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Partos Innovation Festival 2021


The countdown has begun! On October 8th 2021, Partos organises the 8th edition of the annual Innovation Festival, celebrating innovation within development cooperation. A unique online festival, celebrating emerging voices and new insights. Expect an unforgettable day with talented and experienced international development professionals, extremely passionate speakers and inspiring sessions.

Mariken Gaanderse | Host

Over 20 years of experience in humanitarian aid and international development cooperation, including setting up her own social enterprise ‘Fonkeling’, Mariken Gaanderse currently works at the intersection of social innovation & resilience, clean tech start-ups, and investing for impact. She is the energetic host we were looking for, will motivate and inspire us all – and open our minds to new experiences and innovations. Did you know? Mariken also facilitates the Partos Future Exploration trajectory.


Dzifa Kusenuh | Host

We are excited to have Dzifa Kusenuh as our host during the festival! The smart and spontaneous Dutch-Ghanese actress and tv-host will not mince words. Dzifa is open-minded and motivated to push her boundaries while being respectful and mindful towards both nature and humans. She has a Bachelor degree in Media & Culture (University of Amsterdam). Dzifa is known for the tv-show 3 op Reis and online series called ‘Maandverbond.’

Lydia Zigomo | Keynote speaker

A Zimbabwean human rights lawyer with over 20 years of experience in human development, Lydia Zigomo is currently working as the Global Programmes Director at Oxfam International in London, after more than four years as Regional Director Horn East and Central Africa. Prior to joining Oxfam International, she has been Head of East Africa region at WaterAid, focusing on the provision of safe water and sanitation to those who desperately need it. Lydia has been Chair of the Zimbabwe Women’s Coalition as well as the Zimbabwe Women’s network in the UK, National Director of the Zimbabwe Women’s Lawyers’ Association, and Board Member of both the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO forum and the Legal Resources Foundation in Zimbabwe. She is an Eisenhower Fellow (USA), holds a Masters Degree in Human Rights and Civil Liberties (University of Leicester) and a Bachelor of Honours Law Degree (University of Zimbabwe).

Krizna Gomez | Keynote speaker | Frames & narratives on development

Trained as a human rights lawyer, Krizna Gomez has been working with NGO’s around the world to help magnify their impact and innovative thinking through foresight, design thinking, contemplative practices and cross-disciplinary methods: from being a grassroots organizer in the Philippines to serving as Presidential Fellow at Open Society Foundations and helping set up and serving as Director of Programs at JustLabs. She now works as an independent consultant, helping partners tackle long-standing problems using a fresh perspective and other disciplines such as neuroscience, tech, marketing and design. Lucky for us, Krizna will deliver an inspirational talk and also be part of the frames & narratives session on development in times of rising populism and polarization.

Kiza Magedane | Speaker | Frames & narratives on development

Kiza Magendane (1992) is a political scientist, writer and strategic policy advisor who focuses on citizenship, identity, globalization, technology and the position of Africa in the world (geopolitics, economy and culture). He works as knowledge broker in international sustainable development at The Broker in The Hague and publishes essays and reports for NRC, De Kanttekening and de Groene Amsterdammer. At publishing house Prometheus, he is working on his long-awaited debut (literary non-fiction) about his attempt to become a Dutchman. Kiza will be part of the frames & narratives session.

Jurjen van den Bergh | Speaker | Frames & narratives on development

Besides political commentator and presenter, Jurjen van den Bergh is one of the initiators of the citizens’ movement Samen uit de Crisis (Together Out of the Crisis). What’s more, he is founder and director of DeGoedeZaak (The Good Case), a citizen movement supporting campaigns that aim to make the Netherlands more just, sustainable, inclusive and democratic. Jurjen previously held positions at trade unions, NGOs and in the House of Representatives. He will share his insights during the session on frames & narratives.

Maryia Sadouskaya-Komlach | Speaker | Frames & narratives on development

Maryia Sadouskaya-Komlach is a media development specialist and journalist. She has lived and worked in Belarus, U.S., Czechia, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France and managed projects in Eastern and Central Europe, Central Asia, and Central America. Maryia’s interests are democracy transition, human rights, media development in “closed” environments, including exiled media and disinformation. Being a Belarus native, she has covered the EU-Belarus relations and Belarusian foreign policy since 2001. In 2015, Maryia advised the European Endowment for Democracy on its Feasibility Study on Russian-language Media Initiatives. In 2019, she co-wrote a comprehensive analysis of Syrian exiled media for the International Media Support (Denmark). Maryia currently leads the Eurasia team at the Dutch non-for-profit media support organization Free Press Unlimited. She holds a Master’s degree in Journalism/Politics from Columbia University and is a non-resident fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Maryia will be a part of the session on frames & narratives.

