2017 Microlabs

Lunchtime Microlab

Blockchain for Development
Blockchain, an emerging technology that runs on a distributed ledger and has a seemingly “tamper-proof” potential for transparency, accountability, and open governance, is fascinating. And it’s being reviewed and adopted by organizations around the world. Review the potential applications, from smart contracts to loan and payment systems, mobile apps, games, and more. Join the conversation with IBM, IntraHealth, and Participate on the huge potential Blockchain has for social good and global development, and partner on next steps!
Triangle Global Health Consortium Innovation Boot Camp
The Triangle Global Health Consortium, in partnership with MEDIC (the Medical Innovators Collaborative) is offering a three-month Innovation Boot Camp in which participants will work as teams to create innovative solutions to real global health problems. The Innovation Boot Camp is a learning experience in which participants ask questions, learn by doing, and receive mentorship and guidance from MEDIC staff and subject matter experts. During this special lunch session, “bootcampers” will present their ideas for the two global health challenges proposed: to create a disease warning app and to create a clinic in a box for a low-resource setting.

Microlab 1

Behavioral Economics, Bespoke Design
What do we mean when we say “context matters” and “fail fast”? Find out in this microlab as you embrace your inner behavioral scientist. First, we’ll experience behavioral economics insights firsthand through interactive (and fun!) experiments. Then we’ll put our learning to the test: through structured ideation and rapid prototyping, groups will design user-centered solutions to compete for a special prize.
Big for Good
SwitchPoint is about harnessing the power of unusual creative ideas and collaborations. Innovative collaborations between public and private sectors are bringing transformative and sustained change in a new era. What is the future of public –private partnerships, large social good initiatives, corporate social responsibility and collaborative international development? Leaders from the corporate world discuss the latest mechanisms for strong and sustainable partnerships, campaigns and cultural understanding across organizations, and the changing landscape of funding, shared value, advocacy, and initiatives for impact.
Data Tells Half the Story, People Tell the Rest: Interview Edition
If you follow Humans of New York, you understand the power of a simple image and a few words. Statistics, metrics, and data are essential ingredients for successful global health programming, but what really propels us? For many, it’s not the deluge of numbers—it’s the human story. Family Planning Voices (#FPVoices) is a global storytelling initiative that provides a platform for people who are passionate about family planning to tell their own stories in their own words. Hear powerful examples of stories a good interview can elicit, and understand how to unearth a compelling story in less-than-ideal conditions.
Mentoring Musical Chairs
SwitchPoint brings diverse ideas and people together to make a difference in the world. Meet with four of your favorite SwitchPoint speakers in 15-minute one-one-one mentoring sessions driven by you. Ask your questions, share your ideas, learn from their experiences, build your networks, hone your goals, design your future. What is your switch point and how can you make it happen?
Partnerships for Global Challenges
The world’s most pressing challenges cannot be solved by one government, company, or non-profit organization alone. PYXERA Global’s Tri-Sector Partnership Workshop offers participants the tools and context needed to develop viable cross-sector (public, private, social) collaboration. By exploring building blocks, then taking participants through a real-time simulation, the goal of this workshop is to help people move from traditional funder/implementer relationships to true partnerships built around co-creation of projects, and delivering mutual, meaningful benefit. * This is a special two session Microlab which will take the duration of both Microlab 1 and 2
Social Entrepreneurship
How can you make your great ideas make a difference? Meet social entrepreneur superstars Roya Mahboob, David Moinina Sengeh, and Robyn Schryer Fehrman for a group discussion that will address questions such as: What are the key mindsets, skills, and habits social entrepreneurs need to thrive? What can individuals, organizations, and supporters do to cultivate these? What are the greatest challenges and strongest examples of effectiveness, sustainability, and scale of impact? And how can you get started?
You’ve got cutting-edge technology and great ideas. Now how do you solve a problem in the real world? Tech4Good in 20 questions. Participants will form teams to role-play national health leaders facing the threat of TLD (Terminal Laughing Disease). Your assignment: construct a health data and communications network to mobilize, empower, and train the health workforce. But you’re not alone; global experts will be available to assist. The challenge: these experts can only answer 20 questions. The winning team receives a prize!

