IntraHealth International’s SwitchPoint Conference to Spotlight New and Creative Advances in Social Good

Roya Mahboob at SwitchPoint 2017

Roya Mahboob presents at SwitchPoint 2017. Photo by Ted Richardson for IntraHealth International.

Chapel Hill, NC

On April 26-27, experts and pioneers from humanitarian efforts around the world will come together in Saxapahaw, NC, for IntraHealth International’s 7th annual SwitchPoint conference.

SwitchPoint brings together hundreds of leaders in global health, humanitarian response, technology, media, and more to report on advances in social good across disciplines and to seed ideas and partnerships for future collaborations. The event will feature more than 30 stage talks by speakers from IBM, Facebook, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Medtronic Foundation, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Orange Mali Foundation, and many more.

“There’s phenomenal potential in interdisciplinary collaboration, but how do we bring people together and help make it happen?”

“There’s phenomenal potential in interdisciplinary collaboration, but how do we bring people together and help make it happen?” says Heather LaGarde, senior advisor for strategic partnerships at IntraHealth. “This is exactly why IntraHealth created SwitchPoint. Our speakers have crossed boundaries to do amazing things. A car mechanic who invented an ingenious solution for obstructed labor, engineering students who are using drones to deliver medicines in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest—these are the kinds of groundbreaking, world-changing ideas that can come from unexpected partnerships.”

This year’s talks will highlight the latest developments according to the following themes:

  • Tech for Good
  • Responsible Communications & Advocacy
  • Collaborations & Partnerships
  • Secure & Universal Global Health
  • Humanitarian Innovation
  • Artivism
  • Sharing Economies & Future Financing
  • Data, Displacement & Discretion

The event also features 21 microlabs where participants can interact with speakers in more intimate, hands-on sessions. Speakers also attend a preconference forum to build relationships and set the groundwork for an event that leads to ongoing collaborations.

“SwitchPoint will challenge your assumptions and your perspective,” says Phaedra Boinodiris, Blockchain design strategist at IBM and 2018 SwitchPoint speaker. “Every year I leave with new ideas and new partners I never imagined.”

The 2018 speaker lineup includes:

  • Marco Werman, keynote speaker and host, editor, and a founding producer of PRI’s The World
  • Pape Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth International
  • Vaughn Hester, manager with the community partnerships team at Facebook
  • Neha Misra, cofounder and chief collaboration officer of Solar Sister, a women-led social enterprise addressing extreme energy poverty
  • Nina Rabinovitch Blecker, director of communications and global advocacy for Data2X at the United Nations Foundation
  • Pierre Thiam, a chef, award-winning cookbook author, activist, and founder of a purpose-driven African food company

See the full list of 2018 speakers here.

The event is held in the tiny, riverside town of Saxapahaw in the North Carolina Piedmont. The event spans two days in and around the Haw River Ballroom, an award-winning space set in the former dye house of a historic cotton mill. The event also incorporates the arts, its schedule peppered with live performances by musicians, dancers, puppeteers, and more.

For more information and to register, visit