produced by IntraHealth International

10 Women Who Are Disrupting Global Health and Tech

Posted on March 8, 2016 By The Editorial Team

We love North Carolina in the springtime.

There’s something about the rising humidity, the pre-dawn birdsong, the flowers we forgot we planted. It’s a disruptive, yet hopeful feeling—which makes it the perfect time and place for SwitchPoint.

Next month, at the annual SwitchPoint conference in Saxapahaw, NC, hundreds of experts and do-gooders from around the world will come together for a two-day global event where humanitarian innovation, global health, and technology collide.

So in honor of International Women’s Day, let’s geek out over 10 of the inspiring, disruptive women who’ll be speaking at SwitchPoint next month. They’re writers, gamers, researchers, makers. And they’re giving rise to some amazing changes for health and development around the world.


Get your tickets for SwitchPoint, April 21–22, today.


Sulzhan Bali, Duke University
Her research explores the impact of Ebola on Nigeria’s private sector—and vice versa. And as a soon-to-be Robert Bosch Global Governance Futures Fellow, Sulzhan Bali will be part of conversations across the US, China, Japan, India, and Germany to develop global health security policy. She’s director of production and human resources at the podcast This Week in Global Health. Meet Bali at SwitchPoint.

Phaedra Boinodiris, IBM
Her strategies have been championed by four-star generals. Her ideas have been in high demand at the Pentagon. And Women in Games International called her one of the top 100 women in the games industry. To Phaedra Boinodiris, serious games are serious business. And they can help make the world a safer, more productive, more equitable place. Meet Boinodiris at SwitchPoint.

Catherine Cheney, Devex
Today she covers the West Coast global development community for Devex, but Catherine Cheney has worked as a reporter and editor for World Politics Review, POLITICO, and NationSwell—a media company and membership network she helped build. She’s also an ambassador for the Solutions Journalism Network and the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute. Meet Cheney at SwitchPoint.

Jessica Colaço, Brave Venture Labs & iHub
Jessica Colaço is a mobile tech and robotics evangelist, passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship in Kenya. She uses her position at iHub (which she cofounded) to court local and international stakeholders to adopt Kenyan-made and African-made solutions. Business Daily has three times named her one of 40 women under 40 in Kenya’s business scene. Meet Colaço at SwitchPoint.

Annie Feighery, mWater
Annie Feighery is cofounder and CEO of the tech startup mWater, a free platform used to map and monitor critical points such as water sources, sanitation facilities, and health clinics in 59 countries and manage them with mobile tools. As a behavioral health scientist, she specializes in maternal and child health. Meet Feighery at SwitchPoint.

If you have big ideas for greater global good—or want to discover the next big idea—you shouldn't miss it.

Leanne Gluck, America Makes
As deputy director of workforce and educational outreach at America Makes, Leanne Gluck is part of the nation’s leading partner in AM and 3DP technology research, discovery, creation, and innovation. She was director of social impact at 3D Systems and managed the advanced manufacturing working group at the Clinton Global Initiative. Meet Gluck at SwitchPoint.

Alexis Hope, MIT Media Lab
A designer, technologist, and research affiliate at MIT, Alexis Hope is also creative director for FOLD, an MIT-developed open publishing platform used by journalists, educators, and organizations around the world to tell complex stories. She’s developed portable ultrasound machines for midwives, brought human-centered research methodologies to tech design, and organized hackathons and civic technology workshops. Meet Hope at SwitchPoint.

Jessica Mack, Global Health Corps
Jessica Mack is senior director for advocacy and communications at Global Health Corps. She works intensively with fellows and alumni throughout the corps’ global community to hone their voices as advocates, write op-eds, lead advocacy campaigns, and more. Meet Mack at SwitchPoint.

Bonita Beatrice Nanziri
As founder of AfriGal Tech, Bonita Beatrice Nanziri is part of an all-woman team of passionate technologists working on an alternative diagnostic tool to diagnose sickle cell—using only mobile phones and external lenses. She shared her vision of moving toward a sickle cell-free generation as a speaker at Tedx KiraTown 2015. Meet Nanziri at SwitchPoint.

Christine Sow, Global Health Council
She is executive director of the Global Health Council and an internationally recognized advocate for global health. Christine Sow has led initiatives to develop health-sector policies, scale up community health strategies, and increase access to lifesaving commodities and care. Meet Sow at SwitchPoint.

Get your tickets for SwitchPoint, April 21–22, today. These and other SwitchPoint speakers are building medical devices out of broken toys, using drones and 3D printers to save lives, creating innovation hubs, crowdsourcing crisis response, driving policy, shaping investment, mapping everything.

If you have big ideas for greater global good—or want to discover the next big idea—you shouldn't miss it. Register.



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