The United Nations Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Forum

The sixth annual STI Forum will be held from 4 to 5 May 2021.

The collaborative Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum) is convened annually by the President of ECOSOC and expected to “discuss science, technology and innovation cooperation around thematic areas for the implementation of the sustainable development goals, congregating all relevant stakeholders to actively contribute in their area of expertise.” It will “provide a venue for facilitating interaction, matchmaking and the establishment of networks between relevant stakeholders and multistakeholder partnerships in order to identify and examine technology needs and gaps, including with regard to scientific cooperation, innovation and capacity-building, and also in order to help facilitate development, transfer and dissemination of relevant technologies for the sustainable development goals.”

IEEE HAC will be hosting a side event at the Forum on 3 May to take advantage of the unique opportunity to raise awareness of IEEE’s contributions to sustainable development.

Register for the event!

Date: 3 May

Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm EDT

Registration and Description:

Feet on the Ground: How to Connect with a Global Network of Local, Technically Trained Partners in the Time of COVID and Beyond

Event Description:

In 2020, the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee enabled over 100 grassroots sustainable development projects that utilized technology to address the COVID-19 situation in 29 countries. These projects included an auto irrigation and soil monitoring system for COVID-19 migrant engagement in India, a digital nutrition guide and recipe repository for family resilience in COVID-19 in Indonesia, a distance education program adapted to COVID-19 in Guatemala, engineers assisting ventilator maintenance in Brazil, and 3D printed personal protection equipment for frontline workers in Uganda, to name just a few. Many times, the projects engaged youth who gained new skills and confidence, cementing their desire to pursue a future in technology, as well as to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals for their country.

Through the example of the COVID-19 pandemic response, this workshop will illustrate how stakeholders can leverage the resources and breadth of IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional association dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, to address local sustainable development challenges around the world.

This workshop will provide an overview of IEEE’s global network of engineers and technically trained professionals and IEEE programs that specifically address SDGs in local contexts in the era of COVID and beyond. Attendees will be able to identify contacts and build their networks to potentially help scale their existing programs, pilot new activities, and develop new approaches by partnering with IEEE.


Mr. Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan, 2021 IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC) Chair

Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan is a globally renowned technologist best known for his technological innovations in addressing global humanitarian and sustainable development challenges.  As the 2021 IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC) Chair, Sampath spearheads  the global strategy and portfolio of sustainable development and humanitarian engineering programs to deliver impactful programs at grass root-level. Sampath was the 2019-2020 IEEE SIGHT Chair, leading the program to record-breaking growth through high-impact, technology-driven sustainable programs benefiting members in 118+ countries. He is the founding chair for the IEEE SIGHT day (2020)  and SIGHT week (2019), a global program that showcases the impactful IEEE technology-based humanitarian programs. Sampath was an expert in the Broadband Commission working group on school connectivity co-chaired by UNESCO, UNICEF and ITU to drive “GIGA,” a Global School Connectivity Initiative. He is the founder and president of “The Brahmam,” a humanitarian program delivering next-generation social innovations to achieve sustainable development goals and benefit marginalized communities globally. Sampath was recently accredited with the 2020 IEEE Theodore W. Hissey Outstanding Young Professional Award.  He currently works as a senior technology and program management leader with Alexa Artificial Intelligence Group at Amazon.

Ms. Holly Schneider Brown, Director, Public Imperatives and Corporate Development, IEEE

Holly Schneider Brown leads the professional staff support organization for the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC), partnering with the Chair to guide strategic planning and program development and overseeing all aspects of operational execution for the global portfolio of sustainable development and humanitarian technology activities. Holly has been instrumental in the growth of the portfolio from its inception as an ad hoc in 2012 to a high level committee reporting to the IEEE Board of Directors. Key accomplishments include helping to establish, develop, and grow the popular IEEE SIGHT program and standing up and continuously improving the HAC funding programs, including pivoting to the new realities of the COVID-19 world. Prior to IEEE, Holly held various positions in project, program, and department management, all with a focus on high achievement in time- and resource-constrained environments. In her volunteer capacity, Holly serves as chief operating officer for a small non-profit concentrating on biodiversity conservation and women’s empowerment in Madagascar.