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IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC) 2018


IEEE GHTC 2018 is a world class flagship conference focused on discussing sustainable development and humanitarian technology related policy, insight and experiences and showcasing activities aligned with of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

The 8th GHTC was held October 18-21, 2018 in San Jose, CA, USA. See 2018.ieeeghtc.org for full details

GHTC 2018 drew 185 attendees from 25 countries and featured plenary presentations, paper and poster presentations, workshops, panel discussions, and unconference sessions. Researchers and practitioners exchanged experiences related to Disaster Mitigation, Affordable & Clean Energy, Agriculture & Food Security, Clean Water & Sanitation, Community engagement and capacity-building, Connectivity & Communication, Healthcare, Applications for Poverty Alleviation, Humanitarian Challenges & Opportunities, Education and Entrepreneurship.

Keynote speakers included Kofi Taha, who has developed and supported community livelihood technology design for subsistence farming communities with MIT’s D-Lab; Ron Snyder, who deploys and supports mobile emergency communications networks in the aftermath of disasters with Cisco Tactical Operations; and Ben Wilson, director of the Center for Intelligent Devices at Intellectual Ventures Laboratory.

Panel sessions were a Smart Village Plenary Panel, bringing together experts from an array of backgrounds to discuss UN Sustainable Development Goals in the perspective of in-field projects from across the globe, and a University Labs Panel focusing on the role of education in development.


This year’s conference also introduced several interactive workshops on Health, Energy, Disaster Situations, Water/Agriculture and Humanitarian Challenges to showcase practitioner and field research related experiences as well as technology adoption or adaptation related issues. For example, members of the IEEE Internet Initiative presented an interactive workshop “Building Capacity for the Coming Era of Connectivity: The Next Billions” on Sunday.

GHTC 2018 featured several pre-conference Special Events on Thursday & Friday.

  • The IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee held an all-day workshop on Technology and Innovation for the UN SDGs. Conference participants, IEEE SIGHT members and other key stakeholders active in the sustainable development space attended.
  • A workshop on Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies in addressing humanitarian challenges in developing countries.
  • Student Poster Competition for undergraduate students featuring ideas or designs for developing projects/products supporting the Key focus areas of GHTC. Cash prizes were awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd
  • Opening reception hosted by IEEE Santa Clara Valley Young Professionals with Erna Grasz, co-founder of the Asante Africa Foundation, speaking on “’How To Guide’ to Getting Your Humanitarian Innovation Funded”.
  • Friday Reception hosted by IEEE SIGHT (Special Interest Groups on Humanitarian Technology).

GHTC 2018 was organized by IEEE Region 6 (Western United States) and the IEEE Santa Clara Valley Section. IEEE-USA was a technical co-sponsor, along with the IEEE CES, EMBS, MTT, PES and SSIT Societies.

GHTC 2018 Patrons were the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC) and Global Good (Intellectual Ventures).

GHTC 2019 will be held in Seattle on October 17-20.


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