The agenda for the Symposium is as follows:

May 11, 2021: Opening Ceremony

The symposium will commence with welcome remarks from HDSR Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Xiao Li Meng, USA for IOM CEO, Luca Dall’oglio, and USA for UNHCR CEO, Anne-Marie Grey.

May 11, 2021: Disinformation Panel

Current predictions are that by the end of 2022, most people in mature economies will consume more ‘fake news’ than accurate information through their digital media feeds. This is a particular problem for high profile and increasingly politicized policy issues, such as migration, which is being distorted by interest groups through digital technology and social media platforms. The “misinfodemic” that has spread in parallel with COVID-19 has made the problems of misinformation and disinformation more apparent. This panel explores the various angles of this rising phenomenon, discusses the latest research findings and explores a range of potential solutions to combating the rise of disinformation on migration.

Moderator: Dr. Marie McAuliffe


1. Professor Hany Farid, School of Information / School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, UC Berkeley

2. Professor Katharine Donato, Director Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University

3. Michael Urquhart, Society Research Practice Lead, Media Measurement

4. Professor Jane Suiter, Director of Institute for Future Media, Democracy and Society, Dublin City University

5. Scott Tranter, CEO & Founder, 0ptimus Analytics

6. Lalini Veerassamy, IOM Chief Ireland, co-lead Global Migration and Media Academy

May 12, 2021Vulnerable Population Panel One

Vulnerable populations are some of the hardest to measure. We have an astounding 1 billion people who are still not represented in detail in any public data source. We are in the midst of a global refugee crisis of nearly 80 million people. During migration, especially when migration is made out of necessity rather than out of choice, there is an increased vulnerability to human trafficking, but the lack of rigorous global data on victims of trafficking precludes clear estimates on the prevalence of human trafficking in migration pathways. This panel will present new methodologies to understand how to collect data on vulnerable populations and how data science methods can be used for future use to aid vulnerable populations.

Moderator: Professor John Bailer, President International Statistical Institute, University Distinguished Professor of Statistics at Miami University in Ohio


1. Professor Caroline Buckee, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health

2. Professor Ahmet Icduygu, Director of the Migration Research Center, Koc University

3. Jeffrey Labovitz, Director of Department of Operations and Emergencies, IOM

4. Volker Schimmel, Head of Global Data Service, UNHCR

May 12, 2021: Vulnerable Population Panel Two

Moderator: Professor Liberty Vittert, Professor of the Practice of Data Science at the Olin Business School​


1. Cameron Birge, Senior Program Manager Microsoft – Humanitarian Partnerships (disaster response, AI, innovative technologies)

2. Anne-Marie Grey, CEO & Executive Director, USA for UNHCR

3. Duncan Lawrence, Executive Director Immigration Policy Lab, Stanford

4. Tyler Radford, Executive Director, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

5. Dr. Celine Bauloz, Senior Research Officer, IOM

May 13, 2021: COVID-19 Panel

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed both the way we work and the future of work and has led to significant ramifications in the provision of humanitarian assistance. Population mobility has informed the response to Covid-19, which was made possible due to resources established pre-pandemic, but needs to be supported in reaction to ongoing emergencies. There are numerous way to consider how those resources can be used by multiple actors, whose work spans across the Sustainable Development Goals. This panel discussion brings together global actors to explore how industry, academia and NGOS are responding to Covid-19, with respect to providing humanitarian assistance for migrants in need, including refugees and displaced people.

Moderator: Rita Ko, Director of The Hive


1. Dr. Jennifer Gardy, Deputy Director, Surveillance, Data and Epidemiology on Global Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

2. Professor Jennifer Leaning, Senior Research Fellow, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University

3. Dr Linda Adhiambo Oucho, Executive Director of the African Migration and Development Policy Centre (AMADPOC)

4. Dr. Marie McAuliffe, Head of Migration Research Division, Editor of World Migration Report, IOM

5. Alex Pompe, Research Manager, Facebook Data for Good

May 13, 2021: Keynote Fireside Chat

The symposium will conclude with a fireside chat between HDSR Editor-in-Chief Dr. Xiao Li Meng and IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino, with closing remarks provided by social entrepreneur and advocate Tolu Olubunmi.

For more information and to register please click here.