities with technologies that enhance their lives. AARP’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for all as we age, leading positive social change and delivering value to members through advocacy, service and information.In this panel discussion, the speakers will share past and on-going programs they have been working on that bring innovative solutions to the older adults.

    Join the LIVE Panel on Tech Innovations for Healthy Aging
    October 21, 2021 | 1-1:50 PM (PT)

    Moderator: Joseph Wei, Managing Director, Technology Ventures Group; Past-sponsorship Chair, GHTC, Advisor/Past-chair of IEEE SCV Section


    • Steve Ewell: Executive Director, Consumer Technology Association Foundation
    • Michael Philips: Technology Strategy and Relationships Director, AARP

    Both AARP and the CTA Foundation have been involved with work that is in full alignment with the United Nations new initiative declaring 2021 – 2030 as the “Decade of Healthy Ageing”. CTA Foundation’s mission is to link seniors and people with disabilities with technologies that enhance their lives. AARP’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for all as we age, leading positive social change and delivering value to members through advocacy, service and information. Lately startups are being formed to focus on tech innovations for older adults where a large portion of the market are related to healthcare innovation as people around the world are living longer, and longer.


    Meet the Editor Session

    GHTC 2021 is pleased to announce the following plenary session on Tuesday afternoon:

    Thinking About Publishing for a Transdisciplinary Outlet: What do you need to know?

    Tuesday, October 19, 2021  |  3:00 PM — 3:45 PM (PT)
    Katina Michael, founding Editor in Chief and Roba Abbas, co-editor, the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society.
    Katina Michael is the founding Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society. Katina works closely with five co-editors Roba Abbas, Rafael Calvo, George Roussos, Eusebio Scornavacca and Samuel Fosso Wamba to service the IEEE and broader community of academicians and practitioners on topics that explore all things technology and society. Come along and learn more about the scope of the journal, what’s expected from submissions in content and format, and how to get the most out of the review process. The first 15 minutes will be dedicated to a broad introduction, and then 30 minutes to Q&A from participants.

    Journal Scope: The IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society publishes research papers on the interactions among technology, science, and society; on the impact of such interactions on individuals and society; and on the ethical, professional and social responsibility in the practice of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Within this scope, the Transactions covers a broad range of topics in such areas as energy, information and communication, health and safety, life sciences, economic issues, engineering education, environmental implications, and social effects of emerging technologies and innovations. It  also addresses issues surrounding professional practice and responsibility, regulation and public policy, technology and the future of work, philosophy of technology, engineering and biotechnical ethics, and sustainability. The Transactions communicates to a wide array of readers from multiple disciplines involved in the societal impact of technology. It is multidisciplinary with joint perspectives from individuals such as engineers, scientists, technologists, ethicists, public policy experts, lawyers, health practitioners, economists, and sociologists. Emphasis is on high quality research and empirical studies, applications and technological issues, and theoretical arguments supported by evidence or proof.

    GHTC 2021 Registration

    Reduced attendees rates: $175 IEEE Member & $125 IEEE Student/LM

    The 11th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (IEEE GHTC 2021) is an international flagship conference sharing practical technology enabled solutions addressing the needs of underserved populations and resource constrained environments around the world and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG).

    GHTC 2021 will have an exciting and varied program of workshops, panels, keynotes and technical presentations.

    GHTC 2021 takes place ONLINE (PT) from Tuesday October 19 through Friday October 22. See the program schedule here. The detailed presentations schedule can be viewed here. Download the Program Guide here.

    Click button to go to registration page to view options and fees.

    Student Poster Contest

    Our 4th Student Poster Contest will be held online Tuesday afternoon from 4-6 PM PT. Cash prizes will be awarded. Deadline for submission of abstracts is 8-October.



    Tuesday morning choose from 1/2 day workshops included with your GHTC full registration:


    Special Sessions and Panels


    Keynotes and remarks

    Currently confirmed speakers include:

    • Elizabeth M. Belding, Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara (ICTD) (Wednesday AM)
    • Octav Chipara, Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Iowa (mHealth) (Friday AM)
    • Deborah Estrin,Professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech (public interest technology) (Thursday AM)
    • Farid Farahmand, Chair, Engineering Science Department (Electrical Engineering) at Sonoma State University (Friday AM)
    • Anna Förster, Sustainable Communication Networks group, University of Bremen (Thursday AM)
    • Aline McNaull, energy, space, defense and research policy at IEEE-USA (Friday PM)
    • Grayson Randall, Operatins Lead, IEEE MOVE (Mobile Outreach VEhicle) (Wednesday PM)
    • Vijay Janapa Reddi, Associate Professor at Harvard University, VP and a founding member of MLCommons (machine learning) (Wednesday AM)

    Technical Program

    The Technical Program (see program with paper sessions) features 68 papers in 18 sessions:

    Topic Papers Sessions
    Energy 15 4
    Education 11 3
    Disaster Mitigation 10 3
    Agriculture 12 3
    Communication 4 1
    Water and Sanitation 3 1
    Healthcare 13 3

    GHTC 2021 is sponsored by IEEE Region 6, IEEE Seattle Section and IEEE SSIT (Society on Social Implications of Technology) with technical sponsorship by IEEE-SA, IEEE-USA, IEEE CTS, EMBS, MTT-S, PELS, PES and IEEE Smart Village.

