On Saturday, April 23, 100 LIVES and the Aurora Prize will host the Aurora Dialogues – a series of insightful discussions between leading humanitarians, academics, philanthropists and media experts on some of today’s most pressing global challenges.
Through a series of keynote speeches, panel discussions and Q&A sessions, the Aurora Dialogues will encourage conversations that explore the importance of learning from the past, acting in the present, and fostering a better future. Discussion topics will include the state of humanitarian issues, the global refugee crisis, the role of women in the humanitarian community and the role of media in bringing humanitarian crises to the world’s attention, among others.
The Aurora Dialogues will allow the distinguished humanitarian guests who will be in Armenia for the events marking the presentation of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity to exchange knowledge and views on the best ways to address these challenges. In keeping with the spirit of the Aurora Prize, the Aurora Dialogues will shine a light on the people who are working hard to address today’s atrocities in a real and substantial manner.
Discussions will be made available via live stream in English, French, Russian and Armenian.
100 LIVES Co-Founder and Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member Vartan Gregorian will open the Aurora Dialogues, welcoming guests and outlining the importance of the discussions.
The four primary Aurora Dialogues panel discussions will focus on:
- The Global State of Humanitarian Issues: The session will open with the findings of a specially commissioned survey, The Humanitarian Index. Conducted in six markets, the Humanitarian Index will reveal public attitudes towards humanitarian issues, priorities and accountability. The panel will then discuss topics informed by the research, including global perceptions on the refugee crisis, the responsibility to protect, support needs in the short- and medium-term, and long-term strategies for combatting humanitarian issues. Panel participants will analyze where global humanitarian “hot spots” are, and discuss what can be done to bring effective assistance to these areas.
- Saving the World’s Refugees, Syria and Beyond: Gareth Evans, President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group and Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member, will give a keynote speech on his pioneering work with the Responsibility to Protect commitment and his contributions to conflict prevention and resolution. The distinguished panel will then discuss the root causes of forced migration, assess what can be learnt from history, and discuss the ways in which the humanitarian community can work in collaboration with institutions to address these issues.
- The Role of Women in the International Humanitarian Community: Led by Former U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor and Ambassador to the United Nations, Nancy Soderberg, the panel will bring together a group of exceptional women with diverse expertise in the international humanitarian community. The session will assess women’s contribution to humanitarian discourse and the roles they can play in acting as agents for social change.
- Shining a Light on the Crisis (The Role of Media in the International Community): Led by former ABC anchor Ted Koppel, the panel will discuss the important role of media in covering humanitarian crises, reporting ‘back home’, and bringing events to a wider audience. Participants will exchange views on the role played by media in raising awareness of humanitarian issues, shaping public opinion, highlighting the need for urgent response, and driving efforts to confront bad actors. Discussion will also look into the evolving media landscape, and the role of social media and the 24-hour news-cycle in the media’s ability to raise awareness of humanitarian crises.
The Yerevan 2016 Aurora Dialogues will be hosted at the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (the Matenadaran). Home to one of the world’s richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books spanning subjects from history and philosophy to medicine
The Matenadaran has been specifically chosen as the home of the inaugural Aurora Dialogues in honor of the past, present and future of intellectual discourse and debate – a location that encourages us to reflect on the foundations of humanitarian thought, and look to the future together.
Participants at the Aurora Dialogues include:
- Marguerite Barankitse, Founder, Maison Shalom; Aurora Prize Finalist
- Joyce Barnathan, President, International Center for Journalists
- Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Human Rights Lawyer and Iran’s first female judge; Nobel Laureate; Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member
- Enrique Eguren, President, Protection International
- Gareth Evans, President Emeritus, International Crisis Group; Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member
- Dr. Leymah Gbowee, Liberian peace activist and women’s right advocate; Nobel Laureate; Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member
- Syeda Ghulam Fatima, General Secretary, Bonded Labour Liberation Front; Aurora Prize Finalist
- David Ignatius, Author; Columnist, The Washington Post
- Hina Jilani, Former United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders; Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member
- Ted Koppel, Former ABC anchor
- Dr. Josephine Kulea, Founder and Executive Director, Samburu Girls Foundation
- Steve Kurkjian, Author; former Washington Bureau Chief and Founder of Investigative Column Spotlight, The Boston Globe
- Dr. Edward Luck, Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs; Director, Specialization in International Conflict Resolution, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
- Dr. Steven Luckert, Senior Program Curator, Levine Institute for Holocaust Education, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Aryeh Neier, President Emeritus, Open Society Foundation
- David Tolbert, President, International Center for Transitional Justice
- Dr. James Smith, CEO and Founder, Aegis Trust
- Nancy Soderberg, Former U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor and Ambassador to the United Nations
- Gillian Sorensen, Board Member, International Rescue Committee; Senior Advisor, United Nations Foundation