About the conference
Humanitarian Leadership and the Future of Humanitarian Action
The 2019 Asia Pacific Humanitarian Leadership Conference will bring together leading humanitarian thinkers from around the world for three days of plenary sessions, panels, presentations and networking opportunities.
Participants will critically reflect on the challenges facing good leadership in the humanitarian space and the future of humanitarian action in the Asia Pacific and fragile states.
The key themes that the conference will explore are:
- Humanitarian leadership in a shifting system
- The future of humanitarian action
- Climate change and leadership
The program includes over 25 separate sessions where delegates will hear from over 60 international and national speakers. Our keynote speakers will present in morning plenaries, and the afternoon sessions will be held across four breakout rooms.
We are proud to announce our keynote speakers
- Per Heggenes – CEO, IKEA Foundation
- Degan Ali – Executive Director, Adeso and founder of NEAR
- Dr Hugo Slim – Head of Policy, International Committee of the Red Cross; and
- Lilian (Lan) Mercado – Asia Regional Director, Oxfam
Find out more about our conference keynote speakers in the speakers tab.
Our attendees are humanitarian practitioners, academics, researches and stakeholders from government, NGOs and the private sector. This is a truly international conference and our delegate list already includes nationals from over 15 countries.
Networking opportunities include an informal welcome reception on Wednesday evening; and the official conference dinner on Thursday night will be held under the iconic Spire at the Victorian Arts Centre. Both are included in the conference registration.
The program is currently being finalised and will be available on this website on the 17th April 2019.
We are proud to announce our keynote speakers.
Chief Executive Officer, IKEA Foundation
Per Heggenes is the CEO of the IKEA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group of companies. As CEO, Per sets and drives the Foundation’s funding and innovation strategies, and is a tireless … advocate for children living in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since becoming the Foundation’s first CEO in 2009, Per has presided over the Foundation’s evolution into a global, grant-making philanthropy that funds programs in more than 35 countries. In 2012, Per was appointed to the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, who created the commission to increase access to lifesaving medicines and health supplies for the world’s most vulnerable people. Previously, Per was the Global Head of Corporate Affairs for the shipping and logistics company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. Before joining WWL, he was the UK President and CEO for the global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller and Co-CEO for Europe. He also held different global roles for Burson-Marsteller based in their New York headquarters. Per served in the Norwegian Air Force and graduated from the University of Augsburg in Germany with a “Diplom Oekonom” (MBA).
Executive Director, Adeso
Adeso recognised early on the interconnection between humanitarian crisis and environmental degradation and climate change and is a leader in advocating for strong policies to reduce the negative impact of environmental degradation and climate change, and environmental justice, both in … Somalia and around the globe. Adeso also pioneered cash transfers as the most effective, timely, and dignified means of delivering aid to vulnerable populations. Under Degan Ali’s leadership, Adeso has become a pioneer in conducting innovative humanitarian and development programming. Degan Ali is a passionate advocate at the global level on the mainstreaming of cash as the primary response mechanism to humanitarian crisis. She sees cash as not only an efficient and less costly response tool, but also as a more dignified aid response that gives power to affected people to make decisions based on their needs. Degan believes that cash transfers have many positive multiplier effects including boosting economies in affected communities. Under Degan’s leadership, the first large-scale cash transfer program led by NGOs was successfully implemented in Somalia in response to the famine of 2011. This paved the way for the large-scale use of cash transfers in the Syrian crisis and continues to grow as the primary response tool around the globe, including the rise of new technology to digitise monetary transfers and the use of mobile money infrastructure. Degan founded NEAR, the first global south civil society network advocating for the transformation of humanitarian and development aid architecture, which launched in Istanbul at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016. In more recent years, Degan’s advocacy efforts focus on challenging the power dynamics of humanitarian response and creating equitable solutions, such as the direct financing of local actors in the global south.
Dr Hugo Slim
Head of Policy, International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva
Before joining ICRC in 2015, Hugo was Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) at the University of Oxford where he led research on humanitarian ethics and the protection of civilians. Hugo has combined a … career between academia and practice. He was Chief Scholar at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue from 2003–07 and Reader in International Humanitarianism at Oxford Brookes University from 1994–2003. Between 1983 and 1994, Hugo worked for Save the Children and the United Nations in Morocco, Sudan, Ethiopia, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Bangladesh. He received his PhD in humanitarian ethics from Oxford Brookes University in 2002. His most recent books are Humanitarian Ethics: A Guide to the Morality of Aid in War and Disaster (2015 Hurst/OUP) and Killing Civilians: Method, Madness and Morality in War (2007 Hurst/OUP).
