Workshop 1: Craft a Vision of the Future: What Could Be...?

The first workshop brought together senior leaders from across the UN who want to advance the adoption of real-time information for decision-making within their organizations and across the UN. The learning experience was designed to give participants the knowledge, insights and tools they need to help their organisations harness new and emerging sources of data to improve decision-making.


Singularity University
20 S. Akron Road
Moffett Field
Palo Alto, CA 94035
United States

Lead agencies
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
World Food Programme (WFP)

Singularity University
11 May 2016
9:00 Pre-workshop event
14:00 Pre-workshop event
12 May 2016
08:30 Day 1
09:00 Day 1
Welcome to the Lab
  • Welcome
    • Mr. Christopher Fabian
    • Mr. Robert Opp
09:05 Day 1
Opening Remarks
  • Opening Remark...
    • Mr. Omar Abdi
  • Opening Remark...
    • Mr Manoj Juneja
10:00 Day 1
Are You Ready For The Transformation?
  • Google Earth O...
    • Ms. Karin Tuxen-Bettman
  • Future Forcast...
    • Mr. Paul Saffo
  • DataKind
    • Mr. Jake Porway
13:00 Day 1
14:00 Day 1
Synthesis and Ideation
  • Synthesis and ...
    • Mr. Robert Suarez
    • Ms. Susan Snider
15:30 Day 1
Coffee Break
15:45 Day 1
How Might We...?
  • How Might We...?
    • Mr. Robert Suarez
    • Ms. Susan Snider
17:30 Day 1
Day One Wrap-Up
18:00 Day 1
12 May 2016
08:45 Day 2
Looking Back, Looking Forward
09:00 Day 2
Leadership for the Future
  • Leadership for...
    • Mr. Rob Nail
09:30 Day 2
Building a Data-Driven Organisation
  • Data Culture
    • Mr. Marc Berger
  • Data Leadership
    • Dr. Amen Ra Mashariki
12:00 Day 2
Where Should We Start?
  • UN Data Catalog
    • Mr. Remo Lalli
    • Mr. Richard Maciver
14:00 Day 2
Panel on Diversity
  • Panel Discussi...
    • Mr. Tilek Mamutov
    • Ms. Elena Grewel
    • Ms. Emily Glassberg-Sands
15:00 Day 2
Inside the Moonshot Factory
15:30 Day 2
Coffee Break
15:45 Day 2
The Way Forward for the Data Innovation La...
16:15 Day 2
  • Closing Words ...
    • Mr. Christopher Fabian
    • Mr. Robert Opp



