Director-general of World Health Organization to speak at Collision from Home


Collision from Home has announced that Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), will speak at this year’s virtual conference. Tedros is an Ethiopian microbiologist and malaria researcher who has served in his role at the WHO since 2017.

“We are relying on everyone in the field, from world leaders in medicine to the nurses on the frontline.”

Ghebreyesus is expected to speak about the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of the WHO. Collision from Home’s organizers intend to put a particular focus on healthcare for this year’s event, specifically on how the tech industry is accelerating solutions and addressing challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re incredibly humbled to welcome [Adhanom], one of the most important people in the world right now, to Collision from Home,” said Paddy Cosgrave, founder and CEO of Collision from Home. “This global pandemic has created a warlike scenario where the health industry is in an arms race, except the arms are not weapons, they are medical advancements that will save lives, such as tracking systems for contact tracing, and super fast testing.”

In addition to Ghebreyesus, speakers expected to focus on the pandemic response include Patrice Harris, president of the American Medical Association, Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis, and Leana Wen, visiting professor of health policy and management of George Washington University.

Startups that are expected to speak at Collision from Home, such as Austin, Texas-based Everlywell, are also playing a role in the pandemic recovery. Everlywell, which was also featured in Singularity University’s virtual summit on COVID-19 in March, recently secured authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to launch self-administered, at-home COVID-19 testing kits.

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“We are desperate to return to any kind of ‘normal’ and now more than ever, we are relying on everyone in the field, from world leaders in medicine to the nurses on the frontline,” Cosgrave added. “I believe the tech advancements we’ll make over the next year and into 2021 will be incredible, and change the way healthcare is run forever.”

Since the in-person portion of Collision was cancelled earlier this year due to the pandemic, the organizers have brought on speakers that address a wide array of issues pertaining to the COVID-19 crisis. NBA All-Star champion turned investor Shaquille O’Neal, for example, will be speaking at the 2020 virtual tech conference about unemployment.

Startups, speakers, investors, partners, and attendees will be able to access networking and content experiences through the Collision from Home app. The conference is expected to return to Toronto as a physical event from June 21 to 24, 2021, at the Enercare Centre.

Image source ITU via Flickr.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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