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CANCELLED - UNESCO Global Conference: “Gender Equality and the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence: What solutions from the private sector?" – 7 March 2020


The programme of the Conference will be regularly updated on this page, with the latest information available. Please download the pdf version here.





Morning Session

09:30am to 1:00pm, Room II


Registration and welcome coffee


Opening Session

Welcome remarks by UNESCO and the Government of Germany

  • Moez Chakchouk, Assistant Director General for Communication and Information, UNESCO 
  • Government of Germany (GIZ) representative


I’d Blush if I Could – The Spark that started the conversation

UNESCO presents the main findings of its publication on the gender biases coded into digital voice assistants.

  • Moderator
  • Saniye Gülser Corat, Director of the Gender Equality Division, UNESCO


Firestarter – Bias

How does gender interact with other social identities to shape bias? What unique challenges are queer women, women of colour and other women belonging to multiple minority groups facing in the digital age?

  • Deborah Raji, Tech Fellow at the AI Now Institute, Research Fellow at the Partnership on AI, Member of the Black in AI movement


Panel 1 – Building the Ethical Framework and Taking Action

This session will examine the challenges and opportunities that lie in the creation of AI ethical frameworks. Representatives of different intergovernmental organizations and institutions will reveal the progress they have made and share their best practices in terms of integrating gender equality into such frameworks.

Moderator: Rahaf Harfoush, Digital Anthropologist and Author

  • Yann Bonnet, Member of the High-Level Expert Group on AI at the European Commission
  • Gina Neff, Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
  • Jürgen Rahmel, Chief Digital Officer, HSBC Germany
  • Cansu Canca, Founder and Director, AI Ethics Lab


Ask me Anything

Technology sector leaders will tell us what they think, what they have learned and what they are doing about gender diversity in the technology sector.

Moderator: Kimberley Lewis, Director of Engagement, EOS @Federated Hermes

  • Janet Slifka, Director of Research Science, Amazon Alexa AI
  • Stephanie Leung, EMEA Chair for Women at Uber, Uber


Firestarter  Meet Q, the genderless voice

Part of the solution to removing gender biases in AI is to end the practice of making digital assistants female by default. The creators of Q, the first genderless voice, will tell us how they managed to make this a reality.

  • Ryan Sherman, Senior Art Director, VIRTUE
  • Emil Asmussen, Creative Director, VIRTUE


Panel 2 – Gender biases in AI: beyond voice assistants

Identifying biases inherent in AI, the impact on society, and discussing what needs to be done to ensure an ethical approach.

Moderator: Charlotte Jee, MIT Technology Review

  • Anabelle Blangero, Senior Consultant, OCTO Technology
  • Lori Foster, Head of Behavioural Science, pymetrics
  • Genevieve M. Smith, Research Director, Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley


Lunch Break

1:00pm to 2:30pm


Afternoon Session

2:30pm to 4:30pm, Room II


Firestarter – What matters for the next generation?

AI has been described as a key driver of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with long-lasting impacts on the future of our societies. What hopes and fears does the next generation hold for the future?

  • Sara Conejo, Teens in AI


Panel 3 – Ethics, Policy, Execution

Intergovernmental organizations set the ethical frameworks, governments set the policies, and the private sector executes. Why all three are imperative to the solution set.

Moderator: Annette Young, Host, The 51 Percent, France 24

  • Scotty Greenwood, CEO, Canadian American Business Council
  • Cassandra Kelly, CEO of cChange, Member of the European Union Global Tech Panel
  • Christine Chow, Member of All-Party Parliamentary Group on AI, UK and Director, EOS @Federated Hermes


Ask me Anything

Technology sector leaders will tell us what they think, what they have learned and what they are doing about gender diversity in the technology sector.

Moderator: Bonnie Hagemann, CEO, Executive Development Associates (TBC)

  • Daniela Braga, Founder and CEO of DefinedCrowd
  • Susanne Chishti, CEO, FINTECH Circle 


Fireside chat – The Exponent Roundtable: The Private Sector Takes Action

Data overwhelmingly suggests that society as a whole would benefit from greater gender equality. Exponent, Google’s Gender Equality Incubator, is a small group of people inside and outside the organization that are working with the private sector to advance gender equality efforts globally. What are their most pressing challenges and what solutions have they found?

Moderator: Nabila Ahmed, Deals Reporter, Bloomberg

  • Rebekah Dopp, Founder, Exponent: Gender Equality Incubator
  • Kathryn Kaufman, Managing Director for Global Women's Issues, OPIC


Closing remarks


General attendees released; Break for Exponent Members


Evening Session – By invitation only

5:00pm to 6:30pm


Exponent Roundtable, Inaugural Meeting

Setting the agenda and mandate.