Nisreen Elsaim | Speaker | Climate Justice

Nisreen Elsaim is a climate activist from Sudan who started her activism back in 2012. Recently, she was chosen as Chair to the United Nations Secretary General Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change. The role of this group is to amplify youth voices and to engage young people in dialogues around addressing the climate emergency. Nisreen also is the Chair of the Sudan Youth Organization and a junior negotiator with the African Group of Negotiators in technology transfer, focusing on the policies of countries regarding climate change and renewable energy. Nisreen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Khartoum, Sudan. She pursued her Master’s degree in Renewable Energy from the same University. Nisreen will be part of the Inspirational Talks on Climate Justice.

Kumi Naidoo | Speaker | Climate Justice

Kumi Naidoo is a South African born human rights and climate activist. As a fifteen-year-old, he organised school boycotts against the apartheid educational system in South Africa. His work made him a target for the Security Police and he was forced into exile in the United Kingdom until 1990. Kumi returned to South Africa and was asked to lead the process to formally register the African National Congress (ANC) as a political party. He has served as International Executive Director of Greenpeace International and worked as a Secretary-General of Amnesty International. Kumi is currently Professor of Practice at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University. He lectures at Fossil Free University and serves as Special Advisor to the Green Economy Coalition. Kumi is a Visiting Fellow at Oxford and is a Global Ambassador for Africans Rising for Justice, Peace & Dignity. He will be part of the Inspirational Talks on Climate Justice. 

Charles Kojo Vandyck | Speaker | Panel Shifting Power: (Net)work in progress

Charles Kojo Vandyck has fifteen years of experience working in social justice and development in Africa. He has expertise in the development and implementation of governance and leadership programs for the non-profit and public sectors, conducting research and analysis and providing policy advice. Vandyck is the Capacity Building Advisor of the West Africa-based Program of the Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF). He is the Founding Board Chair of Innovation for Change-Hub Afrique as well as a founding member of the International Consortium on Closing Civic Space (iCon), an initiative of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC. He currently serves as a member of the Coordination Collective (Governing Board) of Africans Rising, as Head of the Capacity Development Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and as a member of the Development Studies Association (UK). Charles is a 2017 Stanford University Fellow for Nonprofit Leaders and a certified Change the Game Resource Mobilization Trainer. Charles will be part of the Panel Shifting Power.

Dumiso Gatsha | Speaker | Fresh Perspectives

Dumi (they, them, their) is proudly Pan African and unequivocally non-binary queer feminist working on eliminating the barriers between grassroots experiences and global policymaking. Dumi is the Founder of Success Capital Organisation, a beneficiary of the Climate Justice Resilience Fund. This is a queer, youth, feminist-led, managed and serving grassroots organisation working on strengthening and safeguarding youth agency and autonomy in human rights and sustainable development. Success Capital is challenging power, privilege and patriarchy through intersectionality underpinning participatory research, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and advocacy. Dumi’s consulting work includes serving as a facilitator of the #ShiftThePower UK Funders’ Collective and as a critical friend of CIVICUS’ grassroots activist campaign for 21st-century citizen action. Dumi is a standing international member representative of Amnesty International, the Vice-Chair of Gender Dynamics and a global advisory board member of Voice Global among other voluntary roles. Dumi will speak in the session on Fresh Perspectives.

Rosebella Nyumba | Speaker | Fresh Perspectives

Rosebella Nyumba is a researcher at the Centre for Frugal innovation Kenya Hub working on innovation and urban resilience projects. She is an experienced social researcher and development practitioner who advocates for the use of research-generated evidence to influence policy and inform future development. She holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the Institute for Development Studies and a Master’s Degree in Sociology (University of Nairobi). Rosebella will enlighten us during the session on Fresh Perspectives.

