Special Sessions

GHTC 2020 Special Sessions (Preliminary – check back for updates)


  • Conference Overview (Oct. 29 1-1:15 pm 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 (Oct. 29 3:30-4:45 pm PT)

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



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.


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


  • Presentation: “The Origins of Silicon Valley: Lessons for Startups in Developing Nations”

Why did Silicon Valley come into being? What lessons can be learned by startups in developing countries? This talk explains why the tube, IC, SW, ML, AR/VR and AI industries are centered there.


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 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.


  • Closing Session and Keynote (Nov. 1 Noon-1 pm PST)

Closing remarks and presentation on Digital Literary with Melissa Sassi.


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Key Dates

Thu 29

GHTC 2020

October 29 @ 12:00 pm - November 1 @ 12:00 pm