Lilian (Lan) Mercado
Asia Regional Director for Oxfam
Lan Mercado is an activist and is the Asia Regional Director for Oxfam. She oversees a portfolio that spans 14 countries and multi-country and regional programmes including advocacy and campaigns. In Asia, Oxfam is focused on addressing inequalities and vulnerabilities in … a region that boasts of economic growth. Under her leadership, Oxfam is implementing a future-oriented strategy for an inclusive, sustainable and resilient region. Lan returned to Asia after serving as Oxfam’s Deputy Director for Global Campaigns. Prior to this, she was Country Director in the Philippines and served as Advisor to the ASEAN on disaster management and emergency Response. For many years before joining Oxfam, Lan held various positions in Philippine consumer groups, human rights and anti-dictatorship movements, and an international women’s NGO. She practiced as a journalist and radio broadcaster. Now back in her home country, Lan has picked up her involvement in Philippine social movements. Lan has a degree in mass communication and pursued post-graduate studies on sustainable development. She had won an award for investigative journalism. She was recently recognized by the University of the Philippines as a Distinguished Alumna and conferred the inaugural Glory Award by the UP College of Mass Communication for social advocacy and leadership in the development sector.
Ms Akuol Garang
Refugee Advocate - Conference dinner guest speaker
Akuol Garang is a Melbourne-based refugee and human rights advocate. As a Registered Migration Agent, Akuol provides advice and assistance in the preparation and lodgement of Australian visa applications. While studying towards her Masters in Human Rights Law, Akuol also … volunteers for a number of organisations, including the Asylum Seeker Resource Center where she advocates for the Sudanese-Australian community, multiculturalism and for people seeking asylum in Australia. Akuol and her parents escaped her country of birth, resulting in 11 years of her childhood being spent in refugee camp.
Please note that the Preliminary Program may be subject to change without notice.
Plenary 1: Welcome Session
Welcome to Country
Prof Jane de Hollander OA – Vice Chancellor, Deakin University
Degan Ali – Executive Director, Adeso
Plenary 2: Localisation
Chair – Dr. Phil Connors
Informal welcome reception
Chair – Steve McDonald
Per Heggenes – CEO, IKEA Foundation
Lilian (Lan) Mercado – Asia Regional Director, Oxfam
Plenary 4: Leadership in a Shifting System
Chair – tbc
Conference Dinner | Victoria Arts Centre
Chair – tbc
Dr. Hugo Slim – Head of Policy, International Committee of the Red Cross
Plenary 6: Panel Session
Localisation and Complementarity in Different Humanitarian Contexts
Chair – tbc
Panellists – tbc
Plenary 7: Closing Session
Dr. Phil Connors
Farewell afternoon tea
Thank you to everyone who submitted an abstract for consideration for presentation at the 2019 Asia Pacific Humanitarian Leadership Conference. We were overwhelmed by the volume and calibre of abstracts. Submissions are now finalised and all submitters have been notified.
Important Dates for Abstract Presenters
Abstract changes: Closed
Last chance for presenters to confirm acceptance: Midnight 28 April 2019 EAST
Presentation submission deadline: COB 8 May 2019 EAST
The abstract portal is now closed.
Presentation information and submission
Unless otherwise advised, all presenters will have 20 mins of presentation time, followed by 5 mins Q & A. The conference schedule is tight and presenters are asked to keep strictly to the allocated time. While preparing your presentation, please keep the conference themes in mind.
Presenters will be sent the conference template in Powerpoint format for their presentation by Friday 26 April 2019.
Presenters are asked to email their presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint format by COB Wednesday 8 May 2019 EAST to email@example.com.
Please note that peer review is no longer being offered – authors are not required to submit a full paper either prior to or after the conference. If you would like your paper to be considered for publication in the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership’s forthcoming Working Paper Series, please submit your 5000 word paper to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terms and conditions
The authors of accepted abstracts agree that at least one author will register prior to the 17 April and will present the accepted work at the 2019 Conference in Melbourne, Australia.
Submission of an abstract implies the author’s agreement to publish the abstract in all Conference publications including the Centre’s website.
For any enquiries regarding the paper submission, please contact email@example.com.
Registration is $495. This includes morning and afternoon teas and lunch each day, and tickets to the social events.
A limited number of student registrations at 50% discount are available. For further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registrations must close COB 17 April 2019 EAST unless sold out prior.
With the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we are able to offer a limited number of travel grants for presenters and delegates travelling from developing countries.
For further information, please email email@example.com.
Tower 2, Level 12
727 Collins St
Melbourne Vic 3002
Official Social Functions
There two official conference social events – tickets to both are included in the conference registration.
Welcome Reception | 5.15pm Wednesday 22 May 2019
This informal event will be held directly after the close of proceedings on the first day of the conference.
Conference Dinner | 6.45pm Thursday 23 May 2019
The Pavilion, Victorian Arts Centre
100 Swanston Street, Melbourne
We are delighted to announce that Akuol Garang, Melbourne based human rights and refugee advocate will be our guest speaker at the dinner.
Dinner includes welcome canapes, plus two courses, and drinks.
Dress is neat business attire.
Additional tickets can be purchased via the online registration portal.
More information about getting to the Victorian Arts Centre
The Grand Hotel, 33 Spencer Street
Travelodge Docklands, 66 Aurora Lane
The Savoy Hotel, 630 Little Collins Street
Intercontinental Rialto Melbourne, 495 Collins Street
Crowne Plaza, 1-5 Spencer Street
Batman on Collins, 623 Collins Street
For all enquiries regarding the conference, please contact the events team at firstname.lastname@example.org.