IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)
Technology for the Benefit of Humanity // Santa Clara University, USA / September 8-11, 2022

Plenary and Keynote Talks 2022


To Care, and How We Get There

Neha Kumar, Associate Professor, Georgia Tech

Care shows up in many ways and forms in technology research, design, and practice, and increasingly so. Touching upon some of these wide-ranging manifestations of care in technological interactions, this talk will consider also what futures of care work might look like. It will conclude with some lessons for futures of work more broadly, and how we might infuse these with care.
Neha Kumar is an Associate Professor at Georgia Tech, where she works at the intersection of human-centered computing and global development, with a joint appointment in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the School of Interactive Computing. She was trained as a computer scientist, designer, and ethnographer at UC Berkeley and Stanford University, and thrives in spaces where she can wear these three hats at once. Her research engages feminist perspectives and assets-based approaches towards designing technologies for/with underserved communities. She currently serves as the president of ACM SIGCHI. Website:

Connecting the Unconnected

Kurtis Heimerl, Assistant professor, The University of Washington

Over the last decade the work of my lab has primarily focused on developing novel connectivity solutions, both cellular voice and SMS and Internet, and partnering to deploy them with underserved people throughout the world in hard rural (including Papua, Indonesia; Aurora, Philippines; Northwest Territories, Canada; Oaxaca, Mexico; and many others) and dense urban contexts (primarily our ongoing Seattle Community Network project). In this talk I reflect on lessons learned; specifically the “myth of the unconnected”, differences between rural and urban networks, thoughts deployments, and others. I end with a focus on our exciting current efforts in Seattle and future opportunities for engineering-focused work in connectivity.


Bio: Kurtis Heimerl is an assistant professor of Computer Science at the University of Washington working on Information and Communication Technology and International Development (ICTD), specifically universal Internet access. Before that, he received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Kurtis cofounded Endaga, which joined Facebook in 2015. He was a recipient of the 2014 MIT “35 under 35” award, the 2018 UW early career Diamond Award, and has won paper awards at CHI, NSDI, COMPASS, ASSETS, PETS, and DySPAN.


IT for Sustainability

Dejan Milojicic, Distinguished Technologist, Hewlett Packard Labs

Humanity is exposed with decades of unresponsible behaviour, resulting in dramatic need for decarbonization and preventing climate change. Consumption of fossil- and other carbon-based fuels and generation of electricity from unsustainable energy sources propagates in every facet of our life. In IT, we are uniquely positioned to measure sustainability of our solutions and cradle-to-cradle, from production to disposal, of equipment and service usage. By making IT sustainable, we can expand it to the rest of enterprises and eventually all vertical markets and to our daily life. In this talk, I will showcase how we at Hewlett Packard Labs develop IT Technologies for Sustainability, contributing to humanity and planet earth. I will discuss megatrends and present some solutions.

Bio: Dejan is a distinguished technologist and director at Hewlett Packard Labs, Palo Alto, CA (1998-present). Previously, he worked in the OSF Research Institute, Cambridge, MA (1994-1998) and Institute “Mihajlo Pupin”, Belgrade, Serbia (1983-1991). He received his PhD from the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany (1993), and his MSc/BSc from Belgrade University, Serbia (1986/1983). Dejan was a managing director of the Open Cirrus Cloud Computing testbed (2007-2011), with 16 global sites in US, Asia, and Europe. Dejan has more than 200 papers, 2 books and 71 patents. He is an IEEE Fellow (2010), ACM Distinguished Engineer (2008), and HKN and USENIX member. Dejan served on 8 PhD thesis committees, and taught Cloud Management at San Jose State University, and mentored over 50 interns and collaborated with many universities. Dejan founded a magazine and three conferences, and served on several editorial boards and program committees. He received the IEEE Computer Society Richard Merwin Award.


Does Gender Impact Startup Funding Success? A Data-Driven Perspective

Maya Ackerman, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Santa Clara University

Research has long demonstrated the benefits of diversity for team performance, including startup success. Nevertheless, investors remain less likely to invest in women compared to their male counterparts. This talk will share data-driven research findings that shed light on the nature and extent of gender bias in venture capital allocation. Solutions for lasting change will be discussed.
Bio: Researcher and entrepreneur, Dr. Maya Ackerman, is an expert on Machine Learning, named “Woman of Influence” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. She is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Santa Clara University, and CEO/Co-Founder of musical AI startup, WaveAI. Interviews with Dr. Ackerman appeared on NBC News, New Scientist, Sirius XM, and international television stations across the globe, and she has been an invited speaker at the United Nations, IBM Research, Google, and Stanford University, amongst many other venues. She earned her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and held Postdoctoral Fellowships at Caltech and UC San Diego.


How the Internet Improves Humanity

Eric Goldman, Professor of Law, Santa Clara University

Given the time and energy we spend worrying about the Internet‘s flaws, it’s easy to forget how the Internet makes our lives better in many ways. This talk will highlight one underappreciated aspect: how the Internet has the capacity to improve the human species by increasing pro-social interactions and reducing anti-social ones. The talk will also show how this scenario probably won’t be realized because of misguided regulatory efforts to “fix” the Internet.
Bio: Eric Goldman is Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Law, Co-Director of the High Tech Law Institute, and Supervisor of the Privacy Law Certificate, at Santa Clara University School of Law. His research and teaching focuses on Internet law, and he blogs on that topic at the Technology & Marketing Law Blog [].