Newsletter September 2022

Dear Members,

Summer is behind us, and the days are back to their normal rhythm for most of us. At the GIM, we’re busy preparing for another Innovation Movement Training, a great training opportunity for those who want to be part of a movement of like-minded leaders to learn and apply ways to advance innovation in their organization. More information on the Training can be found in this Newsletter and on our Programs page.

Meanwhile, scroll down to be inspired by the most innovative thing that Board Member Pradeep Kakkattil experienced recently, find the key takeaways of the annual General Assembly in this edition of the Newsletter, and learn more about the customized Human Centered Design Workshop we facilitated at UNHCR.

We wish you happy readings! And we are looking forward to meeting many of you in person at the networking get-together at UN Beach on 27 September, exclusively for GIM Members!

UN Beach Newsletter2 final

Learning from each other - with Pradeep Kakkattil

Every newsletter, we will either interview one member or provide an opinion piece. This time we asked GIM Founding Member & Board Member Pradeep Kakkattil, Co-Founder of the Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx):

“What is the most innovative thing you’ve learned this month?”

Pradeep: “I am writing this on my way back from India, where I had the privilege of meeting some amazing innovators pushing the boundaries, finding new ways to solve problems – both the old ones that the world seems to have accepted and agreed to live with (unfortunately) and new ones that threaten human development and progress. 

In my role leading the Health Innovation and Investment Exchange (HIEx), a platform that works with governments, innovators and investors to identify pain points in scaling access to healthcare by leveraging innovations, I have been blessed to meet some bright and committed innovators. One take-away this month is that human ingenuity, when leveraged, can find solutions to the most daunting problems we face. 

Take primary health care for example: the challenge countries face is lack of financing and models for sustainable scale. Unless we address primary health, countries will struggle to keep up with the mounting expenditure making health budgets unsustainable. Can we build a model that is high quality, scalable and sustainable? Shiv Kumar at Swasti in Bangalore is a serial social entrepreneur in health. Their nurse led a model that builds on a micro saving and lending platform, which currently is able to generate 70% of the total costs of the insurance. It is expected to be fully sustainable within one year. They work with poor and vulnerable women who save USD 0.60 per week in return for health insurance for the entire family. The model takes a commercial approach that empowers the women and their families: apart from offering health insurance, it promises to make them Lakhpatis – people who have one INR 100’000 (roughly USD 1’250) in their account – something that they could not imagine possible!

And that is the second lesson – impactful innovations cut across sectors to deliver results for people. The development sector is riddled with silos and to get to the SDGs, innovation needs to break these. This is also why HIEx has partnered with Reckitt, the Kofi Annan Foundation, Eco Bank Foundation and Tokenproof in developing the WiNFUND.  This Fund addresses two key challenges: one out of two people globally don’t have access to essential healthcare, and health entrepreneurs (particularly women) are critical for closing the inequities in healthcare access. However, female entrepreneurs receive less than 2% of global venture capital investments, despite returning 35% higher annual returns! The WiNFUND is partnering with the Web3 community to launch a series of NFTs to raise funds to invest in women-led health enterprises. The first of the NFT series will be focused on Africa and will be launched on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September. 

The third lesson this month is that innovators need tenacity! I met a medtech innovator who spent 22 years staking all he had in pursuit of his dream. And even more striking – now that he is successful, he is giving back  by investing in young startups to help them reach their goal faster. Perhaps the real lesson is that innovation is not in only the mind – perhaps it’s the condition of our hearts that counts!”

You’re invited to keep the conversation going on the forum!

Upcoming Events

The Geneva Innovation Movement is (co-)organizing a number of events over the coming months. See the Events page for more detail.

Upcoming Training Opportunity: Innovation Movement Training - Fall '22

This Fall, for the first time since COVID measures took us online, the Geneva Innovation Movement organizes an in-person Innovation Movement Training!  The Training consists of two full-day sessions on 16 & 17 November in the Nations area in Geneva, followed by a half-day session on 1 December.

In the meantime, we’re not forgetting our global spirit – the virtual Innovation Movement Training will continue to bridge the field and HQ. The virtual Training is scheduled to take place from 8 November until 6 December over eight 2-hr sessions.

In both Trainings, themes will include Human Centered Design, Wellbeing for Innovators, Humanocracy, and Futures & Foresights, and much more. Want to know more? Please find more information on both Innovation Movement Trainings on the Programs page, or contacts us.

New Members

Please welcome our new members:

Diego Kuonen
CEO & CAO at Statoo Consulting; Professor of Data Science, University of Geneva

Elizabeth Nash
Founder at CoachForEquality

Françoise Lamotte
Director Digital, Innovation & ITC at Terre des Hommes

Juan Luis Coderque Galligo
Head of Innovative Finance at ICRC

Katja Hemmerich
Chief of Training and Development at UN Dept. of Safety and Security

Laura Amadori
Head of Press office at IOM

Monica Varela Garcia
Chief Official Relations and Conference Management at ILO

Nabil Hachem
Chief COE Unit at UN Geneva

Raphael Dard
Head SME Trade Academy at ITC

Rathan Kinhal 
Transformation Manager at ICRC

Roy Ahawo
Digital Transformation Business Analyst, Blockchain at MSF

Sophie Huber
Director, Center for Continuing and Distance Education at UNIGE

Spiro Polaris
Professor at Harvard University

Tasha Rumley
Head of Humanitarian Aid at Chaîne du Bonheur

Tom Wambeke
Chief Learning Innovation at ITCILO

Vinicius Marignac
Research Assistant at LEPES/USP

General Assembly

On 21 June 2022, the Geneva Innovation Movement Association’s annual General Assembly took place at the premises of the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) in a hybrid setting. You can find the presentation deck and the Minutes of the meeting here.

The discussions focused on how we can scale to together shape the future of the GIM. The Key Takeaways of the General Assembly are:

  • Each member to share one contact/connection to help us on our journey towards scaling out activities and fundraising to achieve our goals
  • To create a Board of Trustees for Private sector companies to continue to bring in this sector and to help fund our activities, open to discussion with interested companies
  • To partner with private sector industrial innovation associations

We look forward to implement these three very tangible outcomes together!


Human Centered Design Workshop for UNHCR

On 17 June, the GIM’s Human Centered Design specialist Ruth McLachlin and Managing Director Katherine Tatarinov were welcomed by the Interagency Coordination and Partnerships Team at UNHCR to familiarize them with the principals of Human Centered Design tools, mindsets and practice.

An audience of 35 participants, either present in person or virtually, enjoyed the half-day long workshop. The group was introduced to the concept and content of Human Centered Design, after which they were immediately challenged to apply the theory into practice and come up with solutions to their own challenges while following the guidelines and steps of the Human Centered Design process.

Are you interested in learning more about Human Centered Design with your Team or Organization? The GIM can facilitate a customized workshop! More information can be found on our Programs page, or simply contacts us for more information.


Warmest congratulations to:

Katherine Tatarinov for winning the Peter J. Buckley and Mark Casson AIB Dissertation Award for her thesis: Managing, Structuring and Scaling Innovation in International Organizations


Do you know any relevant articles, blogs, or opinions that you wish to highlight?

Please contact Iris, so we can publish them through our website and Social Media channels.