Patrick Meier | Speaker | Fresh Perspectives

Patrick Meier serves as executive director of WeRobotics, a social impact organisation that brings together local experts, activists, and communities. WeRobotics is committed to offering a practical alternative to systems dominated by foreign-led and top-down interventions. Patrick is passionate about the intersection of humanitarian technology and social justice. He has been working in this space for 15+ years and holds a PhD from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. Patrick is also a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. He and was born and raised in Africa. Patrick will speak in the Fresh Perspectives session.

Ishita Dutta | Speaker | Fresh Perspectives

A feminist activist and human rights practitioner from India, Ishita Dutta joins Voice as Programme Manager. Over the last 9 years, she has cultivated a passion for using human rights law as a tool for intersectional movement building, advocacy and organising. Ishita has a strong interest in feminist facilitation as a way of ensuring safe, respectful and resilient organisations and movement spaces. Ishita holds a Bachelors of Laws (Symbiosis University) and a Masters of Laws (New York University School of Law). Prior experiences are with the Bangladesh Legal Aid & Services Trust (BLAST) and the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP) in Malaysia. Ishita will speak at the Fresh Perspectives session

Pascalle Grotenhuis | Speaker | Fresh Perspectives

Currently, Pascalle Grotenhuis is Director for Social Development and Ambassador for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. Before that, she held roles as Director of Protocol and Host Country Affairs, the Netherlands Ambassador to Mozambique, and she was heading the division for the Private Sector and Corporate Social Responsibility within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. She held various positions at the Ministry, amongst others at the Africa department, a secondment to the Africa Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in London, as Private Secretary to the DG for International Development and as Coordinator for the MDGs and Public-Private Partnerships. Prior to joining the Ministry, she worked at a political institute and for two Dutch NGO’s. Pascalle will speak at the Fresh Perspectives session

Celia Cranfield | Speaker | 0,7% ODA Discours

Celia Cranfield is Senior Policy & Advocacy Adviser at Concord Europe. She joined the CONCORD secretariat in September 2020 as Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for Financing for Sustainable Development, supporting members in their engagement towards the EU, advocating for the EU to live up to its commitments in terms of quantity and quality of EU financing for development and funding to NGOs. Before joining CONCORD, Celia worked in Brussels for one of its members, Light For the World as EU advocacy and liaison officer for four years, and at VOICE, the European humanitarian NGO platform as senior advocacy officer for six years. She also has previous experience working on EU foreign and human rights policies in the Irish and Luxembourgish foreign ministries. She speaks English, French, Italian, and German. She will be speaking during the comparative session on 0,7% ODA Discours.

Rebekka Blomqvist | Speaker | 0,7% ODA Discours

Rebekka Blomqvist is Political Advisor at Globalt Fokus, the Danish National Platform for Danish CSO’s for Development Cooperation. Before joining Globalt Fokus, she worked at Concord Europe as Policy and Advocacy Officer and Policy and Advocacy Assistant. She will be speaking during the comparative session on 0,7% ODA Discours. What is the dominant discours in specific countries and how does this relate to political systems?

Lukas Goltermann | Speaker | 0,7% ODA Discours

Lukas Goltermann is Policy Adviser at the Strengthening Civil Society Unit of VENRO, the German national platform of development organizations. Prior to joining VENRO, he was Researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, within the Global Issues Division, addressing Partnerships for Sustainable Development. He holds a BA in International Relations and Affairs from the University of Sheffield and an MA in International Relations and Affairs from the Freie Universität Berlin. Lukas will be speaking during the comparative session on 0,7% ODA Discours.

Gautier Centlivre | Speaker | 0,7% ODA Discours

As Advocacy Coordinator at Action Santé Mondiale, Gautier Centlivre brings the challenges of universal access to health to parliamentarians, French and international decision-makers. Gautier has worked for 10 years in advocacy within international solidarity associations (Coordination SUD, Solidarité Sida), particularly in monitoring development financing issues and global health policies. He has also developed projects to strengthen the capacities of civil societies in the South in terms of advocacy. Gautier will be speaking during the comparative session on 0,7% ODA Discours.

Nasim Salad | Speaker | 0,7% ODA Discours

Nasim Salad is UK Policy and Advocacy Officer at The ONE Campaign. She led ONE’s aid quality work and authored the Real Aid Index, assessing ODA spending government departments and their top 3-5 largest programmes on poverty focus, effectiveness, and transparency. In 2019, she co-chaired the Westminster and Whitehall group in a Campaign to Defend UK Aid and Development. Nasim will be speaking during the comparative session on 0,7% ODA Discours, addressing the state of affairs in EU countries with regard to their commitment to ODA.

