It takes a village: Why we need an ecosystem revolution to foster sustainable economic development

Wednesday, October 4, 2023 – Wednesday, October 4, 2023
13:00 – 14:30
Centre International de Conférences Genève - Seedstars Villa, Level -1

This panel brings together pioneers in the international development space that explore new methods and best practices of supporting innovation ecosystems through a systems thinking approach. We will discuss the shift away from traditional interventions by funders and capacity builders that focus on isolated problems, and move towards a more comprehensive approach that takes into account the movement of talent, information and resources as well as the interactions and collaboration between different ecosystem actors.


Xiaomin Mou

Regional Lead, Venture Capital, Türkiye, CEU & Central Asia - International Finance Corporation

Xiaomin is Regional Lead, Venture Capital, Türkiye, CEU & Central Asia at International Finance Corporation. Xiaomin is a senior investment professional with over 15 years of experience in emerging market venture capital. She currently leads IFC's VC investments CEE, Turkey and Central Asia, after spending a decade in China VC. Prior to the IFC, she was with the Boston Consulting Group in Munich, Germany. Xiaomin holds Ph.D., M.Eng, and B.S. degrees in electrical engineering from MIT.

Maureen Amakabane

Founder and Head of Business Development & Partnership - Nyayo Moms Sokos Limited

Maureen Amakabane is Founder and Head of Business Development & Partnership at Nyayo Moms Sokos Limited. Maureen is extremely passionate about women and youth socio economic advancement. Maureen believes women and youth are able to achieve socio economic empowerment by leveraging on entrepreneurship and technology as a catalyst.

Ben Okonkwo

Monitoring Evaluation Research Learning and Adapting (MERLA) Manager - Tony Elumelu Foundation

Ben Okonkwo is Monitoring Evaluation Research Learning and Adapting (MERLA) Manager at Tony Elumelu Foundation. Ben possesses more than 11 years of extensive expertise in delivering monitoring and evaluation support for a multitude of development initiatives across the African continent. His professional background encompasses diverse sectors including Peacebuilding, Healthcare, Youth and Entrepreneurship, Education, and Livelihood Support programs. Ben has had the privilege of assuming leadership roles and offering his support to projects funded by prominent entities such as the United States Government (USG), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Google, the African Development Bank (AFDB), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German Corporation, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the European Union, the Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ), and projects supported by the Global Fund.

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