    GHTC 2021 Registration Open

    Registration for GHTC 2021 is now open.

    See the Program pages for the Preliminary papers, speakers, workshops and panels.

    Presenter registration deadline is 10-Sep.

    Early Attendee registration deadline is 20-Sep.

    See Registration page for online link and details on registration options, fees and terms.

    For Exhibitor options see the Info for Virtual Patrons & Exhibitors page.


    GHTC 2021 ONLINE Student Poster Competition


    GHTC 2021 invites undergraduate students to submit abstracts for the Online Student Poster Competition. The Competition will be held Online during GHTC 2021 (October 19-22) on Tuesday October 19, 4-6 PM PT. Both a “written” (poster) and “oral” (recorded MP4 presentation) are required.  Download flyer (PDF)

    Students are invited to send in ideas or designs for developing projects/products supporting the Key focus areas of GHTC 2021:

    • Affordable & Clean Energy
    • Agriculture & Food Security
    • Clean Water & Sanitation
    • Connectivity & Communication in Support of Development
    • Good Health and Well Being
    • Decent Work and Economic Growth
    • Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness, Response & Recovery
    • Quality Education
    • Technology Impacts on Societal Evolution:
    • Other Related United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

    For full details, topics and submission rules check  out the Student Poster Competition page.

    The selected posters will be presented during the GHTC 2021 ONLINE Student Poster Competition, on Tuesday, October 19, from 4-6 PM PT.

    The deadline to submit poster abstracts is midnight US Pacific Time, October 8, 2021.
    Notification of acceptance will be sent out a week after the original deadline and next day after extended deadline.


    • Poster authors must be undergraduate students at the time of submission and may be members of a team comprising of up to four students.
    • At least one student author must be an IEEE student member at the time of the submission of the poster to the Contest.
    • The poster should be fully the work of the student(s) and completed before they have received their respective engineering or scientific degree.


    To participate in the Competition students should write a 400-500-word description (abstract) of the poster, along with authors names, respective university and contact details; and submit in PDF using the form here.

    The abstracts will be reviewed and authors notified about the acceptance of their poster by October 12th. If you have any questions or problems submitting your abstract, please contact: Prof. Mostafa Mortezaie, at

    After the abstract is accepted, contestants will need to register for the contest and prepare a poster of no larger than 48 x 36 inches in PDF and an up-to-10-minute recorded presentation in MP4.

    Cash prizes will be awarded as follows:

    1st Place Award-$750
    2nd Place Award-$500
    3rd Place Award-$250

    Note: contest registration is separate from GHTC registration and does not cover attendance at the GHTC.


    GHTC 2021 Preliminary Workshops

    GHTC 2021 is pleased to announce the preliminary set of workshops.

    See the Workshops page for details.

    Frugal Innovation and the Design Thinking Process
    By: Frugal Innovation Hub (SoE of Santa Clara University)  and Latin America Frugal Innovation Network
    October 19th, 2021 – 9AM to 12 PM (PST)

    Application of IoT During Pre- and Post-COVID 19 Pandemic (A Humanitarian Services Workshop)
    With: Shivakumar (Shiva) Mathapathi
    October 19th, 2021 – 9AM to 12 PM (PST)

    GHTC 2021 Preliminary Keynote Speakers

    GHTC 2021 is please to announce the Preliminary list of Keynote Speakers.

    See the Keynote Speakers page for details on each speaker.

    Elizabeth M. Belding is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Prof. Belding’s research focuses on mobile and wireless networking, including network performance analysis, and information and communication technologies for development (ICTD).

    Octav Chipara is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Iowa. His research is interdisciplinary, focusing on using systems and machine learning techniques to mobile health problems.  Over the last decade, he has used ecological momentary assessments delivered using mobile apps to better the interactions between hearing amplification techniques and the real-world environments in which they are used.

    Deborah Estrin is a Professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech where she holds The Robert V. Tishman Founder’s Chair, serves as the Associate Dean for Impact, and is an Affiliate Faculty at Weill Cornell Medicine. Estrin’s research activities include technologies for caregiving, immersive health, small data, participatory sensing, and Public Interest Technology.

    Farid Farahmand is currently the Chair of the Engineering Science Department (Electrical Engineering) at Sonoma State University in California, U.S.A. He is also the director of Advanced Internet Technology in the Interests of Society Laboratory.

    Anna Förster leads the Sustainable Communication Networks group at the University of Bremen. She obtained her MSc degree in computer science and aerospace engineering from the Free University of Berlin, Germany, in 2004 and her PhD degree in self-organising sensor networks from the University of Lugano, Switzerland, in 2009.

    Aline McNaull works on energy, space, defense and research policy on behalf of IEEE-USA members and is the staff lead for IEEE-USA’s research and development policy committee, the committee on aerospace and transportation, as well as the energy policy committee.

    Grayson Randall is an IEEE senior member and the IEEE MOVE Operations lead. Grayson is responsible for the IEEE MOVE truck and associated equipment that is deployed to disasters to support emergency communications.

    Janapa Reddi is an Associate Professor in John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. He is a founding member of MLCommons, a non-profit organization focused on accelerating AI innovation, and serves on the MLCommons Board of Directors.