Merel van der Woude | Speaker | Future Exploration

Merel van der Woude is a social designer who has been promoting the use of Design Thinking and co-creation within International Development. Her vision is to create a world where everyone can have a say in their future by being included in the design and implementation of systems, programmes and products that aim to improve their lives. As the Creative Director at Butterfly Works, a social design studio based in Amsterdam, she has been developing a Design Thinking method that is inclusive to people from various backgrounds and which can be used to talk about and work on complex problems. Merel is driven by an optimistic curiosity for others and believes in the power of creative and visual thinking. She will present the Future Exploration Roadmap.

Jenny Hodgson | Speaker | Panel Shifting Power: (Net)work in progress

Jenny Hodgson has been the Executive Director of the Johannesburg-based Global Fund for Community Foundations (GFCF) since it was established in 2006. She has overseen its emergence as leading global voice on community philanthropy as a core strategy for people-led development and shifting power closer to the ground. Based variously in Uganda, Kenya, Russia, Singapore and Thailand, Jenny has been involved in philanthropy development in emerging markets and developing contexts for the past two decades. She has a BA (Hons) in English from Emmanuel College, Cambridge and an MA in International Relations (African Studies) from John Hopkins School in Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Jenny will be part of the Panel Shifting Power.

Pascal Richard | Speaker | Panel Shifting Power: (Net)work in progress

Pascal Richard is a peacebuilding, governance and human rights activist who wants to ensure people are at the centre of social and political changes that will ensure a dignified life for all. He has twenty plus years of experience working with social movements, local NGO’s, INGO’s and governmental agencies and coordinated various locally-led national, regional and global networks. He currently holds the position of Expert Adviser on Localisation and Local Leadership at the Dutch INGO Cordaid. He initiated Cordaid’s localisation strategy, which aims to shift power for more equitable partnerships.  Since this implies a much broader systems change beyond one organisation, he joined the RINGO project as a space to jointly think through blockages, identify leverage points and create greater momentum for change. He will be part of the Panel Shifting Power.

Osai Ojigho | Speaker | Panel Shifting Power: (Net)work in progress

Osai Ojigho is a feminist, human rights expert, gender equality advocate, lawyer, and civil society leader with over 17 years of experience leading teams at International Non-Governmental Organisations, civil society networks, advocacy coalitions and policy research consulting firms. Osai is currently the Country Director of Amnesty International Nigeria. Her Interests are the African human rights system, sexual and gender-based violence and access to justice. With regards to specific themes on the Ringo project, she has worked on incentives. Looking at what are those factors that motivate INGOs to do what they do and determine the value for work done. Osai will be part of the Panel Shifting Power.

Sarah Page | Speaker | Shifts in communication 

Sarah is an experienced NGO communication professional with over six years of working experience within international NGOs, particularly in the Middle East. Her impressive portfolio includes collaborations with SPARK, Amnesty International Israel and Human Rights Watch UK. Sarah holds a BSc in Psychology, is a published freelance journalist and has a background in documentary filmmaking (BBC). Sarah employs ethical storytelling and hope-based communications principles throughout her work. She will give insights on her way of working and lessons learnt during the session Shifts in communication.

Joost Bastmeijer | Speaker | Shifts in communication 

Joost Bastmeijer (1988) is a Nairobi-based photojournalist. As a freelancer, he works for Dutch and international media outlets, combining photography, text and video. Alongside his work for clients like The Guardian, Trouw, National Geographic and NOS, Joost has worked on many multimedia assignments for NGOs like Amref Flying Doctors, Hivos, Justdiggit and WFP. During the session Shifts in communication, Joost will talk about his experiences working for organisations in the development sector. How can nonprofits benefit from an innovative multimedia approach? How can online storytelling add layers to regular communication channels? And is it even possible to create both text, video and photography during one field trip?

Anne Moraa | LAM Sisterhood | Speaker | Shifts in communication | Online Storytelling Performance

Meet Laura Ekumbo, Aleya Kassam and Anne Moraa. Three African feminist storytellers that form the LAM Sisterhood. A content studio that fills the world with stories for African women to feel seen, heard and beloved. Their international award-winning and nominated works on life writing span multiple media including film, stage, audio storytelling and interactive theatre. As Innovators in Residence at the Aga Khan University Media Innovation Centre, they are currently developing the Brazen Universe where they share the life stories of extraordinary African women who’ve shaped the world. Anne Moraa will speak at the session about Shifts in communication and give together with Laura and Aleya an online performance during the plenary programme.

