Our Guests Speakers

Our guest speakers cover a range of backgrounds from economics to virology, from disaster risk reduction to biodiversity. We explore the broader impact that COVID-19 has had. You ask the question and experts answer the questions so that you know what is happening and how to cope with and understand the pandemic.

Dr Shireen Kassam

Shireen is a Consultant Haematologist, Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s College Hospital, and Founder of Plant-based health professionals, UK.

"A focus on healthy plant-based diets is not only necessary for human health but for planetary health and for prevention of future pandemics."

Dr Jacob Stegenga

Jacob is a Reader at the University of Cambridge, and author in the Philosophy of Science and Medicine, and author of Care and Cure, and Medical Nihilism.

“My hope is that a love of humanity can motivate us to improve the art of medicine - in all its manifestations, including clinical practice, scientific research, and regulation - and conversely, rethinking the art of medicine could contribute to improving the condition of humanity."

Dr Nisreen Alwan

Nisreen is a healthcare influencer, Fellow at the UK Faculty of Public Health, and Associate Professor at the University of Southampton.

"The pandemic is spelling it out for us; we must Invest resources in closing the health inequalities gap in our societies. Nobody is safe until everyone is safe."

Prof. Albert (Albie) Louise Sachs

Appointed Justice by Nelson Mandela to the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Former Professor-At-Large at Cornell University. A Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.

“[we] need to be mindful. We need to rethink development and try to build resilience”

Dr Mohamed Keshavjee

Recipient of the Gandhi King Ikeda Peace Award, having worked in the Aga Khan Development Network. A former member of the Steering Committee of the World Mediation Forum.

"The short-sighted approach of only treating the health crisis in isolation of the ongoing climate crisis will do little good. COVID has been a testing ground for systems readiness."

Anders Wijkman

Anders has been an MP, MEP, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. He is now Chair of Climate-KIC and Honorary President of The Club of Rome.

“[we] need to be mindful. We need to rethink development and try to build resilience”

Ria Sen

Ria is a Disaster Risk Reduction Expert at the UN World Food Programme. She has also been described as a “thought leader” by the UN ITU.

"The short-sighted approach of only treating the health crisis in isolation of the ongoing climate crisis will do little good. COVID has been a testing ground for systems readiness."

Martha McPherson

Martha is Head of Green Economy and Sustainable Growth at UCL Institute of Innovation and Public Purpose.

“The climate emergency is a public health crisis and it really needs to be seen in this wider context."

Dr Velislava Petrova

Dr Velislava Petrova is a research fellow with UNAIDS and consultant at CEPI. Joint PhD Fellow at University of Cambridge & Wellcome Sanger Institute.

“We need to work a lot more with countries in the global south to understand what the real needs are, to understand what the real gaps are in order for us to provide solutions through education and research.”

H.E. Prof. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

Ameenah is the 6th President of the Republic of Mauritius. As a biodiversity scientist, she holds Laureate awards with the African Union and Unesco.

“The world has changed tremendously. Just to put these things very very bluntly, 70% of the UN Security Council Agenda is about Africa issues and there is not and there is not a representative of Africa on the UN Security Council.”

Prof. Borja Santos Porras

Prof. Borja Santos Porras, Executive Director of IE School of Global and Public Affairs. He has led international programmes in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

“When we talk about the impact this crisis is having on low-income countries ... people that are living with deprivation of resources, they do not allow them to have even basic services, basic income, basic food, so we should never forget that.’

Yemi Babington-Ashaye

Yemi Babington-Ashaye is President of United People Global. Former Director of the Africa Region, and Former Head of the Global Shapers Community at the World Economic Forum.

"It is essential to assist individuals who are passionate about building a positive future. "Ordinary" people are capable of "extraordinary" things when we work together."

Dr Patricia Gabaldón

Dr Patricia Gabaldón is an Associate Professor and Academic Director in Economics at IE Business School. Her research concerns the role of woman in management and business ethics.

"COVID-19 is positioning the world in the middle of a black swan. In the words of Nassim Taleb, the actual pandemia is a rare phenomena, of extreme impact, and with retrospective predictability"

Dr Ilan Kelman

Dr Ilan Kelman is Professor at UCL in Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change and Global Health. Professor II at the University of Agder in the Department of Global Development and Social Planning.

"It is no mystery why pandemics happen. Those with the knowledge, wisdom, and resources must choose to decide to avoid these disasters that afflict everyone."

Dr Camilla Pang

Dr Camilla Pang is an expert in neurodiversity influences her approach to research. After her PhD in Biochemistry, she worked with the Francis Crick Institute and is now an active coronavirus researcher.

"Diversity and collaboration are essential to developing sustainable strategies for adaptation - both in scientific research and unifying mechanisms that push human evolution."

“All organized measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole. Its activities aim to provide conditions in which people can be healthy and focus on entire populations, not on individual patients or diseases. Thus, public health is concerned with the total system and not only the eradication of a particular disease.” (WHO)

Share your story