Microlab 2

Advocating for Global Health Security
Advocating for the future of global health—and global health security—is more critical than ever. Join global health leaders for a discussion about how coordinated advocacy efforts can influence decision-makers, affect policy change—and keep us all safer and more secure. From supporting frontline health workers to tackling global pandemics, the changing face of aid requires new ideas and collaborations to face what’s ahead and ensure a healthier, safer, and more prosperous world.
Data Tells Half the Story, People Tell the Rest: Photography Edition
As Instagram and Snapchat are changing the way people communicate and share, photos are one of the most critical means of communication. Popular storytelling projects have demonstrated how a portrait and an individual’s words can inspire action and reach broad audiences. In this microlab, you’ll learn about making images, tips for controlling light, understanding your subject, and creating powerful portraits that capture the personalities and details of your activities and project documentation. Whether you’re working with a mobile phone in your pocket or a camera in your bag, participants will gain insights that focus their photography skills.
Translate & Activate: How to Passionately Communicate Your Work to the World
How does digital media portray and influence humanitarian innovation, health equity and access, human rights, and social norms? What makes your pay attention? What makes you act? Learn how different narratives and news frame and possibly manipulate public sentiment for global issues from this group of communications and public health professionals.
Wearables are becoming part of daily life for many people and the wearable potential for data collection and behavior change is fascinating, and controversial. Even the definition of wearables is under debate. Learn more about the latest technologies and trends from two very different specialists - one is a clinical informaticist who is implanted with RFIDs, working to establish novel methods for sensor-based, passive, longitudinal data collection; the other a fashion designer who engineered a safer, more empathetic protective suit for medical staff workers on the front lines of the Ebola epidemic. Experience, play with, try on, and talk about some of the latest innovations in the field.
Winning: Competitions and Challenges
Competitions can drive innovation and eke out groundbreaking inventions across boundaries and disciplines. But in an era of crowdsourcing, how do you stand out in a crowd? How do funders design incentives to drive innovative breakthroughs? What are the judges truly looking for in a winning idea? And what happens after you win? How are competitions being used to further ideas and inventions that truly make a difference in the world? Come find out with a senior scientist at the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Global Development Lab and a former head of prize development for the X PRIZE Foundation and current CEO of Common Pool, working to solve some of society’s biggest problems.
Women in Tech
SwitchPoint keynote Roya Mahboob is a serial tech entrepreneur and one of the first female IT CEOs in Afghanistan. She is responsible for supporting the next generation of girls in tech in her home country, where she worked to build internet classrooms for girls in high schools so female students can connect to the world and founded a multilingual blog and video site to give women a platform for telling their stories. She is president of Citadel Software Company, EdyEdy, and Felora. She is also CEO of the Digital Citizen Fund, a nonprofit organization focused on digital literacy to empower women and children in low- and middle-income countries. And she has only just begun. Come hear more about her journey and learn from her experiences.

Microlab 3

Get straight to the heart. Join poets, podcasters, artists, social justice leaders, and political organizers to learn more about art and activism. What are the ways art, communication, and creative expression can transform ideas, people, policies, practice, and passion like no other medium? What is immersive leadership? How do you create dialogue in spaces driven by stereotypes? What are the latest exuberant experiments in communicating big ideas and moving people to get involved and make a difference? This interactive workshop will get you looking at yourself and everything else a little differently.
Ethics and Artificial Intelligence
The future is here—robots are taking over the world. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are replacing humans, from ordering at McDonalds to recommendations for your retirement portfolio to books on Amazon. Your neighbor is not as valuable or accurate as a cloud algo. But how do humans help the machines embed our ethical behaviors—honesty, integrity, accountability, transparency, fairness, privacy, confidentiality, bias, discrimination, and avoiding conflict of interest? Join us for a discussion on these topics as we enter a new world of AI/ML/VR/ML—the future has arrived!
Hacking Safe Surgery
Come develop new ideas and innovations for the most pressing barriers to safe surgery, anesthesia, and obstetric care in low- and middle-income countries. Four experts will introduce the biggest barriers they face in their daily work, including lack of emergency transportation to hospitals and lack of means for patients to pay for surgery out-of-pocket. Small hacking and innovation teams will ideate and prototype potential solutions, using existing innovations (think: Uber, Fitbit, etc.) as prompts. We’ll come away with 5-10 new ideas that could be further developed and piloted to overcome existing barriers to safe surgery.
Humanitarian Innovation
Meet with SwitchPoint keynote David Moinina Sengeh—research scientist, wunderkind, rapper, and tech and fashion design entrepreneur—and World Bank Mapping Initiative leader Khadija Abdulla Ali to learn more about their cutting-edge work in development, design, drones, robotics, the maker movement, disaster relief, and youth and humanitarian innovation. Hear about the array of projects these two incredible leaders focus on and what they think is ahead in the next 5-10 years. And yes, play with drones.
Storytelling from the Front Lines
Storytelling is a powerful tool that, when crafted effectively, can incite change and even influence policy. Come learn about the process from several frontline health workers who recently underwent an intensive training with professional storyteller/presentation coach Jeff Polish. Leave knowing how to extract, distill, and refine previously hidden stories that bring awareness to frontline health workers, the essential and life-saving services they provide, and the power of their voices as policy change advocates.
Virtual Reality
Immerse yourself in this microlab and discover how you can use virtual reality (VR) in education, training, and research to advocate for social change and solve global health issues. A team from RTI International will show the potential of VR across industries through use cases in health, communication, and drone-based assistive technology. See firsthand how VR has the power of VR to make someone experience an event and react as though what they are seeing is real by trying out immersive VR and going through an interactive 360-degree video training experience.