Walied Khalid | RNW Media | Speaker | Online community engagement

Walied Khalid is Digital Engagement Expert at RNW Media and has a background in marketing, data, and media. He has a keen interest in Human and Behavioural Science and a record of over 15 years of cross sectors experience, including working on projects in Asia, Middle East & North Africa (MENA), Africa, and South America. Walied will speak during the live session on Online Community Engagement. How can we build digital communities that offer reliable information, foster voice diversity, encourage participation, and are inviting to marginalized groups, while reducing the negative impact of online adversities? 

Adrien Trocmé | RNW Media | Speaker | Online community engagement

Adrien Trocmé has 15 years of experience setting up and managing digital and cultural movements in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. He is an expert in media content production and engaging campaigns for young people and has co-created several communities which have been multi-awarded. Adrien was RNW Media’s Regional Manager for Burundi, the DRC, and Mali for the last 5 years. Currently, he is Partnership Lead. Adrien hopes to continue launching vibrant communities for young people together with local partners.  Adrien will speak during the live session on Online community engagement. 

Ruba Mimi | RNW Media | Speaker | Online community engagement

Ruba is a media professional with broad experience in building and implementing media projects for social change in fragile and conflict settings. Currently, she serves as Middle East Regional Manager at RNW Media. For more than 7 years, Ruba has been leading digital media projects in Yemen, focused on multiple thematic programmes such as youth inclusion, social cohesion, inclusive governance and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Ruba will speak during the live session on Online community engagement. 

Spageon Ngabo | WarChild | Speaker | Online community engagement

Spageon Ngabo is a young Burundian born in 1989, pursuing studies in Medicine, he has consecutively assumed the responsibilities of Community Manager at the Yaga platform from 2016 to 2018, Editor in the national language from 2018 to 2019, and Administrative officer in 2020. Currently, he is a member of the Yaga Management Team as Chairman & Legal representative.  Spageon will share his experiences during the live session on Online community engagement. 

Wouter van Tongeren | RNW Media | Facilitator | Online community engagement

Wouter van Tongeren has more than 15 years of experience in bringing governments, companies, civil society, and funders together in tangible programs that drive change. With a thorough understanding of the different drivers (cultural values and decision-making modes) he managed to forge partnerships across five continents dealing with – amongst others – social injustice. Wouter is member of the Leadership Team at RNW Media and leads the Partnerships Management Cluster. He facilitates the live session on Online community engagement. 

Wouter Oomen | Moderator | Shifts in communication 

Wouter is a Lecturer and PhD candidate at Utrecht University, working on a dissertation on humanitarian communication. His work focuses on the postcolonial roots of development communication as well as on networks and alliances in the production of campaigns. He is also the co-director of the Expertise Centre Humanitarian Communication. He will moderate the session on Shifts in communication.

Bart Romijn | Host | Director Partos

Since 2014, Bart Romijn has been Director of Partos, the Dutch Association for Development Cooperation with over 100 non-governmental member organisations. Bart’s thrust is the emergence and mobilization of citizens and civil society organisations for sustainable and inclusive development worldwide. After completing his studies at Wageningen University & Research, Bart worked at Greenpeace and the European Parliament in the early 1980s. Next, he founded the non-profit consultancy Aidenvironment, a social enterprise where he worked 15 years. Thereupon, he has been director of Warner Strategy & Fundraising for 10 years and supported over 100 civil society organisations and initiatives in their strategic positioning, organisational enhancement and revenue generation. Bart will open the 2021 Partos Innovation Festival and also take the stage during the closure of the festival.

Süd Illustration Agency

Presents fresh perspectives from the Global South*, bringing much needed diversity to international waters. Süd Illustration Agency works to shatter bias and build connections between cutting-edge artists and passionate clients. They will connect winners of the Collaborative Innovations Awards to artists that create a visual narrative artboard.

*Global South: refers to a geopolitical South rather than a geographical one; it was first introduced as a less pejorative alternative to terms such as Third World or Developing Countries.