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Innovation → Accelerating Progress Toward the SDGs .

Event | April 21, 2021

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During this World Creativity and Innovation Day event, leading global experts share their insights into how innovation and collective action can accelerate progress toward meeting the world's most intractable challenges.

Innovation. Beyond its value as a buzzword, what does it mean for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals? Like those of the past, today’s challenges – climate change, global health security, sociopolitical unrest – demand innovative solutions. As development professionals, how do we adopt the mindset needed to foster innovative thinking? What lessons can we learn from where innovation has worked, and what are some of the challenges to scaling those successful ideas?

Our panelists dig into these questions, sharing insights from the academic, private, and development sectors and exploring how collective action can accelerate progress. An open Q&A session directly follows the panel discussion.


  • Dr. Hina Arora, Director of Experiential Analytics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University
  • Lovesun Parent, External Partnerships Director, USAID’s Partnerships Incubator
  • Olivia Roney, Impact Strategist and Social Entrepreneur, spur:
  • Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Pakistan Country Director, USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management Project
  • Jamey Butcher, President and CEO, Chemonics (Moderator)

Dr. Hina Arora
Dr. Hina AroraDr. Hina Arora is a clinical assistant professor and director of experiential analytics in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Prior to joining ASU, Dr. Arora was a group manager at Microsoft, where she led analytics teams in the Windows Services Division and the US Central Marketing Organization. She has also held software development positions at IBM and Cognizant and worked as a research scientist at the Center for Excellence in Document Analysis and Recognition at SUNY Buffalo. Dr. Arora has a PhD in information systems, a master’s degree in electronics and communication engineering, and an undergraduate degree in physics.

Lovesun Parent
Lovesun ParentLovesun Parent is a senior social inclusion expert and program manager with more than 12 years of experience leading complex international programs in challenging and changing environments — from conflict and disaster zones to areas recovering post-crisis. She is the external partnerships director for USAID’s Partnerships Incubator, implemented by the Kaizen Company, where she provides technical leadership and manages partnership development. A graduate of Pace University, where she majored in political science and government, Ms. Parent holds a master’s degree in international affairs from the New School in New York. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in organizational change and leadership at the University of Southern California.

Olivia Roney
Olivia RoneyOlivia Roney is a social entrepreneur in her final year of law and economics and passionate about social innovation and agency-driven change. She works as a strategist for spur: a social impact design and strategy firm. She is a Foundation for Young Australian’s Young Social Pioneer, UNLEASH Talent in 2019, and an UNLEASH+ participant in 2020. Her work has spanned donor engagement for health research, technology and elder inclusion, cultural attitudes to poetry, conversion therapy, design of AI in administrative design-making, and wellbeing.

Muhammad Tariq
Muhammad TariqDr. Muhammad Tariq is a health systems, supply chain policy, and technology practitioner with more than 30 years of experience. He currently serves as the country director for the GHSC-PSM Pakistan program, implemented by Chemonics. Social justice, health equity, and the science of implementation are his passions. He has been associated with the Center for AIDS Research, Family FHI 360, Population Services International, John Snow International, and the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs. Dr. Tariq earned a master’s of public health degree from the University of Washington with a concentration in Global Health.

Jamey Butcher
Jamey ButcherSince joining Chemonics in 1998, President and CEO Jamey Butcher has served across a variety of roles and regions. Most recently, Mr. Butcher oversaw Chemonics’ global health and supply chain portfolio. In that capacity, he led efforts to implement sustainable supply chains, improve health service delivery, and scale up innovative approaches in developing country environments. He also championed the development of Chemonics’ knowledge sharing and learning hub that provides continual learning opportunities for Chemonics’ global network of more than 5,000 employees. Mr. Butcher holds a master’s degree from American University in international political economy and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado State University.