Mr. Christopher Fabian
Senior Advisor on Innovation - United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Mr. Robert Opp
Director Innovation & Change Management - World Food Programme (WFP)
Mr. Omar Abdi
Deputy Executive Director - United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Mr. Manoj Juneja
Assistant Executive Director and CFO - World Food Programme (WFP)
Ms. Karin Tuxen-Bettman
Geo Data Strategist, Google Earth Outreach - Google Karin has been with Google since early 2008, and has since worked on the Google Earth Outreach team, helping non-profit and public benefit organisations use Google's mapping tools for their work. Karin's background includes work in GIS and remote sensing technologies, which she applied to her PhD in environmental sciences, received from the University of California, Berkeley. Since joining Google, she has trained numerous non-profits to using the Street View Trekker backpack to collect imagery of the ecosystems they are working to conserve. More recently, she led the effort at Google to measure air quality using Street View cars, through a partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund.
Mr. Jake Porway
Founder and Executive Director - DataKind Jake is a matchmaker: He sees social change organisations working hard to make the world a better place, collecting mountains of data, but lacking skills and resources to understand and use that wealth of information to advance their mission. He sees data scientists with amazing skills and cutting- edge tools eager to use their talent to accomplish something meaningful, yet cut off from channels that would allow them to do so. He sees governments ready to make unprecedented amounts of data open and available, but disconnected from people who need it. For Jake, it is a match waiting to happen and he founded DataKind in the hopes of creating a world in which every social organisation has access to data capacity to better serve humanity. He was most recently the data scientist in the New York Times R&D lab and remains an active member of the data science community. Jake holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Statistics from UCLA.
Mr. Paul Saffo
Chair, Future Forcasting - Singularity University Paul is a Silicon Valley-based forecaster with over three decades experience helping corporate and governmental clients understand and respond to the dynamics of large-scale, long-term change. He teaches at Stanford, where he is a Consulting Associate Professor in the School of Engineering, and a Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the Stanford Media-X network. Paul is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and serves on the boards of the Long Now Foundation, and the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. Previously, Paul was the founding chair of the Samsung Science Board and a member of the AT&T Technical Advisory Board. His essays have appeared in a wide range of publications incl. The Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Wired, Newsweek and The New York Times. Paul holds degrees from Harvard College, Cambridge University, and Stanford University.
Mr. Robert Suarez
Managing Director, Innovation and Design - Singularity University Robert is the Managing Director, Innovation and Design for SU Labs, where he provides design and innovation direction for corporate, startup and field impact teams. Robert is constantly investigating human behavior, nature’s strategies, and emerging technology to find new opportunities for design and innovation that drive positive impact for the world.
Ms. Susan Snider
Practice Lead, Innovation and Strategy - BP&M Consulting Susan is BP&M’s innovation strategist. She works with leaders and teams to help them unlock the innovation capabilities inside their organizations. Susan customizes innovation strategies, methods and tools to the unique realities faced by leaders in public, private, international and not-for-profit organizations.
Mr. Rob Nail
CEO & Associate Founder - Singularity University Rob brings a unique entrepreneurial and impact focused approach to growing a non-traditional university as a model for the future and a forum to catalyse a global ecosystem that leverages exponential technologies to help solve humanity's grand challenges. Prior to Singularity, he co-founded Velocity11 in 1999, building automation equipment and robotics for cancer research and drug discovery. After being acquired by Agilent Technologies in 2007, he traded the CEO role for a General Manager role attempting to be a catalyst for change at a big company.
Mr. Marc Berger
Vice President Real World Data and Analytics - Pfizer Marc joined Pfizer as Vice President, Real World Data and Analytics in September 2012. Marc’s role is to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of real world data use across Pfizer to improve patient outcomes as well as value for the healthcare system. Real world evidence highlights the intersection between unmet medical needs and the potential for innovation to meet these needs and will help Pfizer better target what drugs it should develop, how they are developed and how they are brought to the market. Prior to Pfizer, Marc held the position of Executive Vice President and Senior Scientist in the life sciences group of OptumInsight, part of United Health Group; and served as Vice President: Global Health Outcomes at Eli Lilly & Company and Vice President: Outcomes Research and Management at Merck & Co., Inc.
Dr. Amen Ra Mashariki
Chief Analytics Officer and Chief Open Platform Officer - New York Mayor’s Office Amen is New York City's Chief Analytics Officer and leads the Mayor's Office of Data Analytics (MODA). He is an accomplished leader within government, private sector and academia with experience in bringing Big Data processing and analytics for large and complex data management efforts. He started his professional careers as a software engineer at Motorola working on over-the-air data transmission projects and led a team of user-interface developers to build components of security features for handheld devices. Most recently, Amen served as Chief Technology Officer at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and worked at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab as a computer scientist and research scientist. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Director of Informatics at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Research Centre and taught computer science courses at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and robotics at Northwestern University. Amen holds a Doctor of Engineering from Morgan State University, a Master of Science in Computer Science from Howard University, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Lincoln University.
Mr. Remo Lalli
HLCM Secretary - United Nations Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB)
Mr. Richard Maciver
ICT Specialist and Web Manager - United Nations Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB)
Mr. Tilek Mamutov
Project Manager: Special Projects, Google X - Google Tilek is a Project Manager at X, formerly called Google[x], the team behind self-driving cars, self-flying delivery vehicles, energy kites and balloon-powered Internet. At X, Tilek leads product management for geospatial software and data platform used for X’s moonshots strategy and multiple teams at Google. Previously Tilek worked as a Business Product Manager building Internet products for developing countries in such areas as free/cheap Internet access, education, social networking and communication. Before joining Google as a Russian Search Quality expert in 2007 Tilek worked in Kyrgyzstan, where he was born, raised and went to college to study Software Engineering. A lot of his work, including evening and weekend projects, at Google was inspired by his unique Central Asian background - he helped launch Google Translate in Kyrgyz & Kazakh languages, Google Street View in Kyrgyzstan, local Google Developer Groups, Google Elections, infrastructure solutions for faster YouTube and interface localization for Central Asian languages for most Google’s multiple products.
Ms. Elena Grewel
Data Science Manager - Airbnb
Ms. Emily Glassberg-Sands
Data Science Manager - Coursera