IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)
Technology for the Benefit of Humanity // Villanova University, USA / October 23-26, 2024

Special Sessions 2020

GHTC 2020 Special Sessions


  • Conference Overview (Thursday Oct. 29 1-1:15 p.m. PT)

Must attend Overview of GHTC 2020 Virtual Program, technical sessions and navigation mechanics with Conference Chair, Paul Cunningham, Vice Chair, Ed Perkins, and Program Chair Pritpal Singh.


  • Opening Session (Thursday Oct. 29 3:35-4:45 p.m. PT)

Remarks on IEEE’s role in Humanitarian Activities by 2020 IEEE President Toshio Fukuda and 2021 President-elect Susan (Kathy) Land


Participate in the Student Poster Competition and vote for the best poster for the People’s Choice Award.


Ensuring universal, affordable and sustainable energy access is one of the biggest societal challenges of our time. Decentralized, bottom-up approaches, such as solar home systems and microgrids, have emerged as a response to shortcomings of the centralized grid approach, but affordability, scalability, path to growth and long-term sustainability remain a challenge.


  • Special Interest Session: “EPICS in IEEE – empowering students solve local community problems” (Friday Oct. 30 2:50-3:10 p.m. PT)

How to execute a community service project with IEEE’s support (through EPICS in IEEE). Download presentation (PDF)


Speakers: Kartik Kulkarni (HAC Chair), Sampath Veeraraghavan (SIGHT Chair and 2021 HAC Chair), John Funso (HAC Partnerships Chair, R8 Humanitarian Coordinator, and also a COVID project lead), and Pia Torres (HAC Project Support and Oversight Ad Hoc Chair and HAC/SIGHT COVID CoP lead)


    • How HAC/SIGHT responded to the COVID pandemic – vision and process improvements
    • Providing volunteer engagement opportunities despite the pandemic
    • Elements of a strong proposal
    • Support from Communities of Practice
    • Examples of some funded projects
    • Building collaboration opportunities, for example, with Societies
    • How this will lead to next year’s program


Panel (GHTC development) IEEE GHTC has allowed members to showcase projects be exposed to resources that were not commonly known within the IEEE family.  GHTC created a community of volunteers who wanted to make a difference and become a facilitator for volunteers, university programs, NGO’s, foundations, etc. to work together. The conference mission and goals have morphed over the years.  The approaches to member and service related projects have changed.  The addition of academic research presentations and university projects have all had an impact on the Conference.

Panel (IEEE’s Role in Humanitarian Technology and Sustainable Development) Realizing IEEE’s Vision for Aligning the “Advancing Technology for Humanity” from an  Aspirational Statement to Promoting Member Engagement with Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Service Providers. Panelists will explore how IEEE operationalized the broader IEEE humanitarian interests into an event (or series of events).  The approaches to member and service related projects have changed.


  • Special Interest Session: Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering (Saturday Oct. 31 3:30-4:30 p.m.)

Interactive discussion led by Tom Coughlin, past President IEEE-USA
This talk discusses the IEEE response to institutional racism and the issues with diversity and inclusion in the engineering professions. It also gives several examples of what IEEE members have done to help improve diversity and inclusions and ends with a discussion with the attendees on what they can do to improve diversity and inclusion in the technical professions.


  • Closing Session and Keynote (Sunday Nov. 1 Noon-1 p.m. PST)

Closing remarks and presentation on Digital Literary with Melissa Sassi, “DQ, a measure for determining one’